Those who know me know that I’m a contrarian. I’m not a psychologist, so I have no idea why I initially became that way. I just know that I am one now, and it has countless advantages.
Basically, whatever everyone “normally does,” I try to do the opposite. For example, I buckled down and worked hard when I was in college, and now I’m acting like a frat boy. Ok, maybe that’s a bad example. How about this – when I go on vacation, if given the chance, I always choose whatever’s NOT in season. So if most people go to Florida in the Winter, I’ll go in August. Do I like heat? No. But I like crowds much, much less.
If most people are taking the highway at a certain time of day, you can bet I’ll be on side streets. If most people are driving South on the highway, you can bet I’ll be driving North. I plan my life that way. It’s really not that difficult to become contrarian. It’s simply a one time adjustment with a lifetime of rewards.
Probably the funniest example I have of being contrarian is bathroom stall selection. I’ve studied this in great depth, so don’t even think of questioning me. People (well, normal people) do not like having someone in the next stall when they’re in the bathroom. It’s just weird. Maybe it’s different for girls – I haven’t spent as much time in ladies rooms as the mens rooms. Anyhow, that’s my observation – people prefer to have at least one stall between them.
That means people will typically choose the stall next to the wall if it’s open, or will make sure there’s at least one stall empty on either side of them. Armed with this knowledge, enter Incredipete.
I hate dirty bathrooms and dirty toilets. In fact, you might go so far as to call me a germaphobe. The majority of people will put “space” ahead of cleanliness, on the assumption that it’s a public bathroom and it’s dirty anyway.
I get to have privacy AND clean toilets. That’s because I’ve devised a nearly perfect stall selection methodology. The key is to select the LEAST desirable stool in terms of location. So in a bathroom with three stalls, that is ALWAYS the middle stall. Nobody uses the middle stall… ever. That’s because the potential exists (or so people think) that you could get surrounded. Nobody wants that.
Thanks to understanding that psychology, I can always make my stall selection based on cleanliness (least desirable toilet), and then when other people come in, they will find the “bodkin” stall already occupied, thus making them do one of two things – if they’re desperate, they get in and get out as fast as they can, or if they aren’t desperate, they usually just walk right back out again. So unless there’s a crisis, nobody ever takes the stalls next to me.
I hope that you won’t use this brilliant observation against me. You can never defeat me at stall selection!