How has my confidence improved since 2019? I would say my biggest step toward overall confidence has been disobeying the prime directive and interacting with people that I once saw from a distance. I would say that if you’re shy, the best way to overcoming shyness is to interact with others, even if through an alternate account or anonymously entirely. That can build one’s resolve in regards to talking to others without fear while handling criticisms.
ENDLESS WAR was the biggest change in my socializing over the past six months.
As a PVP MUD with two main teams and two other teams you can join, you naturally start to acquaint yourself with the other members of your team. You might ask questions or they might ask questions. Those interactions are telling for whether you want to continue talking with them. You might find people that seem to interact on similar wavelengths to you, have similar interests, or any of the other myriad ways we make friends. This is all easy stuff.
My biggest changing point was deciding that it was OK for me to block people.
Prior to this, I’ve blocked some people for various reasons, but I tended to consider myself a fairly open individual. Early into my playing of ENDLESS WAR, when we were in the Season 1 Dream, there was a player that annoyed me so much that even though he is on my team, I blocked him. I’ve since blocked – usually just for a day, or until I see their name enough to know who they are – probably a dozen people?
Blocking people almost increases the quality of your communication with others.
After one person realized I’d blocked them, well, they’ve continued doing petty things, but at a further distance. I’m not the target of their petty jokes as much. Blocking someone sends a clear signal: I think you have nothing of value for me and I want nothing to do with you. Another person even tried to add me as a friend on Steam. I blocked them there, too, even though, honestly, they’re probably an alright person. I’ll tell them they annoyed me and if they insist on similar behavior, I’ll block them so they can do whatever it is they want to do in peace.
In this respect, I respect some people less and other people more.
The people I add as friends should respect the dichotomic opposite. They should be people I want to interact with, and when I do, it’s mutually beneficial. We often forget this in life and over-extend ourselves for people we don’t care much about. I would like to say before your mind imagines too much into worst-case scenarios that I am a fairly open individual, so when I block someone, it’s because of something that I find offensive, rather than me being offended. The difference being that I can take a joke, [usually, [I hope,]] so if there’s all hate and no joke, then depending on the situation, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt or immediately ban them.
Later, I’ll look over my blocked list and cull people.
For a social game like ENDLESS WAR, it does put you at a disadvantage, since you might not see that person trying to attack you, but that’s where additional strategy comes into play. Maybe you block them after you’re done with your major actions for the day, or you have a way to keep tabs on where that person is, even when they’re blocked. Either way, I think a little harmless blocking prevents issues from cropping up where I might further engage with someone that’s just shitposting or being otherwise rude to anyone that’ll take the bait.
I wonder how many people have blocked me over the years?
Now, I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s happened, because while I tend to carry myself with tact, I’m not really the best guy around. I’m kinda shitty sometimes. OK, depending on the situation, I’m kind of shitty more than just sometimes, but it’s that whole balance thing I was talking about earlier, where I’m shitty when it comes to certain things but in my mind I’m not when it comes to other things, which sounds even shittier…
How about improvements to my professional self-confidence?
I can take criticism much better than I could months or years ago. I received some criticism recently that although it stung pettily, I still received it, and didn’t let it consume me. We have to wear masks and shields when we go out into the world. I tend to be fairly open, which does leave me open for vulnerability, so I would say this all ties back to one central notion where you should block people from accessing your vulnerabilities. Things can change after you see repeated verifiably trustworthy behaviors.
That is to say, trust, but verify the intentions of others.
Reciprocity is an easy way to verify the intentions of others. Do they act in ways where you can feel confident around them? If you lend them money, do they return it? There are myriad ways to practice this in the safety of your own Discord account – whether the one you intend to use elsewhere or a dummy account – or in other MMORPGs. You can join online communities abound and get into trouble with others without actually getting into trouble.
Or you can sell stuff.
The few sales I did before COVID-19 changed our societies proved to be effective practicing points for interacting with others and being more self-confident in myself. Like most videogames, self-confidence can be seen as an attribute you can level up as you practice it. If you don’t put yourself into situations where you can talk to others, similarly to a videogame where you have to grind to progress, how can you expect to win? You can’t enter cheat codes into life. You’ve gotta put in the work.
Even if it’s fairly insignificant, like what I’ve done, but still, progress is progress.
|Sources: My personal and professional experiences.|
|Inspirations: Looking over my writing calendar, I realized I was about halfway through the year, so I figured I’d write some essays about my experiences.|
|Related: Other Applied Self-Confidence essays.|
|Picture: Something simple.|
|Written On: 2020 May 14 [10:31pm to 11:05pm]|
|Last Edited: 2020 May 14 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]|