When a successful film director confessed that she didn’t feel like she was interesting enough, I wasn’t just surprised. I realized how universal this insecurity can be, no matter what level of achievement. And frankly, I’ve only met her three times, and I thought she was very interesting.
After hearing her talk, I thought about how much energy I’ve spent over the years trying to prove to whoever I met that I was an interesting person. I had go-to travel stories. Referenced family oddities. Shared about my artistic projects. But it got tiring. At the end of the day, I just wanted to be friends with people where I didn’t have to talk-the-talk and be at peace with the fact our conversation would be just about IHOP pancakes for the day.
What I wish I knew earlier was that I was already interesting enough, not because of what I’ve done, but because it’s impossible for anyone else to have my story. And the same goes for you.
Even if the complaint is, “Butttt I have a really normal life,” you’re underestimating how someone from a different city, state, country, cultural background, economic status, or sexual orientation might think about your life. No one else could come from YOUR family and be from YOUR specific social circle and have YOUR exact same day-to-day.
Then the complaint goes, “Buttt my life is similar to most people I know,” and maybe you’re right. But you’re also, by default, a narrator with internal and external dialogue that is unique to you.
Growing up, I always thought my brother was one of the most interesting people I knew. So recently I asked him, “What makes someone interesting?” And he said,“Everyone is interesting because everyone has their own story. When I find someone boring, it’s because they can’t tell their story.” To which I agreed, almost.
Yes, we’re living stories. Yes, the way you talk plays a huge role in social perception. But I think the main reason why people are perceived to be boring or uninteresting is less about conversational skills and more about how they perceive themselves in the first place.
When people live from the belief system that they’re not interesting enough, their words and confidence towards social interactions are more likely to fold. So if you or anyone you know has this false belief, it’s time to let it go.
No more apologizing for your “lack.”
You are a story made up of many stories that are unique to you.
Time to actually own it.