I think we can all agree that there is a lot of fakeness in this world.
Many people might act agreeably on the surface, but it’ll sometimes turn out to be an act and they have underlying motives.
Maybe they want to sell you something, maybe they want to use your connections, maybe they want to get in your pants. The possibilities are endless.
So in life, it’s worthwhile to develop the skill of separating those who are genuinely interested in you from those who are just faking it.
Doing so will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.
I’m here to help.
In this article, I’ll go through some of the things people say when they are genuinely interested in you.
Let’s get to it!
1) “I noticed you have a passion for (specific hobby or interest). What got you into it?”
When a person wants to get to know you, they’ll invariably try to maneuver past all the small talk and surface-level fluff.
They want to get deeper, they want to get profound.
They want to get to the core of who you are as a person.
To kick things off, asking about your pastimes is always a wise option.
By learning about your interests and the reasoning why you pursue them, they’re gaining a thorough knowledge of who you are as a person.
And by opening up, you kind of lower your defenses towards them as well.
So the next time someone asks you for more details about your passion for amateur photography or competitive dog grooming, then, chances are, they’re interested in getting to know you on a more personal level.
2) “You mentioned you traveled to (specific place). What was your favorite part of the trip?”
When we’re vacationing somewhere new, our spirits are generally pretty high
So if someone asks you about a recent excursion, they’re likely trying to get you to relive those good memories and feelings… in their company.
They might also want to know how you travel; doing so will help them gain insights into your personality.
Maybe you’re a luxury tourist, always traveling first-class and staying in posh resorts; or maybe you like a more immersive experience, going to wet markets, mingling with locals, and eating exotic food.
Either way, by discussing your travels, a new facet of your personality will inevitably be revealed.
3) “I saw that you accomplished (specific achievement). Can you tell me more about how you achieved that?”
Yes, there are some really humble folks out there who rarely disclose anything about themselves.
Generally speaking though, it’s safe to assume that the majority of people like to talk about themselves and their achievements.
When we accomplish something of value in life, like getting a big work promotion or losing 50 pounds, it can be incredibly rewarding; a ton of hard work, dedication, stress, and sacrifice has gone into that pursuit.
When someone acknowledges those accomplishments, we feel an extra boost of validation–and an extra boost of appreciation for the person who recognizes our efforts.
4) “I’m genuinely curious about your background. What’s your story?”
When it comes to verbally expressing interest in someone new, it doesn’t get any clearer than this one.
Every person has a story to tell, but they don’t get to tell it that often.
So when someone expresses an interest in your past and personal history, this indicates a high level of interest in you.
Many people are guarded; they’re too busy, reserved, or distracted by life to go on monologues about themselves.
Imagine being out on a first date and you feel attracted to the other person.
It’s unlikely that discussions will be limited to their pet corgi or favorite sports team.
You’ll want to know more intimate information, you’ll want to get deeper.
We’re all shaped by our past experiences, so asking someone about those experiences will paint a picture of who they are fundamentally and why they might behave in certain ways.
5) “Can you recommend any books/movies/music you love?”
In the iconic film adaptation of the novel High Fidelity, heartbroken record store owner Rob (John Cusack) reflects on dating compatibility:
“What really matters is what you like, not what you are like… Books, records, films – these things matter. Call me shallow but it’s the fuckin’ truth.”
In my thirty-plus years on this planet, I’ve found the latter sentiment to be mostly true.
And finding compatibility through pop culture isn’t limited to romance.
If you want to get to know anyone, from your next-door neighbor to your seatmate on the plane, on a deeper level, gaining insights into their artistic interests (or lack thereof) will go a long way.
Think about it: our favorite books movies, TV shows, or music are meaningful to us because, on some level, we believe they reflect who we are as individuals.
And if you happen to enjoy the same stuff as the person who asked, that bodes well for your potential relationship with them, romantic or otherwise.
Last month, I was alone at a dive bar in Brooklyn waiting for a friend to arrive, when I started chatting with the guy sitting next to me.
After exchanging initial pleasantries, the conversation progressed to TV shows, as it often does in this day and age.
I learned that like me, he was a huge fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Larry David, and because of this shared interest, there was an instant sense of camaraderie between us.
A barrier was broken. We hit it off and became friends.
Our shared enthusiasm for, well, Curb Your Enthusiasm was a major catalyst.
6) “I’d love to hear your thoughts on (a relevant topic in current events.)”
When you hold a person in high regard, you tend to want to know their thoughts on a range of issues–especially issues that matter.
Not only will this reveal a lot about their values and character, but you will also be exposed to fresh perspectives that you might not have considered previously.
Let’s say you have a work colleague you admire; though you don’t know them particularly well, you might still have a feel for their personality and level of intellect.
You’re intrigued by them and want to know more.
So you ask them about a pertinent issue in the world like the crisis in Gaza or Congo or inflation or the rapid growth of AI.
By asking them about a relevant current event, you’re inviting them to open up, and ultimately see where they stand on the spectrum, which can affirm or deny your interest in them altogether.
There you have it, things people say when they’re genuinely interested in someone else.
If you have a date coming up or a work mixer, dropping these statements will likely strengthen your bond.
Remember, be interesting by being interested.
That said, don’t overthink it. When you are genuinely interested in a person, the right words tend to come out naturally.
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