It’s Not What You Do, It’s How You Do

What does it mean to be an interesting person? Is it the unusual hobbies, a charming personality or a having visited most of the world’s countries? Undoubtedly all these things could contribute positively to how people perceive you, but the most important component is simply the way you speak about your life.

Nowadays it’s usually assumed that someone either is more introverted than extroverted or vice versa. Extroverts are generally more sociable as they enjoy hanging out and talking with people, while introverted ones are more known to be quiet or shy. However, it would be unfair to say that being a more quiet type of person makes you boring. Likewise, having very few hobbies or interests does not make you unexciting to talk to either. In fact, one could have the most amazing stories in the world to tell, but if he doesn’t share them with anyone, it’s like they never even existed in the first place. It’s incredible how often I have had a fascinating experience happen to me and yet I never brought it up in a conversation. Or, you could share the story, but in a way that is not very likeable indeed. For instance, take someone who went skydiving. Let’s say she is bragging about the whole thing or even saying that it was the best thing in the world – that you haven’t really lived until you tried it. Safe to assume that person is not very nice to talk to at all and being likeable is an important part of being interesting. Sure, you could go down the infamous ‘mysterious asshole’ path, but once people get to know the real you, all the mystery will vanish rather quickly.

Hence it’s not the amazing stories that make you interesting, it’s the way you experienced them, as well as how you perceive your everyday life. The way you talk or how your eyes light up after hearing someone mention a thing to your fancy. One doesn’t even need a hobby or a crazy once-in-a-lifetime experience to have a nice conversation, the only thing you need is the good ol’ ‘be yourself’. Is all you do all day long Is watch The Office in your bed? That can be cool too, if you tell me about your most beloved characters, explain the underlying themes or elaborate on issues explored in a particular episode. (Here I’m not advocating for using Netflix as an escape from our life’s issues by binging on it for 12 hours a day, but I do believe it’s fine to unwind from your troubles by watching a few episodes of your favourite sitcom.) Similarly, one could easily be an interesting person just by reading books. It’s possible to learn so many things from them – becoming more empathetic through relating to all the different characters, de-cyphering various references, delving into the philosophical issues the author addresses… So many things to learn and talk about arise just from spending a few days reading, not to mention the reading process itself is quite an enjoyable activity in and of itself.

The most crucial thing which makes you interesting is curiosity and the courage to go deep – understand why things are unfolding the way they are, why objects are made in this specific way or people acting in the way that they do. Whether we’re talking about a book, a film or a commercial for Pepsi, it doesn’t matter what you’re interested in, but it does matter what you can say about it.