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Personality Plus

I don’t know how we’ve gotten along so far without it.

Of course, I’m talking about Psychologium.com. It’s a website full of insightful articles on human behavior and, being humans, this is definitely a subject we know absolutely nothing about.

There are no contributors listed on the site, and since I hear that computers have learned to write articles, this could explain the lack of bylines. [As you know, this column is written by a Tandy TRS-80 with a 5MB hard drive. And though it may be fading away from your nearest strip mall, your author would like to say — RadioShack rules!]

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Still, there must be a staff of mega-smart, doctorate-level math nerds in the home office. Who else could calculate the numerical titles of the Psychologium articles, most of which start with “8 ways” or “9 types” or “5 signs.” It was a “7 signs” article that caught my attention recently, specifically, “7 Signs Your Personality is Annoying for People Around You.”

Now, you probably don’t know if the people around you are annoyed or not, since most people don’t come anywhere near you. You’ve never known if the reason is (a) people are jealous of your brilliance, (b) people are envious of your good looks, or (c) your AXE deodorant is just not working as well as you think.

But there may be another reason. In fact, there may be 7 other reasons.

For example, sign No. 1 is “Your Friends And Family Constantly Tell You To Cheer Up And To Look At The Bright Side Of Things.” In other words, your outlook on life is so depressing that no one wants to stand next to you under the permanent cloud of doom that hangs over your head. What’s the solution?

Psychologium suggests your associates are probably miserable, too, but, being much better people that you, they don’t complain. Which is why, if you want to be a good person, you should keep up the constant complaining. If other people think you’re more miserable than they are, it definitely will make them feel better.

“Your Co-Workers Tell You That You Are Very Patronizing” is sign No. 2. “If you exude superiority through every pore,” the article explains, “the chances are that everybody at the office secretly hates you.”

Of course, at your office, the fact that everyone hates you is not a secret. Your co-workers are totally upfront about it. And maybe that’s why you’re so patronizing. Being able to generate such extreme loathing is really quite an accomplishment.

[This so-called "character flaw” is linked with arrogance, by the way, another "extremely annoying and bothersome personality trait.” Apparently, if you want to be liked, you shouldn’t spend every minute telling your co-workers how terrific you are. Once an hour is enough.]

“You Are Always The One People Come To For The Latest Gossip” is sign No. 3. Apparently, likeable people do not “focus exclusively on other people’s flaws and try to bring them down.” This is why likeable people are so boring.

Sign No. 4 is “You Are Always Late and Unreliable.” This makes no sense. If you are always late, you are extremely reliable. Everyone can rely on you to be always late.

“You Are Constantly Competing” is sign No. 5. This “can be particularly annoying for those who are “more spiritually and culturally evolved than you.” I suppose this is true, but, really, who could possibly be more spiritually and culturally evolved than you, except, perhaps, for Hulk Hogan and the ficus tree in the reception area?

Being “Selfish And Temperamental” is sign No. 6. “If you tend to raise your voice to impose your opinion or point of view, that will certainly not take you very far.” That should not be a problem, considering your well-known reputation as a human marshmallow, but do make sure that you remain 100 percent opinion-free, especially when it comes to disagreeing with your managers. The only time to raise your voice is when you are vigorously defending the idiotic opinions of your moronic supervisor.

The final sign that you could possibly, conceivably, improbably be an annoying person is “You Are Plain Rude.” Being polite, you see, is “one of the pillars of modern life, and if you are being rude, then people will slowly push you away.”

If true, I say, don’t change a thing. If your rudeness makes people slowly push away, that’s a real improvement. Right now, they’re running away from you just as fast as they can.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at bob@bgplanning.com.

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