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Six Ways to Lose Friends and Repel People


If you’re overwhelmed because you never feel lonely and all your friendships are rich and deep, then I have great news: there’s still time to blow it all up and free your schedule from the shackles of friendship.

Just follow these six simple steps.

1. Talk about yourself constantly.
Asking questions about your friends makes them think you care about them. They’ll find the conversation interesting and stay engaged. As a rule, talking about yourself doesn’t just make you feel great, it makes them feel bored. Do it enough, and they’ll stop asking to hang out.

2. Never reply to texts.
Nothing says, “I’m too busy” like a good ghosting. If you don’t want to look bad, you can always reply a few days later and explain about your crazy schedule. Doing so underlines the point: you’ve got time for everything but them, so it would be great if they’d just leave you alone.

3. Stay shallow.
As rule, never be transparent and never ask a question that invites your friend to be vulnerable. If you make a mistake and they decide to go deep, just wait until they ask you to reciprocate. “How are you doing?”, they might ask. The optimal response is short, “I’m fine.” If you manage to say that without any emotion, you’ll hit a friendship ending homerun.

4. Avoid conflict.
I know this one is counterintuitive but trust me: conflict often brings people closer together. Especially if you use words like “I’m sorry” and “You’re forgiven.” It’s far better to let tension slowly grow in a relationship without ever acknowledging it. Eventually, your friend will start avoiding you just to avoid the weirdness.

(Note: if your friend brings up the problem, just say “Nothing’s wrong! I don’t know what you’re talking about!” This ensures that they’ll never have the courage to say anything again.)

5. Make cutting jokes.
This one is self-explanatory. Use sarcasm, condescension, and laughter to push people away. But if you want the coup de gras, try this line when your friend confronts you, “I had no idea that would hurt your feelings. Maybe you’re being a little oversensitive?”

6. Assume the worst.
If you’re finding items one through five challenging, try assuming the worst. If your friend says you look tired, assume they’re calling you unattractive without make-up. If your friend shows up five minutes late, assume they don’t respect your time. You get the idea. The more you do this, the more you’ll dislike them and the less you’ll feel bad about ghosting them, making fun of them, and staying shallow.

Of course, these are just a start for people looking to upend their great social lives and deep friendships. But here’s the key: if you mess up on any of these, you might end up making a close friend or keeping one. Don’t do it. Stay shallow, my friends.

Note: Clearly, this piece is a parody. Do the opposite for deep, meaningful friendship.

Want more (serious) pointers on how to develop meaningful friendships in your community?

Placed for a Purpose with Chris and Elizabeth McKinney is all about loving your neighbors by cultivating rich relationships where God has placed you.

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