This column is a reader submission from Happytoleavehere. To learn how to make a submission, click here.
I’m only a few years out of college now, but I can feel myself growing increasingly irritable and misanthropic. It’s something that happens regularly, I think, as we commit more and more of our lives to a job that we presumably don’t enjoy and have increasingly limited time to do as we please. My circle of friends has shrunk in circumference and it doesn’t bother me at all; most people are hard to be around. Perhaps it’s the exposure that social media has granted us or the homogenous nature of the corporate world that has made me think this way, but since when did originality vanish? Seriously, it seems like the majority of people have all become basic, knock-off versions of an already unappealing previous iteration, and I’m over it. Maybe I’m being too harsh and lumping myself into my final label below, but that’s how I feel. Regardless, I now present:
Things That Don’t Count as a Personality.
Quoting a Ton of Movies/TV Shows – Oh, really, Ron Burgundy said that? Very cool. Not. If you have to plagiarize a character in a movie that we’ve all seen already in order to be funny, then you’re not funny. And you’re not contributing anything to the conversation that we haven’t already experienced. I don’t care how into The Office you are, if I wanted to experience the nonstop hilarity that is that show, I’d just turn it on and watch the professionals do it, not have you pretend to be Michael Scott for me. Besides, do you really want to be the person that’s known for how obsessed you are with passively watching a screen? Be better.
Being Drunk All the Time – It’s fine, you like your beer and you appreciate a good time. I can respect it. But I don’t want to hear how hungover you are on a Wednesday morning, especially when you spent yesterday telling me how hungover you were on a Tuesday. It’s overdone. You could’ve had the most insane party on Friday night with the wildest stories, but I wasn’t there, and I don’t care. Don’t greet me at the function with an update on how hammered you are, I’m not here to measure your BAC.
Hating Your Job – You’re not unique, we all hate our jobs. That’s why we need to be paid in order to do them; it’s a mercenary-like exchange. I don’t even mind if you want to open the evening up with a quick rundown of how busy your day was with mindless tasks and difficult, incompetent people. I’m sure most of us can relate, and the angst will set the tone for a night of having fun and separating ourselves from the taste work has left in our mouths. But we can’t get to that point of separation if we’re an hour in and you’re still venting about the person who works across from you that we don’t know or care about.
The Eurotrip You Took After Graduation – I’m sure you have some awesome stories, sincerely. I don’t even mind hearing your tales of the sights you saw and the people you met. The clubs are really open ‘til the morning in Barcelona? Wow, that is crazy. You had one of the most unique and eye-opening periods of your life out there, and I’ll gladly hear you out when you return. But if it’s two years since the week you spent in Paris and you’re still posting “take me back” photos on Instagram and reminding me how late the Parisians eat dinner when I suggest grabbing a bite at six o’ clock, it’s time to move on. I don’t care if they eat dinner at ten o’ clock, I’m hungry and I have work in the morning.
Being a Super Harsh Critic – You don’t need to love everything; discernment is appreciated. But just hating everything that everyone else likes doesn’t add any value when you don’t have a proposed substitute. You hate the restaurant we always eat at? Fine, where do you want to go? You don’t think the movie that everyone and their mother adored? Okay, do you have an actual reason or do you just think that you’re edgy and unattainable by lacking any sort of appreciation for generally good things? Thinking that pizza doesn’t taste good or disliking music isn’t fascinating, it’s a contrived effort at being special when you have no real personality traits to make you stand out.
There it is, folks; don’t be this person.