Interested vs Interesting

There’s a nice story in Mike Heppell’s book Flip It.  A young psychology student conducted an experiment whilst travelling back and forth between Los Angeles and New York.  He sat in the middle seat and engaged in conversation with whoever happened to be sat next to him.  He asked lots of questions, listened intently and invariably swapped contact details with his fellow passenger.

A week or so later a researcher contacted the people the man had spoken with. They all remembered him and many of them claimed he was the most interesting person they’d ever met. But bizarrely, they couldn’t remember much about him – what he did for a living, his hobbies, where he lived, why he was travelling.  It goes to show that when you take an interest in OTHER PEOPLE, they feel valued and warm to you. Heppell’s story underlines the point that it’s more important to be interested than to TRY to be interesting.

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