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’?