Many of us would like to be more interesting. But I think chic women achieve this by being more interested. Let me explain.
I used to have a fairly typical relationship with my hairstylist. We’d greet each other warmly, discuss what he’d be doing with my cut, then settle into bland chit-chat, often based on whatever page was open in the fashion magazine before me.
My style is a pixie and therefore needs frequent cutting, and he is a perfectionist, taking his time to make it just so, meaning we’d spend a lot of time together, prattling away. I dislike small talk, but it never occurred to me that I could take our conversation to a more… meaningful place. But one day, things changed.
Many of us would like to be more interesting. But I think chic women achieve this by being more interested.
To Be More Interesting, Switch From Small Talk To Bigger Talk
I had taken my seat, resplendent in my velcroed nylon poncho, and met his eyes in the mirror as he asked the usual question: So Michele, how are you?
The truth is, I’d been struggling with a difficult relationship and would be seeing the person in question that evening, and it was very much on my mind. So I told him about it – the issues bothering me, my ideas for handling things differently. I was prepared for his eyes to glaze over; I see the world through a psychology lens and not everyone is as interested in deconstructing people as I am. Or for him to feel uncomfortable and make a jokey let’s-change-the-subject remark.
But he came alive. He had a similar issue with a family member, and we fell into an animated and genuine discussion about the challenges of family life. The time flew – though I suspect the cut took longer than usual. Oops!
By my next appointment I’d forgotten about our little D&M, but the first thing he said on seeing me was How did it go at dinner? He wanted to know how my experiment had fared and was keen to share his own new thoughts. By talking about what interested me, I’d managed to be more interesting.
Now, it’s not that our conversations have been become heavy, we simply talk more about things we have a real interest in. We feel like genuine fellow humans.
It’s not that our conversations have been become heavy, we simply talk more about things we have a real interest in. We feel like genuine fellow humans.
To Be More Interesting, Talk About Real Things
My interests can be obscure. I don’t like sport and rarely enjoy things that do well on bestseller lists or music charts or the box office. So I’ve tended to discuss my passions only with close friends who either share my preferences or with whom there’s mutual indulgence of one another’s odd diversions. But this surprising experience with my hairdresser has made me take more chances in talking about what interests me.
Now, when an acquaintance asks what I’ve been doing, I might mention the online class I’m taking or the minor epiphany I had about my work. I trust the other person to change the subject if they’re uninterested (and leave plenty of room for this to happen) or start a conversational detour of their own. I guess I’m saying I don’t feel I have to protect people from my authentic interests anymore. I want to give them the chance to engage with me at a more meaningful level if they want to.
Occasionally people grow uncomfortable and turn to rainfall prognostications while avoiding eye contact. But more often they connect with me about my disclosure and – sometimes immediately, sometimes later – reveal something they’re truly interested in. We each feel more engaged, more connected, more like fellow humans.
I don’t feel I have to protect people from my authentic interests anymore. I want to give them the chance to engage with me at a more meaningful level if they want to.
To Be More Interesting, Be Authentic
Chic women are authentic. They don’t hide themselves to fit in.
How about you? Do many of your conversations stay on the surface? Would you like to share more of what truly interests you? Do you think this might lead you be more interesting?
What would happen if you talked about things that mattered to you? What might you learn about others?
Well, why not find out…?
Do many of your conversations stay on the surface? Would you like to share more of what truly interests you? Do you think this might lead you to be more interesting?
Your Chic Life Assignment For Week 3
- Observe yourself this week. Do you routinely suppress your interests and limit yourself to bland niceties? How does it feel?
- On at least one occasion this week, talk about something that genuinely interests you. Choose a situation where you’d normally resort to small talk. Give the other person space to change the subject, but also give them space to join you in greater authenticity.
This post is part of my 12-Week Series: 12 Ways To Live A Chic Life.
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