Review: Being laidbackPeople 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.