I want to write a book someday, and I think I’ve landed on a title and some of the chapters.
The Ultimate Guide to Not Sucking at Human Interactions: An introvert’s obscure advice for succeeding socially
Introduction and disclaimer
Go ahead and lower all of your expectations for this book. I am a painfully shy introvert, and I do not have any wisdom to impart on the subject of human interactions. People scare me, and I do not have any good coping mechanisms for dealing with my own awkwardness.
I simply want to make people laugh with some stories about my own awkwardness, and some hypotheticals I wish could be true.
Also, this book is made up of lists, and most of the lists from chapter to chapter contradict one another (you’re welcome).
I hope you lowered your expectations at the beginning of this section like I asked you to.
Now lower them again.
And one more time.
Now you may proceed.
Part 1: Avoiding all human interactions any way you can, often resorting to desperate, life-threatening measures
Chapter 1: What to do if you tragically make eye-contact with someone you don’t know
I don’t always make eye-contact, but when I do, I avert my eyes.
Eye-contact is the bane of my existence. I struggle with it even when interacting with people I know. Eye-contact makes my heart-rate skyrocket. It makes my palms sweaty. My mouth gets dry. My breathing becomes shallow.
There’s a lot less suffering involved when I make eye-contact with a stranger: I immediately faint, and I experience retrograde amnesia. Thus, I cannot tell you exactly how many times it’s happened.
Have you ever watched videos of the fainting goats? That’s me around strangers.
Since my response to eye-contact is passing out, I do not have any advice for what to do after it occurs, but I do have some ways to avoid it.
Ways to avoid eye-contact with strangers: A list
- Do not, under any circumstances, go out in public. Also, avoid getting pizza delivered to your house.
- If you must leave the house, wear sunglasses at all times. Even at night. And especially inside.
- Pretend like everyone is Medusa.
- Use a tiny mirror to temporarily blind people when you walk up to them during the day. That way, you can talk to them while they have their eyes otherwise occupied.
- Emulate accountants and actuaries and get really good at talking to people’s shoes.
Chapter 2: How to regain your awkward identity after a successful social outing
Successful Social Outings (SSOs for short) are not the end of the world, but you cannot let them get to your head, and you need failproof ways to recover your identity as a person who is socially awkward.
One surefire way of doing this is to make a trek to your local grocery store (preferably not Walmart because it’s already full of weird people and you won’t stand out at all). The point of your journey is to garner a bunch of unwanted attention for something socially faux pas.
You do not even have to buy anything to do this. Bonus points if you interact with a cashier (not that there are actually points, but you know what I mean).
My go-to method is to walk around talking in a British accent. Not only that, I act as if I am the Queen of England (an actual person, shocking I know). I talk to strangers as if they are my subjects.
The key to this is to be completely sincere. This may require practicing your British accent in your spare time (this should not be a problem because you do not get out of the house much).
More methods for salvaging your awkward title: A list
- Go to a restaurant and sit down with complete strangers. Start telling them about how your adult diapers are starting to leave a rash.
- Go to a dog park, find a nice dog, get down on all fours, and bark at the dog as if you can communicate with it.
- Go on a run at a crowded park and make squawking noises and pretend like you want to fly. Falling down is encouraged.
- Go to a movie theater and buy a ticket to the most popular comedy. At all the funny parts, start crying loudly. Bonus points for going to a sad movie and laughing at all the sad parts.
- Go to a public library. Bring a speaker and start playing the song Madam Librarian from The Music Man. Bonus points for executing all the dance moves.
Chapter 3: How to turn awkward situations into a form of exercise—namely running away
Exercise is vital to your emotional and mental health. The awesome thing about the RAFAS (Run Away from Awkward Situations) workout plan is that you can literally do it at any time.
RAFAS coincides nicely with all the tips from chapter two. You don’t necessarily want to stand around and get a lot of awkward questions about your mental stability, so RAFAS is perfect.
Let me tell you, since starting the RAFAS plan, I’ve lost fifteen pounds and at least as many acquaintances.
Other tips for RAFAS: A list
- Always have running shoes footy. Falling on your face whilst running away is counterproductive.
- Work on your agility in your spare time. The best and cheapest way to do this is to find a flock of geese and run through them and try not to get eaten or pecked to death.
- The RAFAS workout plan isn’t necessarily done intentionally, it is a bonus workout for when you get in a pickle. As such, always, always, always plan an escape route before engaging other humans. No matter where you are. You can never be too safe.
- Make sure you are physically fit enough to run at least one mile at a full sprint.
Chapter 4: How to build a secluded cabin in Alaska
Obviously, this book has done nothing to help you so far because you feel the need to defect to Alaska (I can see Russia from my house). I promise from here on out, this book is much more intuitive and easier to follow.
Just kidding. I cannot even cut out a cartoon picture of a cabin much less build one.
I’m sure there are other books that can teach you how to build cabins.
I can wait until you get that done.
Things you will need in your secluded cabin in Alaska: A list
- Wifi. Because how else are you going to learn how to befriend the wildlife?
- TV, DVD player, and Snow White (on DVD). Because obviously YouTube videos cannot teach you how to sing and communicate with the wildlife.
- Walls and a roof.
- Running water and electricity.
- Indoor plumbing.
Chapter 5: How to befriend the wildlife so you don’t get eaten by a bear
If you followed my instructions from chapter 4, you should be all set.
Well, maybe I can take some time to give you more pointers on avoiding being eaten by a bear.
How to not get eaten by a bear: A list
- Under no circumstances should you ever act like bear food.
- Bears are very hard to reason with seeing as they don’t speak English. If you have a proclivity for learning new languages, learning Russian may be beneficial. Alaskan bears exclusively speak Russian. Everyone knows this.
- Do not leave your cabin. Ever.
- Break the no-pizza-delivery rule from Chapter 1 as often as you need to in order to survive. Everyone also knows bears cannot stand pizza delivery guys.
Chapter six: Treating wounds
Bear attacks are inevitable in Alaska (even if you obey my instructions above to the letter).
Really, this is where your RAFAS training will come into play. Just bring some bear bait (a person slower than you), and you are golden. You may think this sounds heartless, but I call it self-care.
If you accidentally bring someone who is faster than you, try to trip them before they outrun you. If this isn’t doable, stop, drop, and roll (bears love people who prevent forest fires). This likely won’t work, but it was worth a shot.
I am no doctor, but if you manage to escape the bear attack with only minor flesh wounds, the following advice may be helpful.
How to treat non-life-threatening bear attack wounds: A list
- Watch Scrubs or House. A lot. You already have a TV and DVD player, and since you have Wifi, you can order the seasons off of Amazon.
Okay, I lied. It wasn’t a list. Sorry.
Chapter 7: How to re-enter society after being a hermit for several years
Just kidding, most bear attacks happen within two months of moving to Alaska, so really this chapter should be:
Chapter 7: How to re-enter society as a maimed introvert who scared people before becoming disfigured by a bear attack
First, you need to move to Boise, Idaho (not many people or bears there, or I don’t think there are, I’ve done exactly zero research for this chapter).
Boise has free support groups for bear attack victims.
Start small. Go to BAA (Bear Attacks Anonymous) meetings. They are anonymous largely because victims of a bear mauling aren’t exactly recognizable. It’s pronounced baaaaaa, like a sheep’s mating call, and just so happens to be the only noise you will be able to make for at least three months. Don’t worry, though, people in Boise speak fluent sheep.
If you are a less advanced survivor of a bear attack and can only say mooooooo, you should move to Montana. There the bear attack groups are conveniently called MOOs (Mauled Outlandishly Ononymous).
Montanites are good at speaking cow (the cow population is greater than the human population, after all), but they are atrocious at spelling. Where do you think the Chick-fil-a cows came from?
Things to talk about at BAA or MOO meetings: A list
- You need to do things to beef up your self-esteem, so brag about all the weight you lost on the RAFAS plan.
- Tell them about this awe-inspiring book.
- Actually, because this book gives the advice of moving to Alaska, it is very possible everyone in your support group meetings has already read this book. Which of course means you are a part of an awesome book club, not just a bear attack survivor support group.
- You’re welcome.
This book was obviously satirical and nonsensical. I hope you were mildly entertained despite its goofiness. Everything I wrote was for the laughs, and almost none of it is true. Except the Chick-fil-A cows being from Montana; that is a fact.
Thanks for reading.