More Interested Means More Interesting
I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.
– Ernest Hemingway
Learning to listen without judgment, without thought of what YOU will say next, is an imperative skill to develop. Generally speaking, we feel that whatever happens to us is more interesting than what happens to somebody else. This is for good reason; we have direct experience of our events whereas we can only imagine what somebody else is going through (or has been through). However, as interesting as we think we are, it is likely that the person we are speaking to thinks the same about themselves. Therefore, when speaking about ourselves, we pass the point of seeming interesting very quickly. Just as we are getting warmed up, the other person is starting to think we are full of ourselves. As Marilyn Monroe was known to have said:
I’ve often stood silent at a party for hours listening to my movie idols turn into dull and little people.
Your stories may be totally genuine and full of interesting facts and experiences, but your listener doesn’t always care. It is therefore often better to stop talking and take a genuine interest in what makes the other person/people tick. Not only will you be more likely to learn something new, you will also make a more favorable impression.