Interested vs Interesting: Be A Better Communicator

Updated: 16/05/2022

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There are many levels to effective communication


If you’re learning a language, the aim is to become as good a communicator in that language as possible. This isn’t just to impress your friends or business partners but to do what’s important to you like creating business opportunities, making local friends on holiday or getting a visa to an English speaking country.

Being a better communicator doesn’t just concern how well you speak, there are so many more factors involved. One idea is the concept of being interested rather than interesting, so let’s explore this.

Why be interested?

Being interested about what’s around you helps create opportunities to practice the language you’re learning because you will be actively drawn to people, places and things which eventually lead to conversations.

Thanks to this, it also creates the possibility to acquire a range of knowledge and learning which is fun and useful.

On the other hand, if you are only focused on being interesting, it could put you in a position of waiting to be approached and engaged. This can be a limiting state to be in and can often happen to introverts.

Find a balance of being interesting and interested

Benefits of being
interested

1. Improve your listening and comprehension skills

When you put your attention on someone else, they usually do most of the talking which provides you a great opportunity to practice listening. This is something most people don’t do enough of. This is a chance to experience how the person speaks, the words and expressions they use, their accent and pronunciation and even gives you the possibility to read their body language. All of this is vital information you can use to learn about the person in front of you, the topic you are discussing and how to in turn communicate back when it’s your turn.

2. Build rapport 

Following on from the previous point, by allowing another person to speak while you listen, you can pick up on their body language and use this to help build rapport and create a positive relationship.

Subtlety mirroring a person’s facial expressions, hand gestures, tone, energy etc can help build trust and likability. We tend to trust people who share our beliefs and opinions more than those who don’t so this is a good opportunity to explore that. It doesn’t mean you have to agree with everything that I said however!


3. Control the conversation 

If you are being interested and curious about another person you can be in control of the conversation and direct it where you need it to go.

This is usually achieved by asking interesting questions for the other person to consider and answer. As they reply to you, you can formulate more interesting questions about the information that comes up and steer the conversation when you need it to go.

This puts you in the driver’s seat and is a great tactic especially if you are more introvert and don’t feel as comfortable talking about yourself. It gives you the option to either ask for more details or to share your own opinion as well.

Listening is as powerful as speaking

Being interesting 

Being interesting is of course a positive trait to have and can draw others to you.
This trait could mean you are charismatic, witty or have fun stories to share, all of which can play to your advantage whether you’re at the office, touring a new location or enjoying a happy hour.

The danger of being the subject of interest is that you can come to rely on others coming to you. This can become a bad habit and lead you to ‘social laziness’ and a lack of effort in actively engaging others.

It can also cause the relationship to depend on how interesting you find those approaching you and while you can always leave a conversation at any time, it can be uncomfortable to do so and we want to avoid being rude in any circumstance.


It seems that being the one who is interested in the environment around them benefits more than he/she who is being the subject of interest from others.

Try both out and see what results you get!

Steve


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