The Interesting Index

Who we call an interesting person is directly related to what we find interesting. If we think of a person as interesting, and that person in turn finds someone else interesting, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we will find that third person interesting. We may, but it isn’t always true.

Split-Tone portrait

I got some lovely responses to my earlier post, when I asked fellow bloggers to tell me what makes a person interesting. You should head over there and read some very interesting responses. If you haven’t already responded, and if you would like to, please let me know. That post, is of course about what makes a person interesting.

But how do we discover interesting people?

Watchman

One way, is what I call the Positive Default. All people we meet are interesting, by default. We engage with people with this positive thought and embark on a journey together. There are no preconceived notions nor, expectations. When engaging in this way, it’s necessary that we keep an open mind as we discover each other. In time, both of us try to direct the nature of our engagement towards what we find interesting. When these directions are same, or similar, the interestingness index increases. We are able to give positively and we respect each other. We also discover some interests that are divergent or, often opposing. That’s when we both make decisions about each other. We may continue to engage and become friends for life. We may meet just where our interests intersect. Or we may slowly move away.

Then, there is a way of identifying interestingness and then engaging. The Confirmation Default. I am not sure how this happened before social media existed. Perhaps, it wasn’t possible then. Or, if it was, it was quite tedious. The confirmation default is a wait, watch, confirm, and then engage approach. We get to know who people are, through their social interactions (usually online) and we decide how interesting they are. If they are, then we engage, and life goes on.

Finally there is the Decided Default. Few people do this, but it happens. The decided default of interesting people is an -ist list. It is category-based. And it could be as specific or as generic as can be. People who wear red shoes; single and unemployed; double-chined 40-somethings; DINKs, or for that matter SINKs; senior citizens; unshaven South Indians; Metrosexuals; Maharastrians with an accent; Guppies, and the list goes on. The decided default is almost the opposite of the positive default. It’s a closed system of looking at things. The earlier post, and this post was triggered by someone who said that to me: applied a category and told me (straight to my face: I found that interesting) that I wasn’t interesting, by default. It didn’t matter to me that the person was a complete stranger, and had slotted me in a category within three minutes of meeting me, it however provoked me to explore my own default.

Rama

We can always find the slightest reason not to like people (and it is easy), yet we have to look for big reasons why we can like them (and that’s not easy). I don’t say this because I seek to make this world a better place. I say this with a very selfish purpose. I have found so many interesting people in my life, and life is better because of them.

In the process, if that helps making this world a better place, I don’t mind.

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16 thoughts on “The Interesting Index

      • Like … as in like to follow (posts or blogs by that person), or like to hang out with that person, maybe correlated with interestingness. But for me, to like someone as a person for the human being they are, I would look for a clean heart and an aware mind. Everything else is unimportant. They may be interesting or boring, but I’d like them for the human being they are.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Ha! Interesting. Is this based on your own observations, Gaizabonts? Impressive theorising. Like the poster above, I would differentiate between interestingness and likeability. Some of my favourite people aren’t particularly interesting to me, even by my own standards of interesting. Which says more about the power of likeability than being interesting.

    Nice follow on from the last question posed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. > Then, there is a way of identifying interestingness and then engaging. The Confirmation Default. I am not sure how this happened before social media existed. Perhaps, it wasn’t possible then. Or, if it was, it was quite tedious. The confirmation default is a wait, watch, confirm, and then engage approach. We get to know who people are, through their social interactions (usually online) and we decide how interesting they are. If they are, then we engage, and life goes on.

    I’d add this: people who seem interesting online, may just be interesting online only. Offline, f2f, they may suddenly become the opposite — intolerable. So actually I don’t think social media necessarily changes much, beyond the ability to reach more potentially interesting people. There is so much posturing going on in social media, because that’s a public persona. One on one, or in small groups, that mask wears down fast, many a times. And one is almost happy to go back to online only mode with the person (even knowing s/he’s not the same person you thought s/he was). That also does happen in offline world, I’m sure. It’s just it’s more likely in online world by the nature of the social media.

    That said, I like the concept of positive default. But I like neutral default better — where you just don’t go with any defaults. Or more like opportunistic default, where you trust the gut feeling, and engage more or less.

    Like

    • That’s true; how we find a completely different person offline, than how we see them online. I’ve experienced that. That verification keeps happening irrespective of the the positive or the confirmation default. It also happens that people cannot always maintain their interestingness index. And you go with the flow. 🙂

      Like

  3. You wondered how it happened before social media and something came to my mind. I’m sure you read “The Little Prince”, do you remember the part where in chapter 21 the fox said: “One only understands the things that one tames”. I think that was how it worked before, taming, establishing ties 🙂

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