Everyone has weird quirks, odd habits, and the occasional (illegal) sexual fetish. You're not alone in collecting your dust bunnies in a jar or hating your parents because you walked in on them having sex on your 10th birthday. But just because you're not alone in your weirdness, does not mean you should share everything about yourself with the world. Log off your Twitter, keep your mouth shut at dinner parties and try extra hard to keep these seven things to yourself.
Photo credit: *clarity*, Flickr
It sucks that it happened to you, but no one wants to hear about your recurring psoriasis or festering foot wound. And if you want to keep any friends, do not even think about mentioning that you had swine flu at any point. If you're just dying to talk about health, bring up the health insurance industry. It's a pretty neutral topic that won't offend anybody.
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Don't worry, you're not the only one that has problems getting it up after downing a keg's worth of beers. And it's totally impossible that you're the only one in the world with those weird purple bumps. However talking about your sex problems doesn't make good water cooler chitchat nor does it make a good conversation starter on someone's Facebook wall. Keep your dysfunctions and diseases to yourself and instead brag about your wild and crazy (and possibly nonexistent) sex life.
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You wet the bed until you were 15, awesome. Brought your imaginary friend to middle school, great. Sharing these memories with others, creepy. Every single kid did weird things, but not every one of these weird things translates into a great story. Keep your odd childhood habits under wraps and replace them with made-up stories about you lost your virginity at a Bar Mitzvah in seventh grade.
Photo credit: Peter Werkman, Flickr
Money is another one of those awkward topics that make people squirm in their seats. If you make too much, they're jealous, if you make too little, they're condescending. It's a no-win situation and no matter what you say, someone will be judging. Actions speak louder than words and if you want to slyly show everyone how much you make (or don't make) offer to buy everyone a round at the bar (or offer everyone the opportunity to buy a round for you).
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Getting arrested for a fake ID in college is funny. Getting arrested for soliciting prostitution when you're supposed to be at your kid's soccer game is more on the tragic side of things. Keep your profile low in the neighborhood by not announcing to everyone when and why you were arrested. Then again, if you want to be the guy on the street that everyone shields their kids from, go ahead and embellish a few jail stories.
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Women in the grocery line will swoon over a guy talking sweetly about his girlfriend. Those same women will back away slowly and switch cashiers if you start bitching about why you hate her. Sorry things aren't working out for you, but strangers don't want to hear about it. If you just need to vent, dust off your webcam, and send in an audition tape to The Maury Povich Show.
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The fact that you comb weekend flea markets for ceramic clowns is not cute, it's weird. While your weird fetishes might have some practical emotional connection for you, they make other people suspect that you may be a serial killer. Put those murderous rumors to rest by keeping all your special collections and eccentric habits on the down low. Or try doing something normal like collecting DVDs or collecting empty beer cans to put up your fireplace mantle.
Photo credit: Robynlou8, Flickr
(Originally published on January 4, 2010.)