What’s interesting can indeed be subjective.
After all, what you find fascinating and engaging might not be the same for me.
But there are common qualities that often unite the most interesting people on this planet.
Let’s take a look at them…
1) They are curious
…About other people. About themselves. About life in general.
Curiosity is a wonderful quality that often goes hand in hand with creativity. It turns us into explorers, without even needing to go anywhere.
It’s that spark of inquisitiveness that leads you down the path of inventiveness.
Being curious keeps you open. You can discover new worlds hidden away.
Experts say this ability to seek novelty is what helps keep us alive.
It’s how we gain more understanding about our environment and why our brain releases a hit of feel-good chemicals whenever we encounter something new.
This sense of curiosity is largely responsible for the next thing on your list…
2) They like learning
I’m not necessarily talking about being “book smart”. There are all sorts of ways to be clever in this world.
It’s simply about being open to growth. Taking pride and enjoyment from discovering new things. Getting a kick out of building skills and talents.
Interesting people don’t believe you’re ever too old. They don’t think that education has to take place in a classroom. They know that it is a lifelong pursuit that never ends.
This gives them interesting abilities that the lazy learners amongst us may never have access to.
3) They aren’t afraid to stand out
Here’s the thing about homogeny:
It can feel safe but it’s ultimately dull.
When someone tried too hard to fit in, they snuff out what makes them special. And that’s actually the interesting part.
It’s the diversity amongst us that is most fascinating.
I know we spend a lot of our lives trying not to stand out. But the most interesting people don’t make this their primary focus.
They are too busy living their lives based on their own individuality.
When you think about some of the most interesting people throughout history, they were quirky, to say the least.
Albert Einstein, Vincent Van gogh, Nikola Tesla. Flamboyant, eccentric, or downright weird. Whatever your take, no one could say they weren’t interesting characters.
At the end of the day, the most interesting people are simply themselves, and that’s enough.
4) They don’t just do what they’re told
I’m not trying to say that interesting people are hellbent on being rule-breakers.
Although they can seem pretty badass at times. But that’s only because, as we’ve just seen, they’re not desperate to follow the crowd at all costs.
That means constantly questioning and re-evaluating rather than taking anything as a given.
Interesting people aren’t suck-ups or people pleasers.
They would rather risk going against the grain and ruffling feathers in the process than go against what’s true to them.
5) They know who they are
I think there is a certain self-assurance that comes along with being interesting. That’s because the most interesting people have a good grasp on what makes them tick.
They are clear on their core values. They know what motivates them. They recognize what’s worth chasing and what’s not.
Their self-awareness allows them a sense of self-ease.
They don’t have to try to impress. They can show up with authenticity.
This is a trait that is pretty magnetic because people can smell insincerity a mile off.
Even the most unassuming of people become far more interesting when they’re being vulnerable enough to be genuine.
6) They don’t let fear get the better of them
…And that gives them one very strong advantage:
It means they’ve actually done something with their lives. Now that’s interesting!
You see, when we don’t let fear rule our lives it opens us up to so many more opportunities.
We’re more inclined to give things a go and see it all as one big adventure.
People preoccupied with staying safe usually make their world as small as possible. They want to wrap themselves up in a protective little bubble.
But that also stifles change and progress.
The most interesting people have truly lived. That takes courage. But it also means they have wisdom to share and stories to tell.
7) They know how to tell an engaging story
Telling a good story lies less in what you have to say and more in how you say it.
That’s why some people manage to murder the punchline of a joke when others will have you in stitches.
Part of being interesting is in the delivery. It’s about the tone of your voice, and how animated you are.
- Know their audience and set the tone based on it.
- Think about what they’re saying and the point they’re trying to make.
- Keep it short and sweet rather than ramble.
- Know the importance of timing.
- Speak with emotion.
- Communicate with confidence.
8) They aren’t afraid to go deep
There’s little on the surface of life that is particularly fascinating. That goes for people too.
All the good stuff is buried a little bit deeper, and interesting people are happy to go looking for it.
Quality conversation is often more important for them than the quantity of conversations they have.
They find a wide range of topics fascinating — whether it’s politics, science, math, literature, music, and more.
It’s all about exchanging views. That’s how bonds are created and ideas shared. But importantly, that doesn’t mean oversharing.
9) They have an air of mystery
Sure, we’ve already said that vulnerability and openness are important to create engaging conversations that make you interesting.
But that doesn’t mean giving every single sordid detail and secret away, or sharing too much too soon.
In fact, whenever you talk to really interesting people, you’re left with the sense that you have barely scratched the surface.
And that is enticing.
Much like an onion, they have layers. Those layers are revealed slowly.
Some may never be revealed. But this air of mystery only makes them all the more fascinating.
10) They don’t make it all about them
Oh dear, Karen is going through yet another “crisis” and is desperate to tell anyone who will listen. The self-absorbed Karens of the world are rarely interesting.
The most interesting people don’t think the world revolves around them. You know what’s boring? Someone who drones on and on about themselves time and time again.
Interesting people are interested in you too, not just themselves.
- They ask questions. Then they ask follow-up questions based on what you just said to show they are interested. Research has shown this increases likeability in someone.
- They’re skilled listeners. They don’t just listen, they also show they’re engaged through body language and plenty of non-verbal cues.
- They encourage others to talk about themselves but they also participate equally in the conversation by sharing things about themselves.
11) They give a damn
Admittedly, we all have things we care about. But the most interesting people are compassionate.
They have causes that matter to them. They are prepared to speak up for what they believe in and the right thing.
They will generously share with others — whether it’s their time, resources, knowledge, or skills.
They have people, places, and things in life that they care deeply for.
Interesting people know being positively engaged in the world around them is what helps to give life true meaning and purpose.
12) They focus on the positive
We don’t need to search for purpose. Meaning in life is something that we apply from within to whatever we’re doing.
We do that by giving it our full attention.
This approach gives the most interesting people real passion.
Their enthusiasm can make even the most boring of topics or tasks suddenly quite fascinating.
Let’s face it, positivity is something we all prefer to be surrounded by. Negativity is bad for your physical and mental health.
- Look for the silver lining.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Are resilient and adaptable when life gets them down.
- Focus more on what they already have than what they lack.
13) They don’t think they are better than anyone else
Plenty of folks struggle to keep their egos in check.
It can lead to bragging, boasting, judgment, pride, and a whole host of unattractive qualities.
Interesting people are down-to-earth and humble.
No matter where they go, what they know, or what they achieve, they realize it doesn’t make them fundamentally better than anyone else on the planet.
This is important. It makes them relatable rather than arrogant.
To sum up: How to become more interesting
We can all make ourselves and our lives a bit more interesting by:
- Learning to care less what others think, and embrace what makes us weird and wonderful for all the best reasons.
- Building up our own interests, self-esteem, resilience, and courage.
- Making our lives less about us and more about others by taking an active interest in the world around us.
- Learning the nuances and art of better communication.
- Staying open and ready for all the opportunities, changes, and challenges that life can bring.