We all worry that we should be more interesting. No one wants to be boring at parties, among our friends, or when we meet strangers. Here are the top 5 ways to sound more interesting.
Half the battle occurs before you open your mouth.
Being interesting is a perception. People gain that perception through various means. When you engage someone, relax your face and stance. A single deep breath and exhale will do the trick. You’ll appear open and approachable.
Smile often, laugh appropriately. They’ll feel accepted and be more open to topics you discuss. Talk about your passions. You’re more animated and informative when you do.
Fear prevents you from being interesting. Fear of judgment. Fear of rejection. Fear of embarrassment. No matter how much you try to avoid judgment, rejection, and embarrassment, they still happen. So, live with it. No one has died of embarrassment (well, not yet, at least) and you’ll learn how to avoid them in the future.
I remember the first time I commented on a girl’s weight. I wasn’t the sophisticated bon vivant that I am today. It was an innocent, honest remark, but the awkward silence afterward haunts me to this day. I learned to keep my opinions about body types to myself.
Put your weirdness on display. You’ll find that you’re less than one standard deviation from the norm. Everybody is weird in their own way. Someone in the conversation will think your quirky, not weird, and you’ll have a new friend.
Go out of your way to learn about topics unknown to you.
Take an online course or research a topic. Listen to podcasts, explore YouTube videos, and read news sources.
Try an experiment. Take public transportation for a week, explore the flavors of Jell-O, or binge-watch all seven seasons of “Burn Notice”. You’ll definitely have something to talk about.
Accept all invitations for a month. Even a boring event/dinner/lecture will give you a story. The next time someone tells a story about a boring dinner, you can play I-can-top-that and have a good laugh.
Each of these tactics will increase the number of interesting facts and stories you possess. In turn, they will give you the confidence to participate in (or even start) a wider range of conversations. And that will make you more interesting.
People love to talk about themselves, even the shy and retiring. If you don’t know them, ask them how they came to be where you are. That will lead to their relationship with the host, the place, or the event. A few more questions on your part, and they’ll give even more information.
If you know them, your question can fall out of the conversation as you remember something they said or did in the past. By tying the present to the past, you have honored their friendship and they’ll find you more interesting.
Be sure to make eye contact and really listen. Confirm information as the story unfolds. Do it cheerfully like, “Did you really say that?”
Ask questions and you’ll find the conversation interesting. Ironically, they’ll think you’re interesting because you talked about a topic they’re interested in. Mainly, themselves.
You don’t have to be a Nobel prize winner to be an expert. Remember: an expert is someone who knows more about a subject than you.
Do you know how to get a red wine stain out of clothing and carpets? Next time a question of stains comes up, chime in.
Did you find a way to quickly navigate the DMV? Share it when someone is groaning through their DMV story.
Someone desperate to get their laptop fixed? Tell them about Warner at the local office supply store who resolved your login problem in a matter of minutes.
Stories are a way to convey information in an interesting way.
There’s an art to storytelling. You set the stage with who, what, where, when, and why. Keep it simple and straight forward with no tangents! Establish the conflict and how it is resolved. Draw a lesson from the story.
I’ll never forget the date I arranged online. The first face-to-face was amazing. We were soulmates. The second date made me feel like I was witness to the transformation of Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde. I ran screaming (in my head) from that bar and took a vow of celibacy. The vow only lasted a week, but the story is a permanent entry in my arsenal of stories.
You’re not alone if you think you’re not interesting. We’ve all experienced it at one time or another, but there are ways to overcome it. Follow our advice and pretty soon you’ll get to hang with the cool kids.