Some home truths: some people are just assholes.
A few weeks ago, I decided to attempt to right a few wrongs. Years ago, I was incredibly active on the Sonisphere forums- a pretty dead forum for a very dead festival. At the time, I posted a lot on there, arguably too much, to the point where- understandably- a lot of other users were annoyed. At Sonisphere 2010, I met up with a few of these people, and it would be more than fair to say that I didn’t hit it off with all of them. It was a combination of my own crippling lack of confidence- a lack of confidence that made me over compensate for things to an extreme amount- and the fact that these people just didn’t like me.
Years later, after a diagnosis of anxiety, a troubled few years and a difficult relationship or two, my counsellor mentioned that it may be worthwhile apologising for some of my more annoying younger moments, and if that included apologising to forum members, then so be it. It wouldn’t do any harm, she said. She actually was right, in a way, but also wrong. So I did what she suggested- I posted on the forums, years after making my last post, with a thought out apology. I didn’t try to point the blame- I just apologised for the sheer abundance of posts I made. For a few days, I didn’t receive anything. That was fine by me. I hadn’t made the post to try and gather any sympathy- if I received no reply to it ever it wouldn’t matter. I had done it for closure, not for sympathy or attention.
Anyway, about a week or so later, I received my first replies to the post. And no, they weren’t posts of support…almost universally they were sarcastic, damning or just downright rude. People said they didn’t care, that they hated me regardless. That hurt for a while, but then I dusted myself off, reminded myself that these are people that I haven’t met for years and largely have no intention of meeting again, and got on with my life. I had tried to apologise for something that, although not a heinous crime, was something I felt I wanted to set right. People hadn’t cared for an apology. Now, largely, if the apology doesn’t fit well for a person, they have every right not to accept it, but it is normally accepted as good practice to simply not respond, rather than reply with a tirade of hatred. It was at that point that I came to the conclusion that, sure, I’m far from perfect, but the Sonisphere forums were largely filled with absolute assholes. They had seen somebody apologise, open themselves up for ridicule, and had decided to descend like vultures and tear them apart. I’m not a baby- I’ve developed to a point where somebody saying something mean to me over the internet doesn’t ruin my day. It just got me thinking about life in general.
No matter what good you do, no matter how many mistakes you make up for, the fact remains that people will always exist somewhere that hate you. It could be that you’re a bad person, it could be that THEY are a bad person, although it normally just works out that neither of you are bad people: you’re both just different people who clash for whatever reason. Unless you’re married to them, this won’t be a problem. You’ll either grin and be civil to each other for the sake of other people or you’ll just avoid each other like the plague.I’m far too old now to be worrying about what people think of me. I have a girlfriend, my family and my friends, and they all accept me for the person I am. I’m sometimes nervous, due to my anxiety, and I’m not afraid to say things as they are. They choose to surround me with their presence. I can be blunt, and I have a very dry sense of humour, but at the age of 25 it is unlikely I could change the person I am even if I wanted to. But the fact of the matter is this: I am far from perfect, and I am totally okay with that.
The reason I likely annoyed those people from the forums when I met them in person was because I tried way too hard to impress them. I was anxious, I was young, I was convinced people hated me due to a lack of confidence and the aforementioned anxiety, and I tried to portray a version of myself that wasn’t accurate. I was magically happy, overly excitable and- for one poor forum friend who worked in welfare- only seconds away from a complete meltdown. I look back now and realise what a nuisance I was. But I also realise that the way I acted was a cry for help. I wanted someone to accept me, and I honestly believe all it would have taken was one kind soul to accept me and I would’ve been calmer through that whole weekend. But you live and you learn.It took longer than it should have, but I finally worked out that if a person didn’t like me- that was once I had found out who I actually wanted to be in the first place- then there wasn’t any point trying to convince them. Nowadays, I don’t give a fuck. Either like me, hate me, or just be annoyingly indifferent to me. Any of that is fine. I was born and one day I will die, and I don’t have enough time between those two points to worry about people who can’t grow to know me.
So what I am trying to say, I suppose, is that sometimes people don’t like you, sometimes you won’t like them either, or sometimes they might just be assholes who seemingly don’t like anyone. Don’t let it ruin your life.
Love, live, and carry on regardless. You can guarantee they those people who dislike you aren’t wasting a second more thinking of you, so don’t waste a second more thinking about them.