Be Interested Not Interesting

I was planning a class about resilience and emotional intelligence last week when I ran across a quote online: Be interested, not interesting. Apparently, it’s a Dale Carnegie quote used in the customer service field. So all week long I have wanted to implement the quote, because I think it is natural for me to want to be interesting, so I forget to be interested. The truth is I really am interested in what people have to say, how things are going for them, and if I can help. So why do I not just shut up and listen? I think part of it is my personality – I like to be in the spotlight, I like to add to a discussion, I like to make people laugh. There’s nothing wrong with all that, but I can see that sometimes I just talk too much, trying to be interesting, which makes it hard for me to hear, truly hear, what others are saying. I need to slow down and just listen with interest and curiosity. I don’t have to solve things. I think I will make a poster with the quote and hang it around the house and around my office, to remind myself to listen and be interested. I also ran across another quote: To be interesting, be interested. So there it is – I can be interesting if I am interested. Sounds like a win-win.
I taught a mindfulness moment about curiosity last week. I could say a similar thing about curiosity: Be curious, not a curiosity! OK that’s not a perfect fit, but it sounds interesting!

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