I quickly learned in my profession that there are two types of people: 1) those who create the perception that they matter, and 2) those that actually matter.
This list is designed to create a perception. How about just doing something you love, do it with passion, achieve success, and go from there?
If you are suggesting a difference between "appearing" and "actually" being interesting, I think you miss what interesting means. Interestingness is not some abstract or physical quantity. It's a perception.
If someone perceives you as interesting you are interesting. To them, at least. Someone who sits alone brooding over what they consider interesting topics is not interesting -- except to people who are interested in brooding loners.
Your distinction between appearing to matter and mattering sounds like the difference between getting a job or project done or not. Producing results is orthogonal. Might as well get the job done and be interesting.
I've always produced, but I've only recently learned to be interesting. Being interesting and making connections is great. Life is much better when people like taking an interest in you.
Anyway, I wrote a series on communication skills exercises that help people communicate and make connections -- http://joshuaspodek.com/communication-skills-exercises-6. They work great.
I agree with the parent post. Although I'd consider this kind of person relatively interesting, I'd mentally put them on a lower level for doing 'interesting things' with a lack of passion.
or 5) Those that matter a bit to you, a bit to another person, not a lot to your dog, ...
I think any opinion that starts with "There are 2 kinds of people:" needs to be taken with a large quantity of salt. They're always just flaky attempts to think of people in neat categories.
You might not like this - there are no tricks, really. It's about putting yourself out there..
Guys talking about football is just a proxy for talking about feelings. Talk about how you feel about something, facts are boring...
Emotions are what make people interesting. Even the most logical people are, at the core, irrational beings.
The core of our brain that makes decisions has no capacity to understand language.
I'm only human. The most interesting people to me are the people who are sincerely interested in me. Usually, that is reciprocal. Conversation isn't a Q&A; it's not a give and take. It's a sharing of your lives. You're not going to hit if off with everyone. But if you use inane social lubricants like 'Nice weather, huh?' you are practically guaranteeing a Tivo'd rote, robotic conversation
The more you "put yourself out there", the better your intentions, the better your connections (see below)
> It takes relationships to make relationships. And, in general, to make relationships, you have to allow vulnerability. Vulnerability is the difference between a conversation that starts, "How about this weather we're having?" and a conversation that starts, "Oh my God, let me tell you about how I just fell in a puddle in front of a group of nuns."
The former is so boring that it makes listeners want to crawl under a table; the latter creates a spark and a list of follow-up questions. These are two extreme examples, but generally, the more of yourself you put out there, the more others will have to connect with.
Excerpt from a Nerve article on 'am I doomed?'
> "Richard Feynman was fond of giving the following advice on how to be a genius. You have to keep a dozen of your favorite problems constantly present in your mind, although by and large they will lay in a dormant state. Every time you hear or read a new trick or a new result, test it against each of your twelve problems to see whether it helps. Every once in a while there will be a hit, and people will say: <i>'How did he do it? He must be a genius!'</i>"
"Ten Lessons I wish I had been Taught", Gian-Carlo Rota http://alumni.media.mit.edu/~cahn/life/gian-carlo-rota-10-le...
The article's advice isn't so much about how to be "interesting", as it is about how to "repeatedly put yourself out there in a public way".
Being able to fail publicly is a useful business skill, mind you. There was an interview on HN a while back, can't find it know, where a super-rich fellow explains that willingness to fail publicly was the key factor in him outperforming more skilled competitors. But this is distinct from being interesting.
As a wise professor once told me, 'creativity is a skill and you improve it by practicing'.
My random idea is to keep two books on your nightstand, one being something like for example an introduction to Hegel's phenomenology of spirit, and the other being something like a biography, novel, or history book.
I've always found that thinking is most fun when you get these little sparks between the abstract and the concrete. "Oh, the way this saxophonist is tracing out different lines but always returning to the zero state of the modal backing chord makes me think of Deleuze & Guattari — I wonder if you can think about the 'body without organs' of a jazz tune?" (This is also a good way of being a bit pretentious about all sorts of stuff...)
"And it soon becomes apparent that this issue goes a lot broader. Their course is designed to churn out mini-art directors, mini-account people, mini-planners for a world that increasingly just wants creative generalists."
I was an art student at UO at the time, briefly participating in the journalism department's advertising club that brought Russell Davies to visit. So far, generalism is working out.
If you truly believe that you are a boring person that nobody wants to talk to, you probably have a self esteem problem. Low self esteem is something people are naturally attune to. Talk like a loser ,and people will assume you are a loser. (the converse is not necessarily better however...)
I liked the article but I'm wondering if anyone knows of resources (or has opinions) that address the next step.
Making money from real creativity is usually pretty hard - those that are creative tend to break the barriers whilst others make the money....
It's the next step I would personally like to take. I've been told repeatedly that I'm "interesting". I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to do with that (other than get into hot water). I feel I've made some progress in the right direction but I am still working out pieces of it in my head and looking for resources to help me put the final pieces in places.
1) Don't open your mouth unless you have something to say.
2) Don't repeat yourself.
3) Don't talk down to people.
It's impossible to be interesting if you are boring people.