1. Going to a party against your will.
Look, we all have our nights that we’d rather dedicate to laying in bed and spilling crumbs all over ourselves as we watch 16 consecutive episodes of Breaking Bad. There is nothing wrong with that. Even I, an unrepentant extrovert in every sense of the word, have some nights where the only person I want to be talking to is the screen of my computer, like a crazy bag lady. If you find yourself in one of these self-care evenings, ready to just chill out with some mini pizzas and your feelings, there is no reason to force yourself to socialize. You know as well as I do that, should you decide to drag yourself to a house party that night, you are going to spend upwards of 85 percent of your time complaining about the noise with the house cat. And don’t even think about getting within a 100-foot radius of a bar, as your face is likely to melt off from sheer disdain for all the drunk people around you. Just stay home and treat yourself to some downtime.
2. Pursuing someone romantically who doesn’t answer your texts.
It’s nice to live in a fantasy world full of people who, despite not responding to you in anything resembling a normal time frame, are filled with nothing but love and compassion for you. However, in the real world, if you are in the infatuation stages with someone and they cannot be bothered to speak to you on a timely basis, chances are things are only going downhill from there. This is the heady time when you are supposed to be utterly addicted to each other; if it takes them a full four hours to get back to a two-page text with “Lol,” there is no hope for your future. Don’t torture yourself by mistaking their absence for a sexy game of hard-to-get. There is no plot twist in this story, they’re just an asshole.
3. Eating fast food when you’re trying to be healthy.
There is nothing wrong with the errant McNugget, but let’s be real: if you are heavily into a “getting healthy” moment and are trying your best to eat things that make you feel good and energized, eating a molten ball of fat and sugar is not going to help things along. It seems like such a good idea at the time, “Oh, yeah, no big deal. I’m just going to put this week of quinoa and self-esteem on hold for about a half an hour and eat, like, six cheeseburgers. It’ll be such a treat!” Cut to yourself an hour later, laying under the weight of your distended stomach, feeling like someone slapped you across the face with a bag of deep-fried bricks. Your whole body is essentially sobbing at you, asking why you would do this when all they want is to love you?? It’s an ugly scene.
4. Buying clothes too small in hopes of fitting into them.
Lol, no. I think we’ve all been here: standing in a dressing room, squeezing into something which turns our hips into two fresh-baked muffins, and makes us look like a sausage that is just too excited to stay in its tight little casing. We convince ourselves that, hey, we’re gonna lose a couple pounds and this will be the perfect motivator: we’ll have to get healthy to justify this absurd purchase! No. You’re just going to end up storing it in the back of the closet with all of the other shame spiral-inducing artifacts that you abandoned, right next to the unused exercise mat. Eventually you’ll sell it on Ebay or donate it, resenting yourself for ever having bought it in the first place. Save yourself the trouble.
5. Getting wasted the night before an important event.
Aren’t we just some kind of superhero of poor decision-making when it’s shot time and we don’t have to get up for, like, five hours? Five hours, at that point in our lives, is basically Rip Van Winkle-level sleep. That is enough sleep to grow a beard, to be kissed awake by a prince in your glass coffin, to evolve into a higher species. You could totally do with four hours of sleep, even. You really don’t need to sleep at all. And then comes the next morning, when you smell like a urinal cake and look as though you were pushed down an extremely steep hill and prevented from seeking immediate medical attention. Your coworkers know. Good God, do they ever know.
6. Googling your significant other’s ex.
What good is going to come of this? No, seriously, what positive outcome could ever arise from hastily scrolling through Google and Facebook as flecks of spittle form at the corners of your mouth and your eyes roll back into your head from blind rage? Are you suddenly going to stumble on some newspaper article about them doing amazing philanthropic work for a local children’s hospital and be moved to tears by how beautiful it is that the person you love could have loved someone with such a great heart? No. Even if you did find such an incredible life story, it would only make you forever hate charities, children’s hospitals, and human kindness. Anything they did is automatically the worst thing ever, and finding out even the most minute details is only providing fuel for your hate-train. “Oh, my god, she eats mangoes?!? What a fucking pretentious bitch.” Choo-choo!
7. Going out with a couple when you’re single.
Occasionally, I’ll admit, you may find a couple that is actually enjoyable to hang around on their own merits and won’t make you feel like a pimple on the face of their perfect, beautiful love. But speaking frankly, chances are that you are going to spend most of your time looking away while they give each other butterfly kisses and talk about inside jokes for which you have no point of reference. If you’re going to be a third wheel for the evening, I highly recommend keeping a cyanide pill in between your back teeth, just in case they start talking about how cute it would be if you got a significant other so you guys could do double datesies! I’ll personally see to it that you get a dignified funeral.