What Others Find Interesting about You
4. There's actually one way to tell what others find interesting about you. And what if you don't agree with them? Then what?
In our social groups it's sometimes visible to see what people find interesting about you and others. And the focus on some aspects of who we are seem to be of more interest than other aspects. Like the aspects we find interesting about ourselves. Why is that? And what do you think makes others interesting to you?
I answer these questions from experiences from my past and add in 2 recent conversations with some friends where what they found interesting about me wasn't so interesting to me. What did I do? Let's discuss!
I highly recommend you check out Episode 3 entitled "What makes you interesting?" before this episode (of course, it's not a requirement).
I’m T. Vyas, you can call me T became most people do. I’m, as you’ve guessed, a person of colour who looks forward to chatting with you about some things identity, some things colour and ALL things Love! Tune in Tuesdays for a new episode! In the meantime, you can find me on Instagram @lovehowbc.
You're listening to Love How Brown Cow episode number four.
A podcast about love, colour and identity, and we're driving yourself crazy is totally sane and curable. Now, your host T. Vyas.
Welcome to the podcast, today is about what makes you interesting to others, and it's kind of a weird question. Unless you ask somebody: What do you think makes me interesting? It's maybe hard to actually know what other people think or what other people find interesting about you, and in the last episode, I discuss with you what you think makes you interesting, so I highly recommend that you check that episode out as well. And so for this episode, I'm going to talk about what makes you interesting to others and how you can tell, and sometimes the case is, you may not be very interesting to others, and people may decide this based on their own opinions, their own ideas, their own belief systems, and so I'm going to discuss kind of what happens a little bit in social groups outside of your immediate group, or you're more intimate group, so your family or your roommates, but more in your every day social groups, it could be a group of friends, it could be your co-workers, your book club. So I'm going to share with you some experiences I've had over time, and then share with you two recent examples that I had about what indicated what somebody found interesting about me.
And my first experience when I kind of started to notice how people find other people interesting was I was in a social group where we’re probably well-known acquaintances, that's the best way to describe it, and somebody who doesn't come to the group showed up and she worked in the film industry, I can't remember exactly what her profession was, but she worked in the film industry, and the whole conversation between the four or five of us revolved around her profession, and we continued and continued to discuss what she did and events and things like that, around the film industry... And I sort of noticed that with some professions seem more interesting to other people, so the film industry was one, and I have another friend, and he's a doctor, and people will ask them a ton of questions about health and the conversation will tend to lean towards his profession. So one of the things that I noticed is people will find your profession interesting, especially if it's in contrast to their own... So in many of my conversations, I started to notice that the questions or the statements that people say to me or to other people, it lends itself a little bit and indicates a little bit of what other people find interesting in you.
And I've also seen this happen when there's a gay person in the group, and they'll often get questions that are centred around them being gay, do they have straight friends? When did they realise they were gay, and have they ever slept with somebody who's the opposite sex, and so a lot of the questions will be focused around somebody's sexual orientation, and in my case, I'll share with you the conversations that are very common to me, so in some of my social groups, for example, if we're talking about fashion or clothing in general, I'll often get the question: Do you still own or do you have... or wear your traditional dresses, your traditional Indian dresses, like the... sari. Or if we're talking about jewellery, they'll ask me: well, what does the nose ring mean, what is the red dot on the forehead mean? And if we're talking about the weather in particular, going to the beach, they'll ask me: you're so lucky, or they’ll actually say to me: you’re so lucky you don't have to worry about sun screen and all that kind of stuff. So they’ll make statements centred around me being a person of colour, and I recently had a conversation with somebody, we were in a cafe, it's a group of mine where I wouldn't say we're close friends, but we’re well-known acquaintances that’s what I would say, and we were talking about cooking and I have taught myself how to cook and I love to cook, and we were talking about different dishes, and all of a sudden, one of the women...
She said: Do you cook curry? And I answered: No, I don't curry. And I just kind of had to chuckle at that question because I had been thinking about this episode of the podcast, and so after this conversation, I was reflecting on my own answer to it, which I just basically said: No, I don't cook curry. And then I was also thinking about all of the past conversations that I've had, I mean, the recent past conversations and thinking about, well, this kind of lends itself to what people find interesting about you based on what they think is interesting, and then why is it these certain things people find interesting. So in the first example, when I talked about people's profession, the doctor, or being gay or being a person of colour, those are things that are circumstances in our lives, in the sense that being gay and being a person of colour, those are circumstances in which we've had no choice. And our professions or any skill that we have, our circumstances today, because of a result that we've achieved, so today, they are circumstances by choice, and oftentimes, people tend to ask questions about these circumstances in social conversations like these...
So, then, I also flip the question around and thought about: What do I ask other people about, what do I find interesting about other people when I learn a little bit about something, what do I choose to ask or follow up on? And one of the things that I noticed in myself was that I tend to remember the things that are unfamiliar to me, and so if somebody does have a profession that I don't know anything about, I tend to ask a little bit more about that profession, I tend to ask things about, for example, if there's a sport somebody plays that I've never played, I tend to ask questions about that sport, and we focus on the unfamiliar because it's what humans are kind of meant to do, familiarity to us keeps us safe and the unfamiliar tells us, it's unsafe, so there's this negative link, and not necessarily negative in a bad way, but a negative way in a survival way, that if something is unfamiliar to us, it's not safe, and therefore requires our attention and our focus, and this primitive response is, this primitive reaction is what has helped us survive. So if something's unfamiliar to us, we pay attention to it to make sure that it's safe, and so a lot of times in day-to-day life, we go about and respond this way, even in simple conversations, we tend to focus on what is unfamiliar to us, so if there's a person who is gay or a person of colour in a group where the other people are straight and the other people are white, it is an alert to the brain that: Hey, someone is unfamiliar to us, and so since this is such a primitive reaction, and if we're not consciously aware of it, most people will, who are not familiar with me or are not people of colour will continue to ask me if I have a sari in my closet.
And so then the next question becomes: What do you do in a situation where the focus and the attention in the conversation is centred around a circumstance, and especially in a circumstance that you don't really think is very interesting, and I'll have to say for myself, being Indian ethnicity isn't the most interesting thing about me, after all, there are a lot of people in this world with Indian ethnicity. And so when I looked into what I actually thought I found interesting about myself, I actually found it wasn't a bunch of circumstances, like my ethnicity and like the fact that I'm a woman, I found that the journey that and experiences, but the journey that had led me to some of the circumstances in my life, I found those to be the most interesting things about myself, and so coincidentally, I had another conversation with a friend of mine, and she is a person of colour and she asked me the question: Well, do you crave any Indian dishes? And so I kind of smiled but I paused and what I said in response was not just: No, I don't crave Indian dishes; I responded with my journey, and in this case, my truth.
So what I said to her, what I responded to her was: I don't really crave any food anymore since I've discovered that I used to eat some foods for pleasure and now I don't utilise food for pleasure, I utilise it to just nourish my body, and from there, the conversation steered into discussions about using food to fulfil pleasure, emotional eating, and the discussion went in a more interesting direction, and I thought that that was interesting because I had realised what I found interesting about myself, which is a circumstance, that’s interesting about me is that I taught myself how to cook, but the journey in which I am on with learning how to cook and the journey with food is what I think is the most interesting thing about me, and I responded with a little bit of the story of my journey with food to her question instead of just: No, I don't crave any Indian dishes, so people will continue to focus on the unfamiliar and maybe find your race or your gender the most interesting thing about you, and I think the way to maybe make that conversation more interesting is to determine what you think is the most interesting thing about you and respond with that.
So I'm going to wrap it up here, and I highly recommend that you check out the episode before this one, it's an exercise on how to find out the most interesting thing about yourself. And I'll check back with you next week
Thanks for listening tune in next Tuesday for another episode and in the meantime check out the Instagram account @lovehowbc.