Do You Want to be the Most Interesting Person in the Room?

Do You Want to be the Most Interesting Person in the Room?

OCEAN Personality Traits

My wife, Lisa, was invited to a birthday party and she brought me along.  I knew nobody there and we sat at a table with a couple I’d never met.  Normally, I’m great in that situation — I love meeting new people and uncovering their passions.  Not this time!

Let me give you a sense of the conversation with the husband sitting across from me:

    Me:  How do you know the birthday girl?
    Him:  Through my wife.
    Me:  Did you do anything fun this weekend?
    Him:  I went golfing.
    Me:  What was your longest drive off the tee?
    Him:  I don’t know.
    Me:  What do you do for a living?
    Him:  Engineer.
    Me:  What do you do in your free time?
    Him:  Golf.

Do you see the problem with our conversation?  I was asking questions and he was giving me the shortest possible answers.  He wasn’t asking me any questions back and he wasn’t telling me enough to ask a follow-up question  Boring!  I’ve had better conversations with a fire hydrant.

Is that what people think about conversations with you?

AN INTERESTING PERSON HAS FIVE GREAT PERSONALITY TRAITS

When people walk away from you, you want them to think that you are interesting.  You want to be memorable to them.  You want them to think to themselves, “I’m glad we met.

Why?

  • Because people who find you interesting are more likely find you attractive
  • Because people who find you interesting will introduce you to their friends
  • Because people who find you interesting will let you use their Love Networks

That leads us to the million dollar question:  What does it mean to be interesting?

If you want to be the most interesting person in the room, you have to know what being interesting means to others.  So, I’m going to give you a little introduction to what being interesting means.  This is a bit of a psychology lesson, but an intriguing one.  It’s a psychology lesson that changed my life.

This is a long email, but don’t skim it!!!

Being interesting starts with understanding what psychologists call The Big Five Personality Traits.  By understanding the five traits that make your personality, you can work on maximizing each one.  You’ll ask more interesting questions, gives more interesting answers, and tell more interesting stories.

Lucky for you, the five personality traits form a memorable acronym: O.C.E.A.N.  From now on, when you hear me talking about the OCEAN Personality Traits, you know that I mean The Big Five Personality Traits.

Let’s talk a little about each one so you can start making the most of them….

O STANDS FOR OPENNESS TO NEW EXPERIENCES

The personality trait of Openness To New Experiences reflects on your intellectual curiosity, imagination and spontaneity.  It reflects on your openness to emotion, novelty and variety of experience.  To figure out how Open you are, ask yourself:

  • Are you adventurous?
  • Does coming up with new ideas excite you?
  • Are you curious about how things work?
  • Do you find deep meaning in art?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be an Open person.

Also, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you a cautious person?
  • Do you like things to stay the way they are?
  • Does routine comfort you?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may not be so Open.

C STANDS FOR CONSCIENTIOUSNESS 

The personality trait of Conscientiousness reflects on your tendency towards organization versus disorganization and dependability versus flakiness.  To figure out how Conscientious you are, ask yourself:

  • Do you believe that self-discipline is a virtue?
  • Does organization comfort you?
  • Are you constantly setting goals and working towards achieving them?
  • Is being dependable important to you?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be an Conscientious person.

Also, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you prefer spontaneity to planning?
  • Are you messy?
  • Does goal setting stress you out?
  • Is it okay to be late?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may not be so Conscientious.

E STANDS FOR EXTROVERSION

The personality trait of Extroversion reflects on your tendency towards being outgoing versus being reserved, and displaying positive emotions versus embracing negative ones.  Ask yourself:

  • Are you a high energy person?
  • Do you think the world is a great place?
  • Do you meet lots of people at gatherings?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be an Extroverted person.

Also, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you dwell on your loneliness?
  • Are you pessimistic?
  • Do you like to be left alone?
  • Do you hang out in the corner of a crowded room

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be more Introverted.

A STANDS FOR AGREEABLENESS

The personality trait of Agreeableness reflects on your tendency towards cooperation versus going-it-alone, embrace of outsiders versus suspicion of strangers, compassion versus distance.  Ask yourself:

  • How compassionate are you?
  • Do you volunteer your time out of a sense of obligation and good will?
  • Does working with others come easy to you?
  • Do you embrace the opinions and abilities of others?
  • Are you trusting of strangers?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be an Agreeable person.

Also, ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you like working on projects by yourself?
  • Does it take you a while before you let a person be your friend?
  • Do people need to prove themselves before you trust them?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may not be so Agreeable.

N STANDS FOR NEUROTICISM

The personality trait of Neuroticism — also called Emotional Stability — reflects on your tendency towards security versus sensitivity, and confidence versus anxiety.  Ask yourself:

  • Are you quick to anger?
  • Do you get anxious or nervous easily?
  • Are you vulnerable to depression and negativity?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may be a Neurotic person with low Emotional Stability.

Also, ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you confident in yourself?
  • Do you feel you can handle stressful or new situations?

If you answered yes to these questions, you may have low Neuroticism and high Emotional Stability.

EACH O.C.E.A.N. PERSONALITY TRAIT IS NEUTRAL — NEITHER GOOD NOR BAD. DIFFERENT PEOPLE ARE ATTRACTED TO DIFFERENT TRAITS.

When I first stumbled upon the O.C.E.A.N. Personality Traits, my first reaction was, “I need to be the best I can be at displaying these traits.  I need to be extroverted and agreeable, and not the least bit neurotic.”  I was totally wrong.  There was no need to be fake.  I wasn’t going to win people over that way.

The truth is that people are attracted to different combinations of traits.  Think about it:

  • Some people are attracted to spontaneous daredevils (high Openness) and some people are attracted to comforting routine (low Openness).
  • Some people can only live in a meticulously cleaned house (high Conscientiousness) and some people find rigid organization to be stifling (low Conscientiousness).
  • Some people find loud personalities attractive (high Extroversion) and some people are attracted to small, intimate gatherings (low Extroversion).

My point is, you are who you are.  You’re not going to change your basic personality.  But you should be aware of what your personality traits are.  Why?  By being aware of who you are and how people perceive you, you can be the most interesting person you can be.

The next few emails I send you are focused on using the OCEAN Personality Traits to “put your best foot forward.”  They are some of my favorite lessons, and the lessons that most changed my life.  I am excited to share them with you.

WHOSE BEST FOOT WILL YOU HELP PUT FORWARD?

The OCEAN Personality Traits were an epiphany for me.  By understanding what my traits were, I was better able to understand what drew people to me and what turned people off.  That helped me fine-tune the image of myself I wanted to project.

The next few lessons can have a huge effect on your social life.  The next few lessons are gifts that I can’t wait to share with you.  What I ask is that you share this amazing gift with others.

If you haven’t forwarded emails to your single friends yet, don’t worry, but please do it now.  After you’ve done that, please hit some of these share buttons:      .  Together, you and I are going to make the world a more interesting place.

QUICK REVIEW

  • Interesting people find love faster than boring people
  • Your personality is the sum of your O.C.E.A.N Personality Traits
  • The more you know about your personality, the more interesting you’ll be
  • This email is the start of amazing advice to make you a more interesting person…share it!  Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn StumbleUpon
Jeremy Hamburgh
Jeremy Hamburgh
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Comments

  1. Tony Langdon says:

    You’re right, this post does take some extra reading. Initially, I thought “here is another one that’s going to be tough for many on the autism spectrum”, but then I read the rest of the article. The take home message for me is to understand and then highlight who you are – the more of the real you that you put out there, the more likely you will be interesting to someone who you’re compatible with. Age often helps, in that the more lived experience you have, the more you have to talk about – so those who are a bit older can use their longer life experience to become more interesting.

    • Jeremy Hamburgh says:

      Tony,

      You’re probably correct that the older you get, the more interesting stories you have to draw on. But what I want you to take home from the O.C.E.A.N. article is that you can be more interesting simply by understanding what interesting means and then working on it. For example, part of what makes people interesting is how open or closed they are to new experiences, so to make myself more interesting, I’d tell better stories about new experiences I’ve had.

      Jeremy

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