How do I become a more interesting person? originally appeared on Quora - the knowledge sharing network where compelling questions are answered by people with unique insights.

Answer by Miranda Marcus on Quora:

Interesting people are people who, when you learn more about them, challenge the assumptions that people may make about them.

Who is more interesting based on the following two-fact summaries?

  • An automotive engineer who works on old cars in his spare time
  • An electrical engineer who designs and sews all her own clothes
  • An auto mechanic who designs and 3D prints plastic items at home
  • A fashion designer who watches a lot of Project Runway in his spare time

I bet that the people who don't fit the stereotypes you may have for their respective professions are more interesting to you.

The more obscure a hobby you can find, the more interesting a person you will be.

I know a guy who works at a well known scientific research center (household-name kind of place), who also dances salsa, rides a unicycle, and plays a ukulele. He has hobbies that don't fit the standard stereotype of a physicist. If you are an average American, I could blow your stereotypes away if I told you that he is also black.

If you want to present someone as interesting (including yourself), you have to pick the most unlikely combination of interests, hobbies, or skills, and present them as a pair or grouping.

I bet that the majority of people are already naturally interesting. Certainly, I have never failed to find someone interesting when I have had the opportunity to ask them the right questions. I think most people just struggle to see where the interesting parts are within themselves and present them appropriately.

It is essentially a marketing problem.

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Published on: Jun 8, 2016