It’s probably fair to say that, if pushed, everyone would want to be the most interesting and engaging version of themselves possible — the kind of person who other people are more likely to be drawn to, and to want to be around.
In the context of dating, for example, it’s easy to see how being more interesting and authentic is likely to be a plus, whether that means that you’ve got private number plates on your vehicles which have an interesting story associated with them, or whether it means that you regularly engage in a particular creative pastime.
Unfortunately, though, trying to be more interesting automatically makes you less authentic, and it’s the kind of thing that people naturally tend to pick up on, and to find off putting.
It turns out that one of the best things you can do in order to make a better impression on prospective partners, to be a more interesting person, and to live a happier life as a whole, may be to drop your expectations and to simply do things for their own sake, without striving to get any particular “reward.”
Here are a few ways in which dropping expectations can make you a more authentic and interesting person.
By allowing you to act more naturally and mindfully in the present
Have you ever tried to have a conversation with someone who was constantly looking into the distance, checking their phone, and who seemed as if they were trying to remember rehearsed lines and to choose their words very carefully when talking to you?
If you have had this experience, it’s almost a guarantee that you found it unpleasant and that you wouldn’t associate it in any way with things like “charisma.”
When researchers have investigated the topic of “mindfulness” — or, in other words, being present as opposed to distracted — they have consistently found that more mindful and present individuals were regarded as more interesting and charismatic than those who weren’t mindful and engaged. They have also found that people who are more mindful are better salespeople, and are better at their work, too.
Going into an interaction with someone else with a lot of expectations and hopes naturally removes your attention from the present moment and makes you more self conscious as well.
By letting go of those expectations, you are better able to just be present and to act naturally as opposed to acting in a distracted and forced way.
By making you happier and more confident, and conveying that confidence to others
As a general rule, the more you go into different situations over the course of everyday life with a series of expectations and “goals” in mind, the more anxious and frustrated you will tend to be — especially because it’s quite likely that things will routinely not go your way, as you had envisioned or hoped.
By letting go of (or at least reducing) expectations, however, you are able to more easily notice, experience, and appreciate the good to be found in each moment — and you are likely to be significantly happier and more confident as a result.
If you were going on a date with someone, for example, with a desperate hope and expectation that they would become your partner, you will naturally be less confident and more worried about things not working out.
But if, on the other hand, you went on the date looking for nothing more than to experience the date, to have fun with it, and to see where things went, then you would likely be much more upbeat, confident and relaxed.
It should go without saying that being positive, confident and relaxed tend to be traits that people like and are drawn to in others.
By helping to improve your connection to your intuitions
A lot of being an authentic and interesting person has to do not with “planning things out in detail,” or having the right analytical thought processes in play, but instead with being in touch with the deeper and more intuitive parts of yourself.
When you’re having a good conversation with someone and are bouncing off each other really well, for example, it’s almost certainly going to be the case that you feel “in sync,” and that things just “flow” naturally.
At the same time, when you think of someone you know or have met who seems very authentic and interesting, they will almost certainly be someone who seems in touch with their intuitive side as opposed to just being someone who has a plan for every eventuality.