One thing I’ve learned is that when you meet someone new and they say something like “I’m a bit mad, hahaha” or “I’ve got the mental age of a 3 year old, hahaha” or “I’m a bit of a misogynist, hahaha” or “I’m a bit of a prima donna, hahaha” or “I want to wear your skin like a tuxedo, hahaha” then you should not treat their gibberings as a joke. Invariably, what they actually mean is one of two things:
1. I’m the most boring person you’ll ever meet. I have invented some quirks to make me seem more interesting. I hope you like them.
2. I have serious problems, which you will inevitably find out about eventually. However, I’m making a show of not taking them seriously. I’m hoping that you won’t take them seriously either, because otherwise our relationship is hopeless, and I’ll forever miss out on my opportunity to wear your skin like a tuxedo.
In either case, there is only one safe response. Just quietly reply “duly noted” and walk away slowly.
I always avoid the “I’m mad, me” crowd as much as possible. As you say, they’re (usually, but not invariably) duller than a wet Sunday watching Eastenders while ironing.
And that’s the best case scenario right there.
I don’t get as aggrieved about the casual, politically incorrect use of the word “mad” as I perhaps should, having had my own share of tedious mental health issues and known many others who have too – there are bigger problems in the world. But I do recommend the following approach to those juvenile idiots who introduce themselves with “I’m MAD, me!” – I tried it once, at a party many moons ago, and it was surprisingly effective at shutting him up. Oh, and I’ve changed his name to protect his identity:
“Hi, I’m Twatface! I’m MAD, me! MAD! Mad, mad, mad! You’ve not met anyone as MAD as me!”
“You mean you have mental health problems?”
“What? No, I mean I’m mad! I’m CRAZY!”
“I know. You said already: you’ve got mental health problems.”
“No mate, not mad. Not mad like that. I mean I’m mad, crazy, wacky…er…” (He makes a strange gurning expression to try and communicate just how ‘mad’ he is)
“I have to say – it’s very impressive how upfront, but also how lighthearted you are about your mental health problems. We need that kind of openness about… what, where are you going?”
I’d say you were lucky to escape that altercation with your skin still attached.
Yep, it was the drunken recklessness of youth. These days I’d say nothing, get annoyed, leave the party and tweet about it on the way home. Hmm, I think I preferred the younger me.
“Ah, you mean you prefer the jolly japeries of free and feckless youth, rather than that you have issues with your own mental health. Why didn’t you say so?”
And admit to being normal? Never!
Well, I wouldn’t describe my youth as “free and feckless”, Lyle. I think I started my midlife crisis at about the age of 14. Twenty-eight years later, it’s still going strong. 🙂
There was a guy on Masterchef yesterday – the clips had already showed him as an appalling braggart – but when interviewed by Gregg, he made some attempt to say something like “My friends tell me that I’m too modest….”
Even if he hadn’t already revealed himself as a twat, then that would surely have done it for the reasons you outline above.
I want to give you an award, Swisslet, for using the word ‘braggart’, at which I had a little internal skip of glee.
It’s worth noting that the Masterchef Braggart was the first one to go out.