Day 30: How to be a Perfect Misanthrope (ie the Rules of Social Isolationism)

In life, all too often, you hear about things like building friendships, having a happy social life, and doing fun things with others.  If you are reading this blog post, you probably agree with me that these things are highly over-rated.  I mean, we can all agree that it is much preferable to be a loner, to have a phone that doesn’t ring or fill with text messages and a social calendar that is completely empty.  Am I right?  I mean, who needs friendships?  Isn’t it better to leave behind a trail of your own tears from all the friendships, would-be friendships, and aborted friendships you abandoned?

I know.  The answer is an obvious “Yes.”  Yet in this day and age, when so many people want to make friends, want to be friendly, and basically are good, decent, loving people who are eager to connect, what is one to do in order to preserve the dark cloud of misery of a life devoted to the misanthropic ideal?

Here are some techniques which might help:

  • The Pre-Emptive Rejection.  Reject them before they reject you. This one is a real doozy, where you decide that even before someone gets a chance to know you, you are going to reject THEM… so that they won’t be able to reject you first!  It’s a knee jerk survival instinct and a standby for people everywhere who struggle socially. Note: As with all the suggestions, here the pain and suffering caused by this technique is only partially compensated for by the satisfaction of staying comfortably right in one’s miserable shell.


  • Tar-and-Feathering.  Make them out to look really horrible.  Nothing justifies isolation like painting the would-be emotional assailant (since, after all, that is what a friend is: someone who could assail your emotions and make you feel bad if they left) as bad or dangerous.  In your mind, you embark on a smear campaign that makes it perfectly defensible to turn on them.  “I could not help it, ma’am, I had to defend myself.  He was out to get me!”   This is a great way to rid someone from your life when things get a little too hairy in the emotions department and you don’t know what else to do about it.


  • Righteous Superiority.  Reject them on the basis of how you are better than them. This is very effective especially when you find yourself jealous or envious of someone else’s better qualities (such as being comfortable in their own skin rather than insecure as hell).  Rather than acknowledge there may be something you can learn from this person, you play your own secret game of oneupmanship, and thereby assume control!  You take an area that you excel at, and, seeing this person lacking in this area, conclude that it is okay to reject them as a person, since they are clearly deficient.  Sound like a logical fallacy? It probably is, but it is a convenient alibi when you are running from your own feelings of shame and inadequacy.  After all, you are too good for them anyway, right?


  • The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy.  Wait for them to mess up.  Some would-be friendships are especially challenging to know how to annihilate. There may be someone who in many ways appears to have the qualities of a good friend.  Yet something must be done to preserve your status as a life-long social isolationist.  This is sort of a waiting game.  The answer might not at first be clear.  But if you spend enough time with this person, inevitably they will do something to annoy, disappoint, or upset you (because humans, especially friends, have a knack for this…which is why they are so dangerous to begin with).  When this happens, you seize the moment to declare in your bitter triumph, “See!  I told you they were no good!  I was right not to trust them.”  You have an iron-clad reason for throwing them in the fire, with all the other friendships you tossed.  Never mind that you have no one to hang out with anymore, or that if you had extended a little a trust yourself, you might have reached out to them and been able to clear up the problem.  It is far preferable to make a massive generalization of someone else’s worth from one little mistake and act with no mercy before there is any possibility of greater heartache.  Because now you know you were right in rejecting them!


  • The Mamma’s Boy.  Reject people who don’t follow the rules.  Now, I realize that this technique may sound like cowardice, because it makes you look like a square sheep who is afraid to stand up to or defy authority.  But let’s face it: some people are too confident, too strong in their own sense of self, and too liberated about worrying about what others think (especially authorities).  These people need to be reminded of their place!  What better way than to reject them, and prove your own rightness when they get in trouble and you aren’t there to suffer with them?  “I’m glad I wasn’t friends with them because they are no good!” you exclaim, secure in your righteousness off in the sidelines.  Keep in mind that it is very likely that the person you reject may not even miss your absence in their life, as it is highly probable they have been too busy having fun to notice that you exist.


  • Wholesale Rejection.   Simply walk away from people who have been important to you.  This is perhaps the number one way to ensure that your life continues to be challenging, sad and unfulfilling.  You will marvel about how many opportunities get squandered,  social, professional, and otherwise, as potential connections are discarded and you are left trying to reinvent the wheel with someone completely brand new at each stage of your life.  You will feel like a permanent itinerant social wanderer, never really planting roots anywhere.  There is perhaps no better way to earn your bonafides as a pure-bred social isolationist than to walk away from friends and communities that you have spent a long time with and know and love. You will not be disappointed in this technique! (Well, er, actually, you will be disappointed… every single day of your life).

These are just a few of the many techniques that social isolationists and loners have used since the invention of self-righteousness and overblown pride.  If used well, these techniques will deliver their intended results!  You will live a life free of the horrendous burden of friends, the intolerable misery of having people who call you, reach out, and ask you if you want to go do fun things like take trips and go see movies.  You will miss out on potential business deals, promotions, or other “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunities that, after all, are better off avoided anyway, am I right?

Congratulations!  You have just attained Perfect Loner Misanthrope Status!  What will you do with all your spare time?!  The world is now your oyster… even if it mysteriously seems as small as an oyster, with you being digested inside.  Oops.

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