You know, I find that most people are actually pretty easy to like. It’s easy, because I want to like everyone. I like to think of myself as extremely friendly. If there was one thing people say about me, my hope is it would be that… Actually, my hope is that they’d say I’m funny and incredibly intelligent, but closely after that I’d like them to think I was really nice. It’s such a waste of time and energy to hate or dislike someone, so you could say this writer is too lazy to be choosey about people. Every once in a while, though, I encounter a person who wants to make me work to think well of them… and that cuts in to my me time. If you make me have to work to like you, if you make anyone have to work to like you, you’re doing it wrong.
Everyone’s different, and everyone finds different things irritating, but the following 5 things are personality traits that are more or less deal breakers for me when it comes to wanting to be around someone. Maybe you’ll agree, or maybe you won’t… but at the very least, please tell me I’m funny and incredibly intelligent.
1. You’re rude.
You may think that this is common sense, but it’s not really. Maybe having a bad day can lead you to being short with any kind of service staff you come in to contact with, even if you’re usually a nice person… but, really, that’s not an excuse. Rudeness is rudeness no matter what day of the week it is, or how many texts your boyfriend got from Suzie. Also, if you look at it from the other side, the person you’re being rude to doesn’t know that you spend your weekends nursing sick baby dolphins back to health. All they know is that you are unusually angry that your latte wasn’t exactly 143 degrees, and had one crystal too much of sugar in it. Nope, they will dislike you with reckless abandon now, and you have no one to blame but yourself. Everyone has a bad time every so often, but not everyone chooses to take it out on the world, or especially on people who really can’t fight back. That’s just mean and kind of cowardly.
2. You’re a serious pedant.
Being educated is great, and you should be proud… but you shouldn’t be pretentious. No one other than you and your book club is really going to care that you spent your weekend reading War and Peace, or Les Miserables for fun. I had a roommate who loved to get in to weird pissing contests with his girlfriend over who knew more about obscure historic details. It was always under a thin guise of trying to have an interesting conversation, but usually just came off as two freshman college students talking about everything they just learned in the first session of their Introduction to Facts course. A freshman will assume they know everything now (because they have not yet learned the golden rule of “the more you know, the more you know you don’t know”), and assume everyone else knows nothing. Some people don’t needlessly lord their intelligence over others… and it’s probably because they’re too smart for that.
3. You complain too much (you’re negative).
You have to be a special kind of person to delight in Mondays, and yeah, traffic kind of sucks. The thing about it is, if something is bothering you, you can probably bet you’re not the first person it’s bothered. If you’ve studied psychology at any point in your college career (which, as it turns out, is most everyone), you’ve learned about something similar the Fourfold Table of Life, wherein people tend to have selective memory and perception in recalling instances in their life. It often leads to thinking stuff like “I always end up choosing the slow line in the bank”, or “crazy people always come out during full moons.” It’s easy to remember when crappy things happen as it’s more significant to you than when they don’t. This is relatively normal… But when a person convinces themselves that bad things constantly happen to them and only them, and that they somehow have it worse than everyone else, they become very difficult to be around.
At any given moment, if pressed, I’m sure everyone could count things not going right for them off on their fingers, but they probably weren’t forcing you to listen to them hate their lives. Voicing concerns, looking for support, and needing to vent are all perfectly acceptable, and everyone needs to do it sometimes. If you’re the kind of person who adopts a “poor me!” kind of attitude, however, you suck the life out of everyone around you. Not everyone deserves to be miserable just because you are, and you’re going to earn yourself the reputation of being an emotional tyrant: No one gets to be happy if you’re not.
4. You’re dramatic.
This one really needs to stop, guys. You know something’s irritating when even a 16-year-old boy thinks it’s immature. For some reason, there are those who like to make a show of their problems. Everything is made to seem like a much bigger deal than it actually is, and eventually everyone involved is exhausted. We all have someone in our lives who can’t enjoy themselves unless everything is revolving around them. Let’s not mince words here, friends. If you’re one of these people, please rest assured that people think you are nuts. They think this, because you probably are… or at the very least, you seriously come off that way. If you’re passed a certain age, there’s no excuse for drama. It’s manipulative, and it’s childish.
As a personal aside: PMS is not an excuse to be a terrible human being.
5. You’re kind of a fun killer.
If fun was painful, the “fun killer” would be called Tylenol.
One night, some friends of mine and I headed out for some good old-fashioned drunken karaoke. I decided to invite a coworker to come along with us. Now, karaoke isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Making an ass of yourself in front of strangers is kind of an acquired taste. I made it very clear to her what kind of people we were and that we were going to be getting in to it. She still agreed to go. Unfortunately, from the moment she sat down in the car and realized the level of eccentric she was dealing with, she made it relatively clear that she was not going to be having fun that night. What’s more is that she wasn’t even going to bother trying.
The whole night, no matter what anyone did or said, she just sat there with her head in the palm of her hands. We danced, we sang, we laughed… and she refused to have any of it. To this moment, I have no clue what was going through her head or why she took it upon herself to go on a Crusade for Fun Killers United, but she all but sucked the energy out of the table.
The honest truth, though, is that the girl is very sweet and pretty easy to be around. So, I think the lesson we can learn from this is that even if you’re a relatively cool person, you can come off as a Fun Hater 2000. Which will make it hard for people to like you. No one wants to be around you if you’re going to make it hobby to be bored. So, you know, knock it off.
Of course… there are probably exceptions to all that. I’m pretty sure if you suddenly pulled the plug on all the electricity everywhere, and the world was suddenly plunged in to darkness, people would probably cut you some slack if you were stressed out and unhappy for the rest of your life. Of course, everyone would probably hate you anyway, so I suppose it wouldn’t make a difference to you one way or the other.
I think, at the very least, we can all be glad that there isn’t a Great Big Plug to Everything. Until there is, try to make it hard for people to dislike you, and be cool, Ringo.