How To…. I eat these sorts of sentences up. How to *insert something that you desperately want* are just clogging up all news feeds at the minute. How to be gorgeous and how to become popular on YouTube at the same time (see Jenna Marbles‘ take on this – just the 65 million views for that video), how to dream in French (have French speakers coming and going in your work for two weeks, worked for me, who’s to say it won’t work for you), how to get lean in 15 (cook meals which you see in 15 second videos but actually take 45 minutes to make but he must be doing something right), how to beat the dreaded winter skin dryness and scaliness (literally stop washing your face…. With water. Let all the natural oils come to the rescue), how to look cool (red lipstick, stripe top, black jeans, beret… OK, the beret may be taking it too far but generally adopt a French attitude ‘Quoi ? Moi ? Non, des moules frites mec’ – translation: ‘I’m so cool’), how to be successful (I have no answer for this… Yet. But generally follow Beyoncé’s lead, she seems to be doing ok), how to meet your idol (don’t – I met Alexa Chung off Oxford Street this week and she was a bit meh), how to make alt. pancakes (2 eggs, 1 banana, handful of oats/nuts/shreded coconut – the sensational RQ made these pancakes on our winter warmer weekend away, so easy, so tasty), how to get rid of a cold (the only answer: GINGER. SO MUCH THAT IT BURNS YOUR THROAT AND THEREFORE BURNS THE COLD AWAY), how to write a cover letter (Google can sort that one right out for you but I’ve found trying not to sound too desperate works – ‘please give me a job at Lidl to fuel my travel fund’ is considered desperate, apparently.)
One ‘how to’ question I’m interested in is actually to do with interest, specifically, how to be interesting. Everyone wants to be interesting, don’t they? Because the opposite of interesting is boring and no one wants to be boring. Make yourself less boring by being less bored. That’s a good one, isn’t it. How do we do that? Exactly, my friends. Become interesting.
The best way to be interesting is to be interested. Stop being on transmit, and flip the switch to being on receive. Listen hard, listen without thinking about what you are about to say.
So to be interesting you have to listen. What’s one of the first things you think of when you hear the word ‘listen’? I think of music among other things. And that’s a pretty common interesting question that lots of people ask to find out more about a person: what’s your favourite type of music/band/artist? Do you like grimey rap on Monday nights with the ManDem or baths with Mozart’s Canzonetta sull’aria (one of the top 10 most relaxing songs ever, along with All Saints ‘Pure Shores‘, oddly enough.) So listening to music makes you interesting from the get go. That’s an easy enough way to be interesting. But then the ultimate form of listening has to be listening to a human being in real time, face to face, without thinking about anything else except the sounds that make words that are coming out of their mouth.
So you’re thinking, yea I’m a pretty good listener already but I never hear anything interesting so I hope that doesn’t make me less interesting?! Like Katrina from work says I eat too many eggs and its bad for my cholesterol. Maybe I should eat egg whites which are a great form of protein without the fatty yellow yoke. Boring. But maybe you should ask her how she knows so much about eggs and cholesterol and find out her dad has had a heart attack and is doing a 5km sponsored walk which you end up doing yourself to support your colleague and thus this makes you immediately more interesting. Yay. You’re all the more interesting because you asked a question and you were interested in what she had to say. Here are some things I’ve found out this week by listening intently to what the people around me have to say:
Hitler didn’t, in fact commit suicide but actually fled to Argentina on a submarine (apparently).
Slavery of black people was actually a good thing… Stick with me on this one, these aren’t my words but the words of a Nigerian colleague. He thinks slavery has created a superior race as only the strongest, fastest, most intelligent, most fierce survived. The weak ones faded away. Think about the athletes at the Olympics; the fastest and strongest are mostly from previously colonised countries; three out of the top four 100m sprinters are from Jamaica and half of the top 24 are from previously colonised countries like Nigeria and Namibia. Interesting. This Nigerian guy has an exceptionally positive outlook as you can see with his positive spin on slavery. The same man was telling me that his father passed away not too long ago. His father never hugged him and that made him sad but he now sees that he’s learnt from that and hugs his own kids all the time. I know, right??
London has had a bed bugs epidemic recently and it got so bad that a Premier Inn in Holborn (central London) had to be shut down for 2 weeks and over two hundred rooms exterminated. Chheeeeeez.
Staying with the London theme, the smog was so bad this week that parents were told not to let their children outside to play along with elderly people and those with respiratory conditions. Eek.
You can buy a one bedroom apartment in Cyprus for 50k. Bargain, anyone want to go halvsies with me? Actually probably more than half, to be honest.
Wearing white eyeliner on your bottom waterline makes you look less tired because it erases the redness and makes you look more awake and wide eyed. Who doesn’t want to look more awake when really your nursing a mojito hangover?
I’m not sure if this makes me a more interesting person at all but the people who told me these things will hopefully think I seem, if not, I am interested. As long as we have stories to tell and stories to listen to, surely that will keep things interesting. We have two ears and one mouth for reason, eh?