Sunday, May 27, 2012

Being an Interesting Person

I imagine that I used to be an interesting person. You may disagree with this, but hey, at least some people used to find me interesting!  It's become clear to me, however, in the last several months that I'm no longer interesting. (At least, not to most people.)  

Not long ago, a friend posted a link to an article about How To Be More Interesting (page 1) and (page 2).  It reflected some of my ruminations.

First, interesting people have ideas.  They're not bland.  They're not conformists.  They have opinions.  They're engaged in life. 

Second, the people around them care to listen to those ideas and opinions. 

And that's what's changed for me. 

If I'm around people who are interested in the Packers' season, they're going to find me boring.  I don't care who the coach is, or what player has been benched, or which team they're playing next.  

I used to be interesting when I hung out with people who cared about the things I cared about: cooking, raising kids, gardens, music, theology, Shakespeare plays, homeschool curriculum, politics, alternative medicine.  If I spend a lot of time with people who don't care diddly about these things, then they're going to find me boring.  What do I have to talk about?  What are my ideas?  People who aren't interested in those topics anyway sure aren't going to care what I think of an already-boring-to-them subject.

I used to be interesting when I wasn't afraid to express my opinions.  The old maxim about not discussing religion and politics makes it easier to get along with co-workers and neighbors.  But if religion and politics are what you think about, care about, talk about, keeping your lip zipped makes you appear boring.

I used to be interesting when I had time to read, to watch movies, to be learning all sorts of cool stuff alongside my kids.  I was filling up my head with nifty ideas, and we'd all be discussing those things as we sat around the table or ran errands or did chores.  Now I just try to keep up with the basics.

Gary's trying to stay up on sports so that he can interact with folks.  It's a great plan.  I don't have the time and energy to delve into that yet.  Maybe someday.  But for now, I will be content with being boring ... except for those dear times when I can be with people whom I find to be interesting!


  1. I don't know, Susan. I have a little different take on it. Yes, people are interested in the subjects they're interested in. So if you're talking about those subjects, they will probably find your talk interesting. But I would submit that has more to do with the subject matter than with you. If someone cares about you, it's not going to matter much what you talk about. It's going to be interesting because it's coming out of your mouth. Just a thought.

    For what it's worth, I find you fascinating. :-)

  2. Cheryl, I agree! I didn't know how to fit it into the flow of what I was writing (because I was putting this together late last night).

    Part of what is "interesting" about another person may not be a subject, but it may be history together or simply love. When my cousins and I get together at a family reunion, we4 may or may not have interests in common. But we have our grandma's house in common. We have 35-yrs-ago camping trips in common. We played together when we were little. We all saw my cousin be Curly in Oklahoma. We shared confirmations and weddings and Christmases. I want to know what's going on in their lives. And because I love them, that's what's interesting about them.

    Same for my kids. When they're interested in a fantasy or sci-fi genre, I can listen to them talk about it. Well, for a while. Eventually my eyes will glaze over. But my love for them, and my desire to know what they're up to -- that makes what they're talking about interesting, even if it wouldn't be interesting coming out of somebody else's mouth.

  3. I miss those interesting conversations... alot. I am holding back tears after reading this post.