Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bestie (05/22/14)
TITLE: The Misanthrope’s Practical Guide to Avoiding Close Friendships
By Diane M. Bowman
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<b>1. Avoid eye contact - </b>This is very important. Accidental eye contact with a stranger may be misinterpreted as an invite into your life. Stores and public transportation are places you may be particularly susceptible to advances of this nature. Always walk with your head down. Cell phones can be very helpful in dodging connections. Don't worry about who you would be interacting with on your phone. Simply acting as though you have an important message or call will sufficiently deter all communication.
<b>2. Never smile - </b>A smile more than any other expression or gesture tends to bring out the friendliness in people. Focusing on all the ways you have been hurt in the past will make it much easier to not smile even when you are having a good day.
<b>3. Fail to recall names - </b>Even if you do remember their name, be careful not to use it or reveal your knowledge. Using a person's name can make them feel they are important to you and cause them to expect increased associations in the future.
<b>4. Circumvent social functions -</b> Maintain a list of excuses why you cannot attend social functions. (Obviously fabricated reasons will be the most effective.) Events of this type tend to promote a feeling of camaraderie and can severely inhibit your ability to keep others at arm's length.
<b>5. Develop expert ignoring skills - </b>When an individual is speaking to you, don't interact to any greater extent than a emitting a grunt or two. This ought to be enough to let them know you heard them but are decidedly not interested in what they are saying. Never ask questions or repeat back to them what you think they are trying to convey. Beginning to understand another's point of view can break down your carefully constructed walls.
<b>6. Gossip - </b>Gossip can be used as a defense mechanism if someone manages to become too close to you. Criticize them to everyone you meet. Eventually, your words will return to them and you will no longer need to deal with the nuisance of their friendship. As a bonus, it will also repel everyone who heard their disparagement.
With a little imagination and effort, you will think of many more ways to evade any form of friendship.
I leave you with a warning - one faction will succeed in cracking the walls you worked so hard to establish and will build relationships with you in spite of your best efforts. Christians are nearly impossible to turn away from, wall out, and ignore. No matter how painfully you hurt them, they come back for more. In addition to their resilience, the joy radiating from their lives draws others with a strong force. Be extremely careful to not ever leave yourself vulnerable to one of them. All misanthropes who begin to believe in God fail to maintain their standard of hatred towards the general population. In fact, they often end up forming myriads of friendships and some even go to the extent of counting Jesus as their best friend. A self-respecting misanthropist must be extremely diligent to ensure he never suffers this ultimate disgrace.
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