Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Reflections on "That Guy"

Relevant (link on the right hand side of this site) recently ran an article called “That Guy”. Here are the “guys” from that list that I most identified with.

Everybody knows one. “That guy” who annoys everyone with his boring stories that never seem to end. “That girl” who talks constantly about herself because she is, after all, her favorite topic of conversation. We all have annoying people in our lives, but how often do we stop to consider our own behavior and ponder what ways we annoy those around us? Let’s take a look at some of the main categories of annoying people who drive everyone around them away.

Natasha Never on Time—People have stopped taking her seriously when she says that she’ll be there at 2 o’clock. They know that they’ll end up waiting at least 45 minutes for her to even call and say that she’s running late. She ends up excluded from many of her friends’ lives because they feel like they can’t count on her for anything. She is in serious need of a timepiece.

Hannah Here’s What I Think—You may just be looking for a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on, but instead you get a machine built to dispense unwanted advice. She’ll tell you exactly how to solve all your problems because she has all the answers. Forget hearing anything remotely like, “Gee, that stinks. I’m sorry you’re having a rough time.” She’ll be too busy formulating what she’s going to say next to even listen to you.

Minnie the Moocher—She’s more than happy to catch a ride with you every day when her car is at the shop. She doesn’t mind at all eating food off everyone’s plates and doesn’t offer to pay for anything when the meal is finished. It doesn’t bother her at all to let you pay for Starbucks and never offer to return the favor. If you spend time with her, bring plenty of money because you’ll end up paying for her too.

Gladys the Gossip— Talks bad about everyone to everyone else, and they know it. She doesn’t realize that people catch on to stuff like that … if you’re talking bad about them to me, you are probably talking bad about me to them. She ends up isolating herself and making herself look like a jerk far more than the person about which she is gabbing.

Nick the Know-It-All—Likely to say this phrase with various band names/books/movies inserted at the appropriate spot—“Oh, man! You haven’t heard of the Candied Yams? You must be the last person on earth! Where have you been for the last 15 minutes?”

Hank the Helpless Housemate—After eating his morning bowl of cereal, he leaves the dish in the sink as opposed to emptying the clean dishes from the dishwasher. That would require too much effort. As would taking out the trash or cleaning the bathroom. His mom probably waited on him hand and foot, and now he is making your life a nightmare, too.

Tanya TMI—Oh sweet Tanya. She prays out loud for her friends and makes a point of taking some narrative license by describing every gory detail of the prayer request. She looks pious and caring by praying for others, but she gets sadistic joy out of mentioning the embarrassing personal details of everyone’s life. It’s not really a prayer, but a cry for attention.

If you immediately think of other people when reading this list, you may be turning into a Finger-Pointing Felix. Perhaps God surrounds us with these people to remind us just how short of His glory we fall. It is an exercise in patience, grace and self-reflection—the most important lesson is that people really can change if they become more self-aware.

If you haven’t seen Relevant’s new website yet, you should definitely check it out!

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