1. Wait a long time before responding to someone even after you’ve read their message.
What are you, some kind of affection junkie living in the sewer system who sings longing musical numbers towards the rays of sunlight you get through the manhole covers about how you want to be up there with the normals? No. You take an hour at least to respond to text messages, like a god damned adult. You wait, and you certainly don’t give them even a hint about the sweaty, shaky hour you spend hiding your phone from yourself and mentally editing the response you’re going to send to achieve maximum cool factor. You never let them see the sewer troll you actually are.
2. Have entire arguments with yourself in preparation for seeing someone.
There are some moments which must remain private even more securely than masturbation or the nights were you go through a sleeve of Chips Ahoy like a methed-out woodchuck, and one of those moments is when you’re talking to yourself in the shower about what you’re going to say to someone when you see them. It is just a level of crazy that no one ever needs to be aware of, and a moment that is only shared between you and our judgmental, wrathful Lord.
3. Pretend not to know about things you clearly know about.
What are you going to say to this person? “Oh, yeah, of course I know that you were at that party I wasn’t invited to last weekend… I spent a full 45 minutes looking at the pictures one by one as they appeared on my news feed, becoming increasingly indignant and self-conscious as the clock ticked by.” You can’t say this, obviously. So you have to work up your most “pleasantly surprised and not at all horrifying” face for when they tell you about their activities this past weekend. You have to swallow your knowledge, along with your pride, as you pretend to be a normal human who isn’t all caught up on the private lives of everyone around you.
4. Keep people on social media (and share them) specifically because they are bonkers.
Some people are just so FUCKING BONKERS, though. Like, some people literally exist so you can send screenshots of their status updates/pictures to your friends and be like “?!?!?!??!?!?!?! HOW IS THIS PERSON EVEN REAL????” There are some people that you are on first-name basis with even though you’ve never met them, simply because your friend is always updating you on their penchant for smoking Kools while pregnant and sharing racist memes from fan pages with names such as “~my inner child is a drunken whore~”
5. Spend excessive time crafting Tweets/statuses, only to delete after they receive no feedback.
There is no deeper shame, no moment more pure in its humility, than admitting that your overwrought social media morsel was just not hot fire in the least. Taking it down is truly the internet equivalent of trying to start a spirit clap at a pep rally only to have absolutely no one join it. You might as well just kill yourself, honestly.
6. Re-use a pre-worn outfit because you didn’t run into anyone when you wore it.
On the one hand, you’re like, “This runs a decent risk of being smelly, and I don’t want to be the smelly person in the fantastic outfit.” But on the other hand, there are certain ensembles which are the sartorial equivalent of the tree falling in the forest. If no one saw it while you were running errands and strolling around the most trafficked areas of the city, it did not exist. And if you know you actually are going to see some people who need to be impressed/seduced the following day, it’s worth an extra spritz of perfume to recycle that perfectly-tailored masterpiece. Yes, it’s a little gross, but only you know it’s gross. So it basically doesn’t count.
7. Back yourself into a corner by pretending to know things that you clearly know nothing about.
It is truly the strangest, sweatiest of all human instincts, that of needing to pretend to follow along with what someone is talking about. If someone is talking to me about, I don’t know, 17th-century Russian literature — especially if said person is hot — I’m going to suddenly become a tenured professor at some east coast liberal arts college who literally only studies that very subject for a living. “Oh, totally, I love that author. What a card!” Then they’re like, “Yeah? What’s your favorite piece of theirs?” And this is the moment where you up and run through the wall of the bar, leaving a hole in the shape of your body à la Looney Tunes, never to be heard from again.