11 Things You Should Stop Doing If You Want People To Take You Seriously

1. Looking At Your Phone Every 3.4 Seconds

Which of course, is about 40,234 times easier said than done.

All I’m saying is that if you’re sitting at a bar waiting for a friend to show up, and all of a sudden a person of interest (10/9 central only on CBS) glides up to the bar, do you want to be absentmindedly scrolling through your twitter feed like a chocolate cake addict with crumbs drooling from your mouth. Crumbs are drooling from your mouth.

2. Blaming Others

It’s the easy route, but it doesn’t enable you to take long hard looks in the mirror. How else are you gonna spot that first gray hair?

3. Choosing the Wrong Medium To Send A Message

If you have something meaningful or profound to say, avoid Facebook. If you”re dealing with something of great magnitude (i.e, family emergency, breakup), most certainly don’t text. If you’re trying to prove to a group of people how hip you are, do not show up riding a Unicycle.

Or on second thought, do?

4. Acting Like You’re Familiar With Things That You Actually Aren’t

This is big, and we all do it. Because sometimes, it’s a necessary conversation escape rope. I mean, does anybody really want to get stuck in a 10 minute tirade about how terrible of a human they are because they haven’t seen Back To The Future? 

Of course not. But if you do go this route, don’t get caught. In certain circles, you’ll lose your cred forevs.

5. Over Hash-Tagging

I’m all for a good hashtag. But hashtags done wrong are kind of like watching your friend strike out at life in real time. #forreal #nothingworse #brutal #cantstop #redhotchillipeppersandormileycyrus

6. Compromising Your Values To Remain “Cool”

I have never done cocaine–I don’t really have an interest, don’t want my nose to disintegrate, and don’t want to start sniffing with the fury of Kramer’s accountant. I’m also pretty terrified of doing cocaine, cause I’ll probably (a. die, or (b. get a bad batch, and die. When confronted with this, I tell the truth half time time–other times I basically just say that I’d probably get addicted, because I’d be more of a cocaine badass than anyone else who has ever done cocaine ever.


While this is phenomenally insecure, it’s also an easy (and sometimes necessary) way to maintain relevance and credibility in a social situation, especially if that situation has implications on your future and/or career aspirations.

However, as D.A.R.E. officers in America have said from day one, it’s really just best to have guts and believe in what you’re saying. Not always easy, but people will most def respect your shit.

7. Assume That Your Degree Measures Your Intelligence

It doesn’t. A degree may help open the door, but once you’re in the room you’ve gotta prove yourself all over again.

This is nothing new, but I figure at least one person hasn’t heard it before, and will thus attribute this wise idea to this very article. In 2013, this seems to be how intelligence works.

8. Intentionally Out-Obscuring Your Peers

Essentially the opposite of item no. 4. For example, if you constantly find yourself steering conversations towards the deep waters of Jamie Kennedy’s IMDB page, it’s probably time to call it day.

9. Not Sticking To Your Character, Even When He Shouldn’t Be In The Scene

The other night I was at an open mic (AKA the pinnacle of showbiz), when this Adam Scott’s character for Step Brothers sort of guy meanders on stage and starts doing his thing. Suit in tow, his act was very much Daniel Tosh if Daniel Tosh worked on Wall Street–sort of a dick, but supremely confident and swaggy-like. An act that no doubt would kill in certain settings, but an act that’s very difficult to pull off at an open mic–a place that’s basically one step below a soup kitchen.

About halfway through his act, he started apologizing to the audience about his lack of being funny–something that generally softens the blows of bombing, but was most certainly the opposite of what Royal Bank of Tucker Max would’ve done.

Not compromising might not have saved that particular set, but compromising defeated the entire purpose of what he seemed to be trying to do. Your name is your name.


10. Being Overly Self-Deprecating

Are you a “fully functioning adult” with a job and an apartment, but spend 23% of the day writing tweets about not knowing how to make a sandwich?

At least one of you is–otherwise, I wouldn’t’ve read that tweet and put in a list on the internet.

11. Taking Yourself Too Seriously

It’s a bad look. So try as hard as you possibly can not to. Like, devote all your energy–every single ounce–into doing that. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

More From Thought Catalog