About the Manual

The Nerd Manual is meant to be both a useful resource for nerds and a guide for the people involved with nerds. If you're a nerd you can find information here that will help you improve your life and perhaps better understand yourself. If you're close friends with, dating, or married to a nerd, I want to give you insight into things nerds do that a lot of people have difficulty understanding.

I hope to avoid offending anyone--either nerd or non-nerd--but please understand that the manual will get into some sensitive topics, stray into contentious territories, and even use stereotypes to illustrate points. It's OK to disagree with something, but keep your comments civil.


Nerds Make Great Friends

Sebastiaan ter Burg, Nerds Unite
So you've met this really interesting person--smart and a bit shy--but after a couple of conversations you notice a few quirks: she loves science fiction, he's into gaming, she watches a lot of Doctor Who, he collects comic books...

Oh, wait, you've met a nerd.


OK, so you already knew you were talking to a nerd or else you wouldn't be reading this. Here are some ideas to help you develop a better relationship with your new friend.

Your nerdy friend's tastes for bad horror movies or Japanese manga may strike you as childish or silly, but remember that everyone (including yourself) has personal interests--fantasy football, reality television, disco--that other people would find strange. Just remember: everyone is fine the way they are (except for murderers and the like), so let your friend be as quirky as he likes, and he's more likely to tolerate your propensity to stay up late watching the Academy Awards.

Rather than being put off by aspects of her personality that baffle you--the emphasis on pragmatism and practicality while discussing Doctor Who, obsession with details, month-long costume planning for a weekend sci-fi convention--focus on the things that inspire you--her intelligence, intriguing points of view, offbeat sense of humor, ability to talk about almost any topic you can think of--and let her know that you appreciate those things. Nerds may be cool among adults now, but most nerds grew up as outcasts who were picked on by their peers, so it's nice to give them some credit for their talents.

Take things a step further and ask about your friend's interests. Sure, maybe you don't want to read the entire Game of Thrones series, but you could ask him what he loves about them. Be aware of news that has a nerdy angle, and ask your friend what he thinks about it.

Of course, this isn't a one-way street, if you make the effort to connect, your nerdy friend should be inclined to hear about your interests as well. In the end, you'll both expand your horizons a little and learn something new about the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are actively moderated. Keep it civil.