The Art of Avoiding Annoying People


I’m not an antisocial person. In fact, I’m one of the most friendly, talkative, social people I know. But when I’m walking from class to class or reading a book on Herty Field, I want to be alone. It’s not you, it’s me. But really, it’s you. If I see you every day in class then why do you feel the need to come and chat for twenty minutes about your boring, stressful, miserable life? If reading marketing textbooks is more enticing than listening to you speak, I hope you’d get the hint and walk away. If I haven’t seen you in months or years, do you really think I care about the intimate details of your relationship? No. Clearly, we aren’t friends. Please go away. 


Sadly, people don’t go away, they talk to you and you have to put up with that shit for as long as they stand there and move their lips. Because of this, I’ve been practicing a few ways to avoid people in order to make my life free of annoying interferences by randoms. And as far as I can tell, they’re pretty foolproof. 


When walking on a sidewalk, avoiding someone can be tricky. Sidewalks are small spaces, offering little room for escape. If there are cars in the road, you can’t cross the street. If there are people behind you, you can’t turn around and walk away. In this case, the easiest way to avoid someone is by acting busy. Texting, pretending to read, breaking off your split-ends, adjusting the way your boobs look in your shirt, or looking for something in your bag are all fair game. If the person you’re trying to avoid brings it up later, you have a quality excuse for not saying ‘hi’ back to them after they embarrassed themselves in a crowd of people and obnoxiously waved at you. They can’t be mad if you were studying on your way to a test. 


But sometimes you can’t just act busy and hope it works. Sometimes these bitches come out of the woodwork. They corner you coming out of a classroom, make eye contact with you in the bathroom mirror, or pounce on your table in Bulldog Café. You can’t run. You can’t hide. All you can do is deal with it. Them speaking, though, is no reason to ruin your lovely, peaceful afternoon. You don’t have to listen. You don’t have to respond. Sit there and ignore. If they ask you a question, nod or smile or throw a quick laugh or ‘uh-huh.’ People don’t talk because they want to hear what you have to say. They talk because they like the sound of their own voices. Because they want to feel important. Ignoring a life-intruder is a win-win situation. You don’t have to actually give a shit, and they feel accomplished in reveling in their life story. Ignore. Avoid. Give them that satisfaction.


The hardest time to get away from someone is in stadium seating classrooms of, like, five thousand people. But fear not, young one, there is still a way. If someone you can’t stand comes and sits next to you, the easiest way to not interact with them is to Facebook. You forgot your computer at home? Sleep. You think that’s rude? Excuse yourself and say you have to use the bathroom, leave the class, come back a few minutes later and sit somewhere else. It doesn’t matter that they saved your seat; you thought it was taken so you sat next to that hot guy from ATO. 


And just like that you’ve successfully spent an entire day not giving a shit about talking to people you don’t like. There is no such thing as a situation where you can’t avoid someone. You just have to be creative. If you don’t do anything about it, then I don’t want to hear you bitch and complain about it. It’s really hard being popular, but it’s not that hard. 


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