The Ways We Try to Make Ourselves Memorable Often Miss the Mark.

We think doing these things makes us unique and way cool. Not so much.

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image by Rupert Britton from Unsplash.com

How cool I am, all the noteworthy things I’ve done and achieved as of late, my opinions and feelings, me, me, me, that this makes us interesting to others. That they want to hear all of it, and that they will then find us impressive and interesting because of it.

Not so much. Instead, acting in such a way will cause most others to eventually find us self-centered and boring.

While it is true that within each of us, we all have interesting and worthy treasures (aka, stories, experiences, and insights) to share with other people, there is also such a thing as being too self-oriented and having too little interest in the other human beings in your life.

This type of behavior will cause others to feel alienated and put-off by you. Asking the obligatory “so how are you?” isn’t enough. People can sense when you aren’t truly interested and are just asking to be polite.

Selfishness isn’t memorable. It’s all to commonplace.

So decide to be interested. This will set you apart from the masses almost immediately since few people today have a genuine, deep, sustained interest in others.

They painstakingly set the stage for contrived selfies and other pictures that will show everyone the enviable, way cool life they are living. They eagerly await responses (“likes” and ultimately, outer validation). They post cutesie, silly selfies on Snapchat, and updates of the photo-worthy meals they are making, and how “hot” they looked in that new pair of shorts. They scroll, scroll, scroll through other people’s same social media self-branding ventures, wasting oodles of time on scrolling and staring.

This is how far too many people spend many of their waking hours today. It’s such a waste of brainpower and time. It’s a time drain and does not contribute anything meaningful to the world, nor does it improve your life in any tangible way.

Be different (and thus, more interesting) from the device addicted masses, the social media selfie snappers. Do other things with your life. Real, legit things that have worth and add meaning and joy to the lives of others. Forget the shallow, silly, fake, self-image stuff. What will you have to show for all the hours spent doing that? Sadly, nothing.

Yawn. Eye-roll. Far from this making someone memorable and unique, its simply joining the masses. Scantily clad selfies are like leaves on trees during summertime. Everywhere you look. Thus, there is nothing surprising, special, impressive, or memorable about it.

Sure, a hot selfie might result in someone finding you sexually appealing. It isn’t memorable though, beyond that person wanting you briefly in the way one might want an ice cream cone or another object.

Selfies do not humanize us. Instead, they make us into objects to be judged.

Selfies in general, scantily clad or not, also carry the silent message: look at me, notice me, acknowledge me, think how I look or what I am doing is impressive. There is a sad sense of desperation to this behavior.

Thus, be one of the rare few who do not waste their time on such ultimately empty, attention-hungry, self-involved pursuits. Do things that, instead, add to the lives of others. That adds warmth, inspiration, joy, or other legit things to people’s lives. Why not read a book and actually learn something, which over the big picture, can improve your life and relationships? Cultivate an interesting, engaging passion, hobby, or begin a personal project that excites you. Pretty much anything else will make you infinitely more interesting than throwing yet another selfie out into the sea of millions of the same.

This can be anything, from wearing whatever is trendy right now, to reading all the books everyone else is reading, to agreeing readily with the viewpoints and opinions of your friends, to drinking alcohol just because everyone else is, to going along with illogical or even harmful expectations of our society.

Most people do this. Most people just go along with the crowd.

It is the rare ones who venture off the main path and have the confidence to challenge these things and look at alternate directions and ideas. It is the unique ones (and thus, the memorable ones) who will more closely examine and question the behavior of others and the constructs of our society.

These are all exterior, external, surface things. To be truly memorable and to attract those who are something deeper, cultivate and work on the person you are on the inside. America seems to have forgotten about this, amidst our hot and heavy pursuit of SUVs and double Ds. Instead, America is a place obsessed with the outside. How we look and how “hot” we are. Our status and popularity. Look at everything I have. Look at all the money I earn. Look at how impressive I am because of it.

We seem to have forgotten about the cultivation of inner character. You know, your inner soul and heart? Who are you on the inside? Such as, are you honest? Are you humble or arrogant? Are you kind or are you dismissive and hard? Are you generous or stingy? Are you are a great listener or are you not especially interested in the lives of others? Cultivating the creating of a great inner character will make you rare and memorable.

Too much effort. I’ll just scroll through Instagram and Twitter to get my news and do a bit of reading that way. Maybe skim through the occasional Buzzfeed article too.

Many people today do not pursue wisdom and knowledge once they’ve finished official schooling. Many people also think they already know it all. They look around them, and they know what the deal is.

Guess what? None of us do.

What each of us actually knows is almost nothing, when compared with all the possible knowledge of the world out there. No matter how much you read, you still know very little.

One can merely hope, over the course of a lifetime spent learning and pursuing wisdom, to become slightly smarter and wiser along the way. Even still, what you don’t know will be immense. Yet, doing this will improve your inner and outer life significantly.

The pursuit of wisdom, reading, and continued purposeful learning have all become rarer nowadays, especially in America. Do this to both, be more memorable, to improve your life, and to have a far richer emotional and intellectual experience while being alive.

This has become, quite sadly, a predominant attitude of many Americans. We’ve grown almost…combative, defensive, angry, and ready to rumble with anyone who might speak out in challenge of a way we might be acting.

A neighbor doesn’t like my music and asks me to turn it down? F*ck them. I’m taking up too much room on the public bus or train? Too bad. Wear a mask to present the spread of a virus to other human beings? That’s restricting MY freedom (me, me, me), so no way. The needs of others? What are those? My needs and what I want is most important. I live for me.

While this type of thinking and behavior has become commonplace and thus, accepted, and sometimes even (disgustingly so), celebrated, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s icky, repellent, awful behavior. It also doesn’t change the fact that, when we think and act in such ways, we become a more cruel society, as well as unhappy and unhealthy individuals. This thinking and behavior merely aids in the fracturing of a society. It doesn’t bring people together. Instead, it does much the opposite.

In order to be both memorable personally, as well as to help with the creating of a hospitable, healthy, happy, and good society, we must care about the thoughts, feelings, and needs of our fellow man and woman.

We must listen closely and respect one another.

We must care about the ways in which our actions affect each other.

You do you and I will do me? That doesn’t cut it. This is, instead, an incredibly arrogant, dismissive way of regarding one another. It also doesn’t work. Why? Because the ways you behave do affect me, and because the ways I behave also affect you. They aren’t separate, try as we might to make it so.

To become a more memorable, as well as a far better human being overall, cultivate the behaviors of tuning into, listening, and truly caring for others. Don’t pretend to do so, because your actions will reflect your sincerity or not. Take the effort and time to do it for real. Be more modest and less arrogant. Less desperate and seeking validation from false, outer, media sources, and focus more on the health and development of your inner self, without needing others to affirm how hot or impressive you are. Ditch the junk values of physical appearance, money, popularity, “likes”, and status, and tune in to the ones that truly make us happy (emotionally close connections with others, learning and the pursuit of wisdom, respect and kindness toward others, getting in touch with your own self mentally and emotionally, taking a walk outside, things like this).

Bonus. One major way to become quite memorable to others is this.

So few people today do this. Many people pretend to listen. They are distracted. They feign interest. They ask obligatory questions…all while reaching for their phones to “just check this one thing, sorry” as you are mid-sentence. Or, while they space out and think of other things as you talk. These behaviors are the norm, so we readily accept them, even though they are rude and result in worse relationships. So few people today really listen or have a genuine depth of interest in others. Too many of us are rude to other people via the use of our devices. This is one way, and it isn’t easy, but it is worth it, to quickly become incredibly memorable. Put away your damn cell phone, focus fully on the person in front of you, actually listen, show interest in the lives and experiences of others, and be where you are, fully.

Written by

Fervent writer. Ravenous reader. Impassioned with words. Relationship researcher. Social Scientist. Social Justice Advocate. Author. www.brookeenglish.com

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