Tips For Socially Awkward Geeks (According to Stanford)

Posted by OCEntertainment | Posted in , , | Posted on 9:08 AM

Or perhaps more accurately, according to a certain student at Stanford. Wait, shoot! I broke the rules!

Philip Guo has a write-up of rules for the successful social interaction of geeks. Really helpful tips like "Don't be yourself", "Don't get comfortable" and "Temporarily let go of the urge to achieve absolute precision in speaking". In case you were wondering, no. There is not a footnote acknowledging the irony in that last one.

If you're interested in geeky social tips, though, chances are you have some hardware to fix or maybe a Settlers of Catan game to play. So let me sum up:

1.) Recognize that people will know you are a geek from the moment they meet you. -- Translation: they are judging you. This is your fault.

2.) Don't try to change people's preconceived notions of geeks -- When MLK said that all races should live together in harmony, he only meant the pretty ones. You are not equal.

3.) Don't get too comfortable and start being yourself -- If you begin to feel like maybe you can handle socialization and that the people around you actually like you, this is a surefire sign you're about to make an idiot of yourself.

4.) Try to talk as little as possible, and when you do speak, only ask superficial questions -- Shut up, nerd.

5.) But don't ask questions about things normal people should know -- Gosh, yes. House, Private Practice, and Grey's Anatomy are all different shows. And of course this isn't silly or superfluous. What is wrong with you? Idiot.

6.) Temporarily let go of the urge to achieve absolute precision in speaking -- Do as I say, not as I do.

7.) Don't correct anyone even when they're incorrect or imprecise -- That guy outside with a dead car battery who's about to electrocute himself with the jumper cables? If you want him to like you, let him find out the hard way.

8.) Don't use words that an 8th grader doesn't understand -- People are stupid. If you are the exception to this rule, you are not allowed to have friends.

9.) If somebody asks you about your job or hobbies, answer in one sentence -- Nobody cares.

10.) If everyone around is enjoying the ambient music, background live performance, etc., don't jump in with any analysis -- Seriously. Are you still talking?

11.) Never start a sentence with "Did you know that..." -- Ok, even I'm with the crowd on this one. I've rarely ever had a time where, when no one's talking, the phrase "Did you know..." was followed with something that improved the silence.

12.) Never start a sentence with "You should really..." -- Your expertise and knowledge are useless to the obstinate. No helping allowed.

So there you go, geeks. If you want to successful integrate yourself into society all you have to do is be completely different. Because all that crap about "just be who you are and be confident in who you are and don't worry about the critics" you heard growing up? Yeah. Total bull.

Comments (5)

Philip, may I call you Phil? No?
Phil, listen. The reason nobody likes you isn't because you are a nerd. That's not it at all. The reason nobody likes you is that you are a condescending jerk and you don't know how to treat people with respect. Just because you speak fluent Klingon doesn't mean that anyone else has an interest in the nuances in translating Shakespeare to an imaginary language. And if you feel the need to break the silence with a fun fact, maybe you should take to time to pay attention to either your own surroundings or the expression on the other person's face. If they seem to be enjoying themselves, don't ruin it with data on the cardiovascular system of a tree frog. Honestly, I don't think anyone that hasn't figured out how to be themself in the presence of others comfortably should be giving anyone social tips. Shut the hell up.

You know what's worse than a condescending nerd that spews facts? A religious condescending nerd that spews facts and expects you to "think" about your moral choices.

Iam a "nerd" and I HAVE A LIFE!. But no social life - I don't see the benefits of the latter, so i don't care.

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