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Being Your Own Worst Enemy

A twelve-step program on how you can ruin your reputation, lose friends, miss opportunities, and otherwise make your own life miserable

by Barry Drogin

March 7, 2005

So, things are going well, your future is assured, you're starting to rise up in the world of human affairs. No fear - you can muck it up and return to the misery that you so richly deserve! Just follow these twelve steps and you will be thrust from the Garden of Eden, cast into the shadows, doomed to roam the earth wracked with toil and ... well, you get the idea!

Step One - Act in the heat of the moment. He who hesitates is lost, and you want to be lost, don't you? Feel slighted? Toss off an angry e-mail! Something rude and offensive pops into your head? Go ahead, say it, it will amuse you. If people can't take a joke, that's their problem, right?

Step Two - Never bathe. Want people to keep their distance? Stinking to high heaven will literally keep people at arm's length. Make sure your breath smells bad, too - double their displeasure, double your fun! Don't shave, dress shabbily - study homeless people, they're your model!

Step Three - Tell secrets. Prove to others that you can't be trusted by being scrupulously honest at all times. Confiding in others is the surest way of demonstrating to people that they cannot confide in you.

Step Four - Only talk about yourself. Show no interest whatsoever in anyone else's affairs. After all, you are the star of your own show, and people need to learn from your vast reserve of experience. Don't be afraid to repeat yourself, as well.

Step Five - Show no manners. "Please," "thank you," "I'm sorry" - ignoring those is just the beginning! Never say, "Good morning" - after all, what's so good about it! Let doors slam in your neighbors' faces. Speak with food in your mouth. Pick your nose in public. And there are a wide range of bodily emanations, as well. Let 'er rip!

Step Six - Make enemies. In order to be your own worst enemy, you must make others your enemies as well. Scheme, plot, insult, offend. Arrogance can be effective, also. Then beat them to the punch - cut them out of your life. Hold a grudge - hold several!

Step Seven - Bemoan your fate. Now that you have started to ruin your life, it's time to start complaining about it! If nobody knows the trouble you've seen, start publicizing it. Misery loves company, but company hates misery!

Step Eight - Keep people waiting. Put off until tomorrow what you were supposed to do yesterday. Let it snowball - if you delay long enough, now you can feel guilty about the delay, which makes it even harder to act! See how easy it is?

Step Nine - Go into isolation. Now that you've set the stage, it's time to make sure you never appear on it. Move out of state. Never go out. Shun all forms of human contact. Start by refusing to make long distance telephone calls - after all, rates are so high! Screen incoming calls, and make sure your answering machine message is confusing. Make it difficult for people to reach you by e-mail - it's all spam, anyway, right?

Step Ten - Run from opportunity. Despite your best efforts, opportunities may still chase you, so bring all of your neuroses, fears and rationalizations to bear. Master this and you'll be a real pro at never being a pro. Practice, practice.

Step Eleven - Make your own rules. Now it's time to get on your high horse and make yourself completely unable to function in human society. Let your phobias be your guide! Vegetarians, recovering alcoholics, dieters - you can be more creative than that! Set yourself apart from the pack and come up with some really bizarre rules that will make living practically impossible. Better yet, make sure nobody else can possibly remember or understand them! You're almost there!

Step Twelve - Hate yourself. Now that everyone hates you, it's time to start hating yourself, as well. Wipe out all vestiges of self-esteem. Revel in your misery.

That's it, you've done it! You've become your own worst enemy! Congratulations, and may you rot in hell for all eternity, as well!

Copyright ©2005 by Not Nice Music. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission from Not Nice Music.