The common mistake of overestimating your own relevance

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As an admirer of design and poetry, I feel ashamed for reading and (occasionally) agreeing with these cheesy pictures.
The quotes have the poetic quality of fortune cookies, are poorly designed and popular on Tumblr. No matter how blatantly trivial the statement is: Sometimes they fit very well.

When taken for granted people often experience a lack of appreciation. Their kindness and care have become a standard while the work and effort behind are left without credit. Obviously, this imbalance is problematic and will lead to conflict sooner or later. Whether this is reminding on an ex-partner, a former friends or even family member: The motivation to support people shrinks drastically in the face of ungratefulness.

It’s weird. With autumn being around the corner and the weather growing colder I found myself becoming harsher as well. As if trying to compete with the trees shedding their leaves, I am eagerly cutting people out of my life. The last weeks have been undoubtedly tough but the stress helped me to open my eyes. Some people are straight up shit. Like so shit that I have really no reason for keeping them in my life.
The story in short: While I made an effort to support these people as good as I can, I did not have the impression of gaining much of the friendship apart from disappointment, weak excuses and empty promises. I am currently struggling with many things at once and I do not have any energy to spare. Especially not for people who are hardly trying to be useful. Fuck them.
This time the overall conclusion was very very simple: Bye.
It is a practice I do on a regular basis since keeping my environment healthy is just too important. Moreover, it is a question of efficiency as well.

How dare I?

To make this perfectly clear: these cuts never come suddenly. I give warning shots on different occasions. The final decision of letting people go is always a conclusion of incidents in the past.
On good days I try to give people a fair and useful description of why I am tired of them.
On bad days I keep it very short.
On very bad days I tell them to fuck off.

Do you know that is very funny though? Sometimes people have the damn audacity to try convincing me that I do a grave mistake. As if I am about to lose something precious.

“You can always text me if you change your mind.”
“Are you sure you want to do this?”
“It would be a shame to end things like this.”

Ok, so first of all, no. Just a big NO.

Why on fucking earth should I want to endure this attitude much longer? It is obviously god damn easy saying this from their position. You had no disadvantage from the friendship and are in fact losing a useful toy here.
It’s pretty much asking: “Yo dude, you sure you don’t want to do some emotional labour for absolutely nothing in return?” (Surprise the answer is still no.)
I fail to see what I gain from changing my mind. Where is the value of this relationship? What makes it worth all the shit?

To me, it feels as if we have two different judgements colliding here. While one party feels unappreciated, the other sees hardly a problem in the current dynamic. For them, the friendship has been functioning before and still is. Reading this choice as a mistake is oddly logical.
It does not change anything about my feelings though. No matter how much fun and laughter I have shared with people: In the end, it has little meaning to me if strangers can easily replace them. How am I supposed to make the world a better place when my well-being comes too short? It is not my job to teach people about being a good friend to me.

So can I punch him now or …?

The following story is sadly a very common and ordinary one that happens probably to some of your friends already. I give you three keywords: clubbing, males, drunk.

A tale as old as time I guess: drunk people disrespecting lines and behaving poorly. The reason why I explicitly wrote “males” is that my weekend encounter was with a man. In fact, it made me so angry that I wondered if violence can be a legit method to end conflicts. (Spoiler: the answer is no.)

Taking a break from Berlin I decided to visit a friend in Hamburg and obviously it had lead to some parties. I was in very good company and danced to the beats of decent techno when an obviously drunk guy decided to dance next to me. As a matter of fact, he had to dance really close, so close that he was literally standing on my shoe. (That I had to remove forcefully because that human being had no intention to move anywhere)

I looked around and noticed that there was plenty of space in the club. Standing on my shoes and the overall invasion of my personal space was absolutely unnecessary. My attempt to make the guy notice my discomfort by standing still and intensely stare at him got rewarded with him stepping in front of me and slowly pushing me aside.

“Fine”, I thought, “I hope the eternal flames of hell will get you and slowly burn your intestines.” Not in the mood for mindful engagement I just moved away and danced at a spot that was drunk dude free. It didn’t take him a minute to show up next to me again and repeat the stepping on my shoe and pushing me aside crap.

Me: What is your problem? I don’t want to dance with you.
Him: I don’t fucking care about you. Go away if you don’t like it. I won’t go anywhere.

Sure, I took my stuff, congratulated on the “asshole award” I just gave him and moved to a corner and danced with my friends. Until he showed up again behind me.

That’s it. No more chance. You die.

SERIOUSLY! HOW ON EARTH CAN A SINGLE HUMAN BEING BE THAT DISGUSTING? WHAT DID THE WORLD DO TO HIM? Out of all the things he could possibly do in a club he decided to use his energy to ruin my time. He was not flirting. He was not interested in getting my attention or number. He was simply an extremely rude person very ambitious so spread negative vibes. I couldn’t believe how he is not ashamed of himself.

I turned around and told him to go away. I told him that I do not like him this close. Angry he said I should shut up.

No, I will not let you go that easily. I want you to have nightmares.

Yes, I now that this is not very zen and yes, there would have been ways to solve this with less aggression. I am still learning and this as also a lesson for me. I was taken away by my own anger. It simply pissed me off to see him casually walking around being disrespectful. A club with loud techno music is probably not the best place for a mindful conversation and I also had the impression that this guy in specific is not going to listen anyway.  That is the reason why I decided to yell the shit out of him. My usually calm voice was suddenly competing with the bass from the speakers behind me and I used my hands to make my demand perfectly clear:

GO AWAY!, I yelled, my hands pointing at the farthest corner I could find. GO THE FUCK AWAY!

As expected he did not move away and got even more aggressive and I seriously had a hard time not grab him by the collars of his ugly ass checked shirt and throw him down the stairs. I decided to continue screaming instead, hoping that either security will show up or him making the mistake of grabbing me so I have an excuse for self-defence. (I might have been angry but not stupid.)
What happened, in the end, was better though. A friend of mine stepped between us trying to move him to the side. Two girls who were dancing next to us told him to get lost as well. Another friend was also blocking him from me. Finally, a guy who I just met in the club was gently taking the dude aside and said something to him that made him disappear without causing any more drama.

Everything ended well without anyone getting hurt.

However,

I just wondered if there was a way to solve this situation without depending on the kindness of the people around me. Well, going to the bar and asking for security is obviously a possibility but is there literally no way to solve this situation by myself? Why am I even in need of asking others for help? Am I doomed to rely on others just because my body doesn’t look threatening enough to make people respect me?