Are You Annoying?
Author’s note: This is not an example of my best work (and believe me, I’ve written some clunkers over the years). In fact, this is an example of probably my worst work. Over the past few years now, I’ve struggled with what to do with this post. I decided that quietly hiding it doesn’t hold me accountable, so instead, I’m leaving it up with this note and a vow that I can and will do better.
Have you ever wondered if other people think you’re annoying?
We humans have this innate desire to classify things. We like to pigeonhole each other and make snap judgments. We segregate into extroverts versus introverts. Right-brains versus left-brains. Movers versus shakers, crazy-haha versus crazy-cuckoo, innies versus outies, prongs versus sockets. We have Rorschachs and Kierseys and Meyers and countless ways to catalog each other. Even online dating sites have started pinning their matches on personality typecasting.
I, for one, am concerned that the Stereotype Express is about to barrel itself over a cliff, sending us all to a fiery, prejudiced death. Of course, I still want to hop aboard. So I am hereby announcing my own system of human classification to the world. I call it the Dennis Hong Annoyance Scale (DHAS). Using this ingenious assessment, we can now quantify how annoying people are based on two simple factors: how hot they are, and how hot they think they are.
Categorically, the DHAS breaks people down into four broad types:
- You’re hot, and you think you’re hot.
- You’re hot, but you think you’re not hot.
- You’re not hot, and you think you’re not hot.
- You’re not hot, but you think you’re hot.
Each type occupies a different segment of the annoyance scale, as summarized below:
Type 1: You’re kind of annoying, but people simply have to tolerate you. Because you’re hot. If hotness were asteroids, you made dinosaurs go extinct. You’re so hot, ceiling sprinklers go off when you step into the room. But, of course, you know that. Still, what can we do? You know we want you. And we do. You know you’ll get anything you want from us. And you will. Why? Because you’re just that hot.
Type 2: You’re not annoying at all. In fact, you make a great girlfriend (or boyfriend). Why? Because you appreciate your significant other, and you will never think you’re too good for them. If anything, you wonder what they’re doing with you. In extreme cases, your low self-image can become troublesome. But, as long as we’ve sleuthed the appropriate answer to, “do these jeans make me look fat?” (“no, babe, you look ravishing in them”), you’re completely tolerable. Within reason then, your unassuming nature is attractive.
Type 3: You’re only somewhat annoying. Although people may not think you’re all that hot, you’re aware of your own shortcomings, and that gives you the chance to fix them. As with the Type 2, your low self-esteem can sometimes encumber you. But, as long as you use your realistic self-image to improve yourself in healthy ways, instead of wallowing in your own personal pity party or embarking down a path of self-destructive habits, there’s hope for you yet. In this respect, your attitude actually makes you hotter, and you tend to grow on people.
Type 4: Well, let’s just lay it on the line. You are…. Annoying. You’re the type we see on Jerry Springer. He once had an episode titled, “You’re too fat to strip.” I kid you not. You are utterly conceited and abominably clueless. When members of the opposite sex gawk, you think they lust. When members of the same sex point, you think they envy. You’re the one in the overstretched halter, your explosive muffin top undulating with each beat while you gyrate to Pussycat Dolls, asking—nay, demanding—that “you want some of this.” Worse yet, you have no hope of ever actually becoming hot. Why? Because you think you’re already there. You are the grandest grand delusionist.
So, have you determined which type you are? Because, in case you haven’t figured it out, this isn’t actually a story of how hot or how annoying you are. It’s a story of self-awareness. Why is the Type 4 annoying? Because the Type 4 lacks self-awareness.
We all have room to improve, whether physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually, or by any of a host of traits that we can ascribe to human beings. Of course, the only way we can improve is if we are aware of our own shortcomings.
If we’re atrociously repulsive, but believe we’re hot, will we ever be able to make ourselves attractive? Not until we realize how atrociously repulsive we are.
What if we’re hot, but don’t think too much of ourselves? At worst, we suffer from low self-esteem (which, granted, opens up a host of valid concerns that lie outside the scope of this non-dissertational article). At best, our perfectionist attitude drives us to keep working on our perceived shortcomings.
With respect to self-awareness, we’re always better off being too critical than not critical enough. Why? Because we will never get complacent with ourselves.
So, if you think you have it all together, if you believe there’s no room left for you to grow or to change, I ask that you take a good look at yourself in the mirror, literally or figuratively. Then ponder this:
Are you really as hot as you think you are?