None of us strive to be boring, that’s for sure.
We all want to lead interesting lives, and be interesting company to others.
But what are the captivating qualities that really make someone stand out from the crowd?
What are those intriguing personality traits that make someone “interesting”?
What makes someone interesting?
Being interesting isn’t the same as having a straightforwardly ‘pleasant personality’.
Pleasant people are easy to like, but many interesting people have more colorful characters.
When you’re interesting, you tend to have an almost magnetic quality that is compelling and draws people to you.
This engrossing nature has just as much to do with how interesting people live their lives, as it does their personality type.
We’re captivated and enthralled by them because interesting people are interested in the world.
This opens them up to all kinds of fascinating experiences and adventures, which we get to enjoy vicariously by simply being around them.
We love to spend time with interesting people because we get to bask in the glow of their distinctive perspective and curious nature.
10 signs you’re an interesting person
1) You’re passionate
Passion comes in many forms.
Perhaps the first thing that springs to mind when we think about passionate people might be a fiery temperament. Or of having desire which is prone to pouring out in an uncontrollable fashion.
But plenty of passion is far more modest and unassuming. And lots of passionate people are far from frenzied in their displays of passion.
Being a passionate person is essentially about having a zest for life. Passionate people find the world fascinating.
There may be certain topics or subjects that they get totally lost in or devote their time to. Their passion often manifests in devotion, sometimes even obsession.
Thanks to that, these individuals often go on to solve great mysteries, develop new inventions or produce creative masterpieces.
Not all passionate people direct their passion into one source in particular.
They may just have a general excitement towards the things and people they encounter in life.
Having passion is fundamentally about caring on a deeper level.
Passionate people don’t see the world on a shallow level, they dive below the surface to experience the full range of what life has to offer.
2) You’re open to new experiences
Interesting people tend not to live within their comfort zone.
They say yes to life, and that means opening themselves up to new experiences.
Part of pursuing what interests them often demands that they encounter new things, people, and places.
It doesn’t mean interesting people recklessly or totally fearlessly jump feet first into anything and everything.
It’s more that they appreciate new experiences are part and parcel of their pursuit of an interesting life.
They are at least prepared to consider and try new things out.
They have a growth mindset towards things that are new to them and they know that they won’t necessarily get it right the first (or the second, or even third time) — but this won’t stop them from having a go.
If something isn’t right in an interesting person’s life, they will seek to change it.
They won’t make excuses for why it isn’t practical, isn’t going to work out, or why they are too old, too broke, too tired — or any other excuse.
This positive attitude towards new experiences in life makes interesting people uplifting to be around.
After all, no one likes hanging out with downers who are quick to close the door on new possibilities.
3) You embrace what makes you unique
Some of the most interesting people I know in life are totally weird.
And I say that as a huge compliment, rather than a criticism. They are weirdly wonderful.
They aren’t like everyone you meet.
Whether it’s a slightly unusual hobby or interest, a unique talent, their quirky ideas, or some curious ways of seeing the world — their individuality makes them a breath of fresh air.
Being around unique people helps you to see life in a different way — and what’s more interesting than a fresh perspective?
We spend so much time trying to fit in with one another, but really, who wants to be “normal”.
Normal people rarely do extraordinary things. In fact, it’s often society’s oddballs that go on to make history.
Interesting people embrace their unique character.
Fully accepting who they are, even when it doesn’t always make them the most popular person in the room, means that they are able to stay true to themselves.
It’s fair to say that Interesting people don’t always “fit in”.
They aren’t always universally liked. That’s because some insecure people can feel threatened by those who stand out.
But when interesting people find “their people”, others will love spending time with them for the very reason that they are far from beige.
4) You don’t follow the crowd
It takes courage to be an interesting person.
As I’ve said, interesting people don’t blend into the background unnoticed very often.
It’s not that they are necessarily searching for the limelight or are attention-seeking.
It’s just that their quirky character is hard not to notice.
There are times in life where standing out can feel great, and other times when it can feel incredibly vulnerable.
There is a risk with following your own path, rather than the one more commonly traveled.
It’s daring to go with your own thoughts, ideas and beliefs rather than bow down to someone else’s.
It takes conviction to go against the grain in order to be true to yourself or stand up for what you think is right.
Interesting people are far from sheep. You’ll never find them nodding along with everything they hear simply for an easy life.
They’re not trying to rub anyone up the wrong way or be disagreeable. But they will honor and respect themselves before saying “yes” just to try and fit in.
5) You’re inquisitive
You probably don’t take just anyone’s word for things.
But rather than this being driven by a suspicious or untrusting nature, it comes more from curiosity to discover the truth for yourself.
That’s because interesting people are inquiring people.
Sometimes interesting people can appear a little nosey or even prying, but it’s usually just because they’re genuinely fascinated and want to know more.
They probably ask 1001 questions. But one of the reasons we love being around interesting people so much is that they pass on whatever they find to us.
Whenever we see them, they have a crazy story, anecdote, or piece of information to blow our minds.
They’re certainly not the type of people who make polite chit-chat about the weather, that’s for sure. Because they have so many more compelling things to talk about.
This is down to the fact that interesting people are eternal learners. They read, they research, they discuss, they search out new skills.
Interesting people don’t believe that you are ever too old or too young. They are sponges for knowledge and all of life is a playground for them to discover.
6) You don’t fall into the trap of people-pleasing
It’s not that interesting people don’t care what others think. We’re all human, and it never feels good to disappoint.
But most interesting people learn fairly early on that it’s impossible to fully stay true to yourself and please all the people all of the time.
Avoiding people-pleasing is really about having boundaries, more than having a super thick skin that makes you totally unsusceptible to others’ opinions.
Interesting people know that whilst it is nice to be liked, in order to lead a good life, first and foremost, you must be concerned with pleasing yourself.
People-pleasing is a reflection of something deeper. As psychotherapist Amy Morin points out in Psychology Today:
“Over the years, I’ve seen countless people-pleasers in my therapy office. People-pleasing wasn’t really their problem; their desire to make others happy was merely a symptom of a deeper issue. For many, the eagerness to please stems from self-worth issues. They hope that saying yes to everything asked of them will help them feel accepted and liked.”
That’s why interesting people tend to have mastered self-acceptance, which has given them firmer foundations of self-worth. It’s this that helps them avoid falling into the people-pleasing trap.
7) You’re genuine
To a certain extent, we all wear masks and play roles in life, but some of us more than others.
Sincerity is a universally admired quality.
Most of us have an innate sixth sense for insincerity. When we feel like someone is hiding who they really are, we tend to see it a mile off.
People who put on a front we usually interpret as being disingenuous. We can see they are not being themselves and so we have a harder time trusting them.
That’s why interesting people who are clearly showing us exactly who they are are such a breath of fresh air to be around.
Nobody is perfect. We don’t need people to be. But when we see all of someone — the good, the bad, and the ugly — we at least know where we stand.
When we are open with others, we become all the more engaging.
The genuine quality that many interesting people have, again stems from their quiet self-esteem.
In order to allow yourself to be seen by others, you have to feel secure enough within yourself to not put up barriers.
That actually takes quite a lot of inner confidence and self-assurance.
8) You’re not quick to judge
Part of the open nature of interesting people means that they don’t jump to conclusions.
After all, this would be disastrous to their learning and growth.
Interesting people don’t dare assume that they know it all. That’s why they will listen, absorb, and take their time before reaching conclusions.
Even then, interesting people can usually have their minds changed again by new information.
Rather than being fixed in their beliefs, thoughts, and ideas, they are actually very malleable.
They may enjoy playing devil’s advocate within a lively debate, but this is more to spark their curious mind rather than assert their own opinion.
Interesting people understand that firmly making your mind up about anything can be dangerous territory to stumble into.
Getting attached to certain concepts or ways of doing things hinders exploration. Being stuck in your ways prevents you from new discoveries.
This non-judgmental attitude will extend to people as well.
Interesting people are often labeled as a bit strange themselves, so they empathize with others who don’t fit the mold in some way either.
Rather than judge someone’s lifestyle, choices or ideas — interesting people use it as a learning opportunity from which everyone can grow.
Their tolerance is one of the reasons interesting people are so great to be around. Their less conventional lives mean that they are more likely to accept the differences they encounter in the people they meet.
9) You don’t give up
Developing the habit of resilience is often a side effect of having an interesting personality.
That’s because interesting people didn’t become that way from hiding at home.
They have gone out into the world and embraced experiences that shaped them into who they are today.
We all know that life isn’t plain sailing for any of us.
The more you truly live, the more you will encounter setbacks, struggles, and challenges in life.
That’s why interesting people aren’t so easily deterred when the going gets tough.
They don’t see it as their cue to give in, they know that it’s all part of the journey of life. They’re more likely to keep on going until they find a solution.
Sometimes we think that the most interesting, successful, or determined people in life have been born that way. That these qualities are innate within them.
But really they develop these characteristics along the way.
It’s a chick and the egg scenario but ultimately interesting people’s thirst for life meant they had no other choice but to put themselves out there.
As they did, the knocks that they faced have made them stronger. Resilience is the secret weapon that fuels interesting people to live remarkable lives.
“Do not judge me by my success, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”
– Nelson Mandela
10) You’re bold
From the outside bold people can look like they’re not scared of anything. But in reality, we all get scared.
In fact, fear is one of the most natural of human instincts designed to keep us safe from danger and threat.
But fear is also the number one thing that holds most of us back from finding greater happiness.
Many of us can be over cautious and in the process close ourselves off from opportunities or the invaluable experience that comes along with trial and error.
Being bold is essentially about not letting fear dictate your life, and it’s a classic hallmark of an interesting character.
Because interesting people are not controlled by their fear, they often lead envious lives. They are adventurous and so usually have a story or two to tell.
That may mean they’re the type who will pack a bag and board a flight at the drop of a hat, or are the first to say yes to bungy jumping — but not necessarily.
Not all adventures in life are about travel, fun, and daredevil antics.
Interesting people say yes to everyday life adventures. Whether that’s having the courage to change careers in midlife, or the bravery to fall in love again after heartbreak.
If they have a strong voice, they are prepared to use it with confidence and honesty.
Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg is a great example of an interesting person who is bold.
Despite her young age she passionately fights for what she believes in, standing up to some of the world’s most powerful people in order to be heard.
Every one of us is interesting
Whilst there may be certain characteristics that make someone all the more interesting to be around, the truth is that we are all interesting in our own way.
Because no matter how much we have in common with other people, we’re all also totally unique.
People, much like fingerprints, are distinctive.
No matter how similar to the casual eye, under a microscope, we all have features that make us totally one of a kind.
These quirks of character (even though they may take time for us to discover in one another) are what makes us human beings fascinating.
The more we embrace and are attentive to the interesting aspects that make us who we are, the more other people will see these qualities shine from within us too.