I deleted and rewrote these first few lines at least a dozen times. You know what? I am going right for the jugular and putting it out there. It is time for me to be blunt, straightforward, and not sugar coating the bullshit. There is no holding back now.
I done goofed. I made a big mistake. Simply put, I fucked up.
Without sounding too nerdy, I am a part of the Pokemon Go community. Over the last three years, I met a lot of awesome people, and some became close friends outside of the game. In order to coordinate social aspects of the game (i.e. trading, battling, etc.), I am involved in several large group chats. For those of you who say the game is “dead,” the chat I am discussing right now has roughly 200 people in it. So ha! However, with so many people, big personalities are to expected. With that, conflicts come with it.
In this chat, several individuals disagreed on topics being discussed and some people monopolizing the chat. My one good friend took on a peacemaker role of sorts in trying to keep the topics focused on the game and calling other people out in a respectful manner. I, on the other hand, took on the role of sarcastic asshole. I pick on people I like and like to joke around. I often try to use humor to diffuse tension even in person.
In this particular conversation, my friend pointed out to someone else that they were going way off topic, which interfered with an event several others coordinated in the chat simultaneously. Being the snarky asshole that I am, I made a snarky asshole comment. My friend reached out to me and asked me to cool it. I sent the following GIF:
I should have left it at that. Later in the evening, the group discussed some upcoming in-game events. I scrolled through and saw a comment from my friend about how much he liked one potential new feature. I took an ill-advised opportunity to respond with, “As much as you liked [X topic] being discussed earlier.”
Yeah, I fucked up. That set him off. He messaged me privately right after that comment. To summarize his message, he rightfully accused me of undermining him after he put a great deal of effort into making the group chat a welcoming environment for everyone. He did not appreciate my dick-ish comment in front of everyone after he had my back on many occasions.
Oh boy. It sunk in and hit hard. I just fucked over a great friend. He is one of the few genuinely good guys left in the world. He firmly believes in “the energy you put out is the energy you will receive back” mentality. He took time out for me so many times to listen to me bitch and work through my bullshit. With poor judgment, I threw that away and embarrassed him in front of 200 people in a chat.
I could tell he was pissed too. I merely summarized his message. It was ladened with curse words and exquisite language, which somehow gave it a stronger punch. Another friend reached out to me too and told me how upset he was and highlighted my “antagonistic” behavior. She was not wrong.
I barely slept that night. My mind latched onto the guilt. I kept replaying the conversation in my head. How could I have been so stupid? Even if I did or did not agree with what he was saying, I easily could have opted to just not say anything at all. Instead, I let the asshole in me go too far to sacrifice a great friend. I felt like, and still feel like, I failed him as his friend.
That fed the guilt ridden beast inside me. I violated a primary core belief. I always tried to make my friends feel like my family. For so many years, my family came up short in terms of supporting me mentally and emotionally. I brought my friends in closer then. We relied on one another. I was there for them, and they were there for me. With that mindset, I felt like I let down a brother.
I even went against another personal value. I took him for granted. I can never stress enough how important it is to show gratitude, especially for those who go out of their way to help us. I ignored the fact that this guy did just that for me. He made himself available when I needed it the most. I mean on a personal level too and not just with Pokemon Go.
It hurt me to think about this, but I can imagine how much it hurt him to have a friend betray him. I am human, but I take responsibility for what I did.
Do not take your friends for granted. Friendships can go a long way.
-The Caring Counselor