5 Things You Should Know About People

1. People want to be loved. Whether it’s by their family, friends or a lover, we just want someone to make us feel safe and important. Otherwise, we’ll feel like we’re broken in some way. We’ll blame ourselves for being alone when everyone else seems to be with someone. We want human touch, we want “I love you”‘s, we want to come home after work to someone we can eat dinner with. We need to feel worth it, we need to feel special, we need a place to go to for Christmas.

2. People want to fuck. This is different than wanting to be loved. The desire to have sex with another person exists in an entirely different part of your brain and people will spend obscene amounts of money to ensure that they have sex with someone. No, I’m not talking about prostitutes (hey girl hey!), I’m talking about your gym membership, your expensive haircut, your new jeans that make your ass look really great. These are all things we do in order to be perceived as desirable. We then go on dates and spend so much money on someone to increase our chances of getting laid. “If I buy you the lobster, you’re letting me do things to you tonight.” These are exchanges that are universally understood. In a way, we’re all whores when it comes to sex. Some people just ask for the cash upfront.

3. People have their own shit to work through. This seems fairly obvious but when you really think about what it actually means, it should flood you with a sense of relief. Your asshole boss is a nightmare but maybe they hate themselves or their mom drinks too much or they haven’t been on a date in five years. Whenever someone comes across as truly difficult, I try to think about what kinds of stuff they’re dealing with. Chances are they’ve been up emotional shit creek without paddle. That makes their acid tongue more bearable.

4. People often hurt themselves the most. This is a difficult and sad concept to grasp. But whether it’s through addictions, dating the same jerk over and over or not realizing that we’re great, we are often the root of our problems. People like to play the blame game and scapegoat their issues on to something else like their childhood and parents. While that’s all very understandable, there must come a point in everyone’s life when we have to take ownership and realize we have the power to change things. It’s like we spend so much time avoiding ourselves and then when we finally acknowledge it, we’re like, “Oh, okay. Now, I know how to fix things!” We’re all fucking crazy. Don’t beat yourself up about it. I know everyone wants to appear well-adjusted but we’re all just silently losing our shit.

5. Secretly we all just want the simple things, which is health, happiness, and love. Tell that to a twenty-something hipster and they’ll be like, “Um, no. I want the new Phillip Lim collection and my own column in Nylon!” And maybe in that moment, they really do want that, but they also would just give it up to be loved and be happy. This might be embarrassing to admit but it seems to be overwhelmingly true. Would you give up all the static for a warm house in the country with your # 1 babe? Maybe not, but as you get older, you will become less fulfilled by the distractions and the noise and the power lunches and the boring conversations and the parties. There’ll be a point when you’re done being surrounded by everybody and just want to have a few somebodies. TC mark


Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Jordan

    Not a bad piece, Ryan.  Plus, you didn’t mention coke, adderall, liberal arts, or an ex-boyfriend!

    But, enough # Things About Things!  I immediately bring a piece with that title down a couple notches until proven otherwise.  I think it’d be far more interesting to come up with an interesting title (yes, these types of titles WERE interesting, for a time) and tie this together as an essay as opposed to yet. another. list.

    • http://twitter.com/kyleangeletti Kyle Angeletti

      Have to agree. Enough, please. Feels like you’ve written this same article a number of times already. 

    • Thomas

      Pieces like this are all about being brutally honest and to-the-point. No bullshit. A clever little title with a double-meaning would be contradictory to his entire message.

      • Jordan

        Well I don’t think a double meaning is necessary, I’m just saying that THIS strain of titles is worn.  I’d even take ‘About People,’ who knows.  But only the first 10 times.

        I think a unique but relevant title could be found without altering the message.

      • authenthich

        what is wrong with lists. they are easy to read. they get the point across

      • your cousin

        I like the lists, and I like the titles telling me that they will be lists. When I look for new posts every morning, I find and read the lists first.

      • your cousin

        I like the lists, and I like the titles telling me that they will be lists. When I look for new posts every morning, I find and read the lists first.

  • Poonam

    This is fantastically honest and as usual, painfully accurate. Well played, Ryan.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=6020130 Aleks Gajewski

    I think you nailed it on the fucking head. Great article.

  • Anonymous

    You should tell that little hipster that Phillip Lim’s collection is made in China.   Hooray for paying $890 for a moto jacket that probably cost $50 to make. Smart little hipster.

    • Tim

      Way to miss the fucking forest for the trees…

      • Asdf

        Now now, “Tim.” Just because you desire the Phillip Lim collection doesn’t mean you must make this personal. We’re not judging you here. Nope. If you want dress yourself up in overpriced designer women’s clothing, that’s A-OK with me.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Megan-Shafer/1169280047 Megan Shafer

    “In a way, we’re all whores when it comes to sex. Some people just ask for the cash upfront.”
    thanks, now i have to clean up the coffee i spit out from laughing so hard.

  • Tim

    Fuck the haters this is great Ryan!

  • http://maxwellchance.wordpress.com Duke Holland of Gishmale

    #5 All the way. 

  • No

    I’m usually a fan, but “this is great”? WTF? A recap of the insight:

    1. People enjoy emotional affection.
    2. People enjoy sex on a physical level.
    3. People have problems.
    4. People can be self-destructive.
    5. Happiness comes from simple things.

    I read this and went “duh,” “duh,” “duh,” “duh,” and “duh.” Some fun references as usual, but not much of a point.

    • Byrnsy

      The title is “5 Things You Should Know About People”  not “5 Things You should, But Probably Don’t Know About People”.
      It’s wonderful that you may already be (and are always) aware of these things, NO. Some of us enjoy gentle reminders like this

  • Dave

    I should write down No.3 and put it on my refrigerator.  I can see myself constantly forgetting that one.

  • http://twitter.com/rrpeters523 Ryan Peterson

    While it’s true that a lot of this is self-evident (I mean what was everyone expecting, some ground-breaking discovery about the human condition?), sometimes it’s nice to remind ourselves of our commonalities. Everyone seems to get caught up in their own issues and jump to the conclusion that no one else feels the same, or that no one “understands”. This article just simply reminds us that it’s not the case, and sometimes we need that.

  • Gia

    A nice, simple reminder that we’re all human. Thank you.

  • jack

    so bland

  • C.

     “If I buy you the lobster, you’re letting me do things to you tonight.” 
    hahaha you just made my day

  • Guest

    This is wonderful, Ryan!

  • http://www.twitter.com/mexifrida Frida

    Good read when you are feeling down or without purpose.
    Everyone has at some point.

    Great article.  Reminder of the things that really matter which are hard to remember in our self-induced web of hopelessness sometimes.

  • Nixter_doodle

    I always have to remind myself of #3… good job, Ryan!

  • http://twitter.com/ladyofthelatke aleks polasomething

    i liked this article very much. it cheered me up. 

  • your cousin

    “Everyone wants to appear well-adjusted but we’re all just silently losing our shit.”

  • http://twitter.com/ingenuegle Egle Makaraite

    I like this, it’s cute.

  • momo

    You are truly the best writer on this site. 

    • Reallyyyydude

      on opposite planet

  • Anna

    ryan, i love you. 

  • Forever Alone

    Me Gusta.

  • Lou

    this is so awesome. i will definitely keep #3 in mind next time i’m getting shit from someone. i really, really liked this article.

  • SaraJane

    thank you Ryan. your article is simple, sweet and straightforward. i love reading TC beacause of you <3

  • April

    i’ve been seeing a downward spiral with the content on The TC but seriously Ryan..you write to speak to the heart. you somehow illustrate the human emotion in such a context that everyone understands..good shit. keep on writing; i now only come back to The TC to read your stuff. 

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