Column: Gus Bode’s top ten ways to stay antisocial

By Gus Bode, Staff Reporter

Look, plenty of us love going to bars and hanging out with our friends every weekend. But for others, especially some at the Daily Egyptian, we need a break from hell.

“Hell is other people.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

1. Have your headphones in

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There is no better way to get people to assume you’re busy than wearing headphones or earphones. It’s the 2010’s way of saying “I don’t want to talk to you,” except with that non-confrontational spin on it. Neat!

If someone tries to get your attention while you have headphones in, just don’t react. This way, they’ll just think you’re listening to loud music or you hate them. Either way, it’s a plus for you.

This is such a universal way to avoiding any social activity that you can actually just have the cable in your pocket, not even hooked up to a phone.

2. Agree to everything, commit to nothing

This is another clever non-confrontational approach. By seeming enthusiastic about whatever social event you’re invited to (i.e. bars, a movie, walking more than ten minutes to an apartment) but saying you have something this particular time, you can delay any event.

“Dang, I think I can’t this time. Maybe sometime next week!” 

3. Find a way to do everything from your room

If you can help it, try to avoid interaction altogether. This is the most effective blanket tool against socializing, like abstinence for avoiding herpes.

Find a few places that you enjoy delivery food from, and you can even avoid your roommates in the kitchen.

If you live in an apartment, make sure you have a door with a lock. Close it when you’re in the room, but also leave it closed when you leave the apartment- that way if your roommates don’t know you super well, they’ll feel awkward any time they knock on your door and text you instead.

4. If someone asks you about yourself, say “I dunno.”

This one takes a bit of acting skills. One way to get most people to think you’re not interested in anything they have to say is the powerful “I dunno.”

“So what do you do all day?” I dunno.

“Whatcha thinking about?” I dunno.

“Is that how you’re going to respond to all of these hypothetical questions?” Yes.

Immature? Probably. Effective? Definitely.

5. “I have homework.”

There’s no way to dispute this amount of B.S. because if the person inviting you to an impromptu hike called you out, just name off the classes you have.

“I have stuff for this Effects of Recreational Drugs class… no, sadly not a lab test.”

As long as you have a bunch of pages on your bed in a mess and/or disheveled hair, most people will believe you.

6. Read a book

Reading a book requires some people to focus in a peaceful environment for a long time, so many people will feel rude if they interrupt you reading.

Even if they do interrupt you, maintain eye focus on the book and raise your “one moment please” finger at them, whichever one that may be. If you keep them long enough, they’ll find that whatever they were going to invite you to probably isn’t your style.

7. Play video games, get mad at them frequently

Video games are a social Berlin wall for some people — if you play them, you’re in, and you’ll probably have a lot to talk about with others. If you don’t, it’s going to be hard to try and convince a gamer they should get some sunlight (and even harder to convince them to get moonlight.)

However, to get chatty people away from you while you’re playing, just get irrationally mad every time you make a mistake.

(Editor’s note: The time I got second in the Blackout beta was complete garbage though. Seriously terrible, broken game.)

Notice how only gaming readers got that? We’re onto something.

8. Have a food-service or retail job

If you work in food service all day, answering angry over-eaters in a drive-thru for a full shift, you have a direct escape from conversations when you get home.

“I’ve been on my feet all day, I just want to relax.” Works like a charm.

9. Don’t shower

This is an extreme choice, but if you really want people to stay away, desperate times call for desperate measures.

As a more mild approach, just make statements as if you don’t shower, like “shoot, I should’ve gotten stronger deodorant, this ‘Febreeze’ stuff doesn’t work at all for briefs.”

10. Be a generally unlikable person

I try using this one every time I make a top ten list with one of these reporters. Oddly enough, I got stuck writing this one alone.

Gus Bode cannot be found this week, but maybe you can reach him next week! (…[email protected])

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