Yesterday I talked about the reason why it sucks to be the Middleman in a “Hi” exchange. Today’s my goal is to help eradicate the Middleman Hi forever. But first, a quick history lesson:
Back 100 years ago before Steve Jobs and Al Gore ever conspired to create the internet, people had to actually see each other to say “hi”. There were no phone calls or tweets or texts.
So if it was 1908 and I was hanging out with Chad, and he was going to see Jake tomorrow, I would tell Chad, “Tell Jake I said Hi”. You know why? Because I couldn’t tell Jake myself. As the middleman, Chad was the only medium I had between Jake and I to make a connection.
But nowadays there’s a myriad of mediums that keep us all connected. Phone, email, text, tweet, chat, facebook, smoke signals, and so on. Because of this, there is no longer a need for a middle man.
“Tell them I said Hi” should be as obsolete in our culture as encyclopedia sets and European sports car VHS tape rewinders.
The Bottom Line is: If you want to say “hi” to me, then say “hi” to me. No more of this Middleman crap.
Still with me? (Of course you are.) So what do we do about this? The answer is simple. We need to band together and deny the ” Middleman Hi”. And in order to be successful at this, we need to come at it from all 3 potential angles.
The 3 Ways to Deny the Middleman Hi
1. DO NOT be the person who says “Tell so and so I said Hi”
To help you fight this urge, let’s look at the 3 reasons we usually use this phrase…
- We want someone to know we were thinking of them. LOOK…If you legitimately want to say hi to someone, stop being such a lazy turd and call them yourself.
- We want the middleman to think we care about the person we are directing the “Hi” at. Maybe the girl you’re talking to (and hoping to get with) mentions her parents, who you’ve met once before. So you say “Tell them I said Hi”, but really you mean, “Look at how caring I am. I care about your parents, and I want you to know that I care about them so my chances of making out with you the next time we see each other are a little higher.” LOOK…truth is either she wants to make out with you or she doesn’t. Pretending to care about her parents isn’t going to help.
- We dont care about anyone involved in the discussion and don’t know what else to say. Your Uncle Leo tells you that your cousin Jeffrey just started working for the Parks Department and you couldn’t possibly care any less. So instead of saying, “I don’t care”, you say “Oh, tell him I said hi.” LOOK…by having Leo telling Jeffrey “Hi” for you, you’re digging your own grave. Show Leo you don’t care, and maybe he stops with the mundane updates.
2. DO NOT let someone use you as the Middleman to carry the “Hi”
Remember the 3 reasons for the Middleman Hi? (I hope so since you just read them.) Well, when someone asks you to be the carrier pigeon for their greeting, quickly figure out what they’re up to and respond accordingly:
- They want someone to know they were thinking of them. Excuse yourself from the greeting by telling them “if you want to say hi to so and so, just give them a call yourself. I’m sure they’d love to hear from you.” Be polite, but firm.
- They want you to think they care about the person they’re directing the “Hi” at. Call them on it. “Really? You want me to say hi to my parents for you? Either you’re unsuccessfully trying to impress me or you’re really weird. Let’s never talk again.”
- They don’t care about anyone involved in the discussion and don’t know what else to say. If you realize their “hi” was as hollow as a balloon, pop it. “You know what, we both know you didn’t mean that ‘hi’. Let’s pretend it never happened and move on.”
3. DO NOT accept any “Hi” delivered by a Middleman
Finally, and most importantly, if you’re offered a Middleman Hi you MUST deny it. Let the Middleman know that you are refusing the greeting by literally saying “Denied!”.
- Someone wanted you to know they were thinking of you. Your response: “That’s great that they reached out to me through you, but they know how to get a hold me of themselves. The hi is Denied!”
- Someone was pretending to care about you in order to impress the Middleman. Your response: “Obviously that ‘Hi’ you just delivered was meant to impress you and not meant to greet me. I hope you don’t end up making out with that fraud. The hi is Denied!”
- Someone threw you a “Hi” with absolutely no meaning or feeling behind it. Your response: “Hey Mr. Postman, thanks for delivering the conversational equivalent of junk mail. Three words: Return To Sender. Four more words: The hi is Denied!”
Sorry that was so exhaustive, but I’m not messing around here.
My hope is that every time you speak or hear “Tell them I said Hi” you think of this post. And then you immediately chip in and do your part to eradicate this expression from our culture. I’m counting on you. (Unless, of course, you think the Middleman Hi is a good thing, in which case I’d like to hear your side of things.)
Thoughts, comments, encouragement, and help with anything I might have overlooked are welcomed, as always, in the comments.