“Have you tried making yourself a more interesting person?”

Years ago, at SXSW 2009, I drew a panel called “Try Making Yourself More Interesting”:

It introduced me to this (possibly apocryphal) story about the writer Barry Hannah, told by Rick Bass in his introduction to Boomerang ; Never Die: Two Novels:

I was reminded of this passage when J. Maureen Henderson wrote about the advice she gives to students:

Work on being an interesting person other people want to be around and are willing to open doors for…. There are many roads to becoming an interesting person, but they all involve developing your curiosity and your desire to know and understand — yourself, others, the world around you. You can read. You can pursue a new activity like knitting or rock climbing. You can volunteer. You can commit to asking three people a day an open-ended question about themselves and really listening to their responses. You can share your information and connections freely.

My friend Jessica Hagy wrote a whole book called How To Be Interesting (In 10 Simple Steps).

I touched on the topic in my own book, Show Your Work!:

If you liked this post, you’ll love my books.