Hello again my long lost blog! How are you?
This is one of those rambling blogs that’s going to be something of a stream of consciousness. Normally, when I’m having a stream of consciousness moment, I run off to my twitter where I spooge all of my thoughts across short microblog tweets. That can be satisfying, kind of? Eh, not really. I’ve concluded that twitter is a horribad platform on which to methodically ramble on about stuff that isn’t important.
So what am I going to talk about in this particular blog post? What to ramble about? Well, to be honest, I’ve had this interesting situation on my mind. A few weeks or so ago, I started making a new friend on the twitter space. We interacted with some regularity and it was pretty good! I actually do enjoy some friendly and occasional casual interaction (I consider twitter to be casual enough). Sometimes? I guess? It depends on the person, as I’ve been reminded over the past few days.
Anywho, friend and I would interact a bit, and a about a week said friend added me to skype. Ok. I have no problem with that. I don’t really have some sort of off-limits rule with my skype list, and if someone wants to be on it I’ll generally add them and give it a shot. That is, if they want to talk to me more regularly, I’ll see how it goes and see if it develops well. If it doesn’t go well, I can always just remove them, right?
So the first conversation goes well! We talk about what we were doing in that moment and talked about jobs and beer and stuff. Harmless stuff, pretty much. Second conversation got off to an awkward start though, and that kinda set the tone of the rest of the conversations to me.
“Awkward in what way, Jesse?”
I’ll be honest, and I’ll say that it’s probably not entirely justified how I judged this, but it was basically a case of the fellow noticing me online, and saying that I ought to have said something. I made a joke, mentioning that I had only gotten off work a little while ago and asking for forgiveness if I didn’t turn to skype first thing. I was actually in the middle of getting settled in at a local cafe to do some drawing, so really and truly I wasn’t about to get on skype and start chatting with folks. Apparently my joke was out of place, though? Cuz friend sorta panics a bit and thinks I’m being horribly defensive, which caught me off guard.
And here’s the weird part. I tell him to relax. He then says that he was about to tell me to do the same thing, and that I was being very defensive. Umm… ok? And then the conversation goes well for the rest of the night and all is well until I head home.
That kinda set the tone for the rest of the short time that we were friends. We had a few more good conversations, but I started to feel like I was being pressured into conversations. It didn’t really help that I’d been having a few really tiring, icky days (blame me for staying up too late). But in any case, I spent some time feeling like he was freaking out over little things, and as I came to learn, he spent time thinking that I was freaking out and being defensive. This didn’t really make sense to me in the context I was talking to him in. It actually got really uncomfortable after a bit, and so one night I took some time to confront him on it.
I tried to be really nice and honest, but the conversation went very poorly and escalated very quickly. Needless to say, it felt like a nasty argument. Points exchanged were that I felt like he expected too much from me too quickly and that he was a bit overbearing in trying to converse. His points were that he was just trying to be friendly and that I was being inappropriately defensive in response.
But honestly, looking over the conversation, there was some silly stuff in there. Him accusing me of not being interested in anything that he was doing. Him judging me to be a “popufur,” as they’re called, due to my attitude regarding my skype list? It was one of the weirdest things I’d ever seen someone call me. And I said some silly stuff too, like why did I have to talk to him in particular if I was in any particular mood to chat with folks? I guess point is, we both rubbed each other the completely wrong way.
After talking for a little more than an hour, I got tired and frustrated and we called it off for the night. I spent a lot of time after that being pretty upset and actually kinda angry about the whole thing, and considering that I’d only been talking with this guy over skype for a week, I made an executive decision to just cut it off. My logic went something like this:
“If we’re already miscommunicating with one another this badly after only talking for a week over skype, then we don’t need to be friends.”
And so I stopped following him on twitter and removed him from my skype. He followed up the next day with a comment as to how he was unsurprised that I was cutting and running, and so I followed up with a final comment on how I felt it wasn’t worth the effort to sort something out with someone I was miscommunicating with, someone who was judging me so sweepingly after having only known me for a week. I said that he didn’t do anything wrong, and that he was just being him by trying to be friendly, but that we couldn’t be friends if we were unable to communicate properly after such a short time of knowing each other. And then I let him have a last word in case he needed to call me something mean to gain some sense of closure over the whole thing.
And his final follow up was just resignation, that he’d tried but that I didn’t give him a chance and wasn’t interested in giving him a chance, so what was the point? It came across sincerely sad, and that’s how it ended.
In all honesty, I’m not very happy with how that turned out. Contrary to what he thought, I figured him to be a very nice fellow and I was looking forward to getting to know him better! But the way that I look at it, he just became… off putting. When I have a conversation with folks, often times I just kinda drop out of the conversation. My friends do it to me, I do it to them. It’s an understanding of internet etiquette among the people I keep for company that internet conversations can and do drop off. And then they can be picked up hours later, depending on the ebb and flow of inspiration. It’s not a bad thing. It’s not really a good thing either, but that’s neither here nor there.
I’d be conversing with this fellow, and then I’d drop off cuz my mind is elsewhere, or I’m reading something, or I’m doing something, and so that was that. But I get the sense now that this was not something he really expected, nor was that the way that he managed his conversations. I guess his was a more traditional way of communicating that didn’t really fit in with mine. So the conversation would drop off, and eventually he would come along with a comment such as “o-o” or “Um.. ok.” Dragging me uncomfortably back to the conversation while I was doing something else, I guess.
And all I wanted him to do was relax. And all he wanted me to do was relax. We both got the impression from one another that we were hyperventilating at each other across the interwebs. But I’ve already talked a lot about that.
I guess the thing that has really been sticking in my mind about this guy is how he felt I wasn’t interested in what he was doing, that I wasn’t expressing interest despite all his attempts to express interest in me and what I was doing, and also his attempts to be friendly in general that I was apparently rejecting for no reason.
See, this sounds very familiar to a feeling that I feel often enough to be disturbed by it. I’ll meet someone, and I’ll develop a “friend crush” on them. Don’t know what a friend crush is? It’s when you meet someone, develop a strong affinity for them rather quickly, and then you want to be friends really badly.
I’ve had friend crushes and real crushes on a fair few number of people. Even folks on twitter! And those folks probably already know, even if I haven’t told them. Some of the more astute ones have had to confront me about it, actually, particularly when I start leveling bitterness at them. What sort of bitterness? That bitterness that my attempts at friendship aren’t being returned with the same level of passion and feeling that they’re being given. Sound familiar?
Man, that’s a topic for a whole ‘nother blog, to be honest. But needless to say that I’ve had friend crushes on a lot of people that didn’t turn out, and that I ended up being really bitter and upset about it afterwards for a very long time. And although I was aware of it, I stewed in my bitterness. My internal monologues complained about how unfair it was that such a neat fellow like me could be rejected for friendship by such neat fellows as them, and I glared in jealousy at their friendly interactions with their circle of friends that I apparently wasn’t privileged to be a part of.
And, here I am, facing the same sort of situation, only this time I’m on the other end. This time, I’m the “villain.” I’m the one doing the rejecting, and I’m the one basically not giving a neat fellow a chance to be my friend, despite his best efforts. In all the hindsight, in all the readings of our conversations, this bit of bitterness does appear to play a role.
So, what’s the point of all this rambling? I guess the point is that we all go through this cycle with loads and loads of people in our lives. We meet neat people who don’t want to be friends with us quite as much as we want to be friends with them. We all deal with folks who aren’t quite as into the friendship as we are, who aren’t following up on our energy and who aren’t returning our excitement.
At the same time that I am resenting Person A for ignoring my attempts to be a good friend, Person A is complaining about this same behavior from Person B, and meanwhile Person C is resenting me for neglecting their attempts at friendliness. And in the end, all seem to completely ignore their own complicity in treating in the exact same way that they do not want to be treated.
No one likes being ignored by someone they like. This is a fact. Everyone will ignore someone who likes them in their life for one reason or another. This is also a fact. People off put one another, some folks fall out. Some folks move on to other scenes and leave old scenes behind. We all do this, and we all do it equally on all sides of the spectrum. We ignore, and we off put. We neglect, and we resent.
So if everyone does this, and if we’re all equally guilty of neglecting and resenting and bittering at everyone else at one point or another in our lives… well then what?
Here, I find some acceptance, and I define a new truth… I guess? I suppose that the truth to remember is that we all have folks that we don’t get along with, and we all have folks that we do get along with! It’s like that like-level concept I talked about some blog posts back. Sometimes, you like someone at level 10 and they will only like you back at level 5, and you just have to live and let live.
Except in this case it’s more like “Some folks don’t get on with you. Let it go. And you won’t get on with some others. Tell them directly when you know.”
I dunno. This is all rambling nonsense at this point, mostly therapeutic for me, but nonsense all the same. Writing is an excellent venting form for me, and having all this space to write in does me really good in the end. I appreciate it. Hopefully some of you guys will too.