Shut your mouth; try not to panic. Just shut your mouth, if you can do it.

Here we are and it’s the weekend. Listen, has it been the longest week for everyone else, too? No? Just me? GRAND. 

I’ve been having multiple run-ins with hard-to-deal-with people lately. You know the type. They start talking and you IMMEDIATELY want to stab a letter opener in either their mouth hole or your ear hole just to make it stop. Or they send you email and you see their name pop up on your screen and you just want to weep because you know it’s going to make you have to deal with nonsense on a scale not yet even imagined. Or you see them coming and you start scoping out the exits, the hiding places, and running though your list of excuses for escape in your mind. Have you used gallbladder inflammation recently? How about the gout. WILL THEY BUY IT IF YOU SAY YOU HAVE THE GOUT? 

Then I thought, you know, I can’t be alone in this. I see a lot of examples on Facebook and on Twitter and hear from people the complaints of “ZOMGGGGGG I hate this person or that person” or whatever. Most people don’t say they want to stab them in the mouth hole with a letter opener, though. I’m just a little more open about my emotions. Or maybe insane. OR BOTH. 

So today, FOR YOU, and also a little for me, (FINE MOSTLY FOR ME) I did some research on how best to deal with people that make you want to get stab-stab-stabalicious with office supplies. I think this will all benefit us in the long run, don’t you? YES IT WILL. 

Here is an article with ten tips for dealing with annoying people. Now first, I looked up “how to deal with DIFFICULT people” and was NOT pleased with the results. Because apparently, “difficult” people is not the SAME as “annoying” people. “Difficult” people is people who, I don’t know, make you work too hard or something. “Annoying” people are the letter-opener-mouth-hole-stabbees. Good to know. I like to be precise. 

I liked this article because it started with a Jean-Paul Sartre quote about hell being other people. I am TOTALLY DOWN WITH THAT. Other people are totally hellacious. Also the website is Bloomlife Design. BLOOMLIFE. Doesn’t that sound calming and restful like green tea and calm breezes? Totally does. 

So this woman (whose name is ALSO Amy, nice) tells us that we should: 

Remember we are not mind-readers. What? I’m NOT? No, I KID, this is actually kind of awesome. She says that we tend to make up stories in our minds as to WHY the annoying person is acting the way they do. And then we react, based on the imaginary story we’ve concocted. ZOMG, Also Amy! I totally do this ALL THE TIME! For example: a very annoying person I know who never shuts his big yapper so you are caught in these 17 million year long conversations that could be finished in only five minutes if he would SHUT HIS YAPPER? I’ve decided he is lonely, pathetic and sad, and no one loves him or will talk to him, therefore he gloms onto ANY SOCIAL INTERACTION HE CAN FIND and then SPINS IT OUT AS LONG AS HE IS ABLE. Now, do I KNOW he is unlovable, sad, and pathetic? Nope. Made that story up in my head. No idea, really. Just gleaned that from MULTIPLE INTERMINABLE CONVERSATIONS with him. So maybe the next time I talk to him (or am “sucked into a black hole of conversation,” as I like to call it) I should go into it thinking, “This is a person with a LIVELY SOCIAL LIFE! And he has DEIGNED to STOOP to TALK to LITTLE OLD ME!!!!” I think this will make these conversations, which, up until now, are on an enjoyment level akin to being drawn and quartered, SO MUCH BETTER. What. It will. It will, right? 

Stop and breathe. OK, let’s continue on with Mr. Shut Your Yapper. The next time he starts talking, I’m going to just start breathing. Heavily. Panting, almost. Like I’m doing Lamaze. If nothing else, it might scare him off. THESE ARE EXCELLENT TIPS SO FAR. Let’s keep this up, Other Amy! 

Ask yourself, “how is this person reflecting my shadow?” I know, this sounds like annoying dirty hippie crap, right? According to Other Amy, this means we should realize that what annoys us most about the other person is that they’re just doing something WE OURSELVES OFTEN DO. I kind of take exception to this. I NEVER trap people in conversations they don’t want to be in. Because I hate people and don’t want to talk to them. Usually, my conversations are thus: “Here. A thing. You know what to do with it? Good. Problems? Find me. Thanks.” Then I wander off. I mean, if I LOVE you, then I probably talk your ear off. But you’d want me to, if we were friends. Wouldn’t you? Because I’m the most fun and totally scintillating. So I’m pretty sure Mr. Shut Your Yapper doesn’t have my shadow. Unless this is a Peter Pan situation and he STOLE my shadow. If that’s the case, he’d better give that shit back. I don’t like petty thievery. 

Take your own advice! This one is confusing, because it’s telling us not to give people advice. I NEVER give Mr. Shut Your Yapper advice. Why would I do that? It would make our conversation LONGER. Mostly I just nod. And eye the exits seductively. Oh, wait, I just re-read this. It says to think about what advice you’d give the person, then give that advice to YOURSELF. OK, the advice I’d give to Yappy McYapYap is to SHUT  HIS BIG YAPPER and also CONSOLIDATE HIS INFO INTO SMALLER CHUNKS and STOP BOTHERING PEOPLE. Also maybe notice the trapped look in his audience’s eyes when he has buttonholed them into conversations. Buttonholed? Is that right? That doesn’t seem right. Maybe it’s cornholed. Yep, I’m pretty sure he cornholes people into conversations. Now I feel better. Again, as noted above, my conversations in real life are usually terse, as I hate people. Wait, am I supposed to use this information HERE? On my BLOG? I refuse to accept that. That would just make me the saddest. Here is where I blather. I LOVE TO BLATHER HERE. I won’t take that advice, Other Amy. YOU CAN’T MAKE ME. 

Stop writing a script for other people. This is smart: it says if people don’t react the way you expect them to, you shouldn’t get upset by it, because it’s not their fault; they don’t know that you expect them to act a certain way, and it’s not fair of you to expect people to act a certain way, anyway. So I SUPPOSE I don’t get to expect Mr. Shut Your Yapper to STOP WASTING MY DAMN TIME and LET ME GO HOME NOW. I guess it’s too much to ask to expect people to have a clue. That’s sad, but I suppose it’s true. I’d be the best at writing a script, though. Let’s just be clear about that. It would have INTRIGUE and SUSPENSE and MANY PLOT TWISTS. 

Realize when you’re annoyed, you’re annoying. I AM? I don’t think that’s the case. I think I’m PISSED when I’m annoyed. I think I’m RANTY when I’m annoyed. I think I’m sometimes even FURIOUS when I’m annoyed. ANNOYING is a whole different ballgame, now isn’t it? Annoying is when I’m giggly and everything cracks me up when you’re trying to tell me a serious thing like “Aunt Judy fell in a well” or something. Annoying is when I’m exhausted and I keep yawning when you’re trying to get me to pay attention. Annoying is when I can’t stay on topic in a story or say “totally” or “OMG!!!!” way too much in one conversation. When I’m ANNOYED, I’m not ANNOYING. I think the two can be mutually exclusive. 

Ask yourself, “How do I benefit by continuing to be so annoyed?” Ugh, this kind of hippie-dippie granola shit makes me INSANE. I do NOT benefit. I do NOT want to be annoyed. However. HOWEVER. Mr. Shut Your Yapper WILL NOT SHUT HIS YAPPER. How can I NOT be annoyed by this? Frankly, I was hoping this list would be a little more helpful. I’m beginning to wonder if I don’t have anger management issues that would be best treated by a professional. Or if I don’t need a hired assassin to take care of this situation. OH IF ONLY I KNEW A HIRED ASSASSIN. 

Find your tribe. This is nice. Apparently, there are people who spend all day and all night trying to win over the entire world, when they should just find their tribe because those people will NOT need winning over and will just love them. AW YOU GUYS. I TOTALLY have my tribe. Even BETTER, I have MULTIPLE EFFING TRIBES. I have FAMILY tribe and I have THEATER tribe and I have TWITTER tribe and I have BLOG tribe and I have IRL FRIENDS tribe. That’s five tribes. There’s even SPILLOVER from some tribes into other tribes. I’m totally a tribe ho. I guess Rush Limbaugh was right about my sluttishness. I’m not attempting to win anyone over because I am pretty honey badger about that shit at this point in my life. I mean, sure. Is it nice to be liked? Yep. But after an attempt or two that gets rebuffed, I’m like the wind. JUST LIKE THAT PATRICK SWAYZE SONG. I don’t have time for haters right now. I dealt with that for years. I’m not doing it anymore. If you don’t like me, that’s really totally on you. But I don’t need to be around your negative energy, and I don’t have to kill myself trying to win your negative ass over. So I’m outta here, Sally. Go be a complete bitchface on someone else’s watch. I GOTS ME FIVE TRIBES YO. 

Say no when you mean no. OH HELL YES. I really have to get better at this. I have one thing I’m really into right now. It’s all I want to do. But I keep saying yes to ALL THE OTHER THINGS. And they take time away from the one thing I WANT to be doing. Because listen, I like the other things, I do, very much, but they are TIME CONSUMING and also they bring unnecessary people, like Mr. Shut Your Yapper, into my talking space. You know who I want in my talking space? Dumbcat. The Nephew, if he’s visiting. Because other people in my talking space MAKE IT VERY HARD FOR ME TO DO THE THINGS I WANT TO BE DOING. I need to start saying no, and I need to start saying it LOUDER and MEANING IT THIS TIME. 

Remember, others cannot read your mind. What? They can’t? Oh, shit, and here I thought I was all magically projecting my thoughts like a boss. Eff. Here’s the thing. I’m not ASKING that Mr. Shut Your Yapper read my mind. Because I have ASKED him to stop it. Well, I haven’t flat-out said, “Mr. Shut Your Yapper, why don’t you shut that flapping yapper before I stab you with this here letter opener,” but I’ve asked, nicely, in a NUMBER of ways, for him to go to others with his multitudinous issues/problems/complaints/venting sessions/mouthhole flappery. I mean, I don’t want to hurt his feelings. No, that’s not true, I don’t give two good shits about his feelings. But without saying too much, it would be against my better interest to piss this guy off to the point he leaves, because his positives outweigh his negatives. Only by the TINIEST BITTIEST BIT, but they do. No, I’m not asking Mr. Shut Your Yapper to read my damn mind. But how about he picks up some cues, both body-languagey and facial-expressiony? Or actually pays attention when I give him options of other people that might be more helpful than I would? 

I don’t know how overly helpful this website was. It wasn’t the worst thing. But it didn’t magically make Mr. Shut Your Yapper disappear, either. DAMMIT. I was so hoping it would.

So it’s letter openers, hired assassins, or anger management, I guess? Listen, I don’t really have time for all of these things, I’m a busy lady.


Or, man, do I EVER feel a flareup of that GOUT coming on. WHOO THE GOUT. 


About lucysfootball

I'm not the girl with the most cake. Someday. SOMEDAY. View all posts by lucysfootball

12 responses to “Shut your mouth; try not to panic. Just shut your mouth, if you can do it.

  • greengeekgirl

    (cough) I have to admit I am often guilty of being a Miss-Needs-to-Shut-MY-Yapper? Because, the Asperger’s. But um . . . . I work on it? Because I eventually caught on that people don’t like it. If I can catch on, your coworker/acquaintance/neighbor/plague-bringer-of-doom can catch on. Really. No excuses for you, Mr. Yappy McTalkerson. None.


    • lucysfootball

      I would NEVER want you to stop talking. I would want you to talk MORE. Because I love you.

      I think he has to know, but just doesn’t care. I don’t think anyone can be that clueless about cues. I refuse to believe that.


      • greengeekgirl

        I can’t think of why someone would totally not care about their social ineptitude. Especially when he seems so desperate to connect to people. Maybe he IS aware that he has problems but he has MISINTERPRETED the solution to those problems–like maybe he thinks he does not have any friends because he doesn’t put himself out there enough and he thinks this is a GOOD thing.


  • sj

    Ugh. You know, I love my dad, but he has no idea when to stop talking. We’ll be in the same room, and I’m doing something else (like reading) and he gets upset at me for not realizing he was talking to me.

    Co-workers who don’t know when to shut their traps are the worst, though.

    +1,000,000,000 points for mouth-hole stabbery.


    • lucysfootball

      Hee! Yay for all the points!

      Co-workers ARE the worst! I won’t say where I know this guy from, out of politeness. But after it posted and I was re-reading, I realized he could be one of two people, that I know from two different places in my life. So apparently this type is everywhere.

      My dad used to do that when I was reading. He just gave up. He sees the book come out, he stops talking. He knows I’m lost to him then. :)


  • Rich Crete

    Other Amy gives super crappy advice. Here’s a few alternative tips:
    1) Let’s assume the dude’s name is Ed. Say “Yes Ed” after every sentence he says. That should throw him off his story.
    2) Set a one button self dial on your phone. Slyly push it and bingo “Sorry, Ed, I’ve got to take this.”
    3) Offer him a tic tac when he starts and then insist he takes another one every 60 seconds. “Breath’s not fresh enough yet, Ed. Keep trying.”
    4) Go with your instinct and stab him in the mouth hole. Make sure you wear gloves so your prints aren’t on your letter opener. No sense making things too easy for those CSI types.


    • lucysfootball

      I love these. I’ve tried a variation on 2 – had to “respond to a text” – but he just waited patiently until I was done. Wasn’t that so nice of him?

      And also I kind of do #1, in the hopes he will shut it. No dice.

      #3 & #4 are too damn tempting. DON’T TEMPT ME RICH.


  • lahikmajoe

    I really like this, and am probably more in line with the dirty hippie advice than I’d like to admit, but I’ve been blogging all evening after Berlin-ing all day.

    I reserve the right to comment on this post at a later date. Maybe even tomorrow.


    • lucysfootball

      I just caught up on all of your blogs. Will comment in a bit.

      I still like you even THOUGH you’re a dirty hippie! Imagine that. It is the POWER of YOUR AWESOMENESS.

      Consider your right to comment at a later date reserved. Oh, AND, I totally have “we may have won over Dad maybe” news for you which I’ll probably forget to tell you. Remind me tomorrow.


  • Unconfirmed Bachelorette

    I hate people, too! Which makes me love you! Oh wait. You’re people. I hate you.


  • elaine4queen

    “magically projecting my thoughts like a boss”



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