It’s taken me a long time to adhere to the Weirdo rule. Partly because I doubted myself and partly because I was too polite. I’ll still make the mistake of not following it in the future, but I’m getting better with each burn.
Here are some examples of the rule. You’ll get the gist.
When you have met someone multiple times in different settings, and he doesn’t remember your name. Each time he introduces himself to you as if it’s the first time he’s ever met you. A mistake would be to walk away thinking you must a very forgettable person. Wrong. This person is a weirdo. Zero EQ or social skills. Too self involved to notice.
You are having a conversation with someone, and it’s entirely one way. They asked for the meeting or initiated the conversation, but they offer nothing. A mistake would be for you to keep talking. Maybe you are hard to understand or just boring them to tears? Nope. This person is a weirdo. Stop talking, Pause. There will probably be an awkward moment or two. Goodbye weirdo.
You ask for a rare favor from someone you’ve helped on countless occasions in the past. Your text or email goes unanswered. The next time you see the person they act as if they never saw the email. They’ve ghosted the whole interaction. Your email didn’t fail to send. It’s not still sitting in your draft folder. Their response didn’t go to your junk mail. In the past I would think I probably shouldn’t have asked for a favor, now I just stop helping the weirdo.
Have confidence in your intuition. Be self-aware. Follow up and give people the benefit of the doubt, but don’t start making excuses for weirdos. Life gets a lot more straightforward with this rule.
There is a catch 22 with this rule. You might be the weirdo, then you are screwed.