Monday, July 7, 2014

Let me teach you, young grasshopper

Because I love my husband and I respect his opinion of what I should be doing with this blog, I thought I would take another stab at doing a How-To post.

This is something that I am really good at and, lucky for all of you, it's something that can be done in a plethora of ways. I have tried to pinpoint my most successful techniques here in this post, but take heart in knowing that not all styles will work for everyone, and that if you are dedicated to practising and developing your own path, you can do anything.

That being said, here is my guide to How To Make People Uncomfortable.

Step one: Identify Accepted Social Norms.

This first step is crucial because it will change depending on what circumstance you find yourself in and who you are surrounded by.

Step two: Ignore Accepted Social Norms.

This is pretty much the entire process. However, don't let the shortness of this list of steps fool you. There is an endless number of things for you to consider.

Let's discuss the example of the "Personal Bubble." This is a social norm which is accepted widely by most Americans as well as a variety of other cultures. The social norm states simply that each person has a bubble, and that no one should invade it unless invited to. Now that we have identified the social norm, let's go about ignoring it.

The personal bubble can be breeched in an amazing amount of ways. First, you have the physical breaking of the bubble. Choosing what and where you invade the bubble should be carefully planned out. Do not limit yourself to lingering handshakes that really should have ended 30 seconds before they do, or even just hands on various areas of the body. You can also breech the bubble with feet, head, elbows, butt, breath, or tongue. Destruction of the personal bubble can be as simple as placing your hands on the shoulders of someone you have just met and breathing deeply through your nose while you stare into their soul by holding eye contact for the rest of the introduction period.
You also have the intensity of the breeching to consider. How hard or gentle do you cross this invisible boundary? Do not make the rookie mistake of assuming that the harder the touch the more uncomfortable. In fact, often just the opposite is found to be true. If someone greets you by vigorously rubbing your shoulders and talking loudly into your neck, you may suppose that they are a trained masseuse offering you their talents graciously for your benefit. Someone approaching you and touching you lightly with their fingertips in a stroking fashion doesn't offer up a logical explanation, especially not when coupled with breathy whispers about how soft your skin is and how good it would feel as a blanket.

Because this How-To is so simple, I have provided below a list of party tricks to next try when you're at a large gathering, preferably with complete strangers.

  • Engage someone in a lengthy conversation about your medical history. Include as many details as you can about everything on your body which has ever hurt, your latest bowel movement, and any surgery stories you may have. Bonus: ask them to investigate a suspicious looking mark/rash/mole/wart somewhere on your body. 
  • Sing loudly in an area where people are conversating. Do not allow any dirty looks or loudening of conversation to stop you, it's actually best if you pretend that you don't notice anyone at all. Let your inner star out, and dominate the room so that everyone must listen to and adore you. 
  • Laugh loudly to yourself while standing alone in an area.  
  • Ignore any sort of hints that it's time for you to leave. Strive to stay in people's company for as long as humanly possible.  
  • Make eye contact with as many people as you can while they are far away from you. Once in close proximity and conversation only stare at spots directly above or to the side of their head.
  • Attempt to go the entire evening only speaking in movie quotes. It is better if the movie is a really obscure one, and the quotes not particularly funny. Try looking at B-movie lists for a good reference.  
  • Ask very personal questions, but don't allow sufficient time for individuals to respond. 
  • Make as many potty humour references as you possibly can.
  • Take a moment to behave like an animal of your choice. 
  • Choose one catch-phrase of a slightly outdated pop-culture figure and stick to it as your go-to line for the rest of the party. Try things like, "I'm really happy for you, and Imma let you finish, but..." and other such douchery. 
  • Give everyone a nickname based on some element of their physical appearance. 
  • Declare frequently and passionately how lonely you are and how no one seems to want to talk to you. Deny anyone who attempts to tell you otherwise. 
I hope that I have inspired some of you on pursuits of social-outcast-ness. 

And now, a classic cartoon from fantabulous blogger Allie Brosh, author of Hyperbole and a Half. She titles it: How To Deal With Close Talkers. 

Note, not my work at all. Allie Brosh, folks, Allie Brosh. 

1 comment:

  1. Mommifer says: such a creative list. Thanks! For all the suggestions.