There is one trait that separates humanity from all the other animals: the ability to start articles with grandiose generalities that couldn't possibly be true.
But something else people like to do is judge each other, and that's what this article's about -- even if monkeys also judge other monkeys, and some dolphins are hated by their peers.
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Specifically, this asshole here.
You would think, however, with all that judging, we'd get good at it. Nope. Most people fall for all the obvious tricks and mistake one character trait for another. Although there are far too many exceptions to mention, here are five personality types we constantly misjudge.
#5. An Earnest Guy Can Be a Needy Humblebraggart
Who doesn't like the earnest guy? All-American, humble, not too proud, hard-working, fair. Y'know, earnest guy.
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The earnest guy is great, and there's a great way to spot him: First, think of that guy everyone says is really earnest. Got him? Good. IT'S NOT THAT FUCKING GUY. If someone is really living a selfless, ethical life, dictated only by their personal integrity, then 9 times out of 10 you don't notice them at all. Earnest guys don't talk, blog, or tweet about how earnest they are. They just do their thing for the right reasons, never calling attention to their good deeds, and often go unnoticed by the other, far shittier people in the world.
There is a certain Twitter-famous individual who rose to prominence by shitting on a piece of human garbage that all decent people hate. Certainly, a bold choice. Then, shortly after that well-earned fame was cemented, Whitney Houston OD'd, and this Twitter celeb tweeted about how she wasn't making Whitney Houston jokes because she wasn't an asshole.
An asshole like me, I'm guessing.
But y'know what? People who think they're doing God's work by not tooling on dead celebrities don't need the validation of the Internet. Genuinely earnest people know their actions are their own reward. If someone's famous for being earnest, then that personality is just a persona. An act for attention no different or more admirable than someone juggling kittens or busking John Mayer songs in the subway.
#4. "Volatile Guy" Can Be "Honest Guy"
Now, there are definitely some loud-mouth douchebags in the world.
Assholes, for lack of a better word.
I'm not defending all abusive blowhards, but volume is not the best way to assess the content of someone's heart. I've met plenty of loud, even Lewis Black-esque angry people who were not bitter, hateful, or jaded. Indeed, that anger and volume often comes from idealism. I mean, think about it: Without idealism, what's there to be angry about? If you're jaded and cynical and believe everything will suck always, then you'll probably save your breath. Lots of angry people still believe better ways exist.
And even when that rage doesn't fly out of a true idealistic heart, at least you know where you stand. Especially in a work situation, I'd take a screamer over a schemer every time. Screamers raise your blood pressure for five minutes, but schemers burn an ulcer into your soul. Yes, your soul is located in your stomach. Shut up.
#3. Some Laid-Back Folks Are Just Undiagnosed Mental Patients
Sure, there's always room for the laid-back guy. It's nice to have someone around who goes with the flow and doesn't cause problems. Think of the guy in the band who feels the groove and just lays back on bass.
Incidentally, this is a "basshole."
But here's the thing about so many laid-back people: They're not. Specifically, hippies. I'm not talking about your grandparents who marched against the war; I mean the tie-dyed, jam-band stoners who talk about the joys of being "laid back." Rather than "laid back," the appropriate word for them is usually "high." It's not the same thing.
And why are they high? Well, in my experience, half the time it's because they have some form of undiagnosed panic disorder and the act of existing not stoned is somewhat insurmountable. So basically, they are the least laid-back people in the world.
Or sometimes they just can't talk, communicate, and interact. I mean they can interact enough to say "here" and pass a bong, but more than that gets dicey, and they are hostile to anyone wanting discourse beyond "Hey, what does that cloud look like to you?" A truly laid-back person is someone remaining calm under real-life conditions or stress. No one looks at the factory manager getting shit done without biting his nails and terrorizing people as being "laid back," but that's a far better definition than the guy who has seen Dave Matthews 58 times.