How to be a More Interesting Person

I came across one of the best blog posts I’ve ever read this past week on Forbes.com.  But before you jump off to that link, I’d like to share some of my thoughts-about what makes some people interesting – and some not.

  • Talk to people outside your inner circles – I found when I was a student at Brooks Institute, I was frequently bored at the student/photographer parties because all the conversations centered around just photography.  It was a natural topic for discussion but the talk was always about gear and rarely about creative ideas. I found more stimulating conversations outside my peer group which actually helped me creatively with my photography.
  • Be a better listener.  Have you ever had dinner with someone who commanded most of the conversation but followed up later with a note telling you what a great evening they had in your company?  People love to hear themselves talk and for many – great listeners become “interesting people” in the process.
  • Do things and go places where interesting people hang out.  Get out of the house and away from your TV set and interact with people from all walks of life.  I’ve spent a lifetime street shooting for magazines.  My most memorable conversations have been with people I’ve encountered along the way.  These are people who I never would have interacted with normally but those are the conversations that have stayed with me over the years.
  • Be yourself. So many people do things to “fit in”.  They become clones of their environment rather than staying true to themselves. There is nothing interesting about people like that for me.  That’s why I travel and embrace other cultures.
  • Minimize the swagger.  This one is right off the Forbes list but it’s a good one.  No one likes being around folks who are full of themselves and have big egos.  Some groups of people are more prone to this than others – generally people who come from professions where they feel what they do for a living has life or death consequences. Doctors are really the only ones dealing with life or death situations – and quite honestly a lot of doctors I’ve met aren’t very interesting to talk to because many are so self important, they let their egos get in the way.

I hate to make broad strokes but I find artists, filmmakers, musicians, taxi drivers, doormen (and women) and circus people some of the more interesting people to be around.
Get out more – live life fully – try new things – talk to more people and people who aren’t like you at all – be open – be giving – be caring – share – and embrace life every day with joy.

But check out the Forbes.com post – it’s an easy read and will bring a smile to your face.

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