Wednesday, July 21, 2010


In a recent conversation with a friend I mentioned that it was better to be annoying on purpose than annoying by accident. He laughed at me because he thought it didn’t make sense – how is it ok to be purposefully annoying?

I couldn’t articulate it at the time, but I think I have it now. If you are going to annoy somebody on purpose, you probably already have good rapport with the person – you know what pushes their buttons, so to speak. And when they’ve had enough, they can say “cut that out, it’s really annoying”. And you can say “I know ... sorry”, laugh about it, and you’re still friends.

But when somebody is annoying you and they don’t even know, what can you do? You could say, “please stop talking about yourself” or “please stop smelling so bad” or “don’t stand so close to me”. And they might say, “what? I don’t” because they don’t realise it – and you haven’t achieved anything. Or, maybe they would suddenly realise how annoying they are and be hurt and sad. And you would feel guilty and would have to walk on eggshells around them forever. Or they could reel off a long list of things that annoy them / everyone about you. It’s a minefield.

So my only logical solution is to annoy your friends and acquaintances, on purpose, on a regular basis. That way, they will be so relieved when you stop that they will fail to notice the things that are inherently annoying about you. A foolproof plan.

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