So, we’ve reached April! I hope that you and those folks who are important to you are keeping safe and well. I was in Tesco last night at 8pm when the store came to a standstill and we all applauded the fantastic people who are doing their very best for us. Well, when I say “we all” there was one guy who just carried on; and he went the wrong way down the aisles!!! In this weeks blog post we explore the factors that make you more interesting.
I’d like you just for a moment, think back to a time when you met someone who was so interesting that you hung onto every word they said, and you wanted to spend more time with them to know more. Maybe it was at work, a networking event, a party, or a wedding etc.
Why does being interesting make such a difference?
Why does being interesting make such a difference? Well, as I see it, being interesting is a huge advantage at work and in life generally. People want to spend time with you when you’re interesting, and they’re more likely to enjoy the time you spend together.
Now, I’m no expert on this subject you understand! Fortunately, I remembered reading some thoughts from a guy called David Newman. David is a coach to some of the best-known public speakers. Now, I’m not an expert on this you understand!
Before I get into some of David’s ideas, I remember something that someone much wiser than me once said on this subject (sadly I can’t remember who it was!!!). Their sagely advice was:
“To be interesting to others, you have to be first interested in others”
what makes someone interesting?
It got me thinking about other people in my life who I’ve found interesting; doh, of course, you’re on my list! For me, that list would certainly include Albert Einstein. How could you not find him interesting? What is it about those people like him and Leonardo da Vinci that would make me want to learn more, and to spend more time with them? And this is where David Newman’s ideas came to mind.
Factors that make you more interesting
So, what does makes someone interesting? Or – as they say in marketing lingo – a person of interest to others? David argues that it’s a combination of factors really… and here are just four of them for your consideration:
- They are not ‘plain vanilla’. They’re quirky, pugnacious, determined, and they don’t give a rat’s ass what the rest of the world thinks. (They also don’t mind using terms like “rat’s ass” in a post.) As he says, “Bottom line: wolves don’t lose sleep over what sheep think of them”. So, just how vanilla are YOU?
- They are articulate. Love ’em or hate ’em, these folks can articulate a point of view. They have opinions that are “loud, proud, but never dull”. The sound bite “frequently wrong, never in doubt” was made for them! How quotable are YOU?
- They stand FOR certain things. And they sure as hell stand AGAINST other things. They energise their followers and antagonise their foes in equal measure. Maybe if you don’t risk turning SOME people off, you’ll never turn anybody on. What stand are YOU taking?
- They build movements larger than themselves. No matter how big, loud, rich, and famous they are – they’re building something bigger than themselves and strive to make an impact beyond themselves. Think Oprah or Bill Gates, but it doesn’t have to be that big obviously! What’s YOUR movement?
Fear causes you to doubt your ‘interestingness’
Here’s the thing. I believe that people have the capability to be really interesting. I know you have incredible things about you. Secret wishes, fascinating ideas etc. You just have to activate them. But, you see, there is one potentially one very big problem: fear!
Fear causes you to doubt your ‘interestingness’ (I know that’s not even a word but who cares?). In fear mode we:
- Worry about people judging our ideas
- Doubt ourselves
- Are afraid what people will think of us
So we hide what’s interesting about us. We keep our ideas inside. We don’t share our true selves. The bottom line is that your fear of being uninteresting makes you uninteresting.
Fear shuts us down. It not only shuts down our desire to share interesting things, it also shuts down our desire to do interesting things.
To be interesting, be interested.
All of which kind of brings me back to the quote about being interested in other people before you can be interesting to other people. Here are just a couple of things that you can do to do that:
- Ask them what they think
- Ask them what intrigues or interests them
- Ask them what they are learning
- Ask them what weird things they have seen/eaten/done/heard and finally…..
- Ask them why something is important to them (that’s a great question by the way!)
So, now you are an expert in this subject let your interestingness (I’m sure that is a word by the way) shine.
I’m so pleased that people who were previously not appreciated are now betting the credit they deserve. Not just the brilliant NHS workers but also carers, cleaners and supermarket staff.
Last night in Tesco I needed to buy some fresh herbs, so I asked the assistant where could I find some thyme.
He replied “For a start, you could go to bed later and wake up earlier”