On People, Hating Them

I was just looking up pictures to add to my introvert post, and I kept running across this type of sentiment:

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Frankly, I’m a little offended. Why can’t I have both? Stop trying to put me in a box.

The Unwritten Rules

[now in Written form, for your convenience]

This is a list which is long overdue. It will be added to approximately whenever I think of a new thing. Also feel free to send in a comment if you have a rule to add to the list!

 

Unwritten Rules, The:

  • ALWAYS notice AND comment on someone’s haircut
    • even if their hair looks exactly the same as it always does, and you never look at other people anyway
  • When someone asks “How are you?” it is acceptable to respond with one of the following:
    • good
    • fine
    • ok
    • not bad
    • hey! how are you?
  • It is NOT acceptable to respond with
    • terrible
    • who the hell are you?
    • can’t you tell, dumbo?
    • I am currently experiencing an emotional crisis
    • ogga-booga-booga

note: thankfully, this norm is breaking the in Pacific Northwest. I now consistently tell people that I’m doing terribly, and have been met with some very positive responses.

  • Do NOT tell someone you’ve never met that they are damaging their child for life, even if they are damaging their child for life
  • Do not play the guitar after 10:15pm, the Saxophone after 11:30pm, or the drums after 1:30am
  • If you are in a boring meeting, it is unacceptable to throw paper clips into the air as a distraction and escape out the window.
    • It is appropriate, however, to fall asleep at the table, but ONLY IF you bring your own blanket and pillow.
  • Do not roll around on the sidewalk in front of your house or eat grass to see what it tastes like
    • And why not, exactly?? There’s no good reason.

Strategies for the Introvert

New:

  • If it’s sunny out, hold your hand up to shade your eyes. An amazing way to avoid looking at someone, even if you are mere FEET FROM THEM!!!
    • note: this one is severely unhelpful if the sun is behind you. There is nothing I can do about that.

***

Ways to Avoid Passing People on the Street:

  • Walk a dog [if you do not have one of your own, steal one] Then, when you spot someone coming towards you, look worried, shake your head, and cross the street whilst keeping the dog close on the leash.
    • note: this tactic works best if the other person has a dog with them, but can be used in almost any situation if done properly
  • When you first notice someone approaching…
    • If your phone is easily accessible, either “answer a call” or “look at a text”, whichever best suits your personality. Begin under-the-breath mumbling and head shaking as needed, glance around as if you are lost, look back at your phone, look around once more, and cross the street as if you now know where you’re going.
    • If you do not have your phone, you can either
      • Act like you forgot something
      • Act like you accidentally passed your destination and suddenly realized it is on the other side of the street
      • Act like you see the person you’re meeting up with (ha! as if!)

 

Please use caution when applying these methods. A minuscule amount of acting ability is required, or at least the ability to convince yourself the person you’re avoiding doesn’t see EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE UP TO.

You must also develop the skill of quick-situation-judgment-preparedness, and timing. For example, if you’re going to pretend you saw someone you know, make sure there actually is a person there. Personally, I would never use this method unless there were several people and they were far enough away that I had ambiguity on my side.

If acting like you’ve only NOW discovered where you’re going, head towards a place which is CLOSE ENOUGH TO SEE yet FAR ENOUGH AWAY that the person you are avoiding will have passed (and then some) by the time you reach it. Entering a strange building will almost certainly lead to more PEOPLE, and this is the opposite of what we want.

If crossing to avoid someone, make sure you are not crossing to your doom (i.e. ANOTHER PERSON) on the other side. Especially not a mother with a stroller, as they are notoriously hard to pass.

Pro tips:

[also included: common pitfalls and how to avoid them]

  • Gage how friendly your passer is from a distance. If they are clearly avoiding looking at you, and/or on their phone for the count of at least “three-mississippi” without looking up, chances are they will NOT smile at you or say hello, and it is safe to pass.
  • Dogs are difficult: sometimes if someone with a dog is heading towards you, THEY will cross the street or turn to avoid you. This is excellent.
    • But be warned: their dog may be friendly or THEY may be friendly, and use the dog as a means to start a friendly conversation. This is to be avoided at all costs.
  • Learn to look FAR AHEAD. If you see someone on your side of the street as you are rounding the corner, you can manage to cross AT the corner and make it look as if you were planning to go that way all along.
  • Use your immediate environment: if there is a lake across the street, go and gaze at it, if there are blackberries, go and pick some, if there is a street band playing, WALK AWAY IMMEDIATELY, as there will almost certainly be a crowd gathered, bobbing their heads gently in time to the rhythm.
  • Looking sad and/or pretending to cry will also give you a handy excuse to change direction or cross the street.
    • CAUTION: If not executed properly, this can lead to the worst question in existence: R  U  O  K?
    • If this happens, gasp dramatically (as if you are too sad to talk), shake your head, and walk away quickly

What is the Meaning of Life?

Step 1 – worry about the meaning of life

Step 2 – I forget

Step 3 – realize that time spent worrying about the meaning of life distracts from life itself

Step 4 – worry about that for a while

Step 5 – decide once and for all to focus on what really matters

Step 6 – worry about how soon you’ll slip back into your old patterns of worry

Step 7 – slip back into your old patterns of worry

Step 8 – on your deathbed, old and grizzled, realize you totally wasted your life searching for meaning.

 

I knew it.

Ever more people today have the means to live,
but no meaning to live for.

— Viktor Frankl

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Ah, well…

Nothing a cup of tea can’t fix.

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