Wet Blankets

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It feels like a lot of people and institutions exist exclusively to be a huge bummer whenever possible. I’ve encountered plenty of them, and I’m sure that’s not going to change anytime soon. So I’m going to do what any good scientist would: document it.

A Taxonomy of People Who Kill my Vibe

Requirement-Meeters

This was super duper common in undergrad business school. A req-meeter’s prime directive is to do precisely the amount of work necessary to meet the brief. They’ll squash any attempts to have fun with a project or get creative with an assignment. Their motivations are self-serving, but not hard to understand. They don’t want anybody creating more effort or risk for them. Fun things are often effortful or risky.

Too-Cool

This can often go hand-in-hand with requirement-meeters, but being Too-Cool actually requires a bit more work and a lot more ego. Somebody who is too cool wants you to know that they think caring is lame and therefore beneath them. People who are too cool will brag about blowing off work or putting very minimal effort into things. The irony is that if somebody was actually just uninterested, they wouldn’t have to go out of their way to let you know how uninterested they are.

Imagination-Disbelievers

This is a hybrid of cynicism and control-issues. An imagination-disbeliever says “I cannot trust that what you’re suggesting is good/feasible/correct and therefore I will not allow it.” Disbelievers come in a lot of different flavors depending on what it is that’s limiting their own imagination, whether it be convention (this is how we’ve always done it), social fears (people will think this is weird), or ego (only ideas that I come up with are good).


Wet Blankets do not give honest criticism because true criticism is supportive of new ideas.

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