Thursday, September 6, 2012

Disguising the Nerd Inside

I'm of two schools of thought on this subject. On the one hand I think it's important to cover the more nerdy aspects of your personality with a veneer of cultural acceptability just to do everyday life stuff like get a job/ go to said job (taking into a account having a job where physically expressing said nerdiness is not encouraged). However, I also firmly believe in being true to oneself and that includes letting your nerd flag fly. Why be ashamed of this great part of yourself? I'M NOT! BOOM. Again though, I am a huge nerd but I'm pretty sure you wouldn't be able to tell from meeting me or from having a casual conversation with me for the first time. This is partially because I am awkward as fuck and I don't like talking to new people (no offense world, I'm sure you're all great...maybe) but it's also because I know the importance (to a degree) of social acceptance. That being said, nerds are the best and what follows are just a few tips on how to blend in with the "normals" for want of a better word so you can fool them into thinking you are lame like them, also tips on how to be a nice person which everyone needs sometimes.

John Green may be the best person ever. 

Now when I say it's a good idea to cover that nerd costume with a normal facade I'm not talking about people who walk around with like clever t-shirts what I'm talking about is THIS character. The person who uses his/her nerdiness as a sort of defense mechanism. You think talking to people is awkward and you'll fail so you by pass all that gunk by appearing inaccessible as fuck and wearing all the trappings of a full-fledged nerdling. This person is not taking a healthy approach to being a nerd. He/she is using the stereotype to hide from society NOT HEALTHY AND NOT A GOOD IDEA! I personally am not a huge fan of society as a whole, it is imperfect and full of douchebags but it is a necessary evil, for the most part. However, I'm not here to talk about the problems I have with society THAT'S A DIFFERENT BLOG POST ALL TOGETHER I'm here to offer some solutions to those struggling nerds who want to present a more palatable picture to the world.

Step one: Personal Hygiene

These kids know what's up
Take a shower, take a whole boat load of showers! This may seem obvious but I'm sorry to say that it is not. Several nerd boys in high school could have benefited from this advice and I'm sure they still could. SHOWERS, SOAP AND DEODERANT are your best friends. BEST FRIENDS. you all should have sleep overs and discuss your new card expansion packs all night long with them. Deoderant is really great at Magic the Gathering, did you know? Also people will treat you so much better if they don't have to hold their breathes in your presence.
No one wants to stand near this guy

I'm also going to include luandry in this step as well. Think of this as a cleansing. Literally you are cleaning everything. Everything that will be exposed to the outside world should be clean. You can wear your nerd boy t-shirts that's fine, major points if they are witty, but PLEASE make sure they are clean. NOT "oh I just febreezed them they're fine" clean but you put them through a cycle in the washing machine and used detergent clean. FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR DEITY OF CHOICE PLEASE!

Step Two: Social Niceties

I am right here with you with this, I hate small talk. It is annoying and most of the time I'd rather be reading my book. There is nothing more annoying then being in the break room during one of my small short painfully limited breaks and having to put down my book because some asshole wants to talk during his/her break. I'm all for being social but for crying out loud, I'M READING A BOOK. Maybe I said hi to you when you first walked in but notice how I went right back to my book, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT I WANT TO DO. However, all that being said, it is mad important to at least know how to hold a causal conversation about literally nothing of substance. The less substance you can pack into the conversation the better.

It may sound trite but talk about the weather. Sometimes that's all it takes. They'll accept your social offering and let you continue on with whatever it was you really want to do. If they demand more ask about how their day is going. As a rule, people generally speaking, love talking about themselves, especially the social butterflies of the world. So ask them about their day, comment on their new haircut or outfit. If you're a man and you feel awkward noticing stuff like that ask them about their lunch or something. Literally just give them some indication you notice they are a human being occupying space in your vicinity.

Once you have established that you are not an agent of evil or a social outcast people are generally more forgiving of your need for some quiet during breaks. It also doesn't hurt to just look up and smile at people when they walk in. It's nice to be noticed and it's a nice thing to do to notice them.

Step Three: Learn Some Social Consciousness

That would be, illogical
When I say social consciousness what I am referring to is how you sound to other people when you are conversing with them. There is a stereotypical hint of condescension that lurks around every nerdy person's tone and just sets other people on edge. It's great that you know every single aspect of the original Star Trek and you can quote verbatim every argument between Spock and McCoy, but that does NOT mean that any one else has to care and/or be impressed by that. It's awesome when people are excited about what they're into, I love to talk to people about their passions when they are sharing in an open and friendly way. What I hate is when some know it all decided to "educate" me on the differences between the original and the remake of Battlestar Galactica. We can have an intellectual conversation about it and I will be more than happy to listen to your theories about what happened with Starbuck in the last episode but please don't talk down to me about it. I will just walk away and I will never talk to you in a warm way again. Never.

If you do not mean to talk down to your acquaintances or co-workers but that is just how things are coming out then you need to pay better attention to how you are coming across. Instead of jumping on a mistake someone makes perhaps let it slide or jokingly correct it. "Dude no way, Starbuck was so not a cylon, though I really thought she was one of the final five too!" or something along those lines. Try to employ some empathy. EMPATHY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND.

Step Four: Realizing that Being a Nerd is AWESOME

Guess what guys?!?! I am a nerd and I've stopped caring that other people know. I don't necessarily look like a nerd, other than my glasses but I am not afraid to let my nerd flag fly. If someone brings us SciFi books I'll jump right in on that conversation. If Battlestar Galactica comes up I will sing my Battlestar Galactica song which I created to celebrate new episodes. I am not even joking. But the biggest thing you need to realize is that everyone is nerdy about something. Being a nerd just means you are super into one specific thing. You just got to find a common thread with someone else, something you are both nerdy about and let the nerd party COMMENCE!

1 comment:


    "Deoderant is really great at Magic the Gathering, did you know?"

    "(no offense world, I'm sure you're all great...maybe)"

    "I will just walk away and I will never talk to you in a warm way again. Never."

    so true bro so true. this guy on the bus was talking to me about the broken wheels on his suitcase while i was trying to read persuasion. :( AND I TALK TO PEOPLE ABOUT THE WEATHER ALL THE DAMN TIME DEAR GOD