rebloggable by request lmao
I really like it when artists (or well, anyone, but online it’s mostly artists!) talk about this kind of thing because it’s not something people usually talk about, and it’s something that’s difficult to talk about without sounding conceited, or even more intimidating, or whatever else. I have a lot of respect for people who can address this tactfully and frankly.
All of this is very true. I have a confession to make, actually, and my confession is this: I love talking to people. But I am not always interested in making friends with people. I am actually quite a reserved person, though I know that I don’t seem it, because I just love talking & interacting so much haha. But people get the wrong idea a lot of the time, and I know I’m partly to blame for that. It’s a struggle to maintain a friendly/approachable demeanour without inviting too much friendliness, or downright unwanted attention. I honestly find it difficult to cater to the friends I have now, so if I end up befriending someone, I want to make sure they’re something special. I don’t like the vague insinuations that being selective about friends and friendship makes you a bad person - it seems that if an artist isn’t willing to be best friends forever with everyone who approaches them, they’re standoffish and unapproachable and mean and cliquey - when that isn’t true at all.
I think this is true of almost everybody, though! It’s just really impossible to be friends with everyone you ever meet. I’m sure there have been times when someone’s approached you and it just hasn’t worked out. Sometimes it just doesn’t, and that’s okay. You shouldn’t beat yourself up about it and you shouldn’t blame the other person, either! Sometimes it just doesn’t work and it’s neither your fault or theirs.
I do have a word of advice though; one thing that turns me off faster than anything (and probably turns anyone off faster than anything) is self pity, or wistful insinuations. ‘I wish I could draw like you’ ‘I wish I had as many friends as you’ ‘It’d be nice if I got as much attention as you’ ‘I bet no one would ever like me/do x things for me like they do for you’ etc are probably all things all artists have heard at one time or another from some well-meaning person, but the truth is, it is incredibly uncomfortable to hear things like this. I don’t know what you think artists and their friends talk to each other about, or the things they say to each other, but it sure as hell isn’t anything like that. Nothing makes me dislike or shut down on a person faster than things like that. It is likely not intended to be (I think often the person doesn’t even know what they’re doing), but it is guilt trippy and when people say things like this, I feel like I am responsible for their feelings, like I should apologise for every good thing that people see occur to me because it makes them feel bad. ??? I think it’s worse when you try to say things that you think would make them feel better but they’re like ‘oh no …’ and at that point you are 9999999887474% done with that person.
I know it can be really hard to talk to someone you admire, I know sometimes you really want to be friends with someone and it looks like it’d just be impossible so you sort of spiral down into this weird self-hate or projected negativity on the person at hand. But you shouldn’t! Wanting to be friends with people online shouldn’t be such a big deal. It should be something lighthearted and pleasant and the sideshow of pleasant interactions with somebody - it shouldn’t be the main event.
If the thought of trying to befriend someone you admire fills you with nervousness, trepidation or if you just spend too much time worrying about it, I think that it’s just not worth it and you should just quit it. It’s just … kind of sad trying to catch someone’s attention that might not be so much inclined to catching yours. It’s also unfair to put so much expectation on another person for your own happiness and wellbeing. I firmly believe that if you are meant to be friends with someone, it’ll happen without you having to even try. Making friends shouldn’t feel like a chore, it shouldn’t make you feel disappointed because someone isn’t responding the way you want them to. So leave it alone, and maybe it’ll end up happening. In the meantime, maybe you can channel your energies towards people who do notice you and who do want to spend time with you, instead of towards someone who makes you feel bad simply because they’re not returning your attention.
Hey May, I just have to chime in cause WOW You have such a great way with explaining things and really rang the bell for me when I read that advice part. Sorry I bolded it but just for my sake, it is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.
I have a lot of people message me with, “Can I be your friend?” My first reaction? “No. No no no. NO.” Because that is not how friends work. I just… I don’t understand it, it’s not how it works. To me it’s mutual clicking, you just naturally start chatting with each other, commenting back and forth, sometimes it goes further like IM’s or playing games together, yanno just more. Sometimes not. But who cares right? Just enjoy the company if it’s enjoyable. If it’s not, drop it. Do not beat a dead horse.
Another note, I also got a couple of asks this week asking how I befriended Slugbox and if I had advice for them? WHAT? I don’t really know when this happened or what, I just comment on Slug’s stuff. He occasionally reblogs stuff of mine. We have playful banter/gifs? I don’t really know when we suddenly became these besties texting each other in the night cause apparently we do that now. I had no clue. I personally deleted these asks. I did not think they were appropriate and frankly “wrong and manipulating” is the vibe they gave me.
You guys, please THINK about why you want to be friends with a person. Why is this such a top priority? Because if it is for shallow reasons like fame, art, what have you… Please step away. No one is interested in that kind of friendship, NO ONE.
Going back up to what May said in the bold…. This is my biggest issue talking with people. This is why I honestly hate talking one on one with most people. They guilt trip me. It’s not usually intentional?? But seriously that second they start that “Oh why am I not good enough” crap I immediately debate on blocking them. Because this is something I apparently inspire when they talk to me? Thank you? But wow that’s… REALLY HURTFUL? I don’t want to be this cause of absolute displeasure in your life just because I’m being myself. That is so horrible to hear, please don’t ever do that. Do not knock yourself down in front of new people. DON’T DO IT!!!
If you don’t respect or like yourself, why the heck should anyone else? I mean seriously. I use to be a pity party too, and I realized how much I hated myself for it. Now I cut it out and I have people telling me they love my confidence and how outgoing I am and blah blah blah - I’m not confident. I rarely talk to anyone off of tumblr. But I don’t knock myself in front of people. I smile and I talk about the interests, the fads, what’s going on. FUN STUFF! Not, “Booooo hooooo why don’t so so follow me, why don’t I have xxxxx followers, why is my art not as good as yours” STOP. DON’T DO THAT. >:C
I just really felt it was necessary to post this on my own blog cause I have had a few people ask me how they can be friends with me… And I don’t know what to tell them usually? But this sums it up really well so please read it. All of it.
Thanks so much guys, you are all awesome. No matter your talent level, follower counter, WHATEVER. Please just don’t degrade yourselves, okay? No one wants to see that. You’re a great person, show everyone that you are.
Not going to lie, this hasn’t happened to me in a while now (thankfully!), but when it did, this is exactly how I felt about it. No one wants to feel pressured into making friends, or guilt tripped into being your friend. No one, ever.