We Are Not Who We Pretend To Be
Interpersonal relationships of all types are idiosyncratic risks that most people go into with some idealism of how everything is and should be because that’s what they’ve learned from the things they’ve been exposed to. But life isn’t a harlequin romance novel. Boy doesn’t get girl just because he saves the day, and girl doesn’t get boy just because she believes she fits the mold of what he wants. If life worked that way, then the Nice Guy/Gal personality types wouldn’t be so problematic and I wouldn’t be able to make thinly veiled social commentary via crass knotting jokes.
Being with people, in any capacity, is hard work. We work at it every day, and then we die. There is no ultimate goal besides achieving a state of happiness with the life we’ve constructed through our labors. But a lot of people feel that they are entitled to these things, and that they should just land in our laps as if we were human gods being delivered offerings in exchange for the honor of just having us be there.
To some people, there are people who seem to be gifted with the ability to just sort of seem to fall into relationships, and other people are constantly just watching and trying to figure out how it happened. Most people meet people through school, work, bars, random social encounters, etc. A lot of people, however, take the more passive, “Just be there and hope that my romantic interest notices me,” approach.
The only places I’ve ever actually seen this technique work is in Japanese anime, poorly written teen romance novels, and television shows. Possibly even the animal kingdom, though I’ve never actually asked an animal if that was how it worked for them or not. And though the technique has, quite literally, 0 to .3 percent chance of success, it doesn’t stop a lot of people from employing it. People would rather hold out hope that someone can see that they are a diamond in the rough rather than take a chance and end up being disappointed and/or heartbroken. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, either. If people can avoid pain, of any sort, they’re going to do it. It doesn’t make them less, it just makes them cautious and probably incredibly shy. Or maybe just jaded.
And it’s not just relationships – it’s friendships, too. You see cliques of friends who are tighter than a pair of skinny jeans and some people even have more than one or two friends, and it’s astounding. Like, how did you manage to make all these friends and keep them when I could barely keep my goldfish alive?
For some people, friends seem to be a peripheral thing that are there and stick around long enough for a chapter in your life to be over, and then are just… I don’t know, gone? But without being actually gone, because you’re still friends on Facebook and you still text and tell each other you miss each other, but effort on one side, or both sides, is just nonexistent.
But, at the same time, you actually have a lot of really close friends because of the Internet (and never let anyone tell you that those people are not true friends, because I guarantee you 90% of those people will walk through the fire with you). But people are generally social creatures, and even if you’re pretty cool being all by your onesie, eventually you’re going to want to go spend time with an actual living being without relying on text and video to communicate. Animals don’t count in this instance, because they aren’t people. So you go through your phone, which is probably full of people you used to be tight with like 9 years ago in high school, but the number of people that you are actually still close enough to to call up or text and ask to hangout is probably closer to, like, one person.
And you constantly ask yourself why the 1 or 2 people you actually still know in real life and the plethora of Internet friends even talk to you, because all this One Man Wolf Pack shit has turned you into quite the sarcastic little asshole who is now convinced that they don’t actually like people at all.
And it just gets so overwhelming and frustrating, because you just wanted a friend. You just wanted someone to be there for you when you needed them. But everything just feels like it’s collapsing in on you. And people flood you with verbal love and say that you’re important, but there comes a time when words are just simply not enough and actions are needed.
People become so involved in their own lives, in their own shit, that they don’t see how their life choices are negatively affecting the people around them. They’re busy making excuses, burying their natural instincts, and acting like spoiled children to realize that they’re losing the people around them. They’re draining the people around them. They’re running them into the ground.
Being around other people is hard because all of their bullshit piles in with all of your own bullshit, and you’ve really got only two choices. You either collapse under the weight of it all or you start doing something about it. And that’s what relationships – connections – are supposed to be. It’s supposed to be everyone’s bullshit piling together and everyone working to get rid of it all. That’s what friendships, dating, marriage, and all that shit is supposed to be.
But it’s not all that, because people are infinitely stupid and have no fucking clue what they’re doing, and they’re stingy as Hell. Self centered, that’s probably the more apt word for it. Generally, people suck. That’s really what I’m trying to say. People suck. But people are also awesome. They’re capable of awesome things.
I just hope that people begin to realize that they need to start treating the people in their lives better or they’re going to lose them.