How to Lose Friends and Alienate People: A Beginner’s Guide to Forever Alone, Part 3

First things first, when I hear “lost and found” I think about an ancient Soft Cell song (“You were a sleep around, A lost and found, And not for me I fear”).

So in the last part of this handy guide you learned how to lose your friends, possibly forever. But there is always the possibility of finding new friends! Isn’t that a terrifying thought? Unfortunately, even in the days of the internet we as humans are still sometimes forced to leave the house and that gives room to meeting other people. To make sure you do not become entrapped in any kind of social relationship ever again (outside of the minimum interaction required for paid work; you might want to consult a self help book about making money on the internet) today’s instructions are all about nipping any form of entanglement in the bud. Shall we begin? We shall!

#1 Bitch Face to the Rescue!

This will be really easy for those of you who are blessed by nature with Resting Bitch Face Syndrome. Everyone else who looks like a happy, approachable person will just have to learn quickly. Consider your bitchy faced brother and sisters in arms. What do you notice? The corners of their mouths are drawn downward in a perpetual mini frown. Their brows may be knitted. Their eyes are only half open, not permitting a decent glimpse at their true mood. For practice, think about all those people who used to be your friends. Your face should scrunch up into a perfect bitch face at the thought.

Now that you know how to do it, use it! Don’t leave the house without the bitch face on and only take it off at home. But! and this is crucial: more and more people are aware of the Resting Bitch Face condition and might approach you still. Do not automatically launch into a smile. A lot of people look perfectly bitchy until you start talking to them and then they’re all smiles and friendliness. Don’t do that! No smile, no multi-syllabic answers, not outward sign of interest in conversation even if you’re in the middle of one. Let them know the bitch is strong in this one!

#2 Build a Wall

Not literally, although if you can carry a bag of bricks everywhere, why not.

Put a metaphorical wall between you and your opponents victims potential new acquaintances. The most obvious choice is the headphones. Always have them in or on your ears, even if you’re not listening to music. If someone tries to strike up meaningless chit-chat you can’t hear them. Or at least pretend you don’t hear them

To reinforce the power of the headphones, carry a book, e-book reader or tablet with you at any and all times. A phone will do in a pinch. Keep your eyes glued to page or screen and ignore the muttering humans around you. This will send a very clear message that you are not available for any form of contact. You’re busy.

Combining the headphones and the book method will give you double security. I would not advise you to be extraordinarily blunt by carrying a big sign saying “Don’t talk to me!” or similar, as it invites comment and is a definite conversation starter. The aim of this strategy is to render yourself as invisible as humanly possible.

#3 Rude Awakening

As is the way of the world, sometimes people are just immune to subtlety. Hints like the bitch face and the barriers are easily ignored. Should this happen, you don’t have much of an option: You have to exterminate the conversation as quickly as possible.

Start with non-verbal clues, like looking up from your book with a stern look on your face (bitch face intensifies!) and immediately going back to reading. Should the person talking to you (or rather at you) make a mistaken assumption that you are just shy and need to be dragged out of your shell kicking and screaming, you can either continue the stern look until the message enters their thick skull, or you can be blunt about it with a swift and calm “I don’t want to talk to you.”

Of course there is always that one type of person, the ones that suffer from humour and who will offer a comeback a la “But you just talked to me! Lol!” Don’t laugh. Don’t even roll your eyes. Continue the stern look, repeat your statement and go back to your reading or screen watching or whatever. If they are being very persistent, alternate with “Leave me alone” and “Go away”. Should all your efforts be for nought, you have no choice but to defend your right to solitude. Slightly raise your voice as you say something like “I have asked you three times I do not want to talk. Stop being so persistent and leave me alone.” At first of course they will be shocked and they will probably have the nerve to tell you to calm down. Disregard this notion. If they leave, you have won. If they don’t, it’s time to bring out the big guns, aka, make a scene. Yell at them, insult their relatives, threaten to rip out their throat with your teeth (something suitably ridiculous so that no one would consider you to constitute a real threat and sue you for intimidation). Be as rude as you legally can until your opponent gives up. If they don’t, well, I’m sorry. You’ll have to run away.

#4 Forsake the Real Life

Let the internet accept you as one of its own. Get a job that can be done from home with only the occasional e-mail as contact. Handle your bank affairs online. Have your groceries delivered. Discover the joy that is online shopping! Say goodbye to the garish light of the sun and hello to your softly illuminated computer screen. You will never have to venture out of your Fortress of Blissful Solitude. If you absolutely want to reach out to humanity on odd occasions, try social media or skype (be careful with the camera angle though, you don’t want anyone to know that you’re sitting at your desk in your underpants or not even that). Welcome your new life as an internet hermit!

 

I hope you enjoyed this handy guide to complete solitude. If you have any questions, ask the internet, not me. Bye!

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