My Own ‘Manifesto On How To Be Interesting’

02/05/2015 Discussions, Lists 15

My Own 'Manifesto On How To Be Interesting'Recently I read a book by Holly Bourne called The Manifesto on How To Be Interesting, which was actually pretty good (I’d give it 3 or 4 out of 5). Whilst I don’t feel I have enough to say about it to write up an entire review, I thought it would be pretty cool to write my own ‘Manifesto On How To Be Interesting.’

And on that note, I should start this post with a bit of an admission – most of my real life acquaintances think I’m really boring (which is why it’s pretty ironic that I’m writing a post about ‘being interesting’!). I’m an incredibly shy person, and so I find talking about my interests with people I don’t know that well pretty uncomfortable, which I guess leads them to believe I have no interests and am therefore incredibly boring (although I can personally vouch for the complex and highly exciting inner life of the quieter souls!).

This always seems kind of sad to me really, seen as I’d say I have more interests than a lot of people my age. Whilst I know some people have to resort to putting ‘socialising’ and ‘hanging out with friends’ under their interests on their CV, I have loads: reading, writing, blogging, photography, history etc. But does that make me interesting? Hmmm…

The main character of The Manifesto on How To Be Interesting certainly wouldn’t think so. Bree is a teenage girl who goes to a private school and seemingly suffers the same feeling of ‘being boring’ in the eyes of everyone else that I often do. However, her idea of what constitutes interesting involves things like ‘being attractive’ and ‘falling in love with someone forbidden’, and the people that she idolizes as ‘interesting people’ are a group of pretty, popular girls at her school headed by their ringleader Jasmine – a pretty blonde who is predictably dating the hottest guy at school and lives a soap opera-worthy life. And whilst it’s true that most people of high school age are fascinated by the seemingly exciting lives of the ‘popular group’, I think it’s a little different when you get out into the adult world where there’s a wider variety of people and we aren’t as readily labelled or divided into cliques.

So here’s my own personal manifesto on what makes a person interesting, and I’d love to know your thoughts!

My Manifesto On How To Be Interesting:

1. Be Creative

Creativity is something that comes from within and is therefore an outward expression of a person’s inner self. And you know what? People’s inner selves are pretty interesting! You don’t necessarily have to be ‘good’ in the conventional sense at your chosen creative pursuit, so long as you enjoy doing it and express yourself!

2. Own Your Interests

There are certain hobbies, which are generally considered boring. Bookworms themselves are often victims of the whole ‘dull hobby syndrome’ (which I just made up!) – people see reading as boring because it’s a quiet, indoor activity, and therefore assume that readers are boring. But I think some of the best and most fascinating people are the ones who just don’t care who knows how much they love reading/playing chess/stamp collecting, because they are usually the ones who are most comfortable with themselves and aren’t putting on a front – they are just who they are, take it or leave it.

3. Be Interested

Yep, the key to being interesting in my opinion is to be interested. Interested in the world, history, travel, people, places… There’s a whole world out there and it’s pretty fascinating, so the more you know and see the more interesting you’ll feel. I personally would love to expand my horizons a bit and do more travelling, and I definitely feel that having experienced more places and cultures would make me feel more accomplished! This is one area of my manifesto I’d love to really work on.

4. Be Unique

I love uniqueness, and the best thing about it in my opinion is that it is universal. There are billions of people in the world, and no two are the same, so simply put – we’re all interesting in our own way! Isn’t that a nice thought?

5. Be Yourself

‘Boring’ and ‘interesting’ are not words that describe a person, but are words that describe how others perceive a person, and are therefore only matter of opinion. I, for example, find cricket really boring, and therefore might view a person who is cricket-mad as incredibly boring (no offense cricket fans!), but that doesn’t mean that they are. By the same token, that cricket fan might think I’m the most boring person who ever lived because I love reading. So the best way to be interesting? Just be you. That way you’ll be interesting to the right people – the ones who like you as you are.

So I’d love to know what you think of my own manifesto on how to be interesting! Has anyone else read Holly Bourne’s book? What did you think? And how do you define what makes a person ‘interesting’?

15 Responses to “My Own ‘Manifesto On How To Be Interesting’”

  1. Kaja

    This is a great post, Laura!
    Huh, how to be interesting… I’ve never thought about it, really. I don’t know that I ever purposefully tried to be interesting, but it’s a good concept.
    Maybe I’d add “be mysterious” (or something along the same lines that doesn’t sound like a bad detective story), meaning that some things in your life should be kept private? If that makes sense?

    • Laura

      Being mysterious totally makes sense! I have definitely met people who don’t really share much about themselves at first, and it always makes me want to know more (and it’s the same with book characters who do that!). I always hope people think I’m a bit mysterious when they meet me because I don’t talk much, but I think people can tell I’m just really shy!

  2. Maddy E

    I love this post so much! I experience a lot of “dull hobby syndrome” in my life. I’m always being asked if I do any sports, or school clubs, or anything, and when I say no, I seem to get filed into the “boring people” category of someone’s brain. I think #5 on this manifesto is especially true. No one wants to attract people based on things they’re not really interested in. You just end up in a situation where you don’t have anything in common.

    • Laura

      That’s definitely true. There’s no point pretending to have ‘interesting’ hobbies to befriend people and ending up with a bunch of friends you have nothing in common with. Thanks for commenting!

    • Laura

      This was such a good book, but the main character was seriously infuriating! Her view of what makes someone interesting or worth anything was so messed up, and she really does need a lot of encouragement to be herself.

  3. Elizabeth

    Sounds like the book should be called The Manifesto on How to Get Noticed by the Popular. Unfortunately, at that age most of our brains haven’t developed enough to understand the actual meaning of “interesting” according to your eloquent definition. As a middle school teacher, I also found students who didn’t actually have a “thing” like music, art, chemistry, animals, etc. Without a passion or interests people are pretty boring.

    • Laura

      Your alternative title definitely fits the book!
      And I agree with you that people who don’t have any particular interests can seem pretty boring. Even if a person’s hobby or interest isn’t something you’re personally interested in, having one shows a person is passionate about something.

  4. Cayt

    I’m with you about owning your interests and being interested. That is probably the two most important things about being interesting. If you don’t own what you like and what you don’t like, you can’t share it very well or get across your passion. You can’t be interesting if you aren’t willing to accept and own what you like to do. And being interested is super important. You can’t have interesting things to say to other people if you aren’t passionate about something. You’ve got to find what you really, really love and then you’ll be able to show that passion to other people. Those who are passionate about their interests and beliefs are always interesting! 🙂

    Very nice post! I haven’t read the book you’re talking about but your idea of how to interesting sounds a lot better and more realistic than being interesting by being popular and dating hot guys. 😛

    • Laura

      I totally agree with you! I think a combination of owning your interests and being interested are essential to being interesting, because if you have a passion and you’re willing to talk about it then you have something to say, yet you have to be interested in other people’s passions so that it’s not all ‘me, me, me.’ Thanks for commenting! 🙂

  5. George

    I’m absolutely amazed that you say people think you are boring. How do you know? I certainly don’t think I’m boring and I’m not aware that anyone thinks that of me either. OK, I’m a lot older than you, but even when I was your age (and I was a bit shy at your age too) I never thought of myself as boring.
    But actually I’m contacting you because I wanted to see if you would review my book. No one else has so far! But then it’s only just come out, “Spaceman No.3, Sent by God”, a humorous (I hope) little romp that I’ve self-published on Amazon in both digital and print formats.
    I tried to contact you through your email address (boatsagainstthecurrent@outlook.com) but have just been notified by the Mail system on my MacBook that it couldn’t be delivered. In the email (from holland.hill@blueyonder.co.uk) I said how I’m also originally from the North West (went to school in Chester) and trained as a reporter (years ago!) on the Runcorn Guardian and Warrington Guardian. I now live in London, but have lived in a few places over the years, both home and abroad. Send me another email address that works and I’ll re-send the email.
    Best wishes to you.
    George (Holland) Hill

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