[Applied Self-Confidence] Disobeying Prime Directive, Part 4

“i’m about to pull a zombiepaper, speak in full sentences[1]” It feels weird when your reputation precedes you, because you imagine you want to uphold a certain quality or standard, but then the thing about ego, following the Prime Directive, or anything else I’ve written about on-topic, is that it’s all a ruse. Who cares? I care what people think only because I don’t want to be seen negatively, but others don’t mind; should I?

Let’s use this screenshot as an example.

In Endless War, once you join a team, your teammates might reach out to ask for help with stuff, like any good MMORPG MUD. I have a general policy where I’ll leave my messages open for anyone to reach out but if they become annoying like this person, I’ll block them without hesitation. If they were being rude over private chat and passive-aggressive in group chats, what benefit does it have for me to leave them unblocked?

Would it affect my social standing? Probably.
Do I care that much? Not particularly.

This might be the aspect we all fear when it comes to overcoming our shyness and becoming more social online or in person. If we’re at a social gathering, we might not want to say anything out of fear of embarrassment. The question, then, becomes, do you trust yourself enough to know when you’ll say/write cringy things? When you trust that, in that moment, you did the best you could, why seek psychological self-flagellation? Before I jumped into writing this essay, I had an extended conversation with some of the guys in the RADCON 4 Discord about how we thought it all went.

There was some contention over promised versus delivered output.

One of the guys was feeling bad about how it all went, two others had valid criticism, but I started off by saying I rarely post because I don’t feel like it. I then wrote about how I was happy, overall, with the content that was delivered, even if we haven’t seen everything yet, and I said, “I don’t think you should be so down on yourself, though. There might be some contention for things overall, but that’s gonna happen all the time over anything ever.” That does cross the parasocial barrier between fan and performer, which has been something I’ve been having trouble coming to terms with for years and especially recently as I’ve dug deeper into this community I’ve appreciated from afar for years.

I use this as my barometer: Am I interacting with these people like they’re my friends?

I am friendly, I appreciate their work, and I feel like I’ve gotten to know many aspects of them as long-term readers of my content probably also feel, but we’re not friends. I haven’t gone over to their houses, hung out with them, made up dumb stupid jokes, and done stuff together, or whatever. Having that baseline of positive interaction can help with negative interaction as well. If someone is annoying you, do they have the same social weight on your life?

Do they have any narrative weight to influence your life’s story?

Even if they’re teammates, it’s not likely they’ll be much more than a source of a joke at your expense. When I saw this comment as I was doing research for references to me – honestly, it’s not something I do often because you find weird things like this, sometimes – for this essay series, I just chuckled. I couldn’t find any other public context, so the context must have happened in private chats, and it’s more amusing than frightening for me to imagine what could have been said to evoke that response where I would come to represent a verb for blocking someone.

It may be performance anxiety over wanting to have the best possible opinion from others.

Instead, I look at the others in these servers and I think about how little I care about some of the opinions of some of these people. If blocking someone improves my quality of life, because I won’t have them randomly messaging me manipulative or rude things, so what if the ramifications of that imply I’m some kind of softy? Will I be banned because I blocked someone? If so, then that’s not a community worth investing much time or energy in.

It’s important to think about these things because it shapes your communication style.

I don’t have much interest in contributing to group conversations most of the time just because of how insular they can be, and getting to be in that inner circle takes more effort than I have time for in a lifetime. I have a clear vision of the goals I want to attain, but those goals do allow for time to smell the roses, otherwise, I would be too burned out to be working at peak efficiency. I mustered up the interest to contribute to that RADCON 4 discussion because I felt like I could contribute something worthwhile to the discussion, and although it concluded on a less upbeat note than I would have preferred, it was still worth putting some effort into, as opposed to staying silent or writing this essay sooner.

If the popular opinion of me shifts after that contribution, so be it.

Who am I but just someone throwing thoughts out there on how things could be better or where things were pretty good already? If there’s any contention to be made about me, it’s that I’m not interested in putting effort into things with minimal returns. If the journey is worth the reward, I say go for it, and let the haters hate. If it gets to be too much, where the hatred gets to be too apparent, then that’s when you have to decide if it’s worth being around that group or not. At least for now, I thought it was great that my avatar has made a splash.

Oh, and that “zombiepapering” could mean blocking someone for poor communication is funny to me.


Quotes: [1] I redacted the name of the person just because I’m not shitposting on the guy for 1000 words. The other quote was from me and so didn’t require a fancy citation.
Sources: My personal experiences, although I’m reminded of a work example. I worked this job where we had a vendor we were contentious with, but needed their help often, so when I called them up once, I stated who I was, and the answer was, “oh, it’s you.”
Inspirations: Concluding the 4-part essay series with thoughts about why I might be shy and ways to avoid that. I guess I’m not shy. I’m introverted, or, mainly disinterested in being overtly social.
Related: Other Applied Self-Confidence essays.
This 4-part Disobeying Prime Directive series could be summarized like this:
1 – Others Talking Positively
2 – Outside Comfort Zones
3 – Nature of celebrities
4 – Others Talking Negatively
Picture: Screenshot
Written On: 2020 April 22 [5:25am to 6:03am]
Last Edited: 2020 April 22 [First draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.