Emphasis on the ‘mutual.’

Tried making some changes tonight. I want to walk through them like a CSI recreation of the butchery of a couple social connections. Note the use of the term ‘social connections’ and not ‘friendships.’ Tracing that branch back to the bark, I’m already at the part where I talk about why I cut some ties off tonight.

I was fucking around in a Minecraft server tonight. Lazing. Chatting with one of the murder victims. In steps someone who runs in the larger concentric circle of friends surrounding me whom I despise. A detestable human being obsessed with the sound of his own voice. Arrogant. A sentient comments section with no redeemable qualities that were apparent for me – someone who is generally empathetic – to see. I wouldn’t rule out a deliberate cloaking of them in order to get under my skin. I’m also generally thin-skinned. I can cop to that. I almost could excuse trolling me, because I’m an easy target for a troll.

I realized that this person would be participating in the ‘murder mystery’ event that I had coordinated. Following that thought, I realized that I would enjoy the event less with they would be present. From there, I realized that if I had more reliable, palatable humans surrounding me in real life this wouldn’t be a problem. I would be able to organize improv dinners in real life. I realized, simply, that I needed better friends. This was the was the tipping point. It isn’t exactly eloquently described – because I’m a shitty writer – but it was the point that I assessed all of my digital friendships.

People in that group hold onto people like accessories. Each person fills a broader role in each of their lives. The aimless intellectual. The depressed creative. The sociopath. The ambivalent enigma. The lovable duntz. The aloof career man. In the past, I have directly prompted a response. “Why are we friends?” The answer is pragmatic. It’s logical. Some ‘value’ is seen in me as a friend. It’s never as simple as ‘I like being around you,’ or ‘we get along well,’ or ‘you’re a good friend.’ It’s always a math problem that drums up a positive integer. Who maintains a friendship like that? I’m a good friend. I think of them. I include them in things. I wish them good luck on their first day of a new job. I buy them things when I can. I give gifts. I lend an ear. Being a friend is actually something that I pride myself in. Sure, some of that innate desire comes from being lonely and lacking a lot of interpersonal connections – since I’m just now parsing my own narcissism and understanding how I look from the outside – but the ends are the same.

I went on a tirade. I indicted one of them for the crimes of all of them. I swore. I was annoyed. I was confused. I wasn’t hearing a counterargument. It wasn’t a value proposition. It was a pair of scissors closing. I deleted my Discord account. I closed the Trello board that was used to plan the murder mystery event that I want(ed) to do. That guy that I hate is probably patting himself on the back for successfully trolling me into doing damage to myself and my interpersonal connections. Knowing what buttons in me that can be pushed to drive me to do something drastic. He strikes me as the kind of person that would take that as a point of pride. I hope he is aware of the caustic slathering of unhappiness that he has helped paint onto me. Even if he does, it probably doesn’t matter.

Maybe I should be thanking that grade-A asshole. It has pulled my head back so I can get a good look at the value – or lack thereof – in those interpersonal relationships. I try to put in. I include. I encourage. I empathize. I care. In return, I am treated like a dancing monkey. A depressive Chia pet to prune and humor occasionally. At worst, an inconvenience. After all, caring for a plant gets annoying.

I think I’m better off without them. In the past, I have done ‘disappearing acts’ that resulted in me vanishing from the radar for months at a time. It happened at the intersection of my digital private life and my physical private life. Physical trumps digital every time – at least in this context. New friendships. Trips. Meeting Fia. Getting a new job, or a new cat. Darker things, like depression spells or the threat of being kicked out on the street by my parent.

This time, though, it is a decision I’m making. It’s one made for the better. It frees up bandwidth for me to expand my horizons in the things that matter. Connecting more with people in the real world. Fostering mutually beneficial friendships. Emphasis on the ‘mutual.’

This journal entry feels good.

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