12 Ways to Turn People Off (How To Lose Friends and Irritate People)

February 17, 2006

With all the news of Egypt’s recent (and unsurprising) win of the African Cup, president Hosni Mubarak’s celebrated smooch, and all of the shenanigans that Coptic advocates are pulling this month, I have to say that I really have no interest in writing anything heavy (or newsworthy) today.

Hence this little gem with the oh-so-fun title.

Now, don’t hate—TOI is the one who came over to this page; you obviously feel the need to find out why you don’t have (m)any friends!

Fear not, I’m here to help.

I won’t tell anyone.

I won’t lord it over you later. (Actually, I might.)

Anyway, in my years of studying communication, psychology and just PEOPLE, I’ve come across a number of behaviors that (at times) made me want to take someone out, and I ain’t referring to a date.

Preferably the person who was propagating the offenses, but whatever.

Let’s start up before I get sidetracked.

Yep, these are the top 12 pathetic lines and behaviors that will get you dumped like nobody’s business.

1- “I don’t have anything better to do.”

This line is bad because people don’t want to have anything to do with a loser (if nothing else, it’s a total downer), but also because it makes them feel as though you think they are. (A loser, I mean. After all, why would you have so much free time unless no one in your zip code– or state– would waste an hour on you? Furthermore, who would/could you subject to your loserness BUT another loser?)

2- “I don’t know why I’m still single (or don’t have any friends).”
This goes back to the not wanting to hang out with losers thing. No one said you had to have 50 friends—-or even 5—-to not be a loser. But proclaiming the fact and wondering (very vocally, I might add) adds to your non appeal. In other words, it makes you look like a loser.

3- “I’m free anytime.”

Again-—you look as though you have no life, which will make the person leery of WHY you’re always free, rather than happy to get to hang out with you, or overjoyed to be doing the good deed that he is by hanging out with a charity case like you. Oh, did I say that out loud?

4- Going on about your life—-ad nauseum.
From your newest pimple to what you ate for breakfast to your recent conversion to Slovetsian Amishness; Everyone’s already heard. Even a stalker would lose interest! Mystery counts for something, in both friendships and relationships. Why do you think Jackie O sunglasses are still popular?

5- “I’ve been waiting for you.”
Whether online or outside your front door, this never fails to creep anyone out. Or should I say, anyone who’s NORMAL. Sure, it’s flattering to hear that someone’s life went still when you weren’t around. But if said life has no life, then it’s just plain creepy, and I recommend buying said waiter a Stabbing Westward CD and some confetti.

6- Being clingy.
Who wants to hang out with someone who’s just going to whine once you leave them? Or need a few hours of sleep?

7- Always answering on the first ring.
Do you really need an explanation as to why this is pathetic? While we’re on the subject, always being home isn’t the best way to play hard to get. And every good friendship requires some “hard-to-getness.” (Animals can smell desperation, by the way. So can most well-adjusted people.)

8- Always talking about the same 2 things.
This kind of plays into the whole # 4 thing, but it’s worse when you have a repertoire of 3 things that you won’t shut up about. Now, I know it’s tempting to bring up things you’re currently obsessed with—-your crush, your new exercise routine, even your job… I’m even (kinda) guilty of this—-for a month before and a month after my first book came out, I wouldn’t shut up about it. My friends, students and family all got regaled within an inch of their life. Hence this bit of advice. (for the record, my book’s REALLY—-oh, sorry.)

9- The Hit and Run.
Otherwise known as “Calling someone on the phone, blabbing for hours (or making the person on the other end THINK it’s been hours) and then hanging up before listening to their news.” Every conversation is a give and take, and it just gets boring if you constantly unload and don’t give them a chance to.

10- Not listening.
This ties in to #9. This is the people who are like robots, who have their pre-programmed conversations and don’t bend or react to what anyone says (like any good telemarketer). Like this..

**“Hey Joe! That’s a great tie you have on!”

“And then, they removed my toenail, and it was obvious that I’d need an avulsion.”

**“Did you see Britney in concert last week?”

“Well, I told them—charge me twice and I’ll see you in court. How could they do that, Sally? How could they just remove my toenail and ruin my entire foot and then charge my insurance twice?”

**“Joe.. There is an iguana on your head, and it’s doing the Rumba.”

“I tell you, it’s a cruel world when your insurance charges you twice…”

Yeah, Joe, we know. But it’s even crueler to pull a Stepford on your friends!

11- Being insulting.

Now, I know that you’ll probably feel the need, at some point in time, to inform someone of the fact that you KNOW they’re lying, or dumb as a board. But. That doesn’t mean you have to be, well, mean about it.

(Marginally) Acceptable: “That is such a lie!” or “That’s ridiculous!”

Unacceptable: “You liar!” and “You’re just stupid.”

In my opinion, those last (which attack the person and not the lie/harebrained scheme) are grounds for shunnage, or even the end of a friendship. The world is harsh enough, lads and lassies. We generally have enough abuse to deal with, and don’t need to be subjected to it from the people who are supposed to love (or at least care about) us. Right?

12- Never doing any wrong.
Yep, you know who you are. And for those of you who have no idea what I mean, I’m sure you will once you hear about the people who are good at everything, who never make a mistake, who can, for the most part, “do no wrong.”
For the record, these people usually do more wrong than everyone in the surrounding vicinity—-times seven—-but are either blind or insane. People do make mistakes. That’s part of being human. But only a freak lies to himself–and everyone around him–or makes a bigger issue of it than it really is. (But more on inferiority-induced superiority complexes later.)

*Anyway*… Hope you’ve learned a little something here, and even more so, that you put it into practice.

Then again, you were only reading this article out of curiosity. Right?


4 Responses to “12 Ways to Turn People Off (How To Lose Friends and Irritate People)”

  1. Caty Says:

    Well, good advice on the 12 ways of how to turn people off. Unfortunately, they really work….

    Regarding #11, I must admit, it happened to me. I just blurted things out histerically when I thought my friend didnt reply my sms. However, he explained to me later, he didnt got them cause he was travelling. After that I apologized at least 3 times, but no way of fixing it again.

    So I got my lesson.


  2. […] Other people are so obnoxious and pitiful in their everyday actions that they can cause themselves to be lonely and friendless without ever realizing why.  See if you can spot any of your own behaviors in Sally Bishai’s 12 Ways to Turn People Off. […]

  3. […] Other people are so obnoxious and pitiful in their everyday actions that they can cause themselves to be lonely and friendless without ever realizing why. See if you can spot any of your own behaviors in Sally Bishai’s 12 Ways to Turn People Off. […]

  4. F*ckU Says:

    What ever this is total B.S. and a sad attempt to have someone play along with this miserable society.

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