How to Connect With Interesting People

I don’t particularly like meeting new people. It’s not that I’m antisocial but, rather, I value my energy. Most people aren’t worth the energy to meet. They’re not interesting people.

The gap between interesting people and the least common denominator is vast. That gap is almost always represented by the difference between consumers versus creators, between back-of-the-textbook peekers and problem-solvers.

Problem-solvers go deep. They thoroughly research a problem and develop multiple hypotheses. They seek others’ opinions, and they’re more focused on exploring the problem than validating any one solution.

Conversely, the consumer loves others’ creations and discussion what they like about a particular product, art piece, or popular theory. Their opinions are others’ opinions, and they don’t see any alternative.

We can learn a lot from problem-solvers, even if their area of interest is novel and laced with uncertainties. We can ask deep questions and gain a shortcut through the trial and error of deep work by engaging with them.

By contrast, consumers know only headline-level detail, and we don’t learn more than we would with a quick internet search. Their knowledge is shallow and untested. Based on my observation and interactions, the world is primarily made up of consumers.

The best way to avoid wasting time on consumers is to be interesting.

The easiest way to meet interesting people is by having accomplished something yourself. Do something that make you someone worth meeting, and interesting people will reach out.

However, doing someone interesting one time isn’t enough. You must continue being interesting to hold the attention of other interesting people. The grind never stops, no matter how big you strike it.

Loneliness does not come from having no people about one, but from being unable to communicate the things that seem important to oneself, or from holding certain views which others find inadmissible.

Carl Jung

I spent most of my life feeling lonely and, just as Jung describes, it came down to a lack of shared interests. While I pondered the meaning of life, my friends considered which outfit they would wear to the football game and whether to break up with their boyfriend.

In 2010, while feeling particularly disconnected, I set up my first WordPress account. I tried to be interesting. Though, at the time, it was not for the sake of meeting other people, but merely to entertain myself. Within a few months, I was featured on the front page. Being Freshly Pressed generated hundreds of new readers, dozens of insightful comments and, over time, a handful of special friends. Gradually and then all at once, for the first time in my life, I no longer felt lonely.

Blogging is a magical hobby that allows us to send our ideas out into the ether, to be greeted by others’ mental tentacles. If you build it, they will come. When we delve into and explore the topics and frameworks that we find interesting, we will attract like-minded folks willing to join in the discussion.

How did we find each other? Some days, it feels like a miracle.

Have I done anything that makes me someone worth meeting? While it certainly doesn’t feel that, I’m sure many bloggers that I admire feel the same way.

We’re all here, fumbling through the journey, trying to find meaning, share wisdom, and inspire others. Our seemingly trivial thoughts and musings could provide life-changing value to another.

So, how do we connect with interesting people? Be passionately interested in various things. Approach your interests as a problem-solver. Share your ideas publicly with the aim of offering value to whomever my stumble across it, and keep at it. Seek out others exploring similar topics and engage with them. Build it and they will come, and the loneliness will fade away.

29 thoughts on “How to Connect With Interesting People

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  1. This, this, this: “We’re all here, fumbling through the journey, trying to find meaning, share wisdom, and inspire others.” Your lovely, reflective post reminds me of Deb’s thoughts from a week or so ago about friendships and finding ‘our people’. The older I become, the more I realize I can be selective about my attention. Some people are just a bad ROI for me — I can try and try, but as you said, finding the common ground connection feels ever-so-necessary. Not the shallow water stuff – I want to know I’m heard, and I want those who are close to me (whether IRL or blessed blogging buds) to know they matter because I try to listen and demonstrate – I hope – care for their thoughts, feelings, ideas, epiphanies…rants and conundrums. Thanks so much for all of this Wednesday morning inspiration, Erin. 🥰

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I love this, Vicki: “Some people are just a bad ROI for me”. YEP! It’s such a gift and blessing to find ‘our people’–to be heard, to be seen, and to feel like we’re a part of something bigger than ourselves. 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, I agree. I am an introvert so connecting with people, in real life or online, doesn’t come easily, BUT I make the effort. I’m curious and open, so that helps. I have found that blogland is filled with interesting people and am especially happy when I feel my interest in them is reciprocated. Doesn’t always happen though, and isn’t that interesting?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like you, Ally, I’m quite introverted, so the connections don’t come easily. Through, with age I’ve climbed out of my shell and it’s gotten easier. Blogland is amazing, but it is interesting that sometimes the reading and commenting isn’t reciprocated. I often wonder why those folks ended up here, if not to connect with others…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wonder that, too. Especially when someone is selling something, like a book or a product, then won’t engage with the people who comment on their posts. It’s Sales 101: be nice to a potential customer, yet they ignore commenters.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, absolutely! I’ve had people I enjoyed reading from, but have ended up following because it feels like a slap in the face to share thoughtful comments and have them be ignored.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You’re correct about being passionately interested in things to connect with people. Also, I value honesty in my fellow WordPress community. That is what draws me in. When I started blogging, I posted my own work and didn’t read other bloggers. Through the years, I’ve found more enjoyment and engagement reading and commenting on other people’s posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve found that I can connect very well with people of like mind for a couple of hours or so, then I’m tired. I find connecting with people over shared interests is the best thing, so I’ll go to meetups where we all practice speaking French, I take a beginner’s Ukrainian class, I’ll get together with a few artist friends to chat and even to make some art. These are things I can handle in short bursts, but I also retreat into my private space to create and to restore my sanity and strength!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m very much like you, Tamara, and can only handle some my face-to-face interaction at a time. I love that you’ve found little communities of like-minded people that you connect with over shared hobbies. 🥰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I highly recommend this, because with group events, there’s always bound to be someone there to have an interesting conversation with. I prefer 1 good one to many meaningless ones! If I have 1, I’m happy, and won’t worry if another one doesn’t happen that day!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This is a thoughtful and yes, interesting, post Erin! I always believe there’s a community out there for everyone – and it sounds like you met yours through blogging. And I’m glad you did.

    I agree that having shared interests and goals and achievements help create lasting bonds that go beyond the shallow surface conversations.

    When we find those people in our lives, whether in person or virtually, it feels like a true blessing indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am relatively new to blogging, and love the transparency bloggers allow in their posts. I personally find it easy to speak from the heart in my ramblings. Blogging helps me to pull together my thoughts and ideas, rather than researching haphazardly and with no real direction, but I also hope others will find what I say interesting.

    We have recently connected Erin, and I am so happy that we have. I love how you write, and I know I can learn from you. I feel I am slowly being pulled into the community of bloggers. I have found my tribe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve found the same, Susan. The openness inspires me to also be more transparent in my writing.

      I’m so grateful that we’ve connected here, and I’m so pleased that you feel you’re finding your tribe. 🥰 It boggles my mind that, of the millions of blogs, we somehow find our way towards those it seems we’re meant to connect with. It’s truly incredible.

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  7. I am not that interesting. However, by joining things I have met the most interesting people with amazing lives that fill me with awe and wonder. The best way to be interesting people is to be open to everything around you, be curious, and listen.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can relate to this, LA. I *think* I used to be interesting, but I now have poor memory and I don’t have much to say. Being open, curious, asking questions, and listening is a great tool to pry the interesting bits out of others and, in turn, be viewed as interesting. Great point!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I literally laughed out loud when I read, “The gap between interesting people and the least common denominator is vast.” How very right you are. I, too, have found blogging to be extremely rewarding, in that it’s allowed me to connect with interesting people. I also think what you say about the difference between problem-solvers and consumers is spot-on: most people aren’t interesting because to be interesting takes work. Most of us bloggers are already putting in a certain amount of work, and that makes a big difference. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! I love that! I was trying to figure out how to be somewhat tactful while still getting the point across. I completely agree with your thoughts on blogger (almost) inherently being interesting because they’re doing work to create content, and often based purely on personal interest. Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. This post was enormously enjoyable to read, like a salve to soul. Indeed how do interesting and like-minded people meet? On here on WordPress of course! With so much negativity out there online it is immensely refreshing that there is a safe space for people to connect here and to go really deep into the things we love. To create and share and connect is a gift 🎁 ✨️

    Liked by 1 person

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