0513: "Friends"

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xkcdpasta
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xkcdpasta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:17 pm UTC

Sidescan wrote:And to everyone who has posted saying this comic somehow describes their life: slap yourself in the face. Hard.


Here here.
Last edited by xkcdpasta on Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:52 pm UTC, edited 3 times in total.

Gracenotes
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Gracenotes » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:18 pm UTC

Sidescan wrote:what it is we're supposed to learn from the over-long adventures of a glutton for punishment as he wallows in self pity.

fix'd for you

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Nlelith
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Nlelith » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:20 pm UTC

Guy in the last panel looks kinda like Feynman.

Sidescan
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Sidescan » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:21 pm UTC

xkcdpasta wrote:Here here.


It's "Hear, hear".

Sorry, but if I can't be pedantic on the xkcd forums, where can I be?

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Quixotess » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:33 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:Action: Come right out at first meeting and ask for sex
Steroid wrote:Action: Come right out at first meeting and ask for a loving relationship.
Steroid wrote:then ask for a loving relationship.
Steroid wrote:then ask for sex.
Steroid wrote:get nothing.

Oh look. I found your problem. You're treating intimacy as a commodity. It's not. And that, not the timing of your advance, is what makes you a creep.

Steroid wrote:Result: Be subject to "where did this come from?!" shock and possible damage to friendship.

"Be subject to"? If you haven't indicated an interest in sex before, then yes, bringing it up might result in some surprise. Don't act like a woman's negative reaction to "so can we have sex yet?" is some sort of ordeal for you.

And if it happens that a woman realizes what comes across so clearly in your post - you were only in the friendship because you thought it would be the best strategy to "get" sex from her and you do not characterize your friendship as a loving relationship or a worthy end in itself and indeed are not so much interested in friendship as in a "friend-like bond" (what the HELL) sufficiently chummy to merit sex - then yeah, your "friendship" is going to take some fucking damage.


Oh, and the fact that you're whinging about having to "maintain personal grooming" as though there would be no reason to do so if you weren't trying to "attract" women (or more likely, if those picky women would just relax their standards and fuck you already), as though women, collectively, are to blame for the fact that you didn't get to buy your new speakers? Also not appealing.

Sidescan wrote:I've read and enjoyed xkcd for a long time, and this is the first time I've been motivated to register and post on the forum.

Randall has swung and missed.

And because now I'm irritated, I'm going to suggest that you were only moved to register upon seeing something that you could comment upon negatively says something not-great about you.

Sidescan wrote:And to everyone who has posted saying this comic somehow describes their life: slap yourself in the face. Hard.

This I'll go for, though.
Raise up the torch and light the way.

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Karhe
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Karhe » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:36 pm UTC

Most of the posts here don't really seem to get what he really means on the last panel so here is a more direct version (Someone posted this already but I wanted to emphasize):

http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp02142004.shtml

It's really interesting to see so many people NOT realizing this. And to think that this kind of behavior is considered acceptable or even nice?!?!

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby NoahTheDuke » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:42 pm UTC

I agree with all the people who say that the "friend" is a jerk. That said, I also think this is quite relevant:

DragonflyBlade21: A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much. She sees him strictly as a friend. This always starts out with, you're a great guy, but I don't like you in that way. This is roughly the equivalent for the guy of going to a job interview and the company saying, You have a great resume, you have all the qualifications we are looking for, but we're not going to hire you. We will, however, use your resume as the basis for comparison for all other applicants. But, we're going to hire somebody who is far less qualified and is probably an alcoholic. And if he doesn't work out, we'll hire somebody else, but still not you. In fact, we will never hire you. But we will call you from time to time to complain about the person that we hired.

Noah

Meagen
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Meagen » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:45 pm UTC

I think one mistake that guys make in this situation is to overfocus on the girl they're "just friends" with. One big advantage of friendship is that you're free to seek out other women that you might be attracted to, and try to ask them out. But if you treat your "friend" as a potential partner, you try to stay "true" to them and then resent them for not doing the same.

Of course, the type of guy pictured in the comic usually has very limited dating options in the first place.

xkcdpasta
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xkcdpasta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:51 pm UTC

Sidescan wrote:It's "Hear, hear".

Sorry, but if I can't be pedantic on the xkcd forums, where can I be?


I could try and justify this egregious error by saying that I was in fact calling for a slap, "Here, here" while at the same time making a punning reference to the phrase denoting agreement. Or I could say that on the internets the spelling is being altered through popular misconception:

"The situation is dire for some phrases. On the Web, "here here" outpolls the correct "hear hear" [according to the website SpellWeb] 153,000 to 42,000."

Or I could just apologise and slap mayself.

xkcdpasta
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xkcdpasta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 12:52 pm UTC

I too have long supped from xkcd's golluptuous repast without posting and I too felt it was a little bit of a miss humourwise. Hwoever it was undoubtedly insightful as so many people have claimed to have been ninjaed (In this case I would advise slapping yourself twice. Or getting someone else to do it). The problem is, by potraying this guy in such a negative light the notoriusly malleable (Do this quiz to find out if you have aspergers?) internettis are going to be plunged into a slough of self loathing. An optimist like myself might say that this will in fact trigger a surge of motivation to their collective lily-white breast, however, given past form I have to recognise this won't be a majority.

So DO slap yourself but DON'T beat yourself up. That won't get you laid/a secure and loving relationship. If you're doing her dishes/coursework ONLY because you think it'll mean she'll let you do her in the kitchen/library then you're not really a friend are you. And if she's not interested you should look for love/sleepless nights of burning passion elsewhere. Be honest, but within the confines of social decency.

And if you think she's the one then watch this video:

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Gaid72fqzNE

He's the genius who penned the line "Only a ninja can sneak up on another ninja".

drazen
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby drazen » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:02 pm UTC

I've been reading for a long time but I'm new in the forums, mostly because I had a lot to say about today's strip (some good, some bad).

I think the "soft jerk" is a bit up in the air. Because, is it just a shy guy who has trouble admitting his feelings, who isn't quite intentionally being a jerk but comes off that way -- or, is it a manipulative mastermind who does this with all the women in his life and then takes advantage of the one who happens to give in (sexually, as implied in the comic) in a moment of weakness -- who is the same kind of jerk as the one she ends up dating in the final panel, who isn't right for her and who doesn't really respect her at all? Because in the end they both end up living an empty, meaningless, unfulfilling relationship; so either (a) it really was a caring guy all along and she's too screwed up to appreciate that or (b) it was actually a mastermind who kept her in reserve and pounced when he could -- but it went way too far and now neither of them is happy. The guy doesn't look too happy either in that third to last panel, does he?

As for me, I used to do this or something similar, quite well, but then stopped for a variety of reasons because I wanted to do things "right," whatever that means (Doing them "wrong" for so long makes that a bit difficult to know!). The difficult part I have to resolve is that I have to know someone for a long time before I can develop romantic feelings for them. Now, when I use what I imagine is the "normal" way of meeting someone, dating them quickly, and having it move along at whatever pace happens to develop - no matter how great they are, something's missing for me, I end up holding back, and the whole thing collapses. In short, I require a lot of information before I "calculate" love (I'm being flip about that, I don't literally mean "calculate"). This one's a tough one for me to figure out so far and it's probably just going to be a while before I find the right balance.

On the flip side, now I don't, under any circumstances, stay friends with women I'm interested in who reject me. I'm rather honest about that point (which probably doesn't help it come across all that well). It's not meant as a "blackmail" device (yes, I understand how it could come across that way) but rather a "self-preservation" device. Because why would, say, a minimum-wage earner hang around a Porsche dealership, or a homeless guy hang around peeking through a fence at a BBQ? It's not fun or comfortable or productive for any of the parties involved. It's also not going to change, so the best thing to do - IMO - is get the hell out of there.

Because here's the thing about staying "just friends." If they really were your friend, they might, say, introduce you to someone they think you'd hit it off with, or have some consideration of your feelings, but mostly, the ones who say that appear to just want to whine to someone endlessly about their mostly self-inflicted problems. To me, all of the people in this strip are dysfunctional, but the girl is the worst here, because she wants the most unequal thing out of all of them: for someone to listen to her without question and who gets nothing in return but her constant complaining about her preventable problems.

Sometimes I just nicely say "I'm walking away from this, it's for my own good and a little bit for yours." But when it comes to someone who doesn't really seem to care who they hurt, I tell them exactly what I did in the last paragraph, that their approach and attitude is only going to invite disaster for themselves. I'm not being mean -- that statement is usually extremely accurate. Occasionally they manage to snap out of it, but some people never change. I feel a little sad for them -- and greatly relieved that their problems didn't become my problems. :)

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Steroid » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:08 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:
Steroid wrote:Action: Come right out at first meeting and ask for sex
Steroid wrote:Action: Come right out at first meeting and ask for a loving relationship.
Steroid wrote:then ask for a loving relationship.
Steroid wrote:then ask for sex.
Steroid wrote:get nothing.

Oh look. I found your problem. You're treating intimacy as a commodity. It's not. And that, not the timing of your advance, is what makes you a creep.


Thank you for making my point about quantum theory. Just by asking the question, or analyzing the issue in a certain way, changes the answer and makes me "a creep."

What I'm trying to do is cut through the social/moral issues and look at this from a logical perspective. So, if intimacy is not a commodity, what are the qualitative differences between types of intimacy?

Quixotess wrote:And if it happens that a woman realizes what comes across so clearly in your post - you were only in the friendship because you thought it would be the best strategy to "get" sex from her and you do not characterize your friendship as a loving relationship or a worthy end in itself and indeed are not so much interested in friendship as in a "friend-like bond" (what the HELL) sufficiently chummy to merit sex - then yeah, your "friendship" is going to take some fucking damage.


A) I do not always enter friendships just for sex. Sometimes it is just for its own sake, or as a prelude to love. What I'm trying to ask nicely is how to transition from friendship to love.
B) Sometimes I am interested in just sex, and have no respect for the woman otherwise. Feeling no categorical imperative in this situation, why shouldn't I lie to the woman, since doing so increases my chances to actually get her to sleep with me? The logical answer to me is, "Fine, go ahead and ask straight out, and women, work on increasing the odds of cheap sex so he doesn't have to lie to you." What I hear is, "Well, get a categorical imperative and start respecting women because they deserve it!" Which doesn't help anyone.

Quixotess wrote:Oh, and the fact that you're whinging about having to "maintain personal grooming" as though there would be no reason to do so if you weren't trying to "attract" women (or more likely, if those picky women would just relax their standards and fuck you already), as though women, collectively, are to blame for the fact that you didn't get to buy your new speakers? Also not appealing.


I "whinge" about every trade-off in life. I whinge about having to go to work now instead of sticking it out on these fora all day. Meek acceptance of the misfortunes of existence makes no sense to me. But again, what you're saying is: "Honesty about your self-interest: not appealing. Dishonesty: not appealing, but more likely to work. But be honest and less appealing because it's in the interest of women" How is that any more selfish than my position?

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Pizzashark » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:15 pm UTC

drazen wrote:I've been reading ...

Because here's the thing about staying "just friends." If they really were your friend, they might, say, introduce you to someone they think you'd hit it off with, or have some consideration of your feelings, but mostly, the ones who say that appear to just want to whine to someone endlessly about their mostly self-inflicted problems. To me, all of the people in this strip are dysfunctional, but the girl is the worst here, because she wants the most unequal thing out of all of them: for someone to listen to her without question and who gets nothing in return but her constant complaining about her preventable problems. ...


Good point that I don't think anyone else has raised. And now that you mention it, a girl like that is at least as much a bitch as either of the two guys is a jerk. She's basically indirectly abusing the "soft" jerk by sharing very personal things with him - which is either gonna cause him to care for her, or call her a neurotic, hopeless bitch and run the fuck away - and indirectly abusing the "hard" jerk by not sharing said personal things with him (particularly any problems she has with him!) and thus preventing any sort of meaningful relationship to form, regardless of why they got together in the first place.

You should post more.
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xkcdpasta
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xkcdpasta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:18 pm UTC

There's only one problem with this post dray (Can I call you dray? Drazen sounds too formal for this kind of discussion) and that's the fact that this girl who had taken the time to 'calculate' your love for before asking out was in reality a whiny trollop. Were you blinded by lustful thoughts to the subsequently evident flaws in her character? And soon after she made it clear that the realising of these thoughts was close to an impossibility you realised that she was actually impossible to be around? Perhaps.

This isn't a bad thing though, it just goes to show that the person you're most likely fooling with your devious "friends first" scheme is yourself. Be honest with her and then with yourself. If you're just looking for a ride then you're right to move on.

More power to thy elbow, dray, hope you're on the right track now...

xkcdpasta
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xkcdpasta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:22 pm UTC

Steroid wrote: Meek acceptance of the misfortunes of existence makes no sense to me.


Phrase of the thread so far. Whingeing is just meek acceptance with an annoying buzz attached.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby suffer-cait » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:31 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:Action: Wait until conversation and such have established a friend-like bond, then ask for a loving relationship.
Result: She goes off with jerk, and you have friends-with-detriments as in the comic. then gets away from jerk long enough for you to step in. You win. =]

yup, i'd be the she in that one
Last edited by suffer-cait on Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:40 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Evilagram
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Evilagram » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:35 pm UTC

Second, "GET OUT OF MY HEAD RANDAL", since the tiles comic.

This EXACT thing just happened to me two months ago. Everything just got fucked up horribly. I was writing a really damn angry letter about it last night.

Just fucking ouch.


This isn't funny, it's painful.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Marlayna » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:38 pm UTC

I don't post regularly... but you may remember that love issues get me all worked up :roll:

When you're in love with someone (ok, I know we do not agree on a definition here, but I think you will agree with me at least on this!) you enjoy spending time with them, and you feel useful helping them. Of course, you dream of establishing a relationship, but it is in no way dishonest to ask for a friendship, even if it won't lead to a relationship, as that is also a way to get what you want: precious time with your special someone, and a chance to protect them from harm.

Randall seems to assume that, if you are romantically interested in someone, and pursue a friendship, then you must be acting on a hidden agenda. That is wrong. A hidden agenda does exist, since you probably want to bring up the subject of a relationship at some point, but that is not the main reason why you want a friendship, and it's certainly not the only reason.

I say all the above judging from myself when I was in love. I was totally prepared to accept the fact that he probably wouldn't be romantically interested in me, and I was still planning to pursue a friendship even if that proved to be the case. Friendship was naturally an inferior prospect compared to a romantic relationship, but it would suit me fine :D

And to those who criticise the girl: There is absolutely nothing wrong with taking advantage of someone who is in love with you. That's what they're for! They are offering themselves up for this very purpose. She is simply using what is offered to her, not abusing, and she has every right to do so. On the contrary, I think we all agree it's a matter of respect to not take advantage of someone when their judgement is compromised (such as after a breakup) and to not lie to them. So the guy is immoral.
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sammy
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby sammy » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:48 pm UTC

Kokuro -
I'd say the birthday gift is a good idea. You could add a 'one coupon for dinner' to the rose though. This guy I worked with this summer gave me a rose and a coupon on my birthday. The date was really sweet and fun. Don't make it too formal... If I hadn't studied abroad this semester it probably would have turned into something. Anyways, just an idea.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Nyarlathotep » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:01 pm UTC

Shit. I think I do this to guys. Oops.
'Gehȳrst þū, sǣlida, hwæt þis folc segeð?
hī willað ēow tō gafole gāras syllan,
ǣttrynne ord and ealde swurd,
þā heregeatu þe ēow æt hilde ne dēah.

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haliblix
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby haliblix » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:02 pm UTC

This comic up until maybe the past couple of years was pretty much my entire theory on how to get a girl. But it never worked. The only time being a nice guy did work was when I somehow built up the nerve to ask the girl out that i bought sunglasses from. The key difference was that we weren't in the friend zone. The friend zone is death. I repeat to anyone who thinks otherwise THE FRIEND ZONE IS DEATH. It's the black hole of romance. Once you've crossed that event horizon, your toast and unless you disappear from her life and reinvent yourself as someone new and improve (even that is a slim chance), the only winning move is to move on.

In way of a short example, there was a girl i liked that i had known since i was about 14 thru family friends. I had started hanging out with her a lot and even took a road trip with her up to New York. It took one bad party at her house and she grabbed me and took me outside and started crying and confiding in me. I thought that was my in. I was close to her. For crying out loud, she was telling me how guys are such jerks. So I stopped her and asked her to go out with me. My reasoning was that she knew i was a nice guy and a great friend so it was a sure thing. Instead, she just sat there with a blank look on her face like i just slapped her and then moments later the excuses started to pour out. I didn't get angry or upset I just asked why she said she couldn't find a guy one moment and then saying she didn't want to be with anyone the next. More excuses.

The realization now is that women want something that they can't have. The guy that is fun to hang out with but doesn't befriend them. A cat doesn't play with string that's easily in reach and not moving. A dog doesn't go after a ball that you place in front of it. First you grab their attention and then you deny them from getting it and they'll do their damnedest to have it. There are some really good books on the subject that have come out recently that also helped me out a lot.

Sidescan
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Sidescan » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:07 pm UTC

Quixotess wrote:And because now I'm irritated, I'm going to suggest that you were only moved to register upon seeing something that you could comment upon negatively says something not-great about you.

Meh. This is entirely normal behaviour.

EDIT:
Also, if you are playing the creepy misogynist drinking game; take a shot (see above).

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Susy » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:10 pm UTC

What amazes me is the fact that this commic has lead to a high number of posts in very short time...I wonder why...

Painfull commic though. RANDALL GET OUT OF MY HEAD!!!

Aftermath friendship sucks. Lead-up friendship also sucks.

In general the worst of it, is when you have your so called "best friend" for months (or whatever) and then suddenly he says: "I am with someone else"
WTF???? I didn´t even know you were dating her!! And even when I asked if you were dating her you dared to say: "oh! no, it´s nothing"
Thanks for telling me, dude!! Maybe if I had knew that, then I would have done something drastic and maybe (just fucking maybe) we could have been together now.

What really gets me to the bone is the fact that I waited for him...I fucking waited for him while he was hitting on someone else... I could have done the same thing you know?? But i really loved him...it´s quite stupid this "love" thing...it makes you wait and trusth like a stupid.

Anyways...entropy happens...and of course "Le Chatelier´s Principle" is always there to bring back the balance: If a chemical system at equilibrium experiences a change in concentration, temperature, volume, or total pressure, then the equilibrium shifts to partially counter-act the imposed change.

Yeah!!! That´s it!! Love is a 100% reversible system!! THANK GOD FOR THAT!!! :D (a moment of illumination!!!)
Last edited by Susy on Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:31 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby martinultima » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:11 pm UTC

Best. Comic. Ever.
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GENERATION 23+πi:
The first time you see this, copy it into your sig on any forum and add more non-real irrationality the generation. Social experiment.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby ThomasS » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:23 pm UTC

haliblix wrote:This comic up until maybe the past couple of years was pretty much my entire theory on how to get a girl. But it never worked. The only time being a nice guy did work was when I somehow built up the nerve to ask the girl out that i bought sunglasses from. The key difference was that we weren't in the friend zone. The friend zone is death. I repeat to anyone who thinks otherwise THE FRIEND ZONE IS DEATH. It's the black hole of romance. Once you've crossed that event horizon, your toast and unless you disappear from her life and reinvent yourself as someone new and improve (even that is a slim chance), the only winning move is to move on.

I think it is better to say that the friend zone is just that. Not a relationship.

I don't think it is wrong to say to a girl who happens to be a friend "We have been friends for a while, but I think that now I'm starting to fall for you. Hearing you talk about your trouble with other guys is starting to bother me, etc, etc." But you don't pull that sort of thing when they are in the middle of crying over their last breakup, and you don't wait with baited breath effectively demanding that they tell you what what they make of a declaration like that right now. Friends don't put friends on the spot like that.

Give somebody time to think about a declaration like that and maybe they will decide it is a good idea, and suddenly you have moved from the friend zone to dating. Maybe they'll want to stay in the friend zone, but will try to talk less about their relationship problems with you. Maybe they will decide it is too weird and stop calling. Assuming which they will choose is, I think, the same egomaniac attitude that is being derided by the comic.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xkcdpasta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:29 pm UTC

There are some really good books on the subject that have come out recently that also helped me out a lot.


Does anyone read to the end of the Game? It all goes wrong! Its a cautionary tale, not a manual. There is some good advice in there, particularly about overcoming your fear of rejection by hitting people with an inflatable hammer. But don't blame women, don't overthink it, don't obsess, don't write angsty letters, don't whine about the friendzone or the fact that your have to maintain a socially acceptable level of personal hygiene. Do just get on with your life and meet people while you're doing stuff you enjoy. Alot of them want the same things you do... Actually, maybe not alot, and maybe not exactly the same things (With the sellotape dispenser? Seriously?) but you get my drift...

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Tanith157 » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:32 pm UTC

I'd like to thank Randall Munroe for providing the greatest motivation ever for just plain asking a girl out. The previous 'the worst that can happen is you embaress yourself' was comparitively lacking.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xkcdpasta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:33 pm UTC

Sidescan wrote:Also, if you are playing the creepy misogynist drinking game; take a shot (see above).


Best. Drinking. Game. Ever.

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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Tevildo » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:45 pm UTC

I think--or rather, hope--that most of the people claiming similar situations mean only that they've had a friend whom they wanted to be "more" with. (If not, see Sidescan.) It's only natural to occasionally be attracted to a friend. Happens all the time, and it can be dealt with. "The Friend Zone is death" only if you accept it as such and resort to non-tactics. (I don't mean to preach. It sounds like a lot of the people in this thread need direction... if that's not you, great.) The main pitfalls I've encountered are these:
-You say "You're awesome. Maybe we should date." He/she hears "You're convenient. Maybe we should bone." Clarity is an absolute must, moreso than in any other conceivable relationship situation. Miscommunication can easily lead to resentment.
-You say "You're awesome. Maybe we should bone." He/she hears "Blah blah COMMITMENT." Do not let extraneous elements get mixed in! Again, clarity. Be honest--particularly with yourself. If you only want A, don't offer B and C to sweeten the pot. Also, do not offer casual sex to someone who has not in any way indicated that they'd be down. Particularly if they're in a relationship or conservative religious sect.
-You don't say anything. The friendship becomes strained because it's painful to be around that person sometimes, and even if the opportunity for a relationship later arose, the aversion has set in like a stain.
-You bring it up (or it is brought up to you) and he/she(/you) goes into an infinite "I have to think about this" loop. If this does not resolve quickly, it will not resolve cleanly. Cut your losses.
-Things seem to be moving slowly but surely toward the acquisition of benefits, possibly even romance... then he/she is dating someone out of the blue. No advice here but to wait, and meanwhile keep your options open. Failing to do so actually makes you less attractive. (If you're a guy, anyhow. I can't speak to the inverse.)
-You blurt out your hidden attraction to someone who is of an incompatible orientation. It's not cute; they won't make exceptions; welcome to the land of the dead. (Chasing Amy is the worst "relationship" movie of all time.) If you knew beforehand, it was a mistake to bring it up at all, even if it was painfully obvious to everyone. If not, you need to polish up that 'dar.
-(My god, I do go on, don't I?)
-Perhaps the biggest pitfall of all: do not fool yourself into believing that intelligence and compassion make you a special snowflake, the only one who can understand her/him. Humor, taste, and sound judgment are slightly more helpful, but only just. Your impact on another person is through actions. "Understanding" is no more useful than pining. Get out there, establish a heterosexual (or other) context, market yourself as a prospect, be a friend WHILE courting the person of your interest... profit.

Elennaro
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Elennaro » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:56 pm UTC

Maybe I'm being a bit thick here, but is Randall implying that relationships that grow out of friendships are always unfulfilling? My ex and I have just broken up, but we started off as friends, and did have a fulfilling relationship (while it lasted). And what's wrong with wanting to stay friends rather than risking everything and blurt it out to someone who you know is attracted to completely different people? I've done that a couple of times as well. Didn't get me into a relationship, but it did make sure that I kept my friends, and I've gotten over it since.

xkcdpasta
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xkcdpasta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:58 pm UTC

Tanith157 wrote:I'd like to thank Randall Munroe for providing the greatest motivation ever for just plain asking a girl out. The previous 'the worst that can happen is you embaress yourself' was comparitively lacking.


Is Tanith a girl's name? I knew a girl called Tanith once. She played Titania to my Bottom, talking of Shakespeare. If it is a girls name in this case then are you a girl looking to ask out another girl? If so, is the situation drawn here a familar one too?

xkcdpasta
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xkcdpasta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:00 pm UTC

Tevido - Awesome first post. Particularly: "You're awesome. Maybe we should date." = "You're convenient. Maybe we should bone."

tak
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby tak » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:01 pm UTC

There's a guy who's trying to do this to me right now.

It's odd, because I've said, quite bluntly, that I'm in no position to be in any kind of romantic relationship. And I haven't been for almost two years now.

And yet the matter gets pressed every so often, and I have to go through the awkward "why can't you just leave it be and be a friend?" thing. If he loves me as much as he's said, he'd just accept that and be my friend or GTFO. Either option is fine with me, so long as it gets the weirdness to go away. As friends, though, we've helped each other with a large variety of problems. I just have a feeling that the only way I'll be able to help him in the end is cutting him out of my life entirely so he can find somebody who could be more to him than I can.

But I'm a selfish user, so I probably won't do that.

jfpbookworm
Posts: 11
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby jfpbookworm » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:05 pm UTC

Steroid wrote:Thank you for making my point about quantum theory. Just by asking the question, or analyzing the issue in a certain way, changes the answer and makes me "a creep."


Your problem, I think, is that you've got a false binary in your head about this. Either ask for sex, or show no interest. Ask for a full-blown relationship, or show no interest. And the former versions are creepy not because you're asking, but because you're acting entitled, if not to the sex or relationship itself, to an on-the-spot answer.

For most folks, it doesn't work this way. People compliment. They flirt. They express interest, and look for cues that the other person is interested too. It can be tough for the socially awkward; combine it with all the toxic ideas we have about sex and gender in our culture and it can take *years* to overcome.

Steroid wrote:B) Sometimes I am interested in just sex, and have no respect for the woman otherwise. Feeling no categorical imperative in this situation, why shouldn't I lie to the woman, since doing so increases my chances to actually get her to sleep with me?


Why shouldn't you lie to someone to get them to do something they otherwise wouldn't? Are we in Ethics 101 here?

At the very least, don't say something like this and then pretend to be any sort of victim here. (Or are you defining "respect" as synonymous with "interested in a romantic relationship"? In which case, get over your madonna/whore complex already.)

Steroid wrote:What I hear is, "Well, get a categorical imperative and start respecting women because they deserve it!" Which doesn't help anyone.


Helps the people who are deserving of respect, no? (Or do women not count as "anyone"? I'm glad I'm not playing that drinking game.)

Steroid wrote:But again, what you're saying is: "Honesty about your self-interest: not appealing. Dishonesty: not appealing, but more likely to work. But be honest and less appealing because it's in the interest of women" How is that any more selfish than my position?


No, that's not what she was saying, as far as I can tell. It's not honesty about self-interest that's unappealing; it's the sense of entitlement involved.

RandomThoughts
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby RandomThoughts » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:11 pm UTC

Gonna make this one short:
GET OUT OF MY HEAD, RANDALL!
Last edited by RandomThoughts on Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:20 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Frankie
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Note for the guy in the comic

Postby Frankie » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:12 pm UTC

Advice from a happily married guy who also used to be just like that guy:

1: The young women that you're pining after don't really want to date jerks. What they want is a man with confidence and excitement. Unfortunately they have a hard time telling the difference between confidence and arrogance.

2: If you truly want to have a shot with this one, do NOT spend all of your time puppydogging around her. Be nice when she's there, but make a conscious effort to do more things with other people, until you're ready to go for it and make your move right out in the open.

3: She'll probably turn you down anyways. Move on.

4: As they get older, a reasonable percentage of women realize that they're doing it wrong, and start considering nice guys even if they aren't quite as exciting. They still want confidence, and by the time you're older, you might discover that you gained some along the way.

pyromuffin
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby pyromuffin » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:13 pm UTC

This is exactly how I feel about hot girls.
Real life attainable girls, on the other hand, I have no problem with.

Additives
Posts: 11
Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:14 pm UTC

Re: Friends Discussion

Postby Additives » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:14 pm UTC

Green9090 wrote:This marks perhaps the first time ever that xkcd has taken me from a state of being in a relatively good mood, and changed it to being depressed. Usually it's the other way around :(


Agree. Ninja'd from my heaad, best friend for the last 3 years, three of her boyfriends (1 great, two total jerks)...we even lived together for 10 months, but I was finally comming to terms with it and moving on when we ended up in Egypt together, bitching to each other about the total lack of opportunity for tourists to get decent no-strings sex in this country.

Maby somthing will happen, more likely it wont. I'm well past careing anymore.
Visit my site and tell me what you think: Additives

Blurgle
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby Blurgle » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:16 pm UTC

NoahTheDuke wrote:I agree with all the people who say that the "friend" is a jerk. That said, I also think this is quite relevant:

DragonflyBlade21: A woman has a close male friend. This means that he is probably interested in her, which is why he hangs around so much.


And she knows this how? She probably thinks he is interested in her AS A FRIEND and ONLY as a friend.

Does it really take a Ph.D. in psychology to figure out that if you show no overt sexual interest in someone but hang around with them, they are going to assume your interest is not sexual? I don't think so. You are sending the message that you are not interested in the woman by not asking her out, but at the same time you are expecting the woman to magically figure out through her invincible psychic powers that you really are interested in her.

She sees him strictly as a friend.


Of course she does. Did he have the guts to ask her out? No. He hung around her without making a move; that says to her that he's not sexually interested in her and actually (and this is the big part) WANTS TO BE HER FRIEND.

But instead he expected her to figure it out without giving her any clues, and when she doesn't she's the Big Bad Meanie.

And of course that is the point: you don't want the girl. You want to feel sorry for yourself because the Big Bad Meanie shot you down. You desperately want everyone to say "poor, poor, put-upon Noah", and feel sorry for you, and be angry at the Big Bad Meanie on your behalf.

It's all about playing the poor put-upon victim and getting attention.

Nice guys are NEVER nice. They are the biggest jerks around.
Last edited by Blurgle on Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:17 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

xkcdpasta
Posts: 46
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Re: "Friends" Discussion

Postby xkcdpasta » Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:16 pm UTC

Well said jpf...

I think Mr Steroid has just got back from his Continental Phil class. Or maybe it was the first Ethics 101 he'd attended in a while. Whatever the reason I think that that bringing the categorical imperative into this shows that he doesn't 'get' very much Kant.
Last edited by xkcdpasta on Fri Dec 05, 2008 3:21 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.


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