How to lose friends and alienate people

This is a hard post for me to write. It’s not nice.

Not that it’s mean-spirited; these are things that I have felt needed to be said for a while now. But they aren’t things that people necessarily want to hear.

There are a few individuals that I’m “calling out,” although I won’t be naming them. If they read this, which I hope they do, it is likely that they will feel hurt or defensive, which isn’t my intention. I guess my hope is that they will hear what I’m saying and take it to heart. If you’re thinking how unlikely that is, I can’t say I disagree with you.

Brendan and I have an agreement between us: that if someone in our lives is toxic, we will simply remove them from our circle of friends. Since the brain tumor, this agreement has become even more important to us. Anything can happen—either one of us could die today. So we don’t want to waste even a moment dealing with toxic individuals.

With this post, I am attempting to address the reasons why certain people have been removed from my life.

No one is perfect, people. When I see these traits in myself, which absolutely happens, I work very hard to overcome them. Hopefully others can do the same.

The “Managers”

“Managers” can often be seen attempting to teach, coerce, or control their partners. Some of them even behave this way toward their friends. What at first can be seen as helpful advice (especially during the “honeymoon phase” of your friendship) becomes more and more patronizing the longer you know them.

The less self-aware the “Managers” are, they more likely you will witness them practicing not-so-subtle attempts to control their partners/friends by telling them how to play a board game better, what to eat, how to dress, etc. If the “Manager” knows on some level that their behavior isn’t okay, they will probably only do it in private.

“Managers” tend to believe that they are very smart, and that others want to benefit from their knowledge and expertise. If they find themselves in a position where they must learn something, they will generally ask a lot of questions designed to make them look smarter than the “teacher.” I once had a “Manager” tell me how I was setting up a game wrong—a game he had never played, and I had—without irony.

While “Managers” are by no means relegated to one gender, this article about mansplaining from last year does a pretty good job of spelling out some ways to tell if you or someone you know is “managing” (or mansplaining). Chances are pretty good that if they’re doing this stuff a lot, and they’ve been doing it for a long time, they may not even realize it’s happening.

The “Passionate People”

“Passionate People” mistake anger—or dickishness—for passion. The worst ones know it’s not passion and just use the term as a smokescreen.

Saying “I’m a passionate person” does not give anyone license to be abusive to people. They can be as passionate as they want to be, but when they mistreat someone, using passion as a scapegoat is weak and dishonest.

Apologies are a great way to mend friendships. If “Passionate People” just said they were sorry for their behavior instead of trying to excuse that behavior or disguise it as a character trait, they would probably hold onto more friends and have deeper friendships.

I had to break up with a friend of mine after he made my cry for the second time. I tried to pass of the first incident as a fluke, but the second time around I wised up. We were in public, and I’m almost certain he did it on purpose.

The “Exceptions”

You’ll hear people who think of themselves as “Exceptions” trying to opt out of their privilege. “Exceptions” will proclaim that their whiteness/maleness/whateverness either doesn’t come with privileges, or that they have managed to somehow opt out of those privileges.

Many of these “Exceptions” think of themselves as social justice warriors. You will see them arguing with well-meaning people on Facebook and Twitter, calling out people for using certain words or other faux pas, usually with the intention of making themselves look better.

An “Exceptional” ex-acquaintance of mine once railed against my husband for posting an article on Facebook that basically said that it’s okay for kids to take time figuring out who they are. He tagged my friend, whose daughter was having a hard time because she felt like she should know what her sexual orientation was, and didn’t at the time. Our friend thanked him for the post (and later said it was helpful for her daughter).

Then, for some reason, this “Exception” decided to chime in and proclaim, apparently speaking on behalf of all 14-year-olds, that “14-year-olds know their bodies!” She went on and on about how bad this post was, using very angry and inflammatory language. I’m very glad my friend’s daughter didn’t see the comments on the post; she was already feeling like something was “wrong” with her for not knowing everything about her identity and orientation without the help of this “social justice warrior.”

Okay, that got a little heavy, so here’s a video from Awaken with JP:

Sorry about the overuse of quotation marks in this post.

I’m not going to apologize for anything else I’ve written here; I’m trying to be courageous, and make it known why I’ve cut off contact with certain people. I hope this helps someone out there rid themselves of toxic people, and of toxins inside of themselves.

Happy Anniversary, Brendan Quinn

I’m married to a wonderful man named Brendan Quinn. This post is addressed to him.

Hi, baby. I love you so damn much.

Together, we’ve been able to pursue our dreams of owning our own company, publishing games, creating (as yet unfinished) video games, and traveling to all sorts of interesting destinations. You have helped and supported me through some very difficult times, and I’ve helped and supported you, as well.

We’re partners. We’re best friends. We’re very, VERY happily married.

We’re also human beings, which means we’re not always on our best behavior. I think what makes our marriage work so well is that we talk about shit as it comes up. I mean…we have to. Otherwise, it just sits there stinking up the room. So we talk through problems as they arise, and make sure to put the emphasis on how to make it better instead of on who to blame. You’ve helped teach me how to do that better.

Today, we’ve been married five years. It feels like so short a time, and somehow simultaneously, it feels like I’ve known you forever.

Everything I said in my wedding vows still holds true. I just want to tack on a little addendum: I will never, ever stop learning and growing. I’ll keep striving to be better and better—and not just for you, but for myself as well. I know you’ll understand what I mean 🙂

You’re the absolute best, love. I hit the lottery, and I know it. I’ll say it again: I love you so damn much.

Catching Up

Hey, loves!

It’s been way, way too long since I’ve checked in!

I’ve suddenly become very busy, and I’m trying to balance my time with my recovery. Working out and cooking have made their way back into my life, which is super fun and feels awesome. I’ve also got some new design projects! All in all, things are going splendidly. I just need to figure out how to keep everything in balance, and allow time for my own art projects and blog writing.

There are a couple of blogs bouncing around in my head. I’ve been writing them mentally while driving, showering, etc… you know how it is. They’ll make their way here soon 🙂

About this blog…

I have written a lot of little things over the years, and have important things to say in the present as well. I want to (actually, need to, I think) share myself in a public way. I want to share my thoughts and feelings.

Oh, and I also want to share my pixel art 🙂

I’ve been meaning to do this for years. I have been a guest blogger on other websites, and will probably be posting some of that as well.