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Friends Don’t Let Friends Be “That Guy”

Nobody likes “that guy.” You know, “that guy”—the person who breaks social etiquette by saying or doing something awkward, inappropriate, or downright stupid; you know, the guy who drives 55 mph in the left lane when traffic is flowing at 70, the guy who wears enough cologne to make grandma say, “Damn!”, and the drunk guy who gets too loud at a party. Yeah, that guy. Nobody likes “that guy.” In fact, most people don’t even like being friends with that guy; it’s embarrassing.

Unfortunately, all of us, from time to time, are “that guy.” I’ve been “that guy” who holds up traffic at a tollbooth as I desperately search for 50 cents in a change compartment full of pennies; I’ve been “that guy” who makes off-color jokes at a dinner party that makes everyone cringe; and once I was even “that guy” who asked a woman how far along she was in her pregnancy when she wasn’t even pregnant!

Being “that guy” is awful and it feels terrible, which is why we sometimes struggle to admit when we’re being “that guy.” But the only thing worse than being “that guy” is being “that guy” who refuses to admit when he’s being “that guy.”  Now “that guy” is a self-righteous ass; that’s the guy who insists that he didn’t say anything inappropriate, and that’s the guy who never does anything wrong.

As much as I hate to admit it, I can be “that guy.” I sometimes ask, “What did I say?” when I’ve clearly said something I shouldn’t have, and “What did I do?” when I’ve done something wrong. Fortunately, however, there are people in my life who don’t let me get away with it. I have friends who tell me when I’m being “that guy” and insist that I’m being an ass when I try to deny it. I’m grateful for those friends because, without them, I eventually wouldn’t have any friends at all.

I write about “that guy” because ever since the presidential election came to an end, “that guy” has been showing up everywhere—television, radio, and every form of social media—arguing that Romney was the better candidate, the more righteous candidate, and that he should have won the election. Nobody likes “that guy”—the poor sport who every time his team loses has some sort of reason or excuse for why they lost or why they deserved to win. Whether he’s willing to admit it or not, “that guy” is unable to be a gracious loser because he has a superiority complex and, therefore, tends to cry foul and pout like a petulant child when things don’t go his way.

Since the election, however, “that guy” has not only been the poor sport who can’t lose with grace, “that guy” has also been the poor sport who can’t win with class. As much as he might try to restrain himself, “that guy” can’t help but gloat with self-righteous indignation, rubbing the losers’ faces in it.

So here’s the bottom line: in the aftermath of the presidential election, “that guy” is showing up everywhere, and although it’s easier to just keep your distance, if “that guy” is your friend, you might want to let him know that he’s being an ass, because in the end, nobody wants to be friends with “that guy.”

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About Leon Hayduchok

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