“Sometimes I just want to slap him across the face and say ‘Why can’t you be more interesting?’”
Thus spoke the lovely young lady at my bar one quiet Sunday night. She was three Manhattans in and talking to me as if we were old friends, which we weren’t.
Her remarks — I told her this point blank — reminded me of a basketball coach I once had who, in the heat of battle many years ago, when we were in the huddle after an urgent and final timeout, sixty seconds on the clock, the game down to the wire, coach’s face beet-red, spit flying, said to us seriously:
“I told you guys not to let them make baskets!”
The real question, of course, is: how does one be more interesting?
Is it really so hard?
No, not really.
And yet surveys say two out of every three people are boring.
Are you one of them?
Of course you’re not.
You’re far too interesting for that.
In fact, you broke away from the pack a long time ago.
You’re a different breed, a dog of a different color.
You cultivated the black art of individuality, learned the art of personality. You became brilliant. People argue about your modesty.
She does things differently, they say, she’s heterodox, self-contained, haunting the higher eminences of thought, hard-worker, school-leaver, reposed, self-taught.
Like all of us, she’s a tightly packed pod of living potential, but she’s EXPLODING: a life-giving force, a mustard seed.
She’s never in need.
She has the common touch. Yet, somehow, she remains pure and remote and above the fray.
She has a certain way.
She’s silent. She’s sensible.
She knows that self-development is the aim of life and that self-control is the basis of character.
She’s not sloppy.
You learned early on that to be interesting is, in the most fundamental sense, to command the attention of others.
You discovered that others, by and large, want to be entertained — and so, in this sense, we all start with a captive audience.
You now know that, in actuality, it takes a certain kind of work to be boring, whereas to be interesting it’s … what?
It’s mostly a question of habit — and the true secret of habit is the insight that habit is discipline and that your habits are what you choose them to be.
Bartenders — real bartenders, as opposed to that tattooed-and-bearded bunch hiding behind their fifty-dollar bar spoons — pay close attention to what holds the interest of their customers.
Because, friend, the bar is a microcosm of life.
The bar is metaphor.
The bartender, who is neither God nor government but a little of both, she is the orchestrator.
Which is why, for better or worse, every bar takes on the personality of its lead bartender.
These techniques are far from exhaustive, but one thing I promise you: they work.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1. How to be wickedly charismatic quickly
Chapter 2. How to penetrate people’s brains as though you’re telepathic
Chapter 3. How to be spellbinding — without saying a single word
Chapter 4. How to have people dying to hear what you’ll say next
Chapter 5. How to answer the age-old question: what do you do?
Chapter 6. How to become a freakishly brilliant small-talker by doing one simple thing
Chapter 7. How to come across as diabolically clever
Chapter 8. The REAL secret to making people fawn over you
Chapter 9. Seven infallible ways to fascinate, beguile, mesmerize, and hypnotize
Chapter 10. How to be the smartest, most interesting person in the bar