Be Left Alone

Colleen Stein

Colleen Stein

Examine your surroundings. If you find you are among people of a likable nature and feel a strong desire to meet and greet these folks, then avoid the following advice. However, if you are the type who gets picked on a lot for your unique preferences or just don’t feel like dealing with anyone’s nonsense for the day, then the following information may help you out.

Dress in a conservative fashion. Do not wear shirts that pose questions (Who’s Your Daddy?), have a smart ass sayings (If I throw a stick will you leave?), state strong political opinions, or reveal too much skin. This will only attract and excite unwanted onlookers who are just waiting to pounce on an unsuspecting passer. Dark clothes are neutral and work best not to attract attention. Sunglasses should be worn at all appropriate times to avoid direct eye contact. Wear shoes that enable you to walk at a reasonably fast pace. This will be especially beneficial if the situation gets out of hand (harsh words are exchanged, punches are thrown, etc.) and you are required to flee the scene.

Adopt a stern face and posture. Straighten your backbone- this will enable you to reach your optimum height and the taller you are, the more imposing you will look and feel. Do not stare at the ground; instead keep your head high and look straight ahead. You know who you are and what you are doing, and fools be damned if they get in your way. Do not brandish a huge smile, because someone will be begging to wipe it off your face. Don’t frown either, as some cretins prefer to prey on unhappy-looking people. Simply tense your jaw muscles very slightly and allow your mouth to take its natural shape.

Keep your cool. If you have taken all the precautions and still find yourself staring into the face of some shyster hurling insults, step outside yourself and envision someone strong — a role model, a hero. In my own experiences I look to the guru of Gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson, and quote his words in my head, “Remember, don’t take any guff from these fucking swine!” The confrontation will go more smoothly if you are viewing yourself and actions in a surrealistic camera lens.

Shake it off. If you’ve had a nasty confrontation with someone who was determined to ruin your day by belittling the way you, don’t let them succeed in pissing on your parade. Remember this accoster is beneath your standards of thought and concern. Think of all those dear to you, the wonderful things they have said and done for you and hear their voices in your head reacting after you tell what has happened, “That maniac said what to you? I’ll kick their ass!”

To lose faith in humanity, avoid the barbarians who ruin your pretty portrait of the world. If you are one of the people who finds joy in harassing those who appear different or meek, remember you’re in college now and its only a matter of time before you graduate and realize that this world is run by weirdos like me.