Confession time––you know that irksome, mildly neurotic (and always referencing the fact that yes, they’re mildly neurotic), thinks-it’s-cute-but-it-really-isn’t friend that we all seem to have at one time or another? Well…that’s me.
I send way too many text messages, have a penchant for being incredibly loud, self-flagellating, and yeah, I’m that asshole who thinks that they’ve got a knack for un-subtle comedy.
Sound familiar? Because that might be you, too. Have you been noticing that your social invitations are dwindling? That your close buds seem to be keeping you at arm’s length? That you’re even starting to get tired of your own shtick?
If you have answered yes to at least one of these questions, you may just be an “annoying friend”.
“Annoying” friends come in all shapes and sizes. It could be the drama queen who always needs someone to fix her crises, the compulsive over sharer, an overbearing know it all, or just a flake. For those of you who are quick to identify the people in your life as “annoying”––keep in mind that for the most part, us social irritators don’t mean any harm, it’s just the way we’re wired. But still, don’t give us a free pass for our behavior if it’s compromising your happiness in any way.
That being said, I’m not here to tell you how to deal with your guileless pal.
There are so many self help guides written for people who wish to get rid of their “toxic” friends, or their “annoying” friends, but when it comes to being the annoying friend––having the entire internet (and not just your friends list) dread your presence can get pretty alienating. Here’s what you can do if you’re starting to feel the sting of social isolation.
1. Practice radical self-awareness. Some people are born so cripplingly self aware that they don’t need to practice this first step––they need to find a good therapist; however, if you’ve been accused of being careless, or thoughtless on numerous occasions, it might be a good idea to develop some self-concept. If you don’t already keep a diary, start doing that. In some entries, try writing your day from the perspective of one of your friends, your significant other, your siblings or parents. You’ll quickly learn what habits you need to break, and where you can improve.
2. Discern whether it’s really you, or just them. Everyone has a limit to what they can tolerate from others. You may have unfortunately hit that person’s limit. If it’s a group of people that you’re on the outs with, that may be a sign that it’s time to make some changes, or maybe find some new friends who appreciate your idiosyncrasies as they are.
3. Ask a friend. Sometimes just asking straight up for an opinion works wonders.
4. Think before you share. Some people may find the inner workings of your bowel movements to be utterly fascinating. These people are called gastroenterologists. Your best friend doesn’t need to know that you’ve been incapable of taking a shit for the past four days. So put the iPhone down.
5. Stop with the self-involvement, already. Well, I mean, not entirely––because who else will indulge you? But, if you’re finding that your friendship revolves solely around you––it’s time that you started putting in a little extra effort with your pal.
6. Spend some time with yourself. Especially if you’re sad, or upset about something. Rather than verbally vomiting, try making a hospitable place for yourself inside of your thoughts. Try sitting still with them for a day or two before putting them out on full blast for everyone to hear.
7. Get a hobby. You may make some new friends, and it gives you something else to do.
8. Change what you can change, accept what you can’t. After all, you don’t need to become a whole new person––just someone who’s aware of how their actions impact others.
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