1. Turn into a Tom Hanks
A Tom Hanks is someone who is a flat-out good person. A pillar of strength, loyalty and benevolence. The booming echo of reason in a cacophony of indecisive voices. A person who will step up and take charge when everyone else is covering their own posteriors. Just one problem though. Such a person can be annoying to deal with on a daily basis.
Turning into a Tom Hanks is a bankable strategy to drive people away. It can be unbearable if one behaves like a reasonable person all the time. It seems strange enough to warrant suspicion even. Do they look back on their lives like they flip through pages in a Mark Twain story? Has the world been so kind to them that they need to help others think of the world as a gentle and giving space? Or have they been wronged so much by the world that the only way they can connect to people is by correcting the wrongs in theirs?
Take any of the characters played by Tom Hanks in major motion pictures. He always does the right thing. No matter the environment, he is a flag-bearer of rationalization. He leads his men into battle with the odds stacked against them. He gets over his wife being with another man because he found a literal fork in the road. He deals with crippling disabilities by turning into a role model for the world. Only in The Ladykillers, directed by The Coen Brothers, did he ever play a despicable character. Even so – his portrayal of a ruthless criminal mastermind is charming at worst.
In every other film, he is the greatest human being of all time and the most annoying person ever.
2. Spin the mosquito coil
(A spinning mosquito coil was a stock visual used by the South Indian movie industry to signal a flashback montage)
The past hold valuable lessons. People talk about the mistakes they have made in hope that others do not repeat them. They elaborate on the challenges they had to overcome to show others that they can too. Sure, it makes sense. It is a nice thing to do. But there are those who scourge their social circles for people with problems so that they may get to talk about themselves. They don’t believe in objectively evaluating the concerns faced by individuals. They much rather drift away into delusions of self-grandeur.
Your friend lost his job? Tell him all the adversities you had to face before landing your dream job. A few minutes would do. Dedicate a full hour to talk about how awesome your job is right now. Your sister wants to leave her husband? Tell her how you got over a bad relationship by ultimately doing the right thing. Ask to stop crying and listen to how you almost made it work. Someone you know has been diagnosed with a terminal condition? Talk about how you once got over a rash in your armpit. Then, put the person on hold and check your armpits again.
There is a chance that a small sharp object may sail through the cool air towards you. It may even forcibly lodge itself in your eye socket. However it is a reliable way to have your friends and acquaintances do their best to avoid you.
3. Play the bohemian’s rhapsody
Free-spirited people bring in positive vibes. They can be amazing to be around. In heavy doses though – they can be unbearable. Especially those who preach their bohemian ways with condescension. They offer karmic gemstones as part of some facetious healing process. Even if people’s problems are as obvious as daisies in daylight. They judge people who eat meat like a mother would her son when she catches him shaving the neighbor’s kitten.
Go ahead and smirk at people using smartphones while having one that has applications that you claim to know nothing about. Use the words “peace” and “chill” when you have nothing useful to add to a conversation. Make it clear that your knowledge about the hippie culture is limited to the things you either read on the Internet. Or the flowering buds that you crush and smoke. And pretend that you never knew that Pink Floyd incorporated helicopter sounds into their music.
4. All You Want To Say Is That Like They Don’t Really Like Care About Us (Coz It’s Really Uncool If You Think About It)
They are some people who are indifferent to everything. It scares them so much that they pretend to care about everything. That too in such a vague manner that they come across as misinformed idiots.
They can be found everywhere. The next time you see an urchin begging for alms at the traffic signal and you spare some loose change, look around. You might spot a douchebag, possibly in an air-conditioned car, mouthing some nonsense about how elitism begets poverty. If you are at a rock concert, try to survey the lavatory premises or in the parking lots. Just to see people experiencing severe intestinal congestion over the fact that the band never played that one awesome track from their first album. Study their facial expressions; the way they squint when their idealistic whimsies are irreverently threatened by the commerce of rock and roll.
If you are in India, wait till you hear someone gently humming an AR Rahman ditty. Ask them to reevaluate their taste in music. When questioned, start talking about how India has never realized that it once had a Dalit Muslim as President. That there has only been disparity in diversity. While the other person tries to process the random stuff you just said, get into a heated debate about AR Rahman not being true to his identity as a South Indian. If need be, make fun of the reasonably talented musician for taking his shirt off in a music video to show patriotic he can be.
Well that actually happened but nobody else seems to think it is the stupidest thing in the world, so “take care, spike your hair” and remain unlikable.