I had a recent bad experience sharing something that I love and have dedicated a large amount of time to with other people. It was a good feeling to share with other people something we had in common and everyone had shared energy for. People have a way of magnifying things when it comes to enjoying things. The problem (or paradox) is that the effect works the other way as well.
I am not talking about when people don’t share something you enjoy. If you are into an obscure genre of Japanese Anime starring chipmunks vs. octopi then you know that you are going to be in a small group of fans. If you are a rabid fan of ancient Tibetan yak haired instrumentals then you are most likely not going to be fighting for front rows seats at the next concert (if you can find one!). There is a small comfort that can be found in being in an elite group of people of a fandom.
I am talking about when people’s shared passion stifles you. It affects everyone.
You like Batman? You don’t know who Bill Finger is and celebrate his birthday? Then you are not a “real” Batman fan. Poser!
You like football? Who was the most intercepted QB of 1986? Don’t know? Take your jersey off and throw it in the fire you ass.
This can be especially painful when it’s an active thing you enjoy; something that takes your time and energy like learning a sport or any kind of skill. Its inherent in the nature of people that if you had to work for something that you want to put barriers to entry up for others. We all want to be “elite” and the easiest way to do that is exclude others. The hard way is to work hard and be the best, but most people are like “Fuck that!” because they may not actually be that good and it means hard work to find out. So instead it’s easier to make up trivial shit to keep you out of their club.
So, what do you do? Refuse to enjoy anything? How can you really enjoy something while at the same time defending your right to enjoy it as much or as little or any way you want to?
It’s like trying to hug a puppy while being poked with a shit covered stick.
So do you stop hugging the puppy?
Do you learn to ignore the stick?
Both of these ideas are terrible. No one wants to stop hugging a puppy and learning to ignore the bad acts of others is never a true solution.
So here’s my two cents boys and girls.
Learn to dodge the stick.
Upfront I will tell you this sucks as a solution. You are going to have to putting energy into learning to handle the bad acts of others just so you can hug your puppy. It puts the burden on victim. It sucks. However, that’s life. You will never stop “bullying” or just general asshole-ry. You need to learn to defend yourself or you will never enjoy your puppy. Note: thisis not the same as ignoring the stick, this is actively engaging it and make sure it can’t hurt you. This also doesn’t mean just toughing up so that it doesn’t hurt when it hits. This truly not letting it hurt you because it doesn’t get into your mindset.
Change your mindset to see those people as the obsessive pricks they are.
No I don’t know the exact issue that Superman first kissed Lois Lane, but it’s because I’m awesome and spent time enjoying Superman rather than reducing him to trivia.
No I don’t know the leading wide receiver from 1974, but it’s because I was enjoying the game with friends and family who don’t quiz me to be their friends.
No I can’t scale a 14” wall and then do a handstand. But I am closer than I was yesterday and when I can I won’t be an asshat about it, I’ll help others.
Super Deluxe Dodge.
Most things in life come back to that first primal act, fighting. When these super elites assholes “attack” you can go blow for blow with them but that’s not a way to fight smart. Dodge, feint, and counter are always going to win out… And you don’t have to put your puppy down.
Remember Life Tip #3: You do not have to be around people you don’t like