We all know what a faux pas is, right? Faux pas is a French phrase that roughly translates into “you’re a heathen with no tact and everyone is disgusted by you.” The Wikipedia definition for a faux pas is as follows: “A faux pas is a socially awkward or tactless act, especially one that violates accepted social norms, standard customs, or the rules of etiquette.” Wxample of faux pas would be wearing white after Labor Day, using the fork that’s meant for your appetizer to scratch your nuts, or bringing up your sexual history in front of your significant other’s parents if it doesn’t make you look cool.
We all on the same page? Great. I’m sure we all have countless friends who are a walking faux pas, but in the world of colleges and frats and dudes being dudes, committing a faux pas is the norm. The same “social norms” in the real world, do not apply when you’re wrapped up in bro-dom. But still, that doesn’t mean we live in some godforsaken free-for-all like Vietnam or Churro day in a high school cafeteria.
I’ve noticed a lot of bros, especially when you hit the age that you’re supposedly an “adult,” are embarrassed to identify themselves as a bro because of the stigma attached to the title. I’m not saying it’s similar to the plight that the gay community faces in coming out and identifying as a homosexual, but that’s exactly what I’m saying. Slightly less persecution and bigotry, I suppose. Some have fought to make being a bro more acceptable, the Workaholics guys come to mind, but for the most part, if you’re a bro, you’re considered a douche or an asshole. Where did this rep come from? It’s probably because, like any subgroup, the most identifiable and vocal members of the group tend to ruin it for the rest of us. Most of my bro friends are well-intentioned, kind, accepting people, who simply enjoy having fun. And then people like Tucker Max have to go and mess everything up.
As such, I’d like to introduce the concept of The Bro Pas. As you might expect, a Bro Pas is defined as “a tasteless act that violates accepted Brocial norms, therefore reflecting poorly on other bros.” These are things that I’ve seen bros do time after time, and they continue to make me cringe and roll my eyes. Do your part by calling out your friends if you see them committing any of these.
1. Pretending not to care about the person you’re hooking up with: We aren’t nine-years-old anymore. It no longer makes you look cool to pretend that everyone you hook up with is “a total slut” that you “don’t give a shit about.” When all your friends eventually find out that you’ve been texting her really sweet stuff about how much you care about her, you just look silly and immature. If you like someone, own it.
2. Being a stickler for the rules in drinking games: Unless there is money on the line, don’t be that idiot who freaks out whenever he thinks someone is cheating in a drinking game. If you really care, you can politely point out the rule they’re violating, but even that is silly—like, c’mon dude, who the hell cares? Chill out and have fun. It’s a drinking game, not the Super Bowl.
3. Droning on and on about your fantasy team: I promise you, nobody outside of your league gives a shit.
4. Commenting on how other people get their meat cooked – We’ve all been at a restaurant with a group, and when the waiter asks someone how he’d like his meat cooked, somebody else in the group has to make a big scene, “ahhhhhh, you idiot, that’s not how you eat meat!!!” In taking a stand and asserting that the way a person is getting their meat cooked is not the “right” way, you are narcissistically establishing yourself as an authority on life. Your way is the correct way, and those who don’t follow your rules are doing it wrong. I never understood caring about what somebody else puts in his body. If somebody wants to eat raw meat straight out of the package, god bless ‘em, live and let live!
5. Yelling “party foul” under any circumstance: Just… shut up.
6. Berating someone for not drinking: We’re a little too old to be peer pressuring people, aren’t we? Some people, when they offer you a shot or ask you to chug a beer with them, and you don’t want to, it’s as if you’ve refused their friendship and questioned their manhood. Here’s another live and let live situation. If somebody doesn’t want to take a shot with you, for whatever reason, I assure you that life will go on if you don’t loudly make a scene about it in front of everybody.
7. Incessantly quoting played-out comedy movies: If it’s 2014 and you’re still yelling “LOUD NOISES,” a la Anchorman, congratulations on living a life in which you bother everybody you encounter.
8. Making fun of somebody who doesn’t know about sports: There’s a sad trend among less self-assured bros—brotending. It’s when you pretend to know something in the bro universe to fit in with other bros. I see this most often when it comes to sports. Some guys would rather pretend to know a lot about a team or a sport just to fit in with the guys, rather than proudly owning the fact that they don’t know and don’t care. The reason some guys feel inclined to brotend in the first place is because of this Bro Pas. Guys: your knowledge of a sport is not amplified by pointing out others who don’t know as much. Not every bro is expected to have the same interests, and that doesn’t change when it comes to sports.
9. Talking constantly and exclusively about getting drunk or high: Drugs and alcohol are great. We all do them, we love them, and without them, we’d probably welcome an early death. But at the same time, if you’re that guy who only talks about his benders, I’ve got news for you: you’re not an interesting person! Try to bring more to conversations (and society) than talking about beer and weed.
10. Being offensive in an unfunny way: Something is only truly offensive when it isn’t funny. If you’re not funny, don’t try to be offensive. You’re probably just an asshole. Comedians you admire, who are offensive and get laughs for it, probably don’t truly hold those beliefs, and are actually making fun of people who do. But you’re most likely an idiot and don’t know the difference, so keep your offensive comments to yourself.
11. Displaying empty liquor bottles in your room: We get it, you drink. Throw those bottles away. Nobody’s impressed by the amount of booze you and your friends consume.
12. Bragging about past athletic achievements: Most people barely cared about your varsity baseball MVP trophy when it happened back in 2003, but I can guarantee you the group of people you’re hanging out with at a bar in 2014 care even less. Let your parents brag about that stuff.
13. Yelling in public places: Some bros use liquid courage as an excuse to come out of their shell, but perhaps these people are better left in their shells. Yelling doesn’t make you fun and outgoing, it makes you abrasive and bothersome.
14. Arguing about the differences between varieties of drinking games: When you’re a grown man arguing with a fellow grown man about the difference between beer pong and Beirut, take a step back from the situation, take a deep breath, and realize that people your age are currently serving our country in the armed forces abroad, while you have this incredibly banal and mind-numbingly dumb conversation.
15. Talking non-stop about your sports bets: Just like your fantasy team, nobody cares about your bets. If you just said to yourself, “that’s not true! My friend Bill loves hearing about that stuff,” I have news for you—Bill is a real kiss ass. Keep him around, he’s a good friend, but don’t let him give you the illusion that your bets are interesting to anyone other than you.
When you’re not sure if you’re committing a Bro Pas, ask yourself the following questions:
Am I bothering those around me?
Am I attempting to make myself appear cooler by putting others down?
Am I imposing my beliefs on somebody else?
Am I focusing the conversation on something that my audience probably has little to no interest in?
If the answer to any of these is yes, reevaluate your actions. The first step to avoid committing a Bro Pas is to be aware of how your actions affect others. I hope this guide will allow bros everywhere to evolve into Bro 2.0 a.k.a. The Modern Bro a.k.a. The Adult Bro a.k.a. Brometheus. The Modern Bro is not a douche, but a socially adept, fun-loving, thoughtful dude who people enjoy being around. Let’s do bros everywhere a favor, and try to take back the title of bro once and for all, making it something that we can all wear proudly.
Note: Page length and brain capacity restrictions meant I couldn’t possibly come close to hitting every Bro Pas, so if any new Bro Pas’ come to mind, or if you see any in action, please tweet them to @TotalBroPas, and we’ll retweet the ones that shall forever be written into The Bro Bible.
[Bro via Shutterstock]