Co-existing with people who expect you to care about their lives is exhausting. There are barely enough hours in the day to manage your own rigorous schedule of sleeping, watching Netflix and blacking out to fit in any real emotional commitments in between. But as we all know, other people are extremely selfish and will actually get upset if you don’t wish them a happy birthday or tell them their new haircut doesn’t look like shit when it actually does. It’s just take, take, take and while it’s unfair, it’s something we soulless people have to deal with. Here’s our guide to pretending you have emotions without actually having to feel things because no thanks:
Look up from your phone every three minutes while someone is telling a story, so they think there’s a chance you could be listening. Occasionally nod or add, “no way!” to really give the appearance that you are paying attention/give a shit.
When there’s drama in the group chat because someone got ghosted, text something moderately sympathetic like “that sucks” before muting the thread.
Prevent someone from hugging you by telling them you’re sick and it’s nothing personal, but you don’t want to give them anything. You’ll look so caring and proactive about another person’s health, so in other words you’ll basically be Mother Teresa.
Add an exclamation point to your “no thanks” when a friend asks if you’re around to talk about something that’s been bothering her lately. If she guilts you about it, say you’re “maybe free in a couple of hours” or “on Sunday,” knowing full well you’ll both forget by then.
Let a nice guy down easy by recommending a less cool/attractive girl he could try dating. And then offer to “put in a good word,” even if you don’t know the girl personally.
Conceal your joy in cancelling important plans by explaining how “jealous” you are of all the “fun” they’re going to have. Maybe even reply to a Snapchat or two with “omggggg dying” to hammer it home.
Post an Insta about how grateful you are for everything your dad does before informing him you already booked spring break on his credit card. If he’s still giving you shit about it even after the post, buy him a tie in a color and pattern he definitely already owns.
Let a coworker know you get it by agreeing that “the struggle is real” even though you still won’t cover for them. Add, “Next time for sure, though” with a shrug and then walk away.
Comment one singular fire emoji under a couple’s Insta to make up for publicly shit-talking them on multiple occasions. This also works for when your insecure and depressed friend posts a thirsty selfie and you know you should recommend she speak to a therapist but you don’t want to be the one to bring it up.
Offer to plan the next group brunch and then suggest a place you know everybody hates. Act completely innocent and they won’t be mad because you “didn’t know.” Somebody else will take the reigns.
Tag your friends in various memes in lieu of asking them to hang out. Everybody knows memes are an acceptable form of communication—and if they don’t, you don’t need them or their negativity in their life.