1. Guys who act tough have fragile egos. Also secrets.
2. Hang around long enough and you’ll eventually evolve into The Man that you’re trying to stick it to.
3. Grief is like an accumulation of snow. Shovel it out of your immediate path, but it still sits piled high in the front yard, providing a chilling reminder of its presence.
4. During social events, take on the heavy lifting if the conversation sags. When gaps in dialogue are unavoidable, meet the eyes of other people indifferently. Hold, then release.
5. Negativity is emotional pollution. You can’t hang around places where it spews without inhaling its toxicity.
6. It’s okay to be on the wrong train as long as you stay on the right track.
7. As people walk past you, they instinctually move as far away as possible. They think you’re a threat. We all believe the other person is the threat.
8. Bigotry is society’s eternal boomerang, destined to return no matter how often we toss it away.
9. Do not confuse thirst with the desire to fill oneself and not remain empty. Especially at bars.
10. If you cannot be honest, become a mystery.
11. Asking for directions from those who have never been where you’re going is a surefire strategy to get lost.
12. Every party has a pooper. Make them pick up their shit and leave.
13. Become skilled in more than one thing. One-trick ponies rarely get encores.
14. People will hold the past against you like a blade to your neck. Resist the urge to flinch. Never get cut.
15. Don’t drown in the undercurrent of the avoidable while swimming away from what’s unavoidable.
16. Make sure anyone trying to prey on you starves.
Adrian S. Potter — the antisocial extrovert — is an author, engineer, consultant, and public speaker. When he’s not busy silently judging your beer selection or record collection, he writes poetry, short fiction, and articles on various subjects, including creativity, leadership, optimism, and personal growth. Adrian is the winner of the 2022 Lumiere Review Prose Award and the author of Field Guide to the Human Condition. His latest book, And the Monster Swallows You Whole, was released in May 2023 through Stillhouse Press. Visit Adrian at http://adrianspotter.com/. Say hi. He won’t bite.