Review: Being laidback

People have lots of smartarse ideas about what the most overrated virtue might be (see: the Weekend Guardian questionnaire), but they’re all wrong. It isn’t chastity, or patience, or punctuality. It’s being laidback.

Laidback people – especially people who use the word “chill” outside the context of wind tunnels or catching a cold – are selfishly stealing calm from others. There is nothing more likely to rile even an averagely engaged and non-laidback person than someone saying, “Oh, I am really laidback. I like to just chill at the weekends, I just take things as they come.”

These people should get a grip: they are worse than Buddhists. At least Buddhists understand that life is suffering. Chilled out people are exactly the type who give astonishingly insensitive advice like “Why don’t you just stop thinking about it?” or “Maybe it’s meant to be this way”. They are so accepting of everything, I start to think maybe they’re terribly depressed and hate being alive.

I like people who shout at the TV and cry about stupid things and have slightly embarrassing enthusiasms for animals or comic books or early 90s rave music. Lorrie Moore speaks: “Those were the kind of people she really liked: the kind you couldn’t really live with.”

Laidback people obviously never watch the news, or talk to anyone apart from their similarly delusional friends. If they did, they’d realise that the world is hardwired for disaster and quickly lose their insane composure. Their one clear advantage over non-laidback people is that you can insult them without fear of reprisal.

Being laidback: There's more to life than pretending you don't mind that there isn't more to life. 2 out of 10.


At 4:25 pm, Blogger psuche said...

Amen to that!

At 6:50 pm, Blogger bakonbitzz said...

I eat laidback people for breakfast. They feed my hyperactivity. Kind of like super sugary cereal that doesn't make you fat. Much.

At 10:03 am, Blogger chunky munky said...

Laidback-ness can often be confused for laziness / don't-give-an-arseness.

I prescribe to the latter, as I find the concept of 'chilling' absolutely repugnant. Those who partake in ‘chilling’ need to be set upon by swarms of killer bees. I’d save them from a painful and grotesque death, but I really can’t be arsed.

It's like people can't stomach calm and simplicity unless it has a wanker label.

At 4:59 pm, Anonymous Gabriel said...

Since they're obviously not going to do it themeselves, I feel that someone ought to stand up for the laid-back.
Snoop Dogg would never have sung about Being "laid back", with his mind on his money and his money on his mind, to paraphrase, if it were not a truly cool non-activity.

At 12:50 pm, Anonymous Donna said...

Even the phrase 'laid back' is laid back. It doesn't actually make much sense when you think about it. (Who has been laid? Why not laid forward? Who's doing the laying?) But no one cares. No one laid back would ever worry/wonder/write an entry in a blog about the roots of the phrase laid back. Thus the phrase continues to exist, not making sense, exuding the very mystery that surrounds the people it defines...

Or something like that. Cos, personally, I'm far too laid back to be writing this post.

At 11:00 pm, Anonymous nitpickist said...

are you folks here just too laid back to make laidback two words? or is that good old fashioned laziness, in which case it's wholly justified.

i like the way this blog just says "monday" or "friday" at the top of each post, as though it's all been posted in a single week of fiery inspiration.

more reviews! you're a charmer. here are some ideas: probability; gnawing; habanera (ah! happy days...), ramekins; phallicism. i got these from randomly opening the old dictionary i keep on my desk so there must be lots of other things too!

At 9:49 pm, Blogger Maus said...

Congrats on making the Guardian Guide today! :D

At 9:50 pm, Blogger Maus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:00 pm, Blogger Neveronatuesday said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 11:04 pm, Blogger Neveronatuesday said...

Was about to congratulate you on your Guide appearance today... But then I realised I'd be emulating Ms Maus.

But congratulations anyway, in a suitably non-sycophantic manner. It is a fine blog, a very fine blog.

At 7:51 am, Blogger Tony.T said...

Laidback guys always refer to their girlfriends as their "lady". For some reason this rather grates on me and I have to suppress an urge to punch them in the mouth.

Contrary to appearances, I'm not particularly laidback.

At 7:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're not considering the other option. I can be as dramatic and wangsty as I choose, because Al is too laidback to be annoyed by it. He finds it faintly baffling and really rather admirable that I can live life on a permanent edge of near hysteria. It makes me "passionate" and "fiery" rather than "annoying" and "exhausting." I'd want to kill someone like me, he finds it sweetly endearing and indicative of emotional depth. You need a laidback person who finds you enchanting for being the exact opposite. Trust me.

On another note- so good to catch up! I missed you heaps. And send your mum my love, too- I'll call you next week, and send that link. And CONGRATULATIONS on being Grauniaded. That's fantabulous.

At 7:32 pm, Anonymous Andrew said...

Review being reviewed. Do it! You are fucking Charlie Kaufman

At 10:27 pm, Anonymous dinners said...

Instead of laidback why not use "dial"? The word laid backwards. Did you see what I did there? It's shorter than laidback so you can prove your laidback-edness by using it.

At 4:27 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Take a chill pill dude.

At 11:36 pm, Blogger Piro said...

I'm afriad I have to disagree with the main statement, I understand where you are coming from but I am a very easygoing/laidback person and it's not that laidback people are as you put it 'so accepting of everything' that might however be the case for some but I look at it as 'understanding of everything'. For example like I said before when I said ' I understand where you are coming from', instead of agreeing or accepting I choose to understood it, not because I wanted to sound laidback but more like a natrual response. Why think about something that builds up rage, anger or insanity, what I do is if something makes me unhappy or angry I think about it and discover what it really is that makes me feel that way and I try to reason with my mind which i like to call 'the thinker', your proberbly thinking 'this guy is talking crap and also proberbly talks to himself. This is untrue, I like to think inside every person there are two people 'the thinker' and yourself, you might think this makes no sence, but think about it. Think about the saying 'I couldn't live with myself', therefore helping me big up my opinion. I don't try to avoid anger, rage or any other negative feelings instead I acknowledge them.

At 3:10 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

u guys gotta chill out

At 7:08 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am amazed that you have such a major issue with laid-back people. I am very laid-back and proud of it. I am not the least bit lazy, nor do I let the world pass me by. I agree with Piro - it's an understanding. It's a tolerance for ambiguity. Some people can handle (and actually enjoy) the idea of uncertainty. It's also a respect for others. It's absurd to say such harsh words about people because they are not miserable or constantly fearful in their lives. Being laid-back definitely has its advantages...namely, when dealing with negativity from people like you. You certainly cannot insult me without a fear of reprisal. You said "laid-back," not clueless (which is actually the opposite). A laid-back person can see the negativity, but chooses not to participate in the madness. And just because they choose to stay out of the general population's madness, that doesn't mean that they do not stand up for what they believe in. A laid-back person can see the error in such close-mindedness as that which you are displaying. Yet even though your opinion doesn't affect my life in any way, I am not too lax (or too afraid of controversy)to speak up against it. I just refuse to lower myself to that level--putting down others for the way that they are, which by the way, has hurt who? The main difference between you and I is that, instead of name-calling, I just feel bad for you because you are completely ignoring the fact that you are blessed to be able to have a shot at life. I am not getting into religion of any sort. I just mean that, well, you could be less fortunate. You could like, not have a place to live, much less have a computer to type on. You could live in a country that would hang you for expressing your opinion. So there are a lot of things in life to find disastrous or preoccupy yourself worrying about....and what? So I guess you should just worry yourself to death and hate the people who don't, right? How's that working for you? Or better yet, why don't you just stop thinking about it? lol

At 6:25 pm, Anonymous stoner said...

im pretty laid back!

At 12:13 am, Blogger ka51 said...

Laid back people get things done but with a relaxed attitude. Laid back doesnt mean lazy it means relaxed, an inner peace.

At 12:15 am, Blogger ka51 said...

lol angel

At 12:16 am, Blogger ka51 said...


At 4:03 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

great comment by angie, all you people who hate laid back people need to chill out. It sounds like envy to me, I bet you all wish you were so calm.

Im not even laid back, Im very uptight, I simply wish I was laid back

At 8:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm, lazy, don't get things done, should sit on a swarm of killer bees? Honestly you guys are getting the impression Of laid back people being "lazy". Which is really not the case. I say "chill, or wasup" in such a relaxed manner I get called lazy often. I do what I need to at my own pace as with every laid back person. Don't be fooled, we get things done when needed, and can be smart asses at time ;)

Just some clarification needed there.

A note to some. Just chill out and relax. If you're a perfectionist or want to get things done then do it. Keep the peace O.o

At 9:25 pm, Blogger Andres said...

To be laid back is in its self an ability to control ones own demons; not letting outside vibes affect ones mood or actions. If you are laid back in my opinion you are a true thinker in the sense that you can analize things in a bigger picture than most. Laid back ppl act on logic in any situation encountered because there is no need for any of the extras (dramatics, violence, ego battles,arguments, envy, ect...)

What need is there for one to get worked up over sensless b**s***. Do not get it confused for laziness, lack of drive, or no passion. It has nothing to do with that. A truely laid back person focuses their energies on the things they feel are worth it.

At 1:26 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you are mixing laid-back with careless and lazy , which are two very different concepts. You can be calm all the time , be happy and appear like you are just relaxing, but that does not mean that you don't care about anything and that you are a mediocre person. Laid-back people do not focus their energies in little insignificant things but instead try to find the more profound meaning of life and enjoy it as much as possible. For that reason "laid-back" people are more efficient at work because they are not stressing about insignificant things and in general happier people because they try to see the bright side and stay calm and focus .

At 4:02 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is this something about yourself that you feel bad about? I'll admit, people have called me laid back and I hate it when they do, but I've come to learn that I cannot change my personality (nor would I want to). I can change how I interact with people in different ways but I'm really surprised at all this steam that you're letting off against "laid back" people. If you're annoyed at laid back people, maybe you should take a second and understand where they are coming from and not let everything look so black and white through your own filter. At the same time, I appreciate the honesty, and I was glad you wrote this so I could say something back in response and we could all live a little in the conversation.

At 6:19 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im laid back and were not lazy. Laid back people see the world in a different perspective than people. Laid back people like to better themselves by analyzing different situations. We have hardships like other people but we relax to avoid going overboard from little stuff. We just don't get uptight when people become nasty with us because we recognize what their motive is from past experiences with other difficult people. The point of being laid back is to observe our surroundings and to be open minded.

At 8:01 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

People that generalize, stereotype, whatever.. I can't comprehend how some never seem to learn that not all guys named, "Logan" are "assholes", just because the particular Logan in your past was.. in your opinion. To say all laid back people are either, lazy, unintelligent, and/or careless.. displays ignorance sprinkled with lack of understanding. I'm a Cardiologist, MD.. my parents didn't pay my way, I had to struggle to make my own way.. I don't have the depth of a puddle, rather the depth of the universe.. but because I know how useless and somewhat harmful it is to your mental and sometimes physical health, by deciding to not cry over spilled Milk as opposed to just cleaning it up without the teenage whining and crying.. I'm an imbecile? This is the type of mentality I'd expect from someone still learning about Micro and Macroevolution in an 8th Grade Classroom somewhere.

At 3:57 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whoever doesn't like a laid back chill personality type person u prolly have mental problems. Because who wouldn't like a person who was chill and stayed out of the way.

At 8:24 am, Anonymous Anon said...

To hell with all of you folks who can't laid-back people haters. You all sound like a bunch of bib babies who can't put up with those aren't laid-back. Newsflash: there's room for all people in this world and a rainbow doesn't have one color.

If you're going to whine about anti-laid-back folks, you just suck it up and take it like a man.

You know? It's ironic to claim that all people who those who are laid-back need to take a chill pill and are mentally ill when you seem to fit those descriptions .If they hate laid-back folks, so what? It's their choice to.

If people who aren't laid-back choose to be uptight all they want, let them!

Honestly, how the hell will you ever far in life if you can't learn to handle those who aren't laid-back? If no one wants to chill out, don't force him, her, or them to!

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