Satire: How to “just get along”


Illustration by Sarah Hofstedt

Sarah Hofstedt

For the most part, you’re a nice person, right? You hold doors open, you don’t cut in line and you smile awkwardly when you make eye contact with strangers. But sometimes, certain personalities can test the patience of even the thickest, syrupy sweetest people. We all have at least one person that we dread interacting with in any capacity.

Do not worry, my brave colleagues. Here are some ways to tolerate even the most intolerable ding-dongs of society.

Fake it.

I know, I know. You hate this person. You can’t stand the grating sound of their voice or the malevolent scent of their lotion. However, if you can just fake being nice to them for the first 20 minutes of being in their ugly presence, you’ll hopefully power through the initial nausea associated with talking to them. Then, you can finish your side quest and go home to release all of the pent-up rage you earned talking to that person by crying into your pillow.

Eye on the finish line.

Remember why you have to talk to this person. Are they your boss? A group project member? You cannot allow one or seven unpleasant encounters sully your chance at success. If you can’t think of a good reason to interact with this person, then it is your right as a human to walk off in the middle of one of their sentences and never return.

Pretend they are someone else.

If all else fails, just pretend they’re someone cool and fun, like Jeff Goldblum, or the Easter bunny. Then, every annoying thing they say or do will be re-framed as quirky or deep or whatever. This works especially well if you have a strong visual imagination; then you can imagine that they’re really attractive. By consistently pretending that they’re likable, you may even trick yourself into actually liking them. Then you won’t have to worry about all this.