If you want to be able to befriend the people you want to befriend, you’ll have an easier time socializing if you can be interested in others more. However, a lot of people don’t have the natural urge to be curious. Some people are happy to know and hear certain information, but they’re not really the type to seek them out. If you’re one of those individuals, this article is suited for you.
Learn how to be interested in others, the things they do, how they think, and the things they aspire so you can be more driven to actually be friends with them. Here are 17 tips that you can follow. For as long as you keep these tips in mind, you’ll eventually become naturally curious towards other people.
Understand that there is value in stories
One of the things that can help you be more interested in others is to understand that there is value in stories. Find value in the stories of other people. Seek them out. There are so many more things that you can learn and take in just from one story.
A story will allow you to peer through a person’s history, their thoughts, and even their desires. It’s such a beautiful thing to comprehend them. Keep these thoughts in your mind whenever you’re trying to socialize with an individual. Be interested in the stories they’re about to tell you.
Assess the cause as to why you can’t be interested in others
You can then ask yourself why you find it hard to be interested in others in the first place. Do you perhaps find no value in interacting with someone else? Do you believe you already know everything you need to know? Or have you simply tried being interested in others in the past, but you’ve never actually created meaningful friendships out of it?
Whatever it is, try to assess the root of the problem. This will make you hyper-aware of the situation, thus motivating you more into actually fixing it. You should also keep in mind that no matter what happened in the past, things can and will always go differently in the present.
Another thing you can do to be more interested in others is to actually empathize with them. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re interacting with. Don’t only listen to the words they’re saying, actually feel the emotions they’re feeling. If their current emotion is sad, try to feel for them. If they’re happy, start feeling the same thing.
Empathy is a powerful tool. Allowing you to be interested in others more is just one of the things that you can acquire from it. Make sure you use this emotional tool when interacting with other people.
Be more open-minded
Being more open-minded will also help you be interested in others. If you’re open-minded, you won’t become bothered by the idea that a lot of people out there have different opinions and beliefs from you. In fact, you’ll welcome the difference. The more open-minded you are, the more acceptable you are of conversations between people with clashing opinions.
This is also just incredibly helpful considering maybe half of the people you’ll ever encounter will have different opinions from you. As you meet more and more people, just remember to always keep an open mind.
Don’t just be interested in the person, be interested in the world as a whole
If the sole idea of being interested in someone else doesn’t work for you, how about you try something a little bit more grand. Instead of being interested in a person, try being interested in the entire world itself. Look into the world you’re living in. Study its history, the different cultures that reside in it, and most importantly, the people living in it.
Doing this will eventually train you to become more curious. So curious, in fact, that it will bleed off into your social life. You’ll want to learn more about every person you’re interacting with.
Once you start gaining a little interest in the world around you, it’s time that you start education yourself by reading up on the things that piqued your interest. Read! Whatever it is you’re interested in, there’s sure to be a book already written about it.
Reading more will make your mind sharper. A book is to the mind just as a whetstone is to the sword, as they say. The sharper your mind becomes, you’ll have more urge to seek out any type of information. You’ll also be interested in others as well.
Keep your expectations in check
While it’s very important to be curious and seek out knowledge and information so you can be more interested in others, it is also very useful to remember to keep your expectations in check. You may get so caught up when what a person can say. You’ll begin to feel too excited. When they finally tell their stories to you, you may find it underwhelming.
With this in mind, just keep your expectations in check. Not all stories are as grand as you want them to be. Some of them are more grounded, more realistic, and more personal. There’s value and beauty in these stories as well, mind you. However, if you keep expecting every story to be fantastical and mind-blowing, you’ll only disappoint yourself from time to time.
There will also be instances when a person you’re talking to just won’t want to share things with you. They could be more reserved than anyone you know at that point. That’s okay too. Perhaps they’re dealing with their own battles. Give them space.
Keep mental notes and ask questions
It can also be helpful to you to keep mental notes whenever you’re interacting with someone. You can take apart pieces of information from whatever it is a person is talking about. Every once in a while, they’re going to mention things that reveal just a little bit about themselves. Those are the things you need to take note of.
For example, if you happen to be talking about previous travel experiences, the other person may mention an amazing beach destination and how great it is to surf there. When they tell you that story, you can already deduce that they’re a beach lover and they’re into surfing. You can then take note of that and ask them more about it later on.
Be a better conversationalist
It will also serve you well to be a better conversationalist if you want to be interested in others more. The better you are at handling and maintaining conversations, the more you’ll know about someone else.
If you’re not too good at conversations, for now, practicing this craft will also increase your chances of being more curious simultaneously. You’ll be honing two types of social skills in one go.
The art of making conversation is a topic that’s way too complex in and of itself. Be sure to check out the other articles regarding how to improve your conversation skills on this site.
See the your practice to be interested in others more as a learning process
Just by learning how to be interested in others more, you’re already engaging in an activity that stirs the mind. That said, treat all of this as a learning process. Make this experience be something you can immensely learn from.
If you want to take it to the next level, see this as an experiment. Take every data you’ll gather here and go out there to test your hypothesis, if you will. You can definitely approach this from the perspective of a learner. In fact, it will serve you better in the long run as the experience alone will also help you become more interested in other people.
Avoid being self-centered
If you really want to be interested in others, you’ll need to stop looking inwards way too much. Avoid being self-centered and focus on the individuals you interact with. Let them be the center of your attention. That way, you’ll be able to digest all of the words they’re saying and you’ll be able to properly practice how to be more interested in others.
Seek out individuals you know you’ll find interesting
This is one of the things you can do to make the whole process so much easier for yourself. If you want to find others more interesting, then actively seek out people who you’ll actually find interesting.
For example, if there’s someone you know who’s into this particular activity or field you don’t really know anything about but are incredibly fascinated with, seek that person out. Try to engage them in conversation. Be friendly with them. Approach them with the idea of getting to know them more in mind.
The more you do this, the easier it will be for you to go up to people so you can learn more about them. It will be easier with people you actually find interesting, but with time and enough repetition, you’ll eventually find this easy to do with everybody else.
Meet people who share your interests
Just like it can be easy for you to be interested in people you actually find interesting, the same thing can also happen if you meet people who share your interests. Even if you already know a lot about the thing you’re interested in, the idea of hearing about your interest from someone else’s perspective is already interesting on its own.
That said, try to seek out like-minded individuals. Talk to the people you know who share an interest with you, no matter what that is. Better yet, join a club or a group that’s centered around your interest. That way, you’ll encounter like-minded strangers, thus allowing you to practice this on people you haven’t met yet before.
Be more perceptive
You’ll also need to be more perceptive if you actually want to be interested in others more. Unless you’re directly speaking to someone and your conversation has gotten deep and intense, practice also paying attention to everything around you, or everything about a person outside of what’s directly in front of you.
You can also use this to assess which individual in a room you can approach. It’s a lot more complicated than that, of course, but the more you observe everything around you, the more you’ll be able to pick up on even the most subtle cues.
You can also use this to detect what the other person is feeling as opposed to what they’re actually saying. When engaging with an individual, you can both be perceptive and empathetic. That way, you’ll be able to find out things about them without them saying those things to you.
One other thing you can do to be more interested in others is to give others a clear picture as to who you are as well. You can’t just dig deep about someone else constantly, you’ll also need to share things about yourself.
That said, be sure to open up every once in a while. Whenever you’re engaged with someone in a conversation, aside from constantly asking them questions about themselves, also give them the chance to ask things about you. Whenever they do, you should do your best to open up without being too revealing or personal. You’ll eventually get used to this exchange, and in time, even master it.
By opening up to others, you’re also making them more relaxed and comfortable with you. The more they know about you, the more they’ll be comfortable in letting you know more about themselves.
Know how important it is to make friends
Finally, if you’re really finding it too tough to be interested in others, just remember this very crucial fact: It’s very important to make friends. You’ll never be able to make meaningful friendships if you can’t be interested in others.
This should be your driving factor. Want to be interested in others because you want to befriend other people. That’s really as simple as it can be.
Making friends is a wonderful thing and your curiosity towards other people will allow you to do expand your social circle. Be sure to fully understand this article, re-read it if you have to, until you can finally be interested in others.