The Layman's Guide to Your Significant Other
To be in a relationship, one's communication skills must be stellar. It is imperative that both verbal and silent communication take top priority so that misunderstandings are avoided, and both parties receive the treatment that they need as individuals in the relationship.
It is unfortunate that I suck balls at this.
I have been stumbling through a bought of situational depression for several months now, and my boyfriend has been more supportive than I ever could have asked. However, he only knows how to help me based on how I tell him that I feel, and what I need.
And when I don't tell him anything... he gets a little bit frustrated.
This was my attempt at remedying this situation. Because I cannot for the life of me communicate how he can help me, or even that I need help, I hope this User's Manual will suffice.
Understanding Your Significant Other:
A User’s Manual
Table of Contents
2...Standard Equipment and Accessories
3...Things to Know
4...How to Identify SO’s NotOkay Mode
4...Different Versions of NotOkay
4...What to Do When SO is in NotOkay Mode
5...Frequently Asked Questions
Questions or inquiries can be directed to
Technical Support Contact: The Best Friend
Standard Equipment and Accessories
Your SO will come equipped with the following items:
Three (3) sets of audio devices
Two (2) music streaming services
Two (2) books, reading in progress
One (1) suitcase
One (1) observation log (Perusal unadvised. Also, NOT A DIARY.)
One (1) multitool
One (1) mobile device and/or laptop
Optional: One (1) cat
Your SO comes programmed with INFP software, which can be broken down into four cognitive functions that dictate how she processes information and interacts with the world. Functions include:
SO relies on gut instinct and personal experience to make decisions. Generally puts authenticity in high esteem and is repulsed by anything that seems fabricated or shallow. Does not open up to people, waits for others to approach her, highly protective of those few she is close to.
SO has a very abstract view of the world. Takes all external stimuli and internalizes it. Finds patterns, underlying principles, and ideas. Flourishes when given interesting concepts to consider and consistently seeks out new inspiration from the outside world. Does a lot of self-expression through writing.
SO’s internal world is structured and detailed. Tends to have a solid sense of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’. Places a high value on real world experiences over simulation or lecture.
SO relies on a very logic-oriented way of problem solving. Naturally looks to find a better solution to a problem, improve the efficiency of a process, or critique and refine what is already in place. Logic comes in direct conflict with Introverted Feeling, which relies on emotion to solve problems. Indecision and mild anxiety usually ensues.
Quiet (default): If comfortable, accompanied by sporadic sarcasm and random observations. Silent and fidgety if uncomfortable.
Giddy: Puppy-like behavior, expect some vaguely annoying giggling. Usually precedes the embarkment of an adventure.
Content: Similar to default mode, usually with some mild smiling or smirking. Will likely be cuddly and extra appreciative.
Talkative: Very rare mode, drains energy if not talking to SO or Technical Support Contact. Often occurs at social functions or in the workplace.
Feelsy: Slightly distant, may be less physically affectionate. Tends to explain things with “I don’t know” or a shoulder shrug. Encourage expression of feels and be perceptive of these feels to avoid software crashing.
Angry: Another very rare mode. Quiet at first and then explosive. Usually causes eyes to leak profusely. (Crying angers SO further. Beware.)
NotOkay (locked): Distant, foggy, sometimes accompanied by unusually high level of snark or indifference, and insistence that SO is “fine”. In extreme cases, results in Post Abandonment. See Troubleshooting on page four of this user’s manual.
Things to Know
Likes surprises. A lot.
Severely dislikes morning activities unless traveling.
Consistently craves adventure and new experiences.
Has trouble sticking to a specific and regular routine.
Nostalgic as fuck.
Runs the risk of becoming nocturnal.
Energy is cyclical, as shown in the following graphic:
How to Identify NotOkay Mode in Your SO:
While your SO may exhibit occasional indications of NotOkay mode, it is in her nature to conceal it. Even when she needs you, your SO will do everything she can to avoid inconveniencing you. This comes from an innate fear of loss, and she fears that an overburdening of emotion will result in abandonment. It may be difficult at times to identify that SO is in NotOkay Mode, but you can keep an eye out for the following signs: emotional distance, lethargy, appearing lost in thought during typically enjoyed activities, loss of interest in usual activities, defensive body language, excessive tiredness, or refusal to make even simple decisions.
In extreme cases, Post Abandonment is your SO’s last resort operation. A state of panic will generally result in restlessness which, if left untreated, could result in a desperate need to leave and seek a new environment.
Versions of NotOkay Mode
NotOkay 1: Recovery will result without assistance. SO will take whatever affection is given when it is conveniently given, and this will suffice for treatment. Personal space may become slightly cluttered but not messy.
NotOkay 2: Some assistance necessary for complete recovery. SO will take affection as it is conveniently given, but may seek it out nonverbally via nuzzles and hugs. Personal space may become somewhat messy.
NotOkay 2.1: Assistance necessary for complete recovery. SO will not seek any treatment or affection. Will spend unusual amounts of time in bed or alone. Personal space will become quite messy. Post Abandonment considered, but not likely.
NotOkay 2.2: Assistance necessary for complete recovery. SO will not seek out treatment or affection, and will appear normal with a small side of pissed off. Personal space will be either especially messy or especially clean. Will behave irrationally and impulsively. Post Abandonment likely.
How to Care for Your SO in NotOkay Mode
Understand that SO may refuse you a hundredfold, even when what she wants is exactly what you are offering.
Encourage her to be honest about what she needs. It may take some coaxing.
Sometimes she will need reminding that caring for her isn’t always an inconvenience.
Rather than asking blanket questions (“Are you okay?”) or telling her to “talk to you”, ask specific questions. Open ended inquiries in NotOkay Mode overwhelm your SO and while it is likely that she will need to discuss whatever has transpired, it is far easier for her to answer direct questioning. “What happened?”, “Are you feeling upset?”, “Are you feeling frustrated?”, etc.
SO responds very well to being held and receiving affection, but only from you. She tends to reject this from the rest of the world. Also confirm that she is loved from time to time, because this is not something she heard as a child, and at times she may need the affirmation.
Surprise SO with something. However small, she will be thrilled at the effort you made. This does not have to be something purchased either. SO likes handmade things, written notes, and anything that you have produced or created yourself.
Give SO some extra time alone with you to assist with recharge. Choose an activity that allows SO to relax and discuss something other than what bothers her, like a movie night for example.
In more extreme cases, such as NotOkay 2.1, provide a safe environment with a selection of SO’s standard accessories, and try to buffer external stimuli. She may need you to stay with her for longer than anticipated. Waking up next to you is a great comfort to SO.
Contact Technical Support Contact for more help if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why does my SO procrastinate so much?
Your SO gets work done most efficiently under pressure. No amount of nagging will encourage SO to complete unenjoyable tasks in a more timely fashion.
What if my SO does Abandon Post?
Don’t panic. She is resourceful and street smart. Allow her a day or two to reflect on whatever has transpired in solitude, then reach out. If Post Abandonment has occurred, SO has not done so to seek attention. Rather, she needs to be alone to process in times of strife. However, she doesn’t always recognize that eventually, enough is enough, and it is okay to accept help.
Why is my SO such a bitch sometimes?
Your SO doesn’t usually mean to be a bitch. (It will be obvious when she does.) The uncommonly high levels of snark and cynicism present in her basic operations are part of a rigorous malware defense system. Do not ever take this to heart. SO cares very deeply about you, even if she isn’t always effective at communicating it.
Can I tell SO if I need help myself?
YES. She is always eager to help you in whatever way she can. Just ask.