My User Manual, Part 2: Things I Don’t Like in People

Being Interrupted:

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. Pay attention to when I am talking. I’m going to make a distinction here between interrupting and interjecting. Sometimes in the flow of conversation, interjections happen. Tangents happen, “Oh, this just occurred to me”, happens. The question is are you participating in the conversation I was having or derailing it? Are you aware that I’m speaking, and acknowledging it, or just interrupting or ignoring it? The distinction between interjecting and interrupting is generally as easy as whether or not there’s a, “But you were saying”, at the end of the tangent. Not always, but that’s a good rule of thumb. If you interrupt me once, I’ll be annoyed. Regularly, and we probably won’t be friends, much less anything else, for long.

I’ve spent time around people who are very good at conversing conscientiously, and people who utterly suck at it, and I cannot comprehend or tolerate the latter.


I don’t like having moves made on me physically. I like being asked. If I want to kiss you, and you kiss me without asking, my desire to kiss you is likely to end up reduced. If I want to kiss you, and you ask if you can kiss me, my desire to kiss you is likely to increase.

The Burden of Pursuit:

If I have to chase you, you’re running away from me. Fuck that shit. Pursuing a relationship with someone is one of the best ways to communicate interest, and not pursuing one is one of the best ways to communicate disinterest. Disinterest is not sexy. I pursue people I’m interested in (assuming the interest is shared), and I expect to be pursued in return.


Never speak with more authority than is warranted by your level of knowledge. Never talk down unless it is really, really, really warranted. It’s my experience that people who make a habit of sounding as though they are imparting precious jewels of knowledge rarely have anything to actually offer, knowledge-wise.

Judging People for Things They Can’t Change:

Looks, disabilities, orientation, and any of the million other things people can’t change. I’m generally on board with judging people for things they can change, though (e.g. bigotry). A note here: preferences are different from judgments. E.g. having physical preferences in partners: fine. Assuming your preferences are universal: not fine.

Being a Dick:

Don’t be a dick.

The Making of Unwarranted Assumptions (Especially About People):

This one is a little subtler, I think, but is nevertheless something I’ve noticed has a significant impact on my opinion of someone. Armchair psychology is a thing we all do to an extent. I certainly do it, but there’s an important difference between, “I wonder if maybe person X is this way because Y”, and “Person X is this way because Y”. If you regularly do the latter, I’m going to like you less and less.

Habitual Lateness/Unreliability

We all do it. I do it. It’s a question of degree. Regularly being 15 minutes late is less of a big deal than regularly being an hour late. But being unreliable is a problem. My time is valuable–if I respect yours, I expect you to respect mine and put in a reasonable effort not to waste it.

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5 comments on “My User Manual, Part 2: Things I Don’t Like in People

  1. Pingback: My User Manual, Part 1: Things I Like in People | Research to be Done

  2. Pingback: My User Manual, Part 3: Relationship Philosophy | Research to be Done

  3. Pingback: My User Manual Part 4 (the final installment at time of writing): Personal Quirks/Things to Be Aware Of | Research to be Done

  4. Pingback: My User Manual, Part 5: Things You Can Do to Make Me Feel Good | Research to be Done

  5. Don’t be a dick.

    But that’s what my wife’s looking for when she bites my-

    Oh you mean being a jerk. Yeah don’t be a jerk.

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