Homeschool Survival Guide: How To Deal With People You Don’t Like
by Andrew Jones
When I have uploaded this article to the Internet, I will be on the computer. When I am finished with this article and have moved on to do something more fun or engaging, I will be on the computer. Chances are, when you read this article, I will still be on the computer. I work, do school assignments and play on the computer or in a college classroom, and this has been the same for a few years.
Not to say I don’t get out a lot. I do. I love to hike, walk to coffee shops, hang out with friends occasionally and so on. But I don’t have as much experience hanging around with large groups of friends as many do, so the prospect of having to deal with people that make me shave my own teeth off atom by atom in everyday life is a horrifying one. Luckily, though, the increased exposure to Real Life from high school home school (and later, college), has taught me several methods of coping with annoying people.
Many people who are annoying are simply looking for attention. I recommend listening to them for half a minute and dropping subtle hints on where they could get more attention, like so:
Annoying person: “SO ANDREW ASK ME WHY DISCWORLD IS THE BEST ANIME EVER”
Me: “Well, uh-”
Annoying person: “DISCWORLD IS A LOVING AND HUMOROUS PARODY OF MANY CLICHES FOUND IN FANTASY NOVELS LIKE J.R.R.-”
Me: “Whoa, know what I just realized?”
Annoying person: “-TOLKIEN’S FAMOUS MANGA LORD OF THE FLIES WHICH IS WHY I THINK IT-”
Me: “I heard Katherine at the next table over loves ‘Disaku Warudo: The Anime’. She’s really embarrassed about it though, maybe you should help her out with that?”
I know I should feel bad about passing the hot potato to someone else like that, but there are no winners in Obnoxious Hot Potato. And it usually works. You just have to look for an outlet.
Close the door in their face
This one is an evil necessity. Let’s say Katherine told Annoying Person that she doesn’t actually like Disaku Warudo, and in fact told them that I had a great question about the series, passing the hot potato right back to me.
Annoying person: “SO ANYWAY AS I WAS SAYING DISCWORLD WAS AKIRA TORIYAMA’S MOST POORLY RECEIVED ANIME BECAUSE IT WAS OVERSHADOWED BY THE SIMILAR ‘END OF EVANGELION’-”
Me: “Wow, look at the time. Know what time it is?”
Annoying person: “-WHICH TOLD A POST APOCALYPTIC STORY ABOUT HOW DISCO IS REVIVED ON POST EARTH BY OUR ONLY PREDECESSORS, GIANT DISCO ROBOTS-”
Me: “It’s time for my daily cleansing routine. It involves ginseng salts and a cold shower. So it looks like I gotta go.”
Annoying person: “-BUT I THOUGHT THERE WERE MANY INACCURACIES IN THE AERODYNAMICS OF THE DISCO ROBOTS-”
Door on their face. Again, the key to dealing with people you don’t like is temporarily turning yourself into a bad person. I am positive this is a universal solution to dealing with anything you don’t like.
Non-chalantly watch the clock
Let’s be honest, you can only avoid the inevitable rage-induced spontaneous human combustion for so long. If you have to deal with Annoying Person every day, eventually the pot’s going to boil over and there will be no one there to watch it. That was a bad analogy. Anyway, the best thing to do is hope they grow uninterested in you. I recommend one-liners like so:
Annoying Person: “SO YOU DO AGREE THAT THE AERODYNAMICS OF THE MODEL SMITH WERE WAY OFF COMPARED TO REAL LIFE AND THE DIRECTOR OF THE ANIME SHOULD REALLY HAVE STUDIED UP-”
Me: “Okay.” (Don’t make eye contact here. Very important.)
Annoying Person: “ARE YOU EVEN PAYING ATTENTION HERE”
Annoying Person: “PAY ATTENTION TO ME WHY DOES EVERYONE HATE ME AHRGHGHGHRHBLE”
That might be a bad example because out of all the annoying people I’ve encountered so far, only two have disintegrated into salt upon realizing that no one loves them. The reasoning still stands.
I’m not discouraging you from trying to get along with certain people. Just know there will be some people where the effort required does not yield anywhere near the desired reward. While it may seem like a bad idea to be an anti-social jerk toward annoying people, I believe it’s a necessary evil.
However you do deal with them, though: don’t let them know you like Discworld.