PDA

View Full Version : Should I Stay or Should I Go



GunDragon
2018-08-29, 04:44 AM
So I've been playing D&D with a group of guys I've known since high school (it's been about 10 years now) and I've been having a bit of a problem lately.
I've always kind of felt this way about them, but lately it has been stronger than ever. I feel I don't belong with them anymore.
1 or 2 times a week I go to their apartment to play D&D with 3 other guys. They all live in that apartment together and it has been that way for the past few months.
That fact alone makes me feel a little like the odd man out.
Not only that, but I have come to learn that every group of guys has a sort of social hierarchy, a pecking order if you will, and I believe I am the lowest on the totem pole.
I'm not snappy and witty like the other guys. I'm not great at making a quick and cutting comeback when an insult flies my way. And trust me, plenty of insults fly my way.
I just can't take their crap anymore. They berate me, insult me, and make me feel like I don't matter every time I come over. I just don't feel welcome or even necessary.
There's plenty of times where I want to roleplay my character to the fullest, but I am held back from that because I fear that my so-called "friends" will respond to it with more insults.
Sometimes I'll be sitting there quietly during a session, bored out of my mind and staring off into space, and one of them will ask me, "Are you okay?"
And I'll reply with a "Yeah, I'm fine." Or, "I'm just a little tired is all."
I feel like the biggest idiot sitting there at the table, not knowing what to say.
These guys are supposed to be my friends, but I don't trust them not to insult me when I talk, so I often choose to just say nothing at all.
I've thought many times about leaving the table for good, but I just feel like I can't go through with it. I've known these guys for a long time, and maybe I stick around for the sake of the good old days.
Maybe all I need is a little push. Something to make me have some self-respect for a change and just say "No!" to them.

And I'm not saying that these recent sessions of D&D have been completely devoid of fun. There's still laughter, there's still jokes (Not always at my expense, thankfully)
But I feel like these friends of mine aren't really friends to me anymore. Because they obviously don't care about me. And friends are supposed to care about each other, right?
These guys are such *******s.

Well, thank you for listening to me vent. I haven't really made a decision yet as to what to do about them, and that's why I posted all this.
Have any of you had a similar experience before? If so, what did you do?

DeTess
2018-08-29, 04:49 AM
Have you talked tot hem about this? If not, you should talk to them about this. I on't know what insults they throw your way, but they might think they're just doing some light-hearted ribbing, rather than making you miserable. Or maybe they really are just ***** who want to make you miserable, but the only way to find out is to ask them.

Edit: that having been said, based on what you said here, I'd probably leave if for some reason I was incapable of having a conversation with them about this. It'd probably be better to have the conversation though, because it removes a lot of the uncertainty.

Edit2: Also, you sound really depressed. Maybe consider talking to a doctor about this?

GunDragon
2018-08-29, 04:55 AM
I haven't talked to them about any of this yet. That whole process seems like it would be ripping off a band-aid.
I wish it were just light-hearted jabs, because then it would be funny, even if it was against me.
But their insults are not like that. They are cruel and mean, more often than not. And I have resigned myself to just sit there and take it quietly, because when I try to argue or defend myself, that often just makes it worse. They're not laughing with me, they're laughing at me. It's annoying. It's infuriating. It takes me a lot of willpower just to keep from storming out of there.

Spore
2018-08-29, 05:18 AM
People who do not understand where your limits about jokes are cannot be _friends_. Because I define a friend as someone who cares about your emotional state. That being said I do love me some sarcasm, friendly insults and banter. And I sometimes lack the ability to notice if someone is truly hurt by it.


And I'm not saying that these recent sessions of D&D have been completely devoid of fun.

Honestly I quit my group because of other things (overblown ingame dramas when I just came to visit friends and roll a few dice) and I was happier for it.


They're not laughing with me, they're laughing at me. It's annoying. It's infuriating. It takes me a lot of willpower just to keep from storming out of there.

You do not storm out there like you are some drama queen that cannot take jokes. You stand up, coldly state: "I think I should go." and then leave. Let them figure it out. Maybe you invite a friend from another friend circle to the game. His or her job is to gauge if the insults are truly meant to be hurtful, and they then say what you think the whole time.

Of course you ask your friends if some newcomer who is interested in the game is allowed at the table?

Satinavian
2018-08-29, 05:20 AM
Talk to them about it.

If you can't talk to them about it (i know, it is incredibly hard to do so), walk.


You should not force yourself to sit through it for the sake of old times or because you don't want to give up the friendship or because you feel a responsibility to do so. You would only start to hate those guys sooner or later and/or hate yourself for not having the guts to confront them.

HidesHisEyes
2018-08-29, 05:27 AM
In my experience thereís a certain kind of guy who organises his social experiences with other guys around ďbanterĒ, ie taking the piss out of his friends and expecting them to do the same. It sounds like that kind of group. Iíd say if you can get into a habit of brushing off the stuff they say and taking the piss out of them in the same way, then do that, and maybe the atmosphere will improve. If thatís not you then Iíd say just donít bother with these guys. You can still be friends but thereís no need to subject yourself to sitting through a D&D game with them every week. You donít have any responsibilities to them, and Iím sure you can find another group (play online if necessary?)

GunDragon
2018-08-29, 05:35 AM
People who do not understand where your limits about jokes are cannot be _friends_. Because I define a friend as someone who cares about your emotional state. That being said I do love me some sarcasm, friendly insults and banter. And I sometimes lack the ability to notice if someone is truly hurt by it.



Honestly I quit my group because of other things (overblown ingame dramas when I just came to visit friends and roll a few dice) and I was happier for it.



You do not storm out there like you are some drama queen that cannot take jokes. You stand up, coldly state: "I think I should go." and then leave. Let them figure it out. Maybe you invite a friend from another friend circle to the game. His or her job is to gauge if the insults are truly meant to be hurtful, and they then say what you think the whole time.

Of course you ask your friends if some newcomer who is interested in the game is allowed at the table?

The thing is, I already got a newcomer to join the group a few years back. Last year, the newcomer left the group and stopped going to sessions because he had the same problem I did.
The group of jerks in question were quite merciless in their verbal dismantling of the newcomer. They seemed to insult and rudely criticize every thing the newcomer did or tried to do. I honestly felt sorry for him, because he seemed to have a bigger bullseye on his chest than I did. Even to this day, they keep talking trash about him behind his back.
The newcomer is a wise man. He has more self-respect and he doesn't take other people's crap like that, at least, not for too long. I do one-on-one D&D sessions with that newcomer now. It's not as fun as a full group, but it still kinda works.

And yeah I've never actually stormed out of a session before, like a drama queen would. I just calmly make up an excuse and then leave early.

BreaktheStatue
2018-08-29, 05:40 AM
So I've been playing D&D with a group of guys I've known since high school (it's been about 10 years now) and I've been having a bit of a problem lately.
I've always kind of felt this way about them, but lately it has been stronger than ever. I feel I don't belong with them anymore.
1 or 2 times a week I go to their apartment to play D&D with 3 other guys. They all live in that apartment together and it has been that way for the past few months.
That fact alone makes me feel a little like the odd man out.
Not only that, but I have come to learn that every group of guys has a sort of social hierarchy, a pecking order if you will, and I believe I am the lowest on the totem pole.
I'm not snappy and witty like the other guys. I'm not great at making a quick and cutting comeback when an insult flies my way. And trust me, plenty of insults fly my way.
I just can't take their crap anymore. They berate me, insult me, and make me feel like I don't matter every time I come over. I just don't feel welcome or even necessary.
There's plenty of times where I want to roleplay my character to the fullest, but I am held back from that because I fear that my so-called "friends" will respond to it with more insults.
Sometimes I'll be sitting there quietly during a session, bored out of my mind and staring off into space, and one of them will ask me, "Are you okay?"
And I'll reply with a "Yeah, I'm fine." Or, "I'm just a little tired is all."
I feel like the biggest idiot sitting there at the table, not knowing what to say.
These guys are supposed to be my friends, but I don't trust them not to insult me when I talk, so I often choose to just say nothing at all.
I've thought many times about leaving the table for good, but I just feel like I can't go through with it. I've known these guys for a long time, and maybe I stick around for the sake of the good old days.
Maybe all I need is a little push. Something to make me have some self-respect for a change and just say "No!" to them.

And I'm not saying that these recent sessions of D&D have been completely devoid of fun. There's still laughter, there's still jokes (Not always at my expense, thankfully)
But I feel like these friends of mine aren't really friends to me anymore. Because they obviously don't care about me. And friends are supposed to care about each other, right?
These guys are such *******s.

Well, thank you for listening to me vent. I haven't really made a decision yet as to what to do about them, and that's why I posted all this.
Have any of you had a similar experience before? If so, what did you do?

Late 20s/Early 30s has been a *rough* time, at least for me, because I've grown apart from most of my friends. People get SOs, maybe start having kids, move away for new jobs, it's natural, but that doesn't mean it sucks less.

It's also the first time you start to feel the windows close, and that's even worse. I don't know your friends, and I don't mean to sound like a judgemental jerk, but if they're three high school friends sharing an apartment with each other in their late 20s, they're probably not doing as well as they hoped to do.

Bitterness can make people extremely cruel.

The nice thing to say would be "Talk to them, work it out," - that's what 90% of the advice on this website boils down to - but I wouldn't. Find friends that aren't going to treat you like garbage, and let those 3 guys stew together.

Pleh
2018-08-29, 05:52 AM
Nah. You should definitely leave the group. The pecking order thing isn't going to change by saying it bothers you and is more likely to make you a target for further harassment.

If/when they ask why you're leaving, go ahead and be upfront about it. If/when they ask why you didn't tell them sooner, be honest and tell them their social dynamic made you feel they would be hostile to any expression of vulnerability, so talking about it seemed to have a no win conclusion.

I've never bothered with being friends with guys when I could feel the pecking order thing going on. It's just a poor foundation for friendship if both guys aren't growing in a positive way from the rivalry (which can happen; some guys thrive and become better people when they have friendly competition, and I'm not one of them).

But what I mean to say is I've had a ton of make social groups that were more balanced and felt more cooperative than competitive, so I'm hoping that encourages you to keep looking.

Mordaedil
2018-08-29, 06:48 AM
Yeah I'm gonna say this group is beyond saving. Sever and move on.

Grod_The_Giant
2018-08-29, 06:52 AM
Well, if you stay there will be trouble, and if you go there will be double...

:smalltongue:

References aside, I'm with the others-- you're not having fun, and it's not likely to change. Time to go your own way.

Cluedrew
2018-08-29, 07:43 AM
So most social group dynamics advice boils down to:
Try talking to people.
If that doesn't work walk away.
Really you might be past 1 already, but that part is your call. If not for some firsthand experiences with how lighthearted banter can come across sometimes, I would definitely recommend leaving immediately. But that can happen so I would say you might want to try talking first. That is your decision both because you are the one who has to do it and because that maybe depends on many little things I can't judge second hand.

But "stay" as in let things stay as they are, no, in all the stories I have heard they have never just gotten better.

Deophaun
2018-08-29, 07:56 AM
People who do not understand where your limits about jokes are cannot be _friends_. Because I define a friend as someone who cares about your emotional state.


Sometimes I'll be sitting there quietly during a session, bored out of my mind and staring off into space, and one of them will ask me, "Are you okay?"

That is all.

Kyrell1978
2018-08-29, 08:39 AM
I would certainly talk to them about it. Try to do it separately, so that you don't feel overwhelmed by all of them being defensive at once if you think that would help. It may be the case that they have a rather rough way of speaking to each other (I know that my friends and I do) that isn't meant to be hurtful. If this doesn't work sit down and think about what it is that is going to do you the most good. I've had to leave a group before. (A little of the story is actually over on the "I rolled a one on this group thread"). Before I made that decision, I sat down with a person that I knew I could trust and tried to take account of both the positive and the negative of playing in that group. It turned out for me that the negatives outweighed the positives.

Calthropstu
2018-08-29, 08:41 AM
Heh.

If you decide to leave, do so in a blaze of glory. Post an optimization thread in the apropriate forum.

Op your character to the max.

Wait for a particularly rude insult.

And kill them.

Then they make new characters, wait for another insult.

And kill them.

Make them ask you to leave.

Maelynn
2018-08-29, 09:16 AM
So far what I read from your posts, it could very well be that these guys have built their friendship (and yours!) around insulting eachother. I'm obviously not an expert, but I often hear that certain types of men see this as 'playful banter' and a valuable means of bonding. Kind of like how certain types of women give eachother fake compliments even when both parties know damn well it's not meant (often even the opposite). Also not an expert there, since I'm not that type of woman nor do I associate myself with them. Anyway.

The fact that they ask if you're okay when you're withdrawn might also be indicative. People who don't care won't ask if you're okay.

So it could be that you're not that type of man, that you're more sensitive to insults and don't appreciate them. But that you could still be friends, if both parties are willing to mind the other a bit more.

However.


Even to this day, they keep talking trash about him behind his back.

This is a red flag for me. Now, it could very well be that something else happened that I'm not aware of that has caused the newcomer to leave a bad impression on your friends. It could also mean that they're indeed arsecandles who get off on bringing others down. I'm inclined to lean towards the former, because they display this behaviour even to their friends/roommates.

My suggestion would be to collect all your guts and tell them how you feel. Don't make it an emotional outburst right after one of them tossed you an insult again, because that might drive them into a defensive position and make matters worse. Just be up front as soon as you all sit down, before play starts. Tell them honestly that you've been very uncomfortable with their insults lately, and that they might see those insults as a joke but that you don't. Not at all. They're annoying you (don't say hurt, don't start about feelings) up to the point of ruining your fun. And that you'd appreciate it if they toned it down. That hey, if they aren't willing or able do that, well - no hard feelings, but then you'd rather not come anymore.

Depending on their reaction, you'll know if they're friends who sincerely think that insulting friends is the way to bond or if they're indeed arsecandles who don't deserve to be in your life.

martixy
2018-08-29, 09:35 AM
These are the RPG forums so people default to "talk to your party".

But this is more of a social issue and the game is extremely tangential to the whole thing. And that advice may not be the most appropriate here.

From what you've said, this feels very one-sided. I think the best option is to remove yourself from these gatherings with an honest excuse like "This isn't fun for me anymore" and see what the fallout is, both for you and them. See how you feel after. See what they say. And if they say anything keep a lookout for any red flags. Do they just miss their handy punching bag? Or are they genuinely valuing your contributions? Only in the last case does the usual advice of "talk to them" become viable. But based on your last post and trash-talking the newbie that left a long time ago, I think that option has a vanishingly slim chance of materializing.

denthor
2018-08-29, 10:06 AM
Your bored?

Why?

Are participating in the game? No you sit there quietly. No interactions. What are playing? Fighter mage cleric?

Maybe your bored with the character your playing. When I play a fighter I can not get into the game even with my imagination. I must run something that investigates corners sleazy bars where they pee on the walls oh and funny enough my female characters live my males die. Me swing me smash not my game. bores me.

Campaign with boats I personally hate boats all of them. So that bores me. Look at the setting.

Find something you like and investigate drag the party to it. Have private talks with the DM. Find what interests you.

If all that fails then quit

Kyrell1978
2018-08-29, 10:17 AM
So far what I read from your posts, it could very well be that these guys have built their friendship (and yours!) around insulting eachother. I'm obviously not an expert, but I often hear that certain types of men see this as 'playful banter' and a valuable means of bonding.

This happens a lot. It is generally just an exercise of wit, a contest of "let's see who can be the most ruthless." Very rarely does it actually mean anything, because if the people gathered really felt that way about one another they wouldn't get together intentionally in the first place.

Minty
2018-08-29, 10:37 AM
If I were in your position, I wouldn't bother talking to them about it. I'd simply stop attending the game and let these idiots disappear from my life. It's not a gaming issue, it's an issue of basic incompatibility of personalities.

PaladinX
2018-08-29, 01:23 PM
So these people don't sound like your type of guys. Tough part about getting older is figuring out that the stuff that you found acceptable in high school bugs the **** out of you as an adult and might be time to move on.

Best of luck to you

Darth Ultron
2018-08-29, 02:15 PM
Well, simply put, people do change over time. So, it is very possible the guys you knew have changed over the years. And this is even more true if you are talking about growing up. (like if you have known them for ten years and are now 25).

Also, when you get a 'sub group' that is closer then the whole group, you often get people left out. Three guys living together, and then one outsider, is a good example.

In any case, this group of guys does not seem like people you want to be around.....so maybe you should just leave and find another group.

Mastikator
2018-08-29, 02:16 PM
Your circle of friends is a dysfunctional group, it's not uncommon but it's not inevitable for every group either. It's entirely possible to have a group of friends where nobody feels like they are being abused.

You should have gotten out 10 years ago as far as I'm concerned.

GunDragon
2018-08-29, 03:49 PM
Thank you all for your comments. I am considering what each of you had to say.
I'm probably going to call them on the phone one by one and tell them I won't be coming to game anymore.
It's easier for me to talk one on one rather than facing them all at once at their apartment.
That's 3 less friends I'm going to have, but with friends like these, who needs enemies?

And yeah I thought about treating them exactly the way they treat me, in attempts to get them to ask me to leave, but that would go against my nature, and I would be uncomfortable with myself afterwards. It just seems like the less mature route, but would probably get the job done anyway. I don't know.

Kelb_Panthera
2018-08-29, 03:54 PM
Your friends can't read your mind, dude. If they ask, "are you okay?" and you answer in the affirmative or brush it off then they -can't- know there's a problem. You need to nut up and have an honest talk with them. If you explain where you're coming from and they don't care, to hell with 'em and move on with your life. If they're proper friends they'll probably ease off though.

I've had friends that you'd swear hated each other if you read a transcript of them ripping on one another. I've been just as rough. There's nobody I'd rather have at my back if crap hits the fan than those guys. That's just how some guys are; they talk a metric ton of crap at the people they like and either clam up or keep at arms length with strangers and mere acquaintances. They also generally don't tolerate the presence of people they seriously dislike in a social setting unless it would complicate their job.

Serious; talk it out. If you're a decent friend then you at least owe 'em that much after letting them invest a decade of mutual time in hanging with you. Sure, they might be no-account *******s but if they're not then you'd be the one in the wrong for just cutting them loose without explaining why.

I know it's easier said than done but it's the right thing to do. Good luck.

GunDragon
2018-08-29, 04:08 PM
Your friends can't read your mind, dude. If they ask, "are you okay?" and you answer in the affirmative or brush it off then they -can't- know there's a problem. You need to nut up and have an honest talk with them. If you explain where you're coming from and they don't care, to hell with 'em and move on with your life. If they're proper friends they'll probably ease off though.

I've had friends that you'd swear hated each other if you read a transcript of them ripping on one another. I've been just as rough. There's nobody I'd rather have at my back if crap hits the fan than those guys. That's just how some guys are; they talk a metric ton of crap at the people they like and either clam up or keep at arms length with strangers and mere acquaintances. They also generally don't tolerate the presence of people they seriously dislike in a social setting unless it would complicate their job.

Serious; talk it out. If you're a decent friend then you at least owe 'em that much after letting them invest a decade of mutual time in hanging with you. Sure, they might be no-account *******s but if they're not then you'd be the one in the wrong for just cutting them loose without explaining why.

I know it's easier said than done but it's the right thing to do. Good luck.

Your way seems good. I like it. I do think I owe them an honest chat, at least. They need to know that their words and actions have consequences.
I've interacted with people enough to know the difference between a good old-fashion roasting in a fun kind of way, and the put-downs that make you feel truly stupid and inadequate.
People can roast you a lot but at the end of the day they still got your back. Not so with these guys. They seem to only really care about themselves and each other.
There's a billion billion in-jokes flying around all the time, and I am in on only a few of them, thus adding to the left-outness.
In the past, I'd often try to share my opinion on something, and they will treat it as if I am stating a fact, and will proceed to undermine what I am saying and shoot it down. I have to be very careful with my words when I am around them, to the point where I can now say only the most basic of phrases so they won't aggressively say things that make me feel like a fool afterwards.
I don't need this crap anymore.

BreaktheStatue
2018-08-30, 05:56 AM
Your friends can't read your mind, dude. If they ask, "are you okay?" and you answer in the affirmative or brush it off then they -can't- know there's a problem. You need to nut up and have an honest talk with them. If you explain where you're coming from and they don't care, to hell with 'em and move on with your life. If they're proper friends they'll probably ease off though.

I've had friends that you'd swear hated each other if you read a transcript of them ripping on one another. I've been just as rough. There's nobody I'd rather have at my back if crap hits the fan than those guys. That's just how some guys are; they talk a metric ton of crap at the people they like and either clam up or keep at arms length with strangers and mere acquaintances. They also generally don't tolerate the presence of people they seriously dislike in a social setting unless it would complicate their job.

Serious; talk it out. If you're a decent friend then you at least owe 'em that much after letting them invest a decade of mutual time in hanging with you. Sure, they might be no-account *******s but if they're not then you'd be the one in the wrong for just cutting them loose without explaining why.

I know it's easier said than done but it's the right thing to do. Good luck.

He doesn't owe them s***. If this was an SO treating him like this, they'd rightfully be called abusive.

I spent eight years enlisted in the Army; 95% of my interactions with friends was profanity, dirty jokes, and good-natured ribbing (good-natured being key) and we were careful not to let it get out of hand.

If they've spent 10 years with this guy and can't figure out that what they're doing is causing him distress, then they're probably not very good friends, anyway.

tensai_oni
2018-08-30, 12:18 PM
I'll address one thing from the original post.



Not only that, but I have come to learn that every group of guys has a sort of social hierarchy, a pecking order if you will, and I believe I am the lowest on the totem pole.

Dude, no. Real groups of friends are built on mutual respect. What you described happens far too often, but it's not a normal thing and it's not a good thing either. This is what happens when you have a group of emotionally immature guys who think every group needs the alpha male leader, the loser, and so on. That's not a group of friends, that's some kind of proto-tribal society where everyone pecks down on others so they know their place.

This is toxic behaviour and you are better off cutting these people from your life. They might not understand what the issue is because they've been like this for a long time, but just because toxic behaviour has been normalized doesn't mean it's any less toxic. To put it in other words, every bully will tell you to stop taking it so seriously and that "it's just a prank bro".

Pex
2018-08-30, 12:58 PM
Talk to them yes, but if you're uncomfortable speaking with all at once, pick one you're most comfortable with, the one who in your opinion gives you a hard time the least. This does not have to be the DM since this isn't really about the game.

It is a guy thing for friends to tease each other. It can go too far, but because you don't live with them your perspective is different. There is a chance they don't mean anything. Even if they're Honest True only kidding around you could still very well have out grown them so to speak. It happens sometimes where friends don't want to be together anymore. There's no hostility but personalities or interests no longer mesh well.

Talk to your "best friend" there. If they still want you around they can lessen the vitriol, but you will have to lighten up a little and do your part. If you can't make a joke about them, follow the lead of someone else's joke on another. When you're the butt laugh along and try a self-deprecating reference. Be corny. If you make a dumb mistake say "I must have rolled a 1."

Kelb_Panthera
2018-08-30, 09:15 PM
He doesn't owe them s***. If this was an SO treating him like this, they'd rightfully be called abusive.

I spent eight years enlisted in the Army; 95% of my interactions with friends was profanity, dirty jokes, and good-natured ribbing (good-natured being key) and we were careful not to let it get out of hand.

If they've spent 10 years with this guy and can't figure out that what they're doing is causing him distress, then they're probably not very good friends, anyway.

If it was an SO he'd been with for decade, they'd be living together and he'd be subject to this most of the time. There'd be little room for doubt about malice or manipulation. These are people he sees a couple times week that rip on each other often enough that cutting retorts are apparently expected. There's plenty of room for miscommunication here, particularly if these guys are generally socially inept; something their current living situation rather suggests.

Not that it particularly matters. Them being useless toads would make no difference to the social responsibility we -all- have to not be indecent to those -we- call friends. He owes it to himself as much as, perhaps more than, he owes it to them to either try to make it work, if he has any hope at all, or to give them a clear reason why he wants to dissociate, if he doesn't. That they're utterly failing at being decent to him isn't a good enough reason to fail at it himself.

Mr Beer
2018-08-30, 10:23 PM
If I felt like that I'd just stop going round there.

Are these people your only friends or something?

Calthropstu
2018-08-30, 11:30 PM
Are they actually your friends?

Aside from gaming what do you guys do? Would they put you up for a few days if your wife kicked you out? Would they help you fix your xar or move furniture for a day without charging you? Would they help you hide a body? Would they act as your wing man at a club?

What outside of gaming do you do together?

Mordaedil
2018-08-31, 12:50 AM
If it was an SO he'd been with for decade, they'd be living together and he'd be subject to this most of the time. There'd be little room for doubt about malice or manipulation. These are people he sees a couple times week that rip on each other often enough that cutting retorts are apparently expected. There's plenty of room for miscommunication here, particularly if these guys are generally socially inept; something their current living situation rather suggests.

Not that it particularly matters. Them being useless toads would make no difference to the social responsibility we -all- have to not be indecent to those -we- call friends. He owes it to himself as much as, perhaps more than, he owes it to them to either try to make it work, if he has any hope at all, or to give them a clear reason why he wants to dissociate, if he doesn't. That they're utterly failing at being decent to him isn't a good enough reason to fail at it himself.
I think you'll find he shouldn't need to make an effort to keep being friends with someone. If you have to put effort into maintaining friendships this way, it's really not worth it.

Kelb_Panthera
2018-08-31, 02:08 AM
I think you'll find he shouldn't need to make an effort to keep being friends with someone. If you have to put effort into maintaining friendships this way, it's really not worth it.

Of course you have to put effort into any relationship that isn't so shallow as to be little more than an acquaintance. You can't rely on "friendship" that shallow to be anything more than a meaningless time-sink. I wouldn't call someone with whom that is the nature of our relationship a "friend."

tensai_oni
2018-08-31, 03:37 AM
Kelb, you are both normalizing toxic behaviour and making it OP's fault that he didn't "try hard enough" to make it work.

Once again, what OP describes isn't normal, and if you think it is then you need to adjust what "normal" means for you. I had plenty of friendships with other guys and dickish behaviour like that was never involved. Sure, there was good natured ribbing involved - when we knew each other well enough to know that we're okay with it. These guys clearly don't wait for boundaries to be established before crossing right over them, since OP introduced a new person to them and they immediately started picking on him.

They're not just boys being boys, doing boy things. They're pricks and *******s.

Spore
2018-08-31, 06:32 AM
Can't there be both types of "friend" groups without each faction trying to tell the others they are wrong?

There can be a conglomerate of dudebros who insult each other and their respective families. (Dudebro is not meant as an insult here. I enjoy dark humor and vile insulting every now and then)
There can be a group of sensible modern men who joke lightly but don't take it too far.

Both are valid options as long as everyone involved is comfortable. We cannot tell you one is right or wrong. We can just advise you to quit spending your free time in a circle you do not enjoy. You don't have to break up friendships for that. Just state you won't be joining their game for a while. And then play off of that.

Mordaedil
2018-08-31, 06:41 AM
There isn't anything problematic with groups who throw out casual insults at eachother, the problem arises when someone is feeling uncomfortable with it, which is the case here and why it is problematic. There isn't any factions going on here.

Incorrect
2018-08-31, 06:58 AM
My short input would be to just show them this thread. Show them your thoughts as you have written them down here.
It would be better if you feel like you could have the talk with them directly, but if you feel like that would be too much, then it might be easier to just share this.

I think its possible that these people see you as a friend but they are so far into their jokes and group-culture that they dont realize how its making you feel. If they are adult enough to relate to peoples feelings, I think there is a real chance that they will change.
If not, if they dont immediately react and respect your feedback, then they are not worth your time.

Its not until you remove a toxic element from your life that you realize how much it has been affecting you.

tensai_oni
2018-08-31, 07:20 AM
Can't there be both types of "friend" groups without each faction trying to tell the others they are wrong?


Yeah? Nobody's saying either type of group you described is wrong. The problem with the group from OP's post isn't that they casually throw insults around, but that they do so towards people who are obviously not okay with it.

Calthropstu
2018-08-31, 07:53 AM
Yeah? Nobody's saying either type of group you described is wrong. The problem with the group from OP's post isn't that they casually throw insults around, but that they do so towards people who are obviously not okay with it.

Except they don't KNOW they're not ok with it. People who act like this generally are social morons.

Scripten
2018-08-31, 09:12 AM
Except they don't KNOW they're not ok with it. People who act like this generally are social morons.

What does that have to do with anything? Do they get a pass because they're inept at social interactions? This all sounds like the Geek Social Fallacies. I haven't tolerated people like this in my social circles since middle school, and nobody should feel obligated to do so.

And anyway, they drove away a neutral third-party person in a single session. That's impressive even for the major horror story groups.

GunDragon
2018-08-31, 10:03 PM
They actually didn't drive the newcomer away in a single session. He was with us for a year or two before finally quitting.

And as for the other "friendship" elements other than the 1-2 per week game sessions, we don't really hang out or do stuff together. We used to do other stuff and that was great, but that was a long time ago.

If I asked them for help with anything that doesn't have to do with gaming, I don't think they would care or make up excuses not to help. I don't trust them enough to help me anyway. It's hard to trust someone who always makes fun of you and kicks you down.

The last time I really did anything with them other than tabletop was back a few months ago when I helped them move to their new apartment. Our friendship was already in the crapper at that point and I was hoping that helping them move would have mended things. I just wanted to have a sense of belonging with that group again. But sadly it was not to be. They did not seem all that happy or appreciative that I was helping them, even though I did help them a lot, taking 8 hours out of my day using a ton of fuel and physical energy.

I don't really know if they are social morons, emotionally immature, or whatever, because I feel like I don't really know them anymore. They have changed over the years, of course, everyone does, but not really for the better.

And I like what Pex said. It's true, friends do tend to outgrow each other after a while, and I think that might be what's happening here.
And not all of them are equally mean. There is one who I could talk to about this without making it worse.

Koo Rehtorb
2018-08-31, 11:35 PM
You know the details of the relationship better than any of us. Also, this isn't an RPG problem. This is a people problem.

Saintheart
2018-09-01, 02:19 AM
As said, this is a people problem, not a RPG problem. As a result, there's a fair amount of hyperbole, stereotyping or "filling in the blanks" going on in this thread which may or may not be applicable because we don't know the full story and likely never will.
That being said, two options:

(1) Do the de rigeur thing of "talking" to them about it. The purpose of this conversation being essentially you telling them not to treat you like crap. Rarely do these conversations turn out well even between two people, let alone three grown men who are still living together around the same age most people have started moving on with their lives in some way. You're basically expecting these three guys, who apparently have been kicking you for years, to have a sudden Road To Damascus moment and overnight realise they've been nasty and start treating you as other than the bottom person in the hierarchy. Which (a) requires several people to massively change, and (b) maintain that change over a period of time with someone they only talk to a week. If people can't do that for Jesus except in exceptional circumstances, there are small odds - based on what you're saying - that this is going to end well or that it's going to turn out achieving any lasting change.

(2) Cut them off and move on. Life's too short, and if you're getting towards the age of 30, it's getting shorter every day. Gaming groups and good shared experiences are not so rare that you have to cling onto one group in the hope that things will go back to how they were. Spoiler alert: they never do. That said, if -- as I have a horrible suspicion -- these are your only friends you see regularly socially, then I strongly suggest you obey the wingwalkers' code: don't let go of one support until you have hold of another one. Go find someone else to game with before quitting these guys.

Kelb_Panthera
2018-09-01, 11:37 AM
Kelb, you are both normalizing toxic behaviour and making it OP's fault that he didn't "try hard enough" to make it work.

Don't put words in my mouth. I never said any such thing.

I said that dealing with this problem forthrightly and honestly was the right thing to do rather than slink away and leave people who considered you a friend confused and hurt if they don't know what they've done wrong.


Once again, what OP describes isn't normal, and if you think it is then you need to adjust what "normal" means for you. I had plenty of friendships with other guys and dickish behaviour like that was never involved. Sure, there was good natured ribbing involved - when we knew each other well enough to know that we're okay with it. These guys clearly don't wait for boundaries to be established before crossing right over them, since OP introduced a new person to them and they immediately started picking on him.

Spare me.

Just because you and yours are delicate with each other doesn't make being rough around the edges "toxic." They're crossing the line and that's a problem but part of the problem might be that they don't know that because the OP has obfuscated that fact.


They're not just boys being boys, doing boy things. They're pricks and *******s.

One man's good natured ribbing is another's grievous insult. The only way to find somebody's boundaries is to test them. You're only a [expletive] if you're deliberatly ignoring boundaries that are well established, not for being ignorant of the boundaries the other guy is covering.

If you're having a problem like the OP and you keep it to yourself, either it's not that big a problem or you're being a coward.


Yeah? Nobody's saying either type of group you described is wrong. The problem with the group from OP's post isn't that they casually throw insults around, but that they do so towards people who are obviously not okay with it.

You can't know that. You're not there to read their body language and the OP has explicitly told them he was fine when that wasn't true. I'm not saying what they're doing is okay but it's very likely that the OP is not without fault here.

The only way to be sure is to attack the problem head-on; tell them, explicitly, that he's having this problem and see how they react. If they're what you think they are then they'll just mock him and he can leave with the certainty of knowing he did all he can. If they're not, he avoids throwing away a decade of friendship over a miscommunication.

Nifft
2018-09-01, 12:09 PM
Can't there be both types of "friend" groups without each faction trying to tell the others they are wrong?

No, having friends is inherently wrong.

Velaryon
2018-09-01, 01:56 PM
I'm with Kelb on this. It may well be that the OP's gaming group are jerks who are not worth his time, but none of us in this thread have seen this situation and cannot make that call. OP has explicitly told them that everything is fine when it's not, which is an unhealthy behavior, and it is unfair to blame them for taking OP at his word when he denies that there is a problem.



And as for the other "friendship" elements other than the 1-2 per week game sessions, we don't really hang out or do stuff together. We used to do other stuff and that was great, but that was a long time ago.

If I asked them for help with anything that doesn't have to do with gaming, I don't think they would care or make up excuses not to help. I don't trust them enough to help me anyway. It's hard to trust someone who always makes fun of you and kicks you down.

The last time I really did anything with them other than tabletop was back a few months ago when I helped them move to their new apartment. Our friendship was already in the crapper at that point and I was hoping that helping them move would have mended things. I just wanted to have a sense of belonging with that group again. But sadly it was not to be. They did not seem all that happy or appreciative that I was helping them, even though I did help them a lot, taking 8 hours out of my day using a ton of fuel and physical energy.

I don't really know if they are social morons, emotionally immature, or whatever, because I feel like I don't really know them anymore. They have changed over the years, of course, everyone does, but not really for the better.

And I like what Pex said. It's true, friends do tend to outgrow each other after a while, and I think that might be what's happening here.
And not all of them are equally mean. There is one who I could talk to about this without making it worse.

This is definitely a sign that it's a people issue, not a game issue, as others have said. It's clear that you feel you're losing or have lost the friendship. However, I do think you should try talking to one of them (you said there was one you felt would be more approachable than the others, right?) and letting them know that you feel like an outsider, like their insults have gone beyond good-natured ribbing, and that you're feeling uncomfortable and considering splitting from the group.

It might well be that you've grown apart from them, but I think you'd be doing yourself a disservice to assume that without at least trying to discuss the situation with them first.

Also, someone on page 1 mentioned that you sounded depressed. I did not see if you replied to that. Do you suffer from depression? It has been my experience that depression leads me to believe things like "none of my coworkers like me" or "these people I thought were my friends would be happier if I wasn't here with them." That isn't necessarily true - depression is dangerous because it weaponizes your fears and turns them against you. You don't have to answer if you don't want to, but if you do suffer from depression, please consider that it often tells you to assume the worst about people when the worst isn't actually true.

GunDragon
2018-09-01, 04:19 PM
You're right, this is a people problem, not a game problem.
And yeah I do have depression. I've had it for 10 years also.
What I think I'm going to do is give this group 1 last try. 1 last try. We'll see how it goes.

GrayDeath
2018-09-02, 05:28 AM
I may be harping too strongly into the same chink others did, but let me restate: Dont "Give it a try".
Tell Them. In a way NOONE can misunderstand.
Anything else will only tell you already know: That at this time the game is not fun for you, and that their behaviour disturbs your wellbeing.

Confronting them (ideally, as you mentioned wanting to do, not all of them at once) aobout it however will kae sure where the problem lies.

Believe me, as someone who "lost" a Gaming Group because I didnt say anything about the things rubbing me wrong (though the specifics were wildly different and I was partially at fault): You dont want to regret saying nothing.

Good Luck.