The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Recently I was hanging out with some friends of mine, talking about this and that. One guy who I’ll call a ‘semi-friend’ also came along. He lacks social acumen. I’ll just leave it at that.

But, I learned an important lesson.

This semi-friend was going on about something to the group, and then it occured to me. The value of seeing your close friends interact with annoying people.

Friend X was being talked to directly by the semi-friend. Friend X had tuned out, and was politely saying, “uh huh” or his equivalent of that. I was seeing, objectively, his, “I really don’t give a bleep” body language/reaction. This is great information!

Inevitably, you will annoy your friends. It can be from any number of things. One of them could be talking endlessly about something that bores that person. Some friends may say, ‘woah there chief, I’m beginning to hate your face. Please replace it.” Some friends might be too nice, though, so for them it’s good to take the iniative and avoid topics that make them want to spit acid.

It is also good to learn for ‘saving the day’ situations. Let’s say your buddy Joe is trapped in a conversation, you can spot the signs and swoop in. “Joe! Hey, your desk phone is ringing, I think if you run you can still answer it.” Or, again, depending on the level of friendship, sit back and laugh at Joe, knowing full well he is in pain.

Friends come in all shapes and sizes of annoying, the key is to know when you’re being annoying. Because then it’s funny.

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