8 Of The Worst Things You Do To Look Cooler Than You Really Are (Please, Stop)

If you’ve never tried to look cool in front of someone, are you a human being? I mean, we’ve all been there. In fact, I think some of my most cringe-worthy moments (and a few proud ones too) have happened when I went out of my way to get in the good graces of someone I considered a lot cooler than me. Sometimes it was crushes, sometimes it was that girl in my grade everyone loved and revered, sometimes it was total strangers who just gave off an aura of effortless cool that I wished I had too. Sometimes, I pulled it off. Other times, I just made a total fool out of myself. But hands down, the trying-to-be-cool-AF moments I regret the most are the ones that made me do embarrassing things that went against who I am and what I believe in.

Sorry, that got real deep real fast, but I’m being honest.

The more comfortable we are with ourselves, the less likely we are to act like total phonies while seeking the approval of others. That’s probably why we do it the most when we’re teenagers (hey, that’s when your brain is literally wired to want to fit in). But it happens well beyond your teens too. In fact, for some people it can get worse in college and beyond. Woof. Listen, we’re all going to try to show off to people every now and then, it just happens. But if you’re going to do it, at least avoid doing these eight awful things you do to make you seem cooler than you really are. Please, do yourself a favor.

Pretending To Know Something You Have No Idea About

This scene from Clueless comes to mind whenever I think about this. Christian, Cher's crush, asks her if she likes Billie Holiday. In her attempt to curry favor with him, she says, "I love him." This leads to Christian side-eyeing the hell out of Cher. Why? Because Billie Holiday is a woman! Listen, we've all exaggerated how much we know about something--a band, a TV show, a news story--just to maintain a conversation or look a little more interesting around someone we like. But you're better off being honest about not knowing something than risk being quizzed on just how much you know, or making some other kind of misstep that gives you away. Nothing worse than trying to look cool and almost getting away with it...which just leads to you looking like a try-hard.


Blanking Your Not-So-Cool Friend Just So You Can Look Better To Someone Cooler

Honestly, I think a lot of us are guilty of this in one way or another. Maybe we run into someone cool at a party, or in the hallway, or at a concert. You want to impress them, but a friend of yours (or your group of friends) is really cramping your style in some way or another. Don't be a jerk and blank them just so you can attempt to impress someone you're into. Imagine if you were considered too uncool to acknowledge to one of your friends. It wouldn't feel very good, would it? At best, you'll maybe manage to get a conversation going with whoever you're trying to link up with, and be deemed an a-hole to your friend in the process. At worst, your awful behavior will be evident to everyone, even the person you're into, and everyone will think you're The Worst. Think about it, dude.

Freaks And Geeks

Smoking, Drinking, And Engaging In Other Vices For Someone's Cool Points

I hate to sound like a Truth ad or some anti-drinking PSA, but I'm serious. It's very normal to experiment with unhealthy substances, I can't tell you what to do. But FFS, if you do do it, don't do it to look cool in front of somebody. Besides, it'll probably backfire. Trust, you think that bumming a cigarette off your crush is a good move until you have to pretend that you know how to smoke in front of them. Cue you coughing up a lung and looking like the poseur you are. Yikes.


Pretending You're More Sexually Experienced Than You Actually Are

You aren't required to disclose your sexual history to anyone, period. But you're doing yourself (and your partner) a disservice if you act as if you're a lot more experienced than you really are. Aside from the fact that lying in a relationship--even a hookup--is a bad habit to get into, you're...low key playing yourself. Like, sure, you can get away with this lie if you're lucky, but chances are the truth will reveal itself sooner or later, and you'll look like a liar. If a hookup is awkward enough, you'll look like a bad liar. Your best bet is to be honest and have at it. That's way better than to tell your boo that you've had sex, like, 10 times even though you're a virgin; the truth may reveal itself in some seriously embarrassing ways. Don't we all want to avoid that? Of course we do.

Some Girls

Talking S**t About Someone Just To Keep Up Apperances

Once you get approval from someone you admire or think is cool, that approval becomes addicting. So addicting, in fact, that you'll do anything to remain in their good graces, even if you don't feel good about it. But don't be an a-hole just so someone can like you more. If those oh-so-cool people you love so much start trash talking someone you have no beef with, you're straight up being an awful person if you join in on the dog pile just to get a shallow laugh or an "OMG IKR?" in return. The object of their scorn didn't do a damn thing to you, why throw them under the bus? Imagine if someone was trying to score cool points by talking about how ugly or awkward or annoying you are. Sounds kind of awful, doesn't it?

The Craft

Acting Super Jaded And Unaffected By Anything As If That Makes You Better Than Everyone Else

Chill culture is so frustrating because it gives people cool points for acting as if nothing matters. It's the same attitude that leads to confusing text messages after a hookup--"pssh, who wants to look like they care about feelings?"--and it's the same attitude that gives a-holes excuses to be jerks online--"it's the internet, it doesn't matter!" The fact that it's not cool to have empathy or to feel emotionally attached to something or, I don't know, care just reeks of faux jadedness. And to phone in on that just to make the too-cool-to-care accept you? No, not worth it.


Literally Transforming Your Look And Attitude For Someone

Listen, you're not effing Sandy from Grease. Changing the way you look or act just so someone you think is cool will accept you is so...awkward. Whether it's to seem cooler to a crush or to fit in with a different crowd at school, the fact that you've convinced yourself that your true self wasn't good enough for someone is a big red flag. First of all, why would you want to associate with people who are so shallow? Second of all, what if they see through your charade and think you're a total werido for it? Don't alienate others or your own damn self under the assumption that that's what you need to do to get into someone's good graces.


Agreeing With Someone On Something You Fundamentally Disagree With, Just To Get In Their Good Graces

Sometimes we half-heartedly agree with someone on something we disagree with just to end an argument. That's different than straight up abandoning everything you believe in so that someone else will approve. You can't do this for your whole life; you need to stand for something without giving a damn. Are you that much of a pushover, sis?


What other things do people do to look cooler than they are? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

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