How to be a Mess: how to avoid friends while keeping them
You love your friends, they’re precious to you, you’d be devastated if for any reason they left you. However, you’re a lazy jerk who doesn’t want to have to participate in friendship things, I get it. So I’m going to teach you how to nurture your lazy side, while managing a friendship circle comprised of people way more proactive and caring than you.
Step 1 — Understand your duties in the friendship circle
This wont be hard to figure out, everyone has certain duties in a social group, and your friends will most likely expect the least from you as your laziness will have seeped into your interactions. So what you need to do is trawl through your friendship group’s social media and figure out what amount of verbal, written, physical and meme contact everyone else is doing, your duty will be a step below that. It’s important to know what is expected of you currently, so that you can start aiming higher and building trust and affection
Exercise for step 1 — Do slightly better than mediocre
There will be a central figure in your friendship group doing a middle-amount of friendship activity. They’ll be respected and liked, but not quite a leading figure. Study their online interactions with the rest of the group, counting on average how many compliments, memes and unasked for reciprocating comments they make. Make your goal to get one compliment, comment and meme above this person. If anyone comments on your sudden communication high, simply state ‘I’m in such a better place than I was, thanks to you guys.’
Step 2 — Faking enthusiasm
One of your friends has organised an activity for the group, and you don’t want to go. But be sure to not show your hesitation right away! Gasp with delight, talk about fine details you’re looking forward to (e.g. ‘Oh my god I hope Gwen brings her mini quiches!’). Keep this level of enthusiasm as high as you can until mere hours before the activity. Then, devastation! Your sister that no one talks to called, she needs to talk. Or, you feel like you have a fever and don’t want to spread it round. Make sure you don’t immediately crush the enthusiasm you had (e.g. ‘Maybe [sister’s name] can wait until tomorrow? But… she did sound pretty upset…’ or ‘Maybe it wont spread? Maybe its from an infection, not a virus… but I did go near someone with glandular fever the other day…’). Now what’s needed is just a show of crushed devastation and a half-hearted wish for everyone to enjoy themselves without you.
Exercise for step 2 — Practise looking devastated
To look truly disappointed about something you’re actually quite happy about, you’re going to need practise! You need to practise on people who are not involved with your friends but are tied to you by blood so they can’t leave you for being disingenuous… family! Family are the best practise subjects, their expectations of you are already low, so your failed attempts wont matter at all. For inspiration try mimic your family’s devastated and disappointed faces in real time as they express these emotions about you.
Step 3 — Sounding one way while physically acting another
Because your friends on their outing will feel bad for you, because they’re naturally better people than you, they might call you to tell you that you’re missed. In this common scenario, you’ll have to have your wits about you. You know that you’re all blissed out on snacks and Netflix specials, but they can never know! You must give the impression of wistfully staring out the window in disappointment. Be prepared, don’t stockpile treats at your home like you expect to need them, be sure to comment on the phone that it’s so boring at home, and you so wish you at least had some good food.
Exercise for step 3 — Hide your pre-planning
Find places in your home where it would be socially awkward for people to go snooping. Hide your snacks there! If they are discovered just throw a ‘What were you doing looking in there anyway’ out, and watch suspicion turn to embarrassment.
Step 4 — Make up for missing the bonding session
No matter how well you pulled off getting out of an activity with the group, you missed out on essential bonding that everyone else got to contribute to. This is a long term disaster for any hermit, but luckily there is a solution. Mollify your friends by excitedly suggestion a significant outing (like a gallery exhibition) that will take place months away, giving you time to get the energy you need to either go, or back out again. Follow this grand gesture up with touching memes sent to each friend specific to something in their current lives, showing you really do know them. If you don’t actually know them, just look at what they’re upvoting on social media! Easy!
Exercise for step 4 — Prepared grovelling
For quick-fire friend mollifying, keep secret folders of memes ready for every friend. As you’re browsing through social media, keep an eye out for your collections! Remember, quick grovelling doesn’t look like grovelling. Slow response grovelling looks sad.
Step 5 — Hiding from the psychological repercussions
You know, just by following this tutorial, that you’re a scumbag. Being aware of how much of a scumbag you are is bad to dwell on, because we both know you’re not going to fix it, so what’s the point? Splash out and treat yourself to a few bottle of mid-range red wine. Block out the moral turmoil, or have a big cry that you’ll forget about the next day.
Exercise for step 5 — Self justification
Look up a bunch of introversion memes while drunk and tell yourself repeatedly that this is why you’ve just lied to all of your friends persistently so you can eat chips alone. Heck, why not print one out and stick it above your bed! If you ever get called out for being a jerk, just point to it and cry about introverts being discriminated against.
Congratulations! You still have friends with minimal effort and a questionable moral compass!
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