‘Interesting’ is an interesting word – one full of nuance and subjectivity.
Generally speaking, if someone describes you as an interesting person, it’s a compliment (though some people still manage to turn it into an insult).
Boring, on the other hand, is never a compliment.
So how do you become a more interesting person, and not a boring one?
Here is some practical, no-fluff advice to follow.
1. Understand what it means to be interesting.
As alluded to in the opening sentence, no matter who you are and what you’ve done, not everyone is going to find you interesting.
Just as we all find different hobbies and topics and movies interesting, we find different people interesting too.
What makes you interesting to one person might not be so appealing to others. But that’s not to say they won’t be fascinated by some other aspect of your personality or life.
So part of what it takes to be an interesting person is knowing your audience and focusing on the things that you think might appeal to them.
Or if you have only just met someone, you can briefly hint at various things until you get a response that indicates they want to know more about something in particular.
And even if you don’t see a great deal for them to be interested in, you can still try to sound and seem interesting by following some of the tips below.
2. Be willing to express an opinion.
It’s more difficult to come across as interesting if you don’t speak up and express your thoughts and feelings.
Sure, in group settings, the conversation can sometimes move to ground that you have little or no knowledge about, but when you do have something to say… say it.
Don’t fret about whether or not people will agree with you, or how you might be perceived. Interesting people have opinions and others tend to respect that about them.
3. Learn to tell a story.
The best way to engage people with what you are saying is to tell stories.
A story has a plot. A story builds suspense. A story is something people can relate to. A story makes you more human.
When you tell a story, you are inviting them to take a journey into your past.
And stories are memorable. So when your interaction with someone is over, your story will stick in their mind more than anything else.
You can tell a story to help you express an opinion or to explain something or to make people laugh.
Stories are very powerful. Use them wisely.
To help you think of some stories you can tell, we recommend reading this article: 101 Fun And Interesting Facts About Yourself (Just Fill In The Blanks)
4. Listen more than you talk.
As powerful as your own words can be, if you want to seem more interesting to others, it pays to let them speak too.
Let’s face it, people like to talk about themselves and tell their own stories. If you can remain engaged with them as they do, they will have a more positive attitude toward you.
To come across as interesting, you must come across as interested.
In other words, you should ask relevant and timely questions (whilst not interrupting), and be present when listening to their answers.
You’ll be amazed at how much this single thing can influence how other people view you.
5. Include others in the conversation.
If you are part of a group, but one or two people are doing most of the talking, it can pay to gently coordinate things so that everyone can have their say.
This can be as simple as saying, “What do you think about that, John?”
Alternatively, it can mean shifting to a topic that you know another person feels more able to get involved with.
If, for example, the conversation is about some past event that you know one person wasn’t present at, you can steer things to more inclusive ground.
This role doesn’t have to involve loads of talking, either. You can guide proceedings and help the enjoyment of everyone by asking questions and being aware of the balance of conversation.
You will appear more interesting by helping things to flow more naturally.
6. Stay on topic.
Something particularly interesting might pop into your head, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right moment to bring it up.
If the conversation is still going strong on one topic, randomly stuffing your thought (or story) into it will only serve to confuse and alienate people.
Either wait until the current topic dies down a bit, or until the conversation moves to something relevant to your thought or story.
You may also like (article continues below):
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7. Know when you might be boring others.
If you find yourself doing a lot of talking when with others, but you still think you are boring (or you’ve been told you are), it might be that you don’t read the signs well.
Perhaps a topic started off interesting enough, but you have since begun to dominate the conversation and are laboring your point.
Or maybe you raised a topic that doesn’t interest others a great deal.
Part of being a good conversationalist is knowing when to change tack and move to safer, more enjoyable ground for all those involved.
Some signs of boredom include a blank stare, an expressionless mouth, getting distracted, or a half-hearted nod and “Mmmhmm” of agreement.
8. Don’t repeat the same rants again and again.
Sometimes, we all need to get something off our chests. We need to rant to someone.
That’s fine if it’s an occasional thing.
But do you find yourself going over the same things and making the same complaints with the same people again and again?
As much as you may want to talk about these things, it is unlikely to be all that interesting or entertaining to the other person.
It makes you seem negative, which is never a nice thing to be around.
As with the previous point, it’s all about self-awareness and identifying when you have strayed into the dangerous territory of a serial-complainer.
9. Be positive.
Following on from the previous point, it pays to bring a positive attitude to your interactions with other people.
If they walk away feeling more upbeat because you were cheerful and optimistic in what you said and the way you said it, they will see you in a better light.
It doesn’t always matter exactly what you say because “interesting,” as we have already mentioned, is hard to define precisely.
Just by being positive, you may come across as more interesting purely by being someone that other people want to be around.
10. Be open-minded.
We don’t always see eye-to-eye with other people. We have different opinions and beliefs.
This variety is often what makes a conversation so interesting.
The one thing you have to be careful about, however, is that any debate you get into remains friendly and good-natured.
Don’t allow a debate to descend into an argument. Remain open-minded to what the other person is saying.
Don’t attack or belittle their views. Don’t dismiss them outright. Try to step into the other person’s shoes and see why they might think and feel what they do.
Aim to make a debate challenging, but enjoyable and people will want to debate with you again. Turn it into an argument and people will avoid talking to you.
11. Be funny.
If you can make people laugh, you become interesting to them.
So mastering the art of a well-timed joke or comment can put you in a positive light.
If you struggle with this, you’ll want to check out this article: How To Be Funny: The Secret Of Authentic Humor
12. Be authentic.
It might be tempting, in your quest to be a more interesting person, to pretend to be something you’re not.
But this is unlikely to make you seem more interesting to the people you want to impress.
In fact, if someone detects even the slightest bit of fakery, this tends to put them off a person altogether.
Instead, just be your authentic self.
If you want to stand out, stand out. If you want to blend in, blend in.
Changing your style, appearance, or behavior just to get other people to like you is pointless. Even if it works, they will like the fake you, not necessarily the real you underneath the mask.
13. Have interesting goals.
Goals help propel us forward in life. They help us achieve things.
Goals can also be interesting things to talk about.
Other people can relate to your aspirations, even if they don’t share them. They relate to your desire and enthusiasm to do something, to be more, to grow.
A few interesting goals can certainly make you come across as a more interesting person.
Just remember the previous point about authenticity and only set goals that you actually want to achieve.
14. Be passionate about a cause.
As with goals, your passions can make you seem and sound like an interesting person.
When someone talks about something the truly believe in, it inspires other people, no matter what the cause is.
Seeing your eyes light up and listening to you speak with such intensity and enthusiasm will certainly make you more memorable.
Related post: If You Have No Passion For Anything, Read This
15. Consume interesting things.
If you want to bring interesting comments to a conversation, it helps to have a lot of source material in your mind to call upon.
To this end, you should try to consume a wide range of interesting media.
Become a sponge for facts, watch documentaries, read books, follow the news, listen to podcasts – all of these things can give you the knowledge you need to raise relevant and interesting points in any conversation.
Here are a few websites that you can visit to help you grow your knowledge bank: