12 Qualities That Make a Person Interesting

“What makes someone interesting? I want to be a more interesting person, but I don’t know where to begin. I feel like I’m so boring that no one will want to get to know me.”

When we meet someone interesting, we want to spend more time with them and get to know them. They always seem to have great stories and a cool life. They appear to attract others without making much of an effort.

But what is it exactly that makes someone interesting, and is it possible for everyone to learn how to become more interesting?

The good news is that, yes, it’s possible to learn how to become more interesting. Being an interesting person is really just a collection of other qualities which you can work on.

Here are the most interesting qualities a person can have and how you can increase those qualities in yourself.

1. Having unique hobbies or skills

When you ask someone what they do in their spare time, many people say things like “watching movies and hanging out with friends”. Standard answers like this are not very interesting, even if most people enjoy these things.

Now, think about how many people have answered something like “puppetry,” “tool making,” “geocaching,” “ant keeping,” or any other answer that you found surprising or unique. These are probably the people you have found most interesting.

If you have a hobby or skill that most people haven’t heard of (or they don’t know anyone who engages in that hobby), there’s an increased likelihood that they will be intrigued and want to learn more.

For example, they may ask questions like, “Where did you learn how to fix toys like that?” “Why did you decide to get into welding?” or “How long have you been interested in mycology?”

To keep up with a hobby, it should be something you genuinely enjoy and are interested in. But we often don’t know if a hobby can hold our attention until we give it a good try.

Sometimes it can take us some time to find hobbies that we enjoy. Often, we can’t think of ideas unless we come across someone who engages in those hobbies.

To get some ideas for unique hobbies you can try, read through this Reddit thread where people share their unique hobbies or Wikipedia’s list of hobbies. See if anything jumps out at you. You can also browse listings for local workshops and classes. If online courses are more your scene, Udemy offers courses on everything from Feng Shui and interior design to painting and logo making.

2. They follow their own path in life

Following your dreams even when they aren’t part of the traditional life path makes you more unique and, in turn, more interesting.

Interesting people take risks and live the life they want, not the life others think they should live. For example, they might quit a successful career to sail around the world or move to a tiny island in the middle of nowhere.

This doesn’t mean that you have to make extreme life decisions to be interesting. Someone can live a reasonably everyday life and still be interesting and engaging.

The main difference is the “Why” behind the choices. If you make choices from a place of authentic desire and know your “why,” you’ll come across as more interesting than someone who makes choices because they are easy or because they will win them the most approval.

If you find that you make decisions based on what other people in your life tell you you should do or what you think you “should” do, take some time to get to know yourself better. You can learn to connect to yourself through therapy, journaling, and other self-discovery techniques.

3. They are confident

Think of the most exciting people you’ve ever met. Did they seem confident, or did they come across as overly concerned with what others think of them? Were they insecure, or did they seem to believe in themselves?

Confidence and high self-esteem are qualities that make someone more interesting. That said, remember that everyone does care what other people think to an extent. Everyone has insecurities. It’s all a matter of knowing when and how to show those insecurities and reveal your vulnerable side.

You can build self-esteem as an adult. It’s never too late to become a more confident person.

4. They are passionate

Someone can have “boring” hobbies that most people won’t be interested in but still draw people to them by being passionate about the things they talk about. A vibrant, skilled speaker can make even the most boring topic interesting.

An interesting person doesn’t have to have a long list of exciting stories for every occasion. They just have to be excited when they talk. Don’t try to be “cool” when you talk about the things you love—show your enthusiasm!

5. They remain curious

Keeping a habit of lifelong learning can make you more interesting. No one knows everything, and those who think they do become quite boring to talk to after a while.

Try to keep an open mind about new topics and people you meet. Don’t assume that something will be boring before you’ve given it a try. We have a guide to help you become more interested in others if you’re not naturally curious.

6. They know how to hold a conversation

Being an interesting person isn’t just about what you do in your spare time. Someone can have an exciting life but be boring to talk to. And others can have a pretty simple lifestyle but still hold entertaining conversations.

Being interesting in conversation isn’t just about telling the other person about the cool things you do.

An exciting conversation partner knows how to make the other person feel interesting, too. And if we feel interesting when we talk to someone, we’re more likely to want to talk to them again.

There are some simple techniques that will help you become a better conversationalist. Learn more on how to make interesting conversation in our guide.

7. They don’t try to be like everyone else

Everyone has quirks and flaws. Whether we’re talking about personality or looks, our attention is drawn to those who are different.

Lots of us feel under pressure to conform and to appear perfect. For example, on social media, we often show only the best parts of our lives. And there always seem to be unwritten rules to follow: what kind of slang and speech to use, how to dress, which shows to watch.

It may seem like everyone looks the same. They have the same hairstyles and use the same backgrounds. Even makeup and photo filters go through trends.

There’s nothing wrong with following trends sometimes. Popular things become popular for a reason: they’re appealing to many people. You don’t need to go against the mainstream just to try and prove that you’re different. Engaging with popular culture can be fun and a bonding experience.

But the most interesting people don’t go out of their way to look or act like everyone else. Remember, you can’t stand out when you’re blending in.

For more and how to be your perfectly imperfect self, read our tips on how to be yourself.

8. They can talk about many things

The most interesting people don’t just talk about themselves and their lives. They tend to be interested in many things (because they are curious), but, more importantly, they speak to others about those things.

For example, an interesting person will listen to a podcast and bring it up with other people they speak to. Rather than just saying, “this podcast was interesting,” they will talk about the ideas presented on the show, share their own ideas and what they found particularly interesting, and be able to spin a new conversation from there.

Are you stuck for ideas on what to talk about? We have an article with ideas for 280 interesting things to talk about in every situation.

9. They have opinions

Someone who always agrees with the majority to not rock the boat can come across as pretty boring.

Interesting people know their opinions and are ready to share them at the right time and place.

Note that opinions don’t have to be different from what other people think. Your opinion can be similar to others, but you can still share it in an interesting way.

Let’s say everyone is talking about a movie they saw recently and how much they liked it. Saying, “Yeah, I liked it too,” is the plain and boring answer.

A more interesting answer may be, “I thought it was his best work so far. I love how he’s exploring new formats and using his life experience to tell a story people can relate to. He shows that he’s inspired by others but still willing to take risks.”

Get to know what your opinions are and start sharing them with others. For more advice, read our tips on how not to be boring.

10. They’re open and vulnerable

While many people like talking about themselves, there’s one sharing skill most people struggle with: vulnerability.

There’s a difference between sharing facts about what happened to you and being vulnerable about how that affected you. Most people can share things on a surface level but struggle to go deeper.

Being vulnerable with others is scary, but it can also make others perceive you as brave, interesting, and authentic.

11. They don’t share everything at once

While it’s essential to be open and honest to give people a chance to know you, an interesting person offers people a chance to want to get to know them.

Sometimes, we may try to rush or create closeness by oversharing. It may be a form of self-sabotage (sharing the bad parts of ourselves to “scare away” the people who won’t accept us) or as a way of promoting ourselves (sharing too much of our life story to try and appear interesting).

How will you know how much to share and when? There aren’t any easy answers that apply to all situations. It’s a matter of practice and recognizing the right time, place, and people to communicate with. You shouldn’t feel the need to hold back when someone asks you a question to try and appear more intriguing. At the same time, you don’t need to give all the details right away. There will be more opportunities to share in the future.

Read more in our guide on how to stop oversharing.

12. They stay humble

Nothing is more boring than someone who is constantly talking about how great they are and all the cool things they’ve done.

The most interesting people aren’t full of themselves. They have the habit of staying humble about their strengths. They assume they have as much to learn from the people in front of them as others have to learn from them.

To stay humble, remind yourself that you don’t need to talk yourself up. The best way to impress is by being natural. Remember, “show, don’t tell.” You don’t need to tell others how great you aren’t; they will get to see it as a natural consequence of getting to know you.

For more tips on staying humble, read our guide on how to stop bragging.

Common questions

How can I look interesting?

Looking more interesting is all about feeling comfortable while showing your individuality. Don’t try to look like everyone else. If a particular item of clothes calls out to you, wear it. At the same time, don’t try to stand out at the price of feeling uncomfortable.

How can I be interesting?

The quickest, most straightforward way to become more interesting is to try new things. Trying new things can help you build unique skills and interesting experiences to share in conversations.

Viktor is a Counselor specialized in interpersonal communication and relationships. He manages SocialSelf’s scientific review board. Follow on Twitter or read more.

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