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.
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?
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.
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.