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Fears and Faltering

Posted by A Tobias 2 years ago
I've done little work recently, as my mind's still stuck in a state of wandering wondering about worries, loneliness and my uncertain path into the future, though I feel I'm taking steps towards getting out of this mental quagmire. I've been playing a game for inspiration. I held a human brain, which was one of my biggest fears and which turned out to be a positive experience. I drew some comedians!!

Loneliness again

I've been lonely recently, as I've written about many times before. Most of my thoughts are about this. Social support makes a world of difference with so much in life; it's infinitely easier to do things if you're with someone or if you get in-person encouragement and support from them beforehand, or if you have their company to look forward to later or things like that. Or so I feel, looking back on when I've been most motivated and what led to it.

(Sadly, while online connections have their value, I've found that they just can't compare to the benefits of in-person interactions. Communicating via written words strips away so much of what makes bonding so effective for us as biological organisms. We're programmed to respond chemically to physical touch, to the sound of voices, to the feeling of others' supportive presence nearby... I appreciate support here too, of course, since some is better than none at all, though if I've seemed rude for 'rejecting' offers of long-distance friendship, this is why. Well, partly; mostly it's just awkwardness, like spending every day saying "I WANNA PONYYYY!" and then, when I finally get one, I just panic and hide because I've no idea how to ride it.)

Now that I'm at university rather than stuck at home all day every day, I'm at least spending time with other humans on a regular basis... but the situation's the same as it was months ago. I have two friends (or do I?), and both have partners while I don't. My biggest fear is never finding anyone to live with, to grow old with, to have as a constant presence and confidant through my adult years; this would be the 'social security', the safe base I could build from, if only I had it. Or so I feel.

And yet it's never quite that simple, I know. I got an app recently to record my moods, while wondering how much of my life was spent being miserable. You can update it with little diary-like posts accompanied by a 1-5 star rating to show how you're feeling (I found it after deciding I wanted to make such a thing; sort of annoying that someone else got there first, but it spares me the effort). You can also check the posts/moods of everyone else using the app.

While my mood's surprisingly stable - most of my posts have a star value of 3, with occasional 2s or 4s, though I suppose this represents a sort of empty numbness rather than neutrality as such - most other people's fluctuate wildly, going from 5 ("things couldn't be better!!") to 1 ("I want to die!") several times over the course of the day. Unsurprisingly, these are mostly teenage girls, but there are others, too, like mothers, adults in their thirties and so on, where this is the case.

Most of the ups and downs correspond to relationships; I see the following pattern again and again and again:

"I'm so in love with my boyfriend, just cuddling, so happy (5 stars)"
"My boyfriend's an arsehole! (1 star)"
"He's so sweet and I miss him so bad (5 stars)"
"Does he even care about me? (1 star)"
"He got me a gift and I can't stop smiling (5 stars)"
"He's such a jerk!! (1 star)"

The fact that the guys least burdened by sensitivity - the 'confident' ones, the 'bad boys' - are most likely to get the girls is a factor for sure, though I imagine almost all relationships fluctuate between love and hate like this.

And yet I can't help but crave one myself. Surely the drama that emerges from truly caring about something, from investing your heart into it, makes life richer than the bland, empty monotony of my own. My only relationship wasn't exactly all roses and rainbows - and I might say I'm 'happier' in many ways now than I was then, or at least 'less stressed' - but I miss it immensely because it gave me something to live for. Something to work on, to worry about.

I say this as someone who's driven by the 'intensity instinct' (the enneagram instinctual variants thing; 'Sx'), and I know that others could take or leave love and still be happy as long as they had either physical and financial security or a satisfying social network.

This 'instinctual variants' thing has been on my mind a lot recently, actually, as being an 'SxSo/Sp' (Sexual, Social, Self-Preservation) person explains why I'd neglect paths that would lead to financial security (Sp) or fame (So) - that is, making games - while focusing on my hopes of finding an intense emotional connection with just one special person (Sx). It's also why reasons like "it'll make me money" aren't enough to motivate me to work on my games...


However, speaking of which... I got the game 'Bravely Default' when it was new, years ago, and thought "I'll play this soon!". However, I kept putting it off, because even though I knew I'd enjoy it, I was scared of comparing my own work to it, negatively. I rarely play games at all because of this. They threaten my ego; "I couldn't do this, so my life will be a failure". It's absurd, I know, and overcoming that ego has been my ongoing challenge for the last year and a bit.

Now that I've FINALLY got around to playing it, though, it's interesting watching my inner reactions to it and comparing them to those who might play Taming Dreams.

I started it in a sort of defensive mood; I suppose subconsciously I wanted to look for flaws so as to assert my ego as superior ("I can do better than this!"), and that's what I found. It was cliched, hollow, tedious, I couldn't connect to the characters - who were obviously just bland archetypes anyway, with no depth at all - and... well, I can't say that I was enjoying it at all. No different to those who played Taming Dreams with negative expectations and saw them met, I imagine.

However, after a few hours, it and its characters grew on me. While I still felt - and feel, since I'm not very far through it yet - envy about many of its details, I do actually enjoy it, and can play it for hours (and have done, which is another reason I've done little work on my games or university obligations).

Though it's a time sink, I feel it's rekindling my interest in making my own RPG, be it Taming Dreams or some kind of shorter, cheaper revision that I'd make and finish before returning to Taming Dreams. The more I play, the more these feelings intensify, so I suppose this is a good thing. I only wish I'd not taken this long to find another torch to relight my own. Sorry about that!

I also noticed that the language is as complicated and archaic - perhaps even moreso - than in Taming Dreams, yet that's apparently okay? There's also a ton of talking, and that's okay too? Hmm.

Facing Fears

Many fears about mundane things still hold me back. I can't use Facebook comfortably at all, for example, yet I feel that's the best way to connect with others in my current environment. I'd love to ask regular questions of my classmates, for example, and feel that - especially in a class of psychology students - that might work quite well in my class's Facebook group, but the thought of looking at the lives of happier, more well-connected people than myself is just so aversive that I avoid it all completely ("this person has a partner and lots of friends, I don't, I'm tormented by fears and despair and feelings of alienation now"). I'm 'thinking about' doing it, but I have been for days with little (though at least not zero) progress.

However, while this fear is a huge one, my biggest fear - or rather, it was a full-blown phobia - was of brains. The mere sight of a cartoon brain terrified me, and I couldn't comprehend the idea of seeing a real one. My nightmares were full of them, and I avoided a lot of films and things just in case they showed brains in some form. It's an odd fear, and not one that I've ever seen in anyone else, and I always wondered about the cause. Maybe it's because life is a story, and it was foreshadowing my future career? Maybe it's because life is being imprisoned, and I felt fear at seeing my cell? I wonder.

As part of this psychology course, I have to learn about the brain (obviously), and as part of that, we had a class where we were shown real human brains from real human people. I was, of course, terrified... But I decided that if I avoided it, it'd be a huge failure I'd regret forever. I didn't avoid it, though. I'm glad I didn't. It was strange, though.

I held a human brain in my hands (well, one and a half, actually), and it was heavier than I expected. It had been in formaldehyde, and as such was a uniform pale yellowish-grey, and quite firm. It reminded me of chicken. Almost bizarrely appetising. I looked and poked and tried to name its parts ("corpus callosum!", "hippocampus!", "amygdala!", "postcentral gyrus!", "central sulcus!", "fornix!", "fourth ventricle!", "thalamus!"... I apparently enjoy this quite a bit and could happily go on). Strange, but fascinating.

I used to fear accidentally finding pictures of brains via Google Image Search or Wikipedia (I remember looking at the 'Cat' article and recoiling with terror since it seemed to show a picture of a feline brain), but when I got back from this, I eagerly looked at textbooks and Wikipedia articles about brain anatomy, replete with explicit photos of intact or dissected brains. I watched documentaries about the same, and looked with great interest at things that would have made me avert my eyes in the past.

It's tremendously freeing, knowing that all that fear dissolved once I found out that it was all for nothing. That it was not remotely as bad as I expected it to be in my mind.

I feel that social support made a huge, huge difference, though. I'd been with my friend (the only one I feel I have at the moment; I've been drifting apart from the other) for lectures that morning, and she stayed with me for the hour leading up to the brain thing and hugged me before it started. If not for that, I probably wouldn't have gone. Oxytocin and such!

However, without that support, and despite that huge, huge step towards overcoming my biggest fears, I'm still sadly rather useless by myself.

I didn't sign up for any of the university's clubs and societies at the start of the academic year, which I regretted since it seems that people made friends in those and I missed out. I'd been looking forward to the second 'recruitment event' thing, where societies had stalls to build interest in them and such. That was a week ago, and I put my name down for about half a dozen (annoyingly I couldn't find more that I liked).

One of them was the art society, which I was most interested in... They have gatherings - workshops - on Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2-4pm... It's now Saturday at 3:50pm and I'm writing this. Hmm.

I'd been out at other class things on Wednesday so I was too busy to go to that one, but I fully intended to go to the one today. And I sort of did... I walked all the way to where it was supposed to be, at the right time and everything, but there was nobody there; I was a few minutes early, though. I thought I'd wander around a bit and see if I saw people who might be going to the same place.

I did, but it looked like they were mostly guys... I get great pleasure out of talking to girls because I've gone most of my life without having the opportunity to do so, so now it's literally a dream come true... But I just see other guys as 'the competition', especially if they're the socially confident and good-looking sorts who tend to attract female interest without trying. They remind me, I suppose, of all my failings, and the same fragile ego that leads me to avoid playing games due to feelings of inadequacy leads to avoidance of men - especially in group situations where girls are present - for the same reason. I go quiet because I feel there's no point even trying to 'compete' with someone 'more desirable' than me.

Again, it's absurd, and it's something that I'm making conscious efforts to overcome, though - as with all fears - it's not as simple as just deciding to do so. If it was, therapists wouldn't exist. In this case, however, I lacked social support; I haven't talked to anyone at all since yesterday morning, and so I was going from that mental state into jumping into a group where everyone already knew each other and... Well, I just walked home. I chickened out. What a waste of an opportunity.

A similar thing happened yesterday, too. There was a woman handing out flyers outside a lecture; the Christian Student Union (or whatever) was holding a discussion about why their god is the bestest and why that's not an arrogant claim, but, not surprisingly, most people weren't interested. I however was, and the woman seemed really happy that I was interested in attending. I was, not to argue about why their religion is wrong, but just because I feel comfortable and competent in that area of discussion and thought it would be a good opportunity to train my mind to be polite and tolerant of people whose beliefs clash with my own (my usual response is avoidance, not belligerence).

However, it was in a pub, and again I walked there at the right time and got to almost the door... before chickening out and walking home. Again, I lacked social support, and the threat of facing this new situation alone (I've never been in a pub before, what if everyone else knew each other, what if I felt completely out of place, etc, etc) was enough to compel me to retreat. I regretted it immensely afterwards, of course.

I hope though that after these failures, I'll be more inclined to 'try harder' if the opportunities arise again... I just hope that they do. I know I'll have another opportunity to go to the art thing next week, and I hope that that woman is handing out flyers again too (she has done twice already). But maybe opportunities don't work like that.

Comedian portraits!

I wonder whether you skimmed through the whole thing looking for the picture shown in the preview. Here it is!!

Since I'd joined the art society, I felt insecure about my own skills, and like I needed to de-rustify them. So I drew some portraits. These are comedians from the telly here in the UK, in this case specifically from a programme called 'Would I Lie To You?', which I'd recommend if you've not seen it (it's easy to find on YouTube). They are, from left to right: Dara Ó Briain, David Mitchell, Rob Brydon, Lee Mack (I feel this is the least accurate likeness though), and Rhod Gilbert.

I actually had fun drawing those, and felt like I was truly enjoying myself and feeling accomplished for the first time in... I can't even remember. It's interesting, that, how it's so easy to procrastinate, to put everything off, and doing so just makes you feel guilty and stressed and so on... But actually doing things feels so good, and once you get started, things tend to flow quite fluently, enjoyably.

Sadly, it's a lesson that seems so hard to retain... No matter how many times I realise this, I just know I'll fall into the old patterns of work-shirking again and again. I have three assignments due in soon, and I've not even started on them despite having weeks to do so. And of course there are my games.


Joining these groups and holding a brain has made me want to overcome my Facebook-related fears. If I do, I might find new connections and shed the loneliness that consumes my mind every day. I might find people who inspire me, make me happy, give me reasons to want to do creative work. Things are looking hopeful; I'm just sorry I've had so much inner stuff to work through that's been getting in the way of making the games that people are waiting for!

(Also, I'm still planning to work on that other blog about my feelings, where a post like this might be more appropriate; I've just been dissatisfied with the illustrations I've tried to do for the first post so far, and need to practise a bit more...)
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25 Germany
Yeah, it's pretty crazy just how much impact social support has on own tolerance. Be it energy or otherwise. People with more social support even experience pain less strongly than others.
22 Australia
Jinan Dangor
Just wanted to throw in my 2 cents on relationships, they don't all fluctuate wildly from super happy to super sad in a huge dramatic way. Those kinds of relationships are unstable, the only reason you might think relationships are like that those are the 'loudest' (like how most Pewdiepie fans aren't squealing 12 year olds, it's just you hear about them more often than calm, normal fans, for obvious reasons).

Lots of people consciously or unconsciously throw their relationships into drama because they enjoy it, whether they're conscious of that enjoyment or not. People who do that also tend to subconsciously pick the 'riskier' partners, someone they know or suspect isn't good for them. They might justify it as 'I thought I could fix them' or 'they just get mad because they care about me', but I guarantee that's what it is, especially if they have a history of it.

But in terms of your potential relationships, just get used to being in social situations with other people, go places, meet with friends, intentionally go out of your way to meet new people, through family, friends or your own volition. Eventually, you'll end up in a relationship, and eventually, after one or twenty tries, your partner will be the one you'll spend your life with. I can 100% guarantee someone who has created games as awesome as yours has way more potential couplings than you think :)

As some other guys here said, some girls just want 'bad boys', and you should thank your lucky stars they're not into you. There are girls who like people like you, but if you want to find them, DON'T look at other people's couples, especially those couples on social media, unless of course you foresee you or someone you could fall in love with posting as chaotically and obnoxiously as the examples you mentioned. Often times, people look for so long at other couples they totally miss the opportunities right in front of them.

*cue picture of a girl who has mustered the courage to say "Hello" to a guy she likes just for him to say "Why do girls only like bad boys?"*

Just be you, be social, and you will find someone.
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
Guys Taming dreams doesn't have a wiki page neither is on youtube....Sadly this might be Tobias/Pseudolonewolf's Downfall cause he doesn't have as much support neither devotation or free time..etc. He's cool and i would be a shame to dissapear like some Youtubers,Developers that just quit even if they were talented...#Sight#
23 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic
So because he hasn't advertised yet, he's not going to be successful, despite having over 150 ratings on the game itself on android and despite it being his first game he's released there.

He has plenty of support, the community of MARDEK seems fairly divided on the whole topic... besides, he has his OST and trailer on youtube, and it's not unlikely someone will LP this after a little bit. I had planned on doing so myself, I just need to get a screen recorder.

You keep being melodramatic, but maybe you should look on the bright side and do other things, like invest time in the community we have or make a forum post about this like people have recommended. It isn't hard at all, just hit hold the mouse over community, click on forums, click on the appropriate category, and make the thread from the box below... the reason I'm suggesting this is you just seem to cover up most of the forums in a way that just annoys people to thinking you're spamming or trolling.
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
ok, might work but i say his social life is more important and maybe won't have time for games
20 European Union
True, sight is usually required for understanding. Perhaps you should... take a look into it; see how your understanding develops, mhm?
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
Im Still wondering how come he doesn't care about MARDEK anymore? best game he made so far and Alot of people dislike the reboot me included ,though the reboot is not bad is good actualy but becouse of the small fee..Tobias should get a job and win his money instead of Milking us of our money. i hate that he puts effort in the wrong project,no longer cares about petty much all of his games he makes TD to rather satisfy the fans like ''You wanted MARDEK here'' a game that is different,easyer to make and that costs money. This Developer is Amaizing making so many games by himself but becouse he's So Stupide to fall in Depression,Really??Depression is only for those too weak to control theyr Emotions ,He Is Aloso Shy, Why The F#ck would you be Shy???!! When i want to talk to a girl or Do Something in public i just do it Bein Shy wont get you anywhere obviously ,I Mean No hate to Tobias or His Fans but for me Tobias disspointed me in the last while, he should get a job,Live his life and IF he has time he could slowly make Any Game
24 United States
I'm sorry, but you should really educate yourself about the effects of Depression and how if affects the mind.

What right do you have in telling Tobias how to live his life? What do you know about what he want through that made him who he is now? What right do you have in saying who Tobias should be?

Stop projecting your ideals as fact.
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
Well if you dont agree with me im sorry but i didn;t try to say how to live his life,just giving advice,no need for hostility ya know?
36 Bulgaria
Jordan, given how many times you repeat the same ideas: have you checked with a psychologist if you have some form of ∞ OCD ∞?

I'm not being nasty or sarcastic. I'm asking seriously and I mean you well. Right at the start of the Wikipedia article, it gives one of the symptoms of OCD as 'have certain thoughts repeatedly'. Does this happen to you about other things too?

If that's not the case, then maybe you have trouble remembering what other people say. All of your points have already been addressed, often more than once. Have you tried re-reading our answers to your previous comments?
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
I've checked the Link ok? I've read that this obssesion to check things repeatly, Strange how many Mental dissorders exist, thanks for sharing that i know it exists,and no i dont suffer of OCD but im Outraged about Tobias aka Pseudolonwolf's Actions i just want to know what others think of things and To Comment myself is that bad? yes i repeat some ideas cause i feel they weren't answered.
to prove you wrong i will leave and not comment until the next Post in whici i will comment less cause People are rude when i say what i think,it was rude i admit it
23 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic
We've said why he can't continue MARDEK, we've said we he rebooted the series, we've said why he's changed, and we've said why he's put up the 'fee' you complain so much about... even though that fee isn't a problem since it's one payment in a long going series that isn't going to come out super frequently. What more do you want? And how is this 'fee' any different from how you pay for an MMO, or how you pay for DLC? There's no difference. I also HIGHLY doubt you're the age you claim to be as well, not even close.

Don't even start that sh*t about depression being something that weak people succumb to. Just don't. When ONE person is making a game, how many harsh words do you think they can take until they crack? And if they don't crack and are indifferent, that just means they don't listen to anyone and won't consider what they say. They're just hiding their emotions, and that isn't healthy. It's probably GOOD that Tobias has problems with depression, as it shows he's not only HUMAN, but he take what we say to consideration. The reason he isn't considering what you're saying to note is because you're saying the same things that we've tried to explain to your over and over, and often your points have little relevance.

When you're shy, you consider what people say and digest it. When you're outgoing, you voice your opinion. There are strengths to both, and I highly doubt that you don't have at least some shy friends or people you know who are shy.

Pseudo, in case you want more info, was just as messed up in the MARDEK days as you think he is now, if not more. He banned numerous users without giving them a thought in one of his older blogs, banned lots of members because he disliked them, rambled about his depression TWICE as often, and complained about how the community was against him and how much life sucked. Do you WANT that? Is what you're doing all that much different from what he was doing? Right after MARDEK, he had so many failed and unfinished projects that the fact he's got a game out now is a step in the right direction. He's been through a far more horrible life than you ever have which triggered this depression, and if he really is such a massive disappointment to you, why even bother coming here anymore?

Sure, he made great games back then, and he still makes great games now, but shackling yourself to the past of what he was will accomplish about as much as Pseudo did in those empty years. I've been here for 6 years now, and I've been playing his games for even longer, since the FIRST Cyber Ortek, which you'd be lucky to find now. What he's done has changed so many times over the years, MARDEK just being a small facet of his many works.

We aren't meaning to be rude when you say what you think, we're trying to show you that complaining about something over and over won't accomplish anything, and will just annoy people the more you do it. Once you get to a point of saying the same things, you become the boy who cried wolf pretty much... nobody wants to be around someone like that, let alone take them seriously. Tobi's not going to change back in your constant complaints... people have tried this tactic before, and it's not gotten anywhere. What makes you think this is any different?

Does what I say mean anything now? I doubt it, as you always come up the next post and everyone continues correcting you. Right now I'm just reiterating what everyone is trying to tell you, likely to no avail.

Look, MARDEK was a great game. I still love it, and so do many other members, but it's time to move on. Tobias isn't a horrible person because he's fallen to depression thanks to life circumstances, nor is he pathetic for not continuing MARDEK. Tobias has said that he's going to make a blog post about what happened in the game and what he had planned, so why not wait for that?
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
Fine if complaining about what he does is not going to solve anything then you are right,why bother come anymore? also he has a dificult life and all becouse of himself i wont tell how to live his life but i dont bother with this as you sayd he doesn't bother to listen to his fans or what they have to say he does what he want and that's it, Don;t bother reply to this comment anymore,or any of my comments if ther will be future comments,it is pointless to argue
23 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic
Well that's even harsher than what I said in the entirety of my post. If it's pointless to argue anything to you, then we may as well ignore your comments entirely, because they aren't solving or doing anything for you, and it also means you aren't learning anything or listening. You're like a brick wall if so, and brick walls aren't exactly good company.

His life isn't difficult all because of himself... he's explained why his life is the way it is before in his blog posts (like with his dad, his girlfriend, his mistakes, how his life has played out, etc.) , which you heartily like skipping over and scanning the negatives in, it seems.

He DOES listen to his fans, you seem to misinterpret what I said. He's changed Taming Dreams to accommodate for fan criticisms, and he even changed the bloody title AND cut out half the tutorial the game used to have. He just does not listen to fans who rant about what 'he should do' when what they're saying he should do solves nothing. I doubt you read most any of my post, nor Tobias's, as you have admitted before you skip through his blog posts. If such long posts are hard for you to read, then fine, that's YOUR fault for having no patience, not ours.

I can reply to you if I want, because if my comments annoy you, then think about how WE feel when YOU do the same thing on the opposite side of the argument, only refuse to listen or accept what we say. Eventually, this attitude could get you banned, and you probably would be, if the mods were less lenient.

But I suppose I'll stop here, I am getting a bit hostile and I apologize for that, I'd just like you to listen to us for once instead of recoiling with a poor counter-argument. The reason I made that first post was simply to bring across points the community has made, ones you've proven to completely and utterly ignore.
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
I sayd im done arguing,please ignore the post
36 Bulgaria
Eclipse has pretty much summed up everything I wanted to say, so I won't repeat his points. I just wanted to reassure you that I (and, I believe, everyone else here) are not trying to be rude to you; in fact, that's one of the reasons why I like this community so much: because everyone is doing their best to be their best. :)

But I also believe that we have answered your points. Would you like to go back and read again all the answers that you've received to your questions? After that, if you still believe that some question has not been addressed, do ask it again. (Maybe we haven't explained in a way that makes sense to you.)

Also, if you notice that the same thoughts are coming back to you again and again and again; that you can't get rid of them, no matter what you do--please go and talk with a psychologist. I'm not joking and I'm not attacking you. This is serious stuff. I'm ∞ bipolar ∞ myself ('crazy', as less sensitive people would say), so I wouldn't make fun of anyone about such things.
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
Im sane i can assure you that,please dont question my sanity or mental health that is rude, i won't comment anymore is that allright? you will be happy that you won't have to ''help'' a ''psychopath'' that you accuse me of bein
36 Bulgaria
I promise not to respond to your comments any more. Please be well.
19 United States INFP LII SoSp RLUAI AIE PhlegmaticSanguine
*Sigh* Jordan. I won't leave a long comment to elaborate on what is... incorrect, here, but I do feel the need to say that we aren't attempting to be rude.

We're trying to help. Repeating the same ideas, flat out saying that specific traits in people should just be ignored, and denying people's advice and labeling it as hatred...

I don't want you banned. But at this rate, you're appearing to be more and more antagonistic and crass. My only advice would to be accept what is, learn from your (and perhaps our) errors, and to make peace with people and their ways.

Telling people to disregard their selves and ignoring other's corrections and advice is not the way to do well.

Would you do that in your own life, with friends, family?
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
I Sayd im done commenting,ok? Ignore the post, that way you will all be happy, you won't have to ''help me'' or question my Sanity G'day
25 Switzerland
I instantly recognized David Mitchell. Well done, haha. The others I did not know in the first place.
32 Argentina INFJ EIE SoSp RLUAN IAS PhlegmaticMelancholic
"'confident' ones, the 'bad boys' - are most likely to get the girls is a factor for sure"

That's a myth, actually. You will see it happen often in hif¡ghschool and uni because the people are still immature, underdeveloped, still finding out who they are. It's not a fact. It's shallow thinking. Stay away from people with that mentality, young or old, it doesn't matter. They're toxic and most likely ignorant.

"I imagine almost all relationships fluctuate between love and hate like this."

Not quite. There's NO hate in a relationship. If there is, then it's not a healthy one. What you will have is arguments and different opinions, but that is NEVER a reason to hate or ditch a person. It's perfectly normal in any relationship, any family.

---"I'm so in love with my boyfriend, just cuddling, so happy (5 stars)"
"My boyfriend's an arsehole! (1 star)"
"He's so sweet and I miss him so bad (5 stars)"
"Does he even care about me? (1 star)"
"He got me a gift and I can't stop smiling (5 stars)"
"He's such a jerk!! (1 star)"----

And again... You're reading information that comes from underdeveloped minds. No person mature enough will go on about that.

First off... If a gal is wondering if her partner cares, or she's mad because he's supposely an ass, then something's not working there. I do have differences with my partner at times, but in no ways I think he's an asshole, and we solve it with dialogue, we don't go to social media to cry about one another.

Second... Anyone down to earth will not go on about what they're doing with their partner at a certain time. I've known people that did, and they were shallow and immature as hell. It is NOT an ok thing to do. Don't use it as an example of a good relationship, because it doesn't work like that.

"But I just see other guys as 'the competition', especially if they're the socially confident and good-looking sorts who tend to attract female interest without trying."

Again... This is NOT a rule. It happens in certain parts of society and especially in highschool/uni. It's not a part you wish to be part of. It's meaningless, full of immature folk, focused mostly on sexytimes and boring crap. You don't have to be good looking to have female friends, females are not like that, females don't work like that. Not all of them at least.

I've wanted to be your friend in hopes to help you learn, to be honest. You assume too much about humanity as a whole, and it makes you approach the wrong places, thus ending up feeling afraid and sad.

Try to listen to what people tell you. None of us is trying to criticize you at all, we talk to you because we care. We are distant, but we care. We had experiences of our own and we share so you don't go through the same disappointments.

I am aware I sound a bit uh... obnoxious. Like I'm trying to force my ideas. But no, I am merely concerned. It feels not too pleasant to watch someone go through things and not being able to do anything to prevent it. It's happened to me too many times... seeing friends hanging out with bad people, getting hurt over and over, then me trying to speak to them and they would not listen.

It's kinda hurtful when people don't listen and they assume you're just a know-it-all smartass.

Anyway, I'm rambling... Sorry ^^;
24 United States
To add to the topic of "bad boys getting the girl" I find that the girls who usually go with those type people people have a tendency to be a virago, or a b*tch in layman terms. There are also girls who like the bad boys because they think that they will be the girl who will "tame the stallion," which is doomed to fail, knowing the personality of those "bad boys".

I feel your your pain of watching people fall on their faces. It really hurts, but sometimes that is the only way they learn. Pain is an absolute in teaching a lesson, just some people need that lesson more than a few times to figure it out.
32 Argentina INFJ EIE SoSp RLUAN IAS PhlegmaticMelancholic
That's right. Sad, but right :1
19 United States INFP LII SoSp RLUAI AIE PhlegmaticSanguine
I listen.

I don't pretend to understand love or romance (having never been attracted to someone or in love), but on a practical, fairly objective level, I agree. If there is a non-petty hate between two people, it often builds up and gets worse. If looks are what someone is looking for in a relationship, then the odds are that person wouldn't be the one you're looking for. Relationships born of vain desire burn out quickly under duress.

And generally, people who brag about or complain non-specifically about their relationship are, as ChillaSan said, 'underdeveloped.'

I learned this from seeing others, but I understand how they felt when it ended, as best as I can understand a friend.

The best way I can see to avoid a poor relationship would be to find someone your way - adapting the confidence or methods of others won't find you who you want, but who they want.
21 Czech Republic INFJ EII 451 SoSx RLuAi SAI MelancholicPhlegmatic
Each time I read a piece of this story of yours, I can feel how it resonates with what I am experiencing and thinking about many times, and there are a lot of things I wish to say, but soon, I start to struggle with the limitation that the communication in writing possesses. Oh, darn them the words!!

I would like to assure I appreciate this on-line contact with you and the community, though, may it not be the same as real life relationships. I have no-one whom I might call a close friend, currently, though I am able to talk with some of the other students at the university (to my great surprise!) Still, there are lots of them whom I still don't know by their names, for instance. I find it quite convenient to me, so I do not even try to get to know someone better. While I generally enjoy being on my own, there are moments, especially when it comes to fears and worries, when I feel like if I were the only one who is troubled and nobody could truly understand me. They tend to be silly thoughts, provoked by exaggerated fears, but when they appear, they can be very mean and cause a lot of nasty in my head. During such times, it is a great piece of comfort to know there is somebody I can relate to. Spending some time reading through your entries is a meaning of temporary escape for me, very helpful when I need a pause from the surrounding reality.

The relation you seem to have with the friend you mention sounds really nice to me! I understand the worries related to its maintenance, especially when she is physically far from you (it seems to me that whatever nice we have, we cannot get rid of the fear of losing it), but nevertheless, I feel glad about your friendship and the support it provides you with.

I dare to say I know a few bits about the fears, the sudden urges to back from situations that do not seem comfortable, and later regretting not being a bit stouter. I am always certain that I will do something wrong and totally humiliate myself (if I, for instance, want to buy me coffee to go, I can't imagine I could pass through all the points of necessary social interaction without looking like a weirdo who doesn't know how to talk properly) and I prefer to walk away, despite knowing I will be mad with myself because of such running away.

At the end of the first semester at the university, I needed to meet a few teachers in order to get my colloquia formally confirmed. (Which is not fully done, still!) In one case, I was instructed to see the teacher in his office. Firstly, I avoided just thinking about it, assuring myself there is plenty of time, and when made myself finally to do something, I found myself in front of the office door (a time-consuming phase of assuring myself that asking for a signature is quite a normal thing and I have high chances of not coming across awkward because of that had preceded.) And then, I just turned and walked away, overcome by the wave of anxiety I believed I'd managed to deal with. After a few days, I tried to do the same thing (preferably without backing out in the end) and it happened to me that I got a chance to hold a door so that a woman walking towards me (and carrying something in her arms) could pass. She said 'thanks', which apparently boosted my spirit enough to remain until the end. I did really knocked at the door, explained to the person who had answered who I was looking for, received a single signature and felt a bit like a fool (in a light-hearted way) for having been so scared earlier (even if I know that once a similar situation has arisen again, I probably won't do significantly better. Obviously, all I can do is to be prepared, try harder and so on. Injecting some humour into the serious attitude might help, too... Rumble. WE WILL SEE!!)

Anyway, congratulations on your brainy experience. You have made me curious about how touching one feels like. I hope your studies go on well. As well as your relations. Present and future ones.
19 United States INFP LII SoSp RLUAI AIE PhlegmaticSanguine
I'm not sure if this helps, but I felt similarly about relatively simple social encounters for the longest time, and still do, to a lesser extent.

I... I had maybe two or three personal stories I was planning to tell, but then I realized they're pretty boring and irrelevant. Their point being that I was harsh on myself, bizarre in my ideas, stammered and stuttered, and impulsive with my thoughts. Generally bad with people, save a select few.

I found it easier to sort of make things into jokes. Learned to laugh at myself, rather than scold myself. Stumbled over my words? Voice cracked? Do it again, on purpose, to make it seem silly, something people can laugh with. Realized what you said was stupid? Point that out to yourself, make them realize you know it and accept it. Make jokes out of things. Be facetious.

If nothing else, humor breaks tension down. And that's one way to make things easier.

I mean, obviously, this isn't for everyone - it was my way of dealing with it, and works for me - but it's a suggestion, you're free not to take it. More importantly I just wanted to say I know how you feel, at least somewhat!

20 Canada INTP ILI 9w1 SoSx RCUAI MelancholicCholeric
Red Mage
Ah yes, Bravely Default. The game that keep me playing for months. I will tell you this so you don't get surprised when you get to what seems like the end of the game, Aβ Tobias. The ending is not as close as you would think it is, but much further, and I will not spoil the epic story, but here is a riddle to get you to think about it. "In the darkness, lies the truth." This will make sense after around a hundred hours of gameplay (the game is really that long). When the game is done, think about how this game can inspire you to make Taming Dreams a success.
25 United States SanguineCholeric
Stop making videogames. I had a tough choice when I had the choice of trying to do everything as well as chasing a music career. I never really wanted that, but my guitarist kept pushing me to keep playing. It got in the way.

Forget making games.

Work to get that money instead of relying on us.

Want to face your fears? Take a public speaking class.

"Bad boys" get the girl because of their confidence. Work on yours.

Everything is achievable, you just have to want it. I make it sound easy, but it's not. It's tough, but it's the choices you make that shape a man. Talking to people online about your problems will get you no where. You can do it man, believe in yourself, because no one else will help with that but YOU YOU and YOU.
36 Bulgaria
Re: "Bad boys" get the girl

'Bad boys' get a girl who looks for 'bad boys'. If you're looking for a partner who will want to live with you , be yourself . As much as possible.

That's how I met all of my partners (and I've had had only long-term relationships: 3+ years).
25 United States SanguineCholeric
Of course, be yourself, but how can you be yourself if you limit your personality by being scared and shy? "Bad boys" get the girl because they're not scared to go after women, not caring if they get rejected. Women don't usually go after a guy, except for those few exceptions. Maybe he could meet a girl who likes him for who he is, but that leaves one question. Why limit your personality? Scared to dance, to be funny, to engage in conversation? I was shy for almost all my life, just like Tobias. It sucks. But I know he can unleash his true self because he wants it. He just has to keep making strides and believing in himself.
30 United States
Limit your personality? More like unleash your arrogance. Personalities can change, but as a need, not so much a desire. You're discussing a swap from introverted to extroverted, like a swap from predator to pray. I'm sure the chihuahua can become a vicious animal, but rarely in a beneficial way. Similarly, introverts often are built as such, and even attempts at breaking that doesn't mean you are becoming the best possible you at the end, even if it seems so much better than it was, as that happens naturally from growth, no matter which form you take.

It's like pitching in baseball (and easily related many other places, I'm sure). There are always instances where you are going to get beat. It just happens. However, when you do get beat, you want to be using your best pitch, not what you **perceive** to be best. Switching it up helps from time to time, but keep to your roots.

Want an example? He might be a bit of an extreme, but one example would be America's Got Talent comedian Drew Lynch. He was exactly one of the "bad boys" you portrayed earlier in what you said, or so is claimed. Baseball bigshot, and loving it, until hit with a baseball in the wrong way. Now he can't play as effectively as before, and even has a sharp studdering problem. He actually got shoved into the introverted direction. He saw how things were for introverts, and hated it all the way, but kept it up, somewhat aimless for a good while.

However, he wasn't built for that. He had an appreciation for introverts, but being one himself wasn't going to happen. It's a choice based on personality, not ability, and definitely not whim. He took his poor talking condition and was willing to work with it to find himself an extroverted passion to follow, despite being shoved toward introversion. A comedian. With a studder. And, he wasn't half-bad, because he had the talent to roll with the bad in conversation, to shove off negative feedback, and most importantly, have fun while doing it. It helps that he used his ailment as a weapon (most of his jokes feature his studder in some form), but overall, HE was built for it.

So, once again, I emphasize: Don't lose the game on your second [best] pitch.
25 United States SanguineCholeric
Arrogance? So you're saying all non-introverted people are rude? You got it all wrong. Yes, extroverts can be arrogant, but so can introverts as well. I was talking about opening up to show the good side of one's self. Tobias is obviously a good guy, and I know if he opened up, that he would portray a nice, friendly, kind-hearted guy.

You guys think I'm trying to praise "bad boys." I'm only trying to point out that their confidence is what helps them go up to women. Tobias has no confidence. I'm not saying for him to put on a fake tough guy persona, but to learn what works for people. Being shy has the worst drawback, and that is missing out on opportunities. Women won't read Tobias's thoughts. He would have to learn how to talk to women, how to keep a conversation and such.

Personally, I consider myself a mix of both. I think before I speak, like introverts do, but I'm not shy when it comes to expressing myself, like extroverts. Best of both worlds. I personally think Tobias should follow this path, because he had the same goals I had. I do not wish he stays with his current personality. If you all haven't noticed, HE WANTS TO CHANGE! Not to accomplish his goals, but because he feels free when he goes out of his shell. You should all be supporting him instead of telling him to miss out on opportunities.

End Rant.
23 United States MelancholicPhlegmatic
When did we EVER say he should miss out on opportunities? Or said extroversion is a horrible thing? I remember them saying the two were different and you shouldn't try to lean towards one or the other without considering both sides.... but I guess I'm misreading things? I think they were trying to get across the same points you were, but weren't completely understanding what you were saying. Trying to explain how introversion was just as important as extroversion, as they thought you were saying 'bad boys' are what get girls. A simple misinterpretation.

However, I don't think confidence is the main thing that makes you go up to get women, I personally think it stems from overcoming a conflict in your mind. Having the confidence to ask is just a piece of the puzzle, but you probably already knew that. We know he's trying to change, I think that was discussed but that isn't going to happen with written advice. We are supporting him, some people just didn't understand what you were saying.

I don't think you should force someone to come to a decision though all the time. Sometimes it's best to let them face the consequences of their actions or grow and develop themselves. No, I don't mean leaving them to drown in their own worries and despair, but instead support them in the best way you can. Sometimes being silent is the best medicine to quell someone's worries, as you're easier to be around. You don't even have to open up to be seen as nice... Actions speak just as loud as words.

There's times for both, everything has a place in the world.

I'm not meaning to rile you up or start anything, I'm just putting in my two cents in. Hope you understand.
36 Bulgaria
Zero, just wanted to say I'm beginning to see your points. (Mutual understanding can take lots of work on all sides.)

Thank you for sharing them.
25 United States SanguineCholeric
It's fine. I was also trying to get feedback from introverts or people who support introverts. When I was in Tobias's shoes, I chose to do the opposite because what I was doing wasn't working to reach my goals. I wanted to see the decisions you guys made when you were in his shoes. It's always good to be open-minded when it comes to topics like these, to educate or learn, in order to give advice to people who may need it later on. We're all here to help each other out.

I'm still an introvert at heart(genetics), but I don't regret changing at all. You know how many times I went up to girls that I knew liked me, but I ended up never asking them out? The only reason I have my girlfriend is because I drank alcohol, giving me liquid courage. Being an introvert has taught me not to do anything dumb, making sure I always think about a decision before I open my mouth and mess things up like extroverts. I honestly believe if all introverts can try to learn to be like extroverts, they would have the highest advantage. Make a hybrid, where the best of both come into one. That's where I'm at, and it's great. Just a thought.
19 United States INFP LII SoSp RLUAI AIE PhlegmaticSanguine
As P Kal said, people who want confidence go for confidence. And seeing as not every girl (or guy) wants confidence or is confident... well, we can assume people can desire other traits.

Forcing a facade of confidence and bravery, while it may grant some brief attention of those that seek it, ultimately solves nothing. It feels wrong, in your heart. It doesn't fill the void a relationship with meaning to you would.

Talking to us, while not beneficial in the practical sense, is far better than simply stewing in the melancholy without release. Writing is a great 'vent'; and to share thoughts with us gives opportunity for advice. (Such as your own.)

But people will help him. He even talks in this post about how his friend was there supporting him before the 'brain handling'. People can help you acclimate to fears and new things. Guide you, help you. Even just be there to say 'You got this!'.

And he himself has proven his capability - he's made the effort to meet people. He's been trying to be more social, and I believe he is getting better. Look back at who he was a year ago; Tobias has become much more capable, under his own efforts.

He's facing his fears. And in doing so, gaining the friends those fears barred him from.

(You are most certainly correct on the point of facing your fears - fearing public speaking is something common, and help is available. A class is a great idea - gradual exposure can definitely lessen the anxiety it produces. )

32 Argentina INFJ EIE SoSp RLUAN IAS PhlegmaticMelancholic
Bad boys and confidence are not the problem here. If he goes after girls with that mentality, he's going to get hurt a lot. More down to earth girls don't keep those things in mind. He's hanging with the wrong crowd.

25 United States SanguineCholeric
I still don't get what's wrong with having confidence. What's wrong with being able to go up to a woman, and showing who you really are. Even if she says no, confidence would tell you, "Eh, it wasn't meant to be, but there's still plenty of women out there to go after."

It's not just confidence to go after women, it's also confidence in one's self. If you believe in yourself, that's confidence. You would rather a person not believe in their self, second guessing their goals and choices?

I'm not talking about being cocky, just confidence.
17 Romania
Jordan Hale
Is Just me or does Tobias made Taming Dreams to Relieve his Strees? Like all that happens in Taming Dreams is Personal represents Tobia's Fears,Depresion Evreything that he goes through, I Feel strange about that Like he cancelled MARDEK whici was a Normal Fantasy RPG in medieval times to Express his Emotions To His fans, Ofcouse that is not bad to channel your Negative energy in something artistic but Becouse your going trough alot you cancelled MARDEK to make this to help yourself , Though you should Mention that to your fans that are Sad or Revolted that you cancelled MARDEK, Anyway Hope you get better Tobias.....No Hate please this is what resembles from Taming Dreams and is my Opinion you dont need to Comment mean things that this is not truth, This is real Hope He Gets better FAREWELL!