rebloggable by request lmao
I really like it when artists (or well, anyone, but online it’s mostly artists!) talk about this kind of thing because it’s not something people usually talk about, and it’s something that’s difficult to talk about without sounding conceited, or even more intimidating, or whatever else. I have a lot of respect for people who can address this tactfully and frankly.
All of this is very true. I have a confession to make, actually, and my confession is this: I love talking to people. But I am not always interested in making friends with people. I am actually quite a reserved person, though I know that I don’t seem it, because I just love talking & interacting so much haha. But people get the wrong idea a lot of the time, and I know I’m partly to blame for that. It’s a struggle to maintain a friendly/approachable demeanour without inviting too much friendliness, or downright unwanted attention. I honestly find it difficult to cater to the friends I have now, so if I end up befriending someone, I want to make sure they’re something special. I don’t like the vague insinuations that being selective about friends and friendship makes you a bad person - it seems that if an artist isn’t willing to be best friends forever with everyone who approaches them, they’re standoffish and unapproachable and mean and cliquey - when that isn’t true at all.
I think this is true of almost everybody, though! It’s just really impossible to be friends with everyone you ever meet. I’m sure there have been times when someone’s approached you and it just hasn’t worked out. Sometimes it just doesn’t, and that’s okay. You shouldn’t beat yourself up about it and you shouldn’t blame the other person, either! Sometimes it just doesn’t work and it’s neither your fault or theirs.
I do have a word of advice though; one thing that turns me off faster than anything (and probably turns anyone off faster than anything) is self pity, or wistful insinuations. ‘I wish I could draw like you’ ‘I wish I had as many friends as you’ ‘It’d be nice if I got as much attention as you’ ‘I bet no one would ever like me/do x things for me like they do for you’ etc are probably all things all artists have heard at one time or another from some well-meaning person, but the truth is, it is incredibly uncomfortable to hear things like this. I don’t know what you think artists and their friends talk to each other about, or the things they say to each other, but it sure as hell isn’t anything like that. Nothing makes me dislike or shut down on a person faster than things like that. It is likely not intended to be (I think often the person doesn’t even know what they’re doing), but it is guilt trippy and when people say things like this, I feel like I am responsible for their feelings, like I should apologise for every good thing that people see occur to me because it makes them feel bad. ??? I think it’s worse when you try to say things that you think would make them feel better but they’re like ‘oh no …’ and at that point you are 9999999887474% done with that person.
I know it can be really hard to talk to someone you admire, I know sometimes you really want to be friends with someone and it looks like it’d just be impossible so you sort of spiral down into this weird self-hate or projected negativity on the person at hand. But you shouldn’t! Wanting to be friends with people online shouldn’t be such a big deal. It should be something lighthearted and pleasant and the sideshow of pleasant interactions with somebody - it shouldn’t be the main event.
If the thought of trying to befriend someone you admire fills you with nervousness, trepidation or if you just spend too much time worrying about it, I think that it’s just not worth it and you should just quit it. It’s just … kind of sad trying to catch someone’s attention that might not be so much inclined to catching yours. It’s also unfair to put so much expectation on another person for your own happiness and wellbeing. I firmly believe that if you are meant to be friends with someone, it’ll happen without you having to even try. Making friends shouldn’t feel like a chore, it shouldn’t make you feel disappointed because someone isn’t responding the way you want them to. So leave it alone, and maybe it’ll end up happening. In the meantime, maybe you can channel your energies towards people who do notice you and who do want to spend time with you, instead of towards someone who makes you feel bad simply because they’re not returning your attention.