Are you looking to become a more interesting person? If that’s the case, we have some ways for you!
1. Add accessories to your wardrobe
I judge a book by its cover. It’s why I select a book and want to know what’s inside. If the cover is intriguing I expect the book will be interesting. It’s kind of like that with people. People who dress in a unique way get other people’s attention and portray the image that they would be interesting to get to know. Adding accessories can make you interesting and memorable when making that first impression. Add a pair of unusual earrings or colorful shoes with your favorite jeans and “just can’t live without” tee shirt. Choose other accessories like a belt, purse, and other jewelry that reflect your style. When you look interesting people will see you as interesting.
2. Be knowledgeable about the world
Start your day by reading the newspaper. Skim headlines to learn what’s going on in your community, your state, and elsewhere in the world. When someone says, “Did you hear…” you will be able to add something meaningful to the conversation. The old saying, “news travels fast” is more accurate today than ever before due to texting and social media. Read up on important events – learn the facts – in order to make up your own mind. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground, but do it from an informed point of view, not just that of your social group.
3. Learn to ask open-ended questions
It’s no fun to be in a one-sided conversation. If you find the other person is talking too much it could be because you aren’t talking enough. It could be that they are trying to fill the silence caused by you not engaging or showing interest. Instead of just letting them ramble, learn to ask open-ended questions that make it difficult to answer with “yes” and “no” answers. This type of question also helps to elicit information that is more meaningful, deep, and interesting. Showing interest in another person is a great way to become a more interesting person yourself.
It’s important to read a variety of genres in book format. Newspapers and online sources are great for gaining lots of information in a fast-paced environment. Novels, however, offer our brains a way to slow down, allowing our imagination to bring the stories to life. As an added benefit, reading helps to reduce stress. Due to their length and style, stories help us empathize with the main characters. This broadens our view of the world allowing us to stay open to seeing things from another’s point of view. We get to imagine other worlds, cultures, and situations that are outside of our own experience.
5. Experience different cultures in your own community
Even small communities have pockets of cultures different from our own. In Boston there’s Chinatown and Little Italy. In Lewiston, Maine, Somali immigrants moved to the community and brought their customs, foods, and values with them. Over time, shops, restaurants, and specialty grocery and clothing shops emerged in the downtown. Suddenly, spices and foods previously unavailable in Maine were easy to obtain. Explore these cultural sections that have popped up in your own hometown. Meeting the shop owners and experiencing these micro cultures is like taking a trip to another country.
6. Travel to unusual places
Traveling to cities or countries that are unfamiliar, learning new customs and values, and seeing amazing sights is romantic and exciting. Exploring local architecture is often high on the list for tourists. However, you don’t have to go far away to find excitement, romance or great architecture. Just look around your hometown and nearby towns and take note of what you’ve been missing. Is there a unique building you pass by every day, but have never been in? What inspired the architecture? When was it built? What was it built for? The buildings in downtown Lewiston, Maine were designed in the spirit of New York City skyscrapers as seen in this photo (former location of the Lamey Wellehan shoe store) by Kenneth C. Zirkel, . There’s a unique history to the clay used in the bricks of some of the other buildings. Your historical society can help you find the unique spots in your area and help you learn what inspired the architectural design of the buildings in your hometown and what makes them special.
7. Learn to listen
Listening takes practice. It is more than just not talking while someone else is talking. It takes quieting your brain enough to actually hear what they are saying rather than thinking about what you are going to say when they finish. The things they are saying will trigger your thoughts so it takes practice to keep your mind from wandering. Try this exercise: Sit up straight in a chair and close your eyes. Try to empty your mind for five minutes. Continue daily until you can sit for fifteen minutes with a mind clear of thoughts. As an added bonus, this might also help you if you have anxiety problems or have trouble falling asleep.
8. Try a new food when the opportunity presents itself
Some people are food adventurers and some of us – not so much. I’m one of those people who say I don’t like a food even though I’ve never tried it. A great way to become a more interesting person is to try new foods, even if it’s just a taste. Catch yourself when you start to say, “No thank you,” and instead, give it a try. If you’re like me, you have a favorite menu item at each restaurant. Next time, instead of ordering your favorite dish, try something different. You’ll expand your food choices and you might even find a new favorite!
9. View things that “go wrong” as new adventures
Whether you take a wrong turn, get a flat tire, have a delayed flight, or get stood up on a lunch date, take the opportunity to ask what adventure the universe has in store for you. Looking at these disappointments as opportunities will keep you open to new experiences and moments you might otherwise have missed. You might discover a new restaurant, find a new quiet spot, or perhaps even find a new love interest. Be open to new adventures, but use common sense and be safe.
10. Be open to experiences outside of your comfort zone
Your friend wants to go whitewater rafting. Your initial response is, “Are you crazy?” But against your better judgement you go along with her idea — and you discover your wild side! Maybe you won’t go as far as bungee jumping, skydiving, or hiking the Appalachian Trail, but trying something outside of your comfort zone — like checking out a new restaurant, a new travel destination, taking a longer hike, climbing a higher mountain, or taking a sick day to go shopping — can help you have memorable experiences to share and stories to tell.
11. Change your hairstyle and paint your nails with a funky color or design
Are you one of those people who change your hair color, cut or style every other week? Or maybe you enjoy keeping your nails in sync with the newest trend of the week? If you are, people most likely see you as a risk taker and find you to be an interesting person. They never know what to expect when they see you and are sure to comment on your new look. If you haven’t changed your hairstyle in years — cut it, grow it, color it, or find a new style. People who are accustomed to seeing you a certain way will take a second look as they wonder, “What’s new with you?” Without changing anything else, adding a unique color or design to your nails can be a subtle way to let others know you have an adventurous side. Set your personality free and change your nail color and hairstyle as your moods change.
12. Find time for the things you love to do
Do you often think about doing something you love to do, but then find yourself saying, “I don’t have the time?” Rather than turning on the T.V. or signing into social media, disengage from the distractions that vie for your endless attention and focus on the things that truly make you happy. It might be reading a book, crafting a quilt, woodworking, taking a bubble bath, or writing in your journal. Mark it on your calendar to block the time and stick to it. Whatever it is, it should allow you to explore your inner thoughts and let your true self shine through.
13. Set your inner child free
Don’t take yourself or the world too seriously. People who retain a level of “immaturity” are a lot of fun to hang with and are generally happier. Give yourself permission to be silly or act goofy. Dress up on Halloween, build a snowman, take a Polar plunge, host a Turkey Bowling party, eat Cotton Candy ice cream, or go fishing on an inflatable giraffe — whatever sets your inner child free!
14. Enjoy your own company
When you enjoy your own company you will find it is easier to seek experiences you desire and will have control over your own life choices. Perhaps you wish to attend Comic Con, but no one in your social group can take the time off. Enjoying your own company gives you the freedom to attend by yourself. Before the day is done, you’ll have met people on the train to New York, and will be having dinner with 12 other people brave enough to attend the event alone. Or imagine you are in Paris with friends and they have no interest in going to the Louvre.
If you enjoy your own company you won’t hesitate to head out by yourself, so say, “I’m going to the Louvre, you’re welcome to join me,” rather than asking your friends if they want to go. Making your intentions known has a different impact and gives you control by letting them know you are going with or without them. While your friends are sleeping until noon, you’ll have enjoyed your morning coffee talking to a handsome stranger at a Paris Bistro, stopped into a salon for a Parisian-inspired hairstyle, and had your nails painted pink and black. You’ll have amazing stories to tell about the places you’ve traveled, the people whom you have met, and the foods you have tried. And in the future, when the next opportunity arises, chances are at least one friend will tag along because they won’t want to miss out – and they know they’ll miss out…because YOU ARE an interesting person!