Even the briefest lull in a conversation can prompt some people to wonder: “Am I boring?”
The honest answer is that you’re probably perfectly fascinating — but you can always become more so. It’s a question of collecting new skills, knowledge, and experiences and learning how to share them with others.
To find out how to do that, we checked out the Quora thread, “How do I become a more interesting person?” and pinpointed the most practical advice. Read on for ways to capture people’s interest and win their admiration.
1. Develop new skills.
One way to ensure that other people find you interesting is to make yourself helpful in any situation. That’s why Quora user Anthony N. Lee suggests learning as many useful skills as you can, from web design to sewing.
That way, you’ll always be the go-to person, whether a friend needs to create a website for her new business or a blanket for her baby niece.
2. Be curious.
One way to ensure that you’re not interesting is by closing yourself off to differing opinions and viewpoints. Instead, you should actively seek out new ideas and experiences that will change the way you think and feel.
Sudhir Desai advocates being a “lifelong learner.” He writes: “Keep an open mind, be curious. Allow for a complex world with multiple interpretations. Learn things to deepen and broaden your perspectives.”
3. Learn how to tell a good story.
Maybe you’ve amassed a ton of information and experiences — but if you can’t communicate them to other people, you’re sunk.
That’s why Marcus Geduld says you should learn how to be a storyteller: “You don’t just dump whatever is on your mind into the conversation; you purposefully shape it to make it interesting. … Start thinking of your life as a gift you can give to others. Wrap it in the finest paper you can find.”
Geduld says that means you need to learn how to read your audience to see how long they’ll be able to pay attention and tease your listeners with clues to the end of the story.
4. Listen and show compassion.
A striking number of Quora users mentioned that one way to seem interesting is to be interested in others.
Writes Quentin Hardy: “Listen carefully to others, and try with some compassion to understand their motives and actions. Few of us are really good at this. Everyone becomes nearly infinite in their experience of life, if we listen to them with enough imagination. Working that out grows ourselves. Wondering if you’re wrong helps, too.”
5. Ask good questions.
At a party, you don’t need to say much about yourself for people to believe you’re interesting. Instead, engage them in deep conversation about their lifestyle.
“Ask thoughtful (not prying) questions, as needed, about them and their interests and priorities,” says Stephanie Vardavas. “Really listen to the answers. Follow up with more thoughtful discussion and necessary questions (again, not prying). By the end of the evening they will remember you as one of the most interesting people they ever met.”
6. Say what you think.
Kat Li says people who don’t opine on or disagree with anything can be boring.
“You feel like you can’t really ever have a conversation with them,” she writes. “You should try to say what you really think about some things, even if other people won’t like it.”
7. Follow your interests.
Instead of learning about a ton of dull topics just for the sake of being knowledgeable, pursue areas that you actually find stimulating. That way, you’ll sound animated and engaging when describing them to other people.
“I don’t think it’s as much a matter of trying to be interesting as much as it is naturally following what you enjoy, being an avid student and collector of information that interests and excites you,” writes Renee Nay.
8. Read a lot.
If you have the time and money to travel the world, great. But even if you don’t, you can still learn about different cultures and historical periods by reading everything you can get your hands on. Books, blogs, periodicals — expose yourself to as many new stories and ideas as possible.
“Read a lot — it opens up multiple new worlds to us,” says Chaitra Murlidhar.
9. Run with a different crowd.
Perhaps the real reason you don’t feel interesting is because you’re spending time with people who don’t appreciate you. In that case, you should find a different community who understands how much you have to offer.
Writes Travis Biziorek: “Challenge yourself to meet new people, hang out with a different crowd, and experience people with different outlooks and views on life. I promise you’ll find people that interest you and those that find you fascinating.”