Don’t Try To Be So Interesting

Just forget about it!! That’s right.  Forget about it. You don’t have to go to fencing, or read the Economist or follow Lady Gaga on her next world tour.

Instead, work on being interested. Interested in other people, their hopes and dreams, what they are doing and more.  

Truthfully, you are interesting enough–unless you stay home and watch soaps and even then you’ve probably got something going for you.  But what can really make you interesting is being interested in others and that means listening and talking less about yourself.

I had a university colleague that I used to sit next to in faculty meetings.  He wasn’t a bad guy. In fact, we had a lot in common and he could speak English which should have made communication easier.  But there was something about him that was a bit strange. He only talked about himself. About what he was doing. About his new “apps”, about his presentations to government committees or financial institutions, about his hobbies, his seminar.  I don’t think he ever once asked about me. Call me a slow learner but it took me a while to recognize this.

He really was and probably still is very interesting person, but  “conversations” with him left me flat, like I’d been run over, like I was only a member of his audience [of 1].  That guy was like a little kid bragging about what did. I changed my seat and started sitting next to others, and watched him “show his apps” to others who were unfortunate enough to take his side.

I had other colleagues where the conversation may not have been in fluent English but there was more back and forth and less boasting.  We are still friends.

My friends that I see or talk to on a regular basis are a good bunch,  an accomplished bunch but I almost have to pry out of them what they are doing.  Same for my former students.

They are interested in me, and I’m interested in them and that’s the basis of a good friendship.


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