When I was a kid I wanted to be liked. Heck, I still do. We all do. Who doesn’t want people to think that they’re fascinating, charismatic, and fun? We want attention.
Over the years I’ve become an expert at trying to become interesting. I had this theory that it would make more people like me. And you know what?
Interesting obviously means different things to different people. The thing is we all have romanticized images in our head about what it means to be interesting. But I thought that if I did more “interesting” things, for some reason there would be more love from the world for me at the end of the tunnel. And there was.
To be honest, I don’t try as hard now. The things that stuck stayed around. Trying hard to be more interesting doesn’t ultimately lead to peace.
But it can be a hell of a lot of fun in the meantime.
How To Be The Most Interesting Man (Or Woman) In The World
1) Storytelling hacks
Steve Jobs once remarked that those who truly have power in the world are storytellers. Then he started Pixar.
Storytelling is the one social skill that rockets your personality in any social situation. And it’s really simple. From bars to friends to dates to interviews, learning how to tell stories will change your life.
98% of people’s stories can be improved with one simple thing – character development. Recognize who is important in your story and building up their personalities. What were their emotions? What are they like? Act them out. Shamelessly. Be loud. Be soft. Be dramatic. Use gestures. Act and describe characters.
2) Want to be funnier? Watch Standup Comedy
This is a mind trip. You will start talking, gesturing, and even thinking like your favorite standup comedians. I personally went from being an incredibly shy person to becoming a sort of class clown. In two months. Seriously, I watched comedy everyday and it wore off on me.
You will find yourself walking down the street and narrating your experience in a comedic light. You’ll be able to make any situation hilarious.
This is sort of like the “you are the five people you spend the most time with rule”, except you DECIDE who you spend time with. It’s genius, trust me.
3) Order spicier food
Or food that you don’t recognize the name of.
4) Hitchhike wherever you need to go
This is really just a metaphor for “do the hardest thing” when presented with a list of options. My friend and I were traveling around Holland and wanted to get to France this summer. We ended up biking from Amsterdam to Paris.
It’s allows you to be more creative. It can be more fun. It’s better for your social skills and your worldly experience. And in the case of hitchhiking, it is simply more fun. You meet more interesting people, and have great fodder for those stories you are going to tell.
5) Be interested in history
Where we came from, why we’re here, what our ancestors did, all influence who we are. It’s like learning more about yourself. You weren’t teleported to this earth from a spaceship. You literally sprouted from it. We all did, just like everything else.
The best cure for apathy, depression, etc. is curiosity. You will have a much richer life when you learn the context of where things came from and how.
In fact, the most important thing for learning anything is to be interested. This (by experience) is something you can force, but let it tickle you. Read, research, and jump into the rabbit hole.
6) Go into nature
Along the lines of the “you’re human so be interested in human things” track, most of the civilized world has forgotten about nature. Yeah, we see pictures on Buzzfeed or whatever, but it’s not the same.
Go camping and don’t bring a phone. Go swimming in a lake. Jump off a waterfall. There are parts of our mind and body that have long been inactive because they have become desensitized.
Go climb a mountain.
7) Do an interesting physical activity activity (preferably weird – weightlifting doesn’t count)
And like it. Or learn to like it.
Yoga. Muay Thai. Salsa dancing. Cooking classes. Body weight exercise. Whatever. Experiment if you don’t know what you like.
I have done/do all of the above and have met a ton of people as well as had a richer life experience and have seen myself do things I never thought I would or could do.
8) Get better at sex
9) Beginner’s Mind
Forget about being interesting. Most of that is done by being interested – in nature, history, capoeira, improving your Spanish, and having better, deeper conversations with people. Be interested.
Meditating helps with this a lot (Beginner’s Mind is a Zen concept), but fundamentally it’s easy to apply. Try not to fall into your conditioned way of seeing the world that thinks, “work at 9, lunch at 12, I have to go to the gym at 6, and then do it all over again.” No. See what’s in front of you. If you can do this, and can do it well, you won’t have a want for interest. Everything will be interesting.
And to other people, you will be too. But to you, that won’t matter.