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When you were a teenager, now looking back, what did you wish your father would have told you?
Having A Good Sense Of Humor Is Better Than Having An Expensive House
Or an expensive car or watch. One makes people want to hang out with you, the other makes you look like a prick. Buying stuff really doesn’t make you happy anyway.
Some People Will Consider You Weird, And That’s Okay (As Long As You’re Not Harming Others)
Probably you’re into some freaky shit. Like learning Klingon. Or being strapped down in a latex outfit and having your genitals tortured. Or being obsessive about hygiene. Or efficiency. Or planning. Or knowing the words to every Kanye West song. Or competing in air guitar contests. Or saving money-off coupons. Or building matchstick models in your shed. Or choreographing elaborate dance routines that will never be performed in public. Or whatever. If you’re not into anything a bit freaky, you’re missing out. Don’t cave into any pressure to conform to some abstract notion of normality.
You Are Annoying, And You Should Try To Be Less Annoying
You don’t necessarily realize it, but sometimes you annoy the f–k out of other people. That’s normal, but it’s not really okay. Maybe you leave dirty dishes / coffee cups / beer mugs lying around. Maybe when you take a dump you leave floaters or smear marks in the loo. Maybe you play music that others can hear, but don’t want to. Maybe you talk too loud in public. Maybe you like the sound of your own voice too much. Maybe you’re unnecessarily (and perhaps unwittingly) rude to people. Maybe you get in people’s way when walking down the street. Maybe you smell so bad others gag. Maybe you interrupt people too much. Figure out what you’re doing that annoys others and just stop doing it. People will be nicer to you.
Sex And Love Are Not The Mysteries They Seem When You’re Young
Most (but not all) people want some sex and some love in their lives. And you will meet people who want one or both with you. To discover who those people are, you need to a) talk to them, b) listen to them and c) be aware of their body language.
Don’t be a creep though. Be nice and polite, and reasonably open. Smile. Laugh. Suggest hanging out. Tell them you like them if it seems appropriate. Don’t be creepy. See how they respond. They will want to be friends, lovers, casual sex partners or none of the above. Practice guessing which. You’ll learn to figure it out pretty fast.
Whichever it is, don’t try to change their mind — it probably won’t work, and you’ll probably annoy them if you try. If they equivocate, back away or make excuses then chances are they’re not interested. Leave them be. Make sure you have explicit and enthusiastic consent before trying to have sex with anyone. Don’t be a creeper.
Everyone Does Stupid Shit
You will meet a lot of really great, interesting people in life. Don’t be disappointed when they do stupid shit. Everyone does. We all do stupid shit. Many of us, at some point in our lives, get drunk and do stuff we regret. Many of us suffer from depression or anger or anxiety at some point, and we will act strange when we do. Bad stuff will happen to all of us, and when it happens to your friend, colleague or neighbor you might not realize it. And they might do annoying or weird or stupid shit around you. Don’t be surprised. Hold onto the people that you have a connection with and stick with them even when they do stupid shit. But don’t put up with abusive or toxic friendships or relationships. There are limits.
James Ballantyne is a writer. Read more from Quora below: