Words by: Dena Tissera Art by: Sophie McKenzie-Stripp
During the course of my young life, I have met so many different people with whom I think I have nothing in common. In a time of social distancing, radical social change and political upheaval, it’s easy to feel like we have no connection to the other 7.8 billion people we share this planet with.
But in reality there are some things that are universal. There are things which every person on this planet will experience, whether it be joy, heartbreak or that feeling of general confusion and chaos the morning after a night out.
These ubiquitous experiences provide the basis for human connection. Universal loves and universal hates can bring people together, or at the very least start a conversation. So here is a list of universal loves and hates for you to use the next time you want to strike up a conversation with someone on a night out, remove the awkward silence between you and your hairdresser, or simply, just make some new friends.
Let’s begin with universal hates because the author of this piece is a Scorpio and hating stuff is her forte.
1— Dolores Umbridge
There’s Karen, Sharon, and then there’s Dolores. Making fun of people is no way to make friends, EXCEPT when you’re making fun of Dolores Umbridge.
Pro tip: scream “EAT THE RICH” in a public place for instant connection with your fellow comrades.
3— The Beep Test
Admittedly, this one is specific to those who went to primary school in the Melbourne ‘burbs, however, I can guarantee bringing this up with a stranger will elicit a strong emotional response from both you and them. It is a universal truth that best friendships are born out of mutual hatred.
A hate so strong it persists across generations. They’ve ruined the housing market and destroyed the environment, the least they could do is help you make some friends? Try replacing the awkward silence in your breakout room with a lively discussion of why boomers suck.
Just kidding… unless? While misandry is out of the question, stories of heartbreak can always bring people together, particularly if you’re a drunk girl surrounded by equally drunk girls in the bathroom of the club.
Now for some universal loves, because positivity is cool.
No matter how cold your heart is, we can all appreciate a beautiful sunrise or a pretty flower. Try taking your group project meeting outside to make the process a little less painful.
2— Spending $500 on skincare when your life is in shambles
Feel free to swap skincare for plants or clothes or anything else that makes a person feel like they have their life together. Bring up this unhealthy coping mechanism with a stranger and you’re likely to gain a friend or at the very least, a recommendation for moisturiser.
3— Pens that glide beautifully
You know the ones, the kind that make you actually want to take notes in a lecture. A perfect conversation starter for the first day of class.
4— Jacinda Ardern
A true queen beloved by all. You don’t have to be in a politics class to ask “how cool is Jacinda?” Try it on your barista and see if you can get a new friend or at least a free coffee out of it.
5— She’s the Man (2006)
An absolute classic film, the Casablanca of our generation. Gather your courage and ask a stranger if they like cheese.
Here’s hoping this list of universal loves and hates lead you to a new friend, a new romance, or a good conversation. Connections to our fellow humans are everywhere, whether it’s hating Dolores Umbridge or that impulse to snap a pic of the sky at golden hour. Find them and use them well.