Today’s question is from Ella from /r/StopGaming and it’s about how to develop better relationships, which I definitely agree is a main focus we need to have after we quit gaming.
Press play and watch my answer from Long Beach, California:
One of the reasons why we play games is because they are where our community hangs out, it fulfills our social relationships. I believe gaming is really more of just the activity we are doing and it’s the needs it fulfills that causes us to continue to play, even if we don’t want to.
Feeling anxious about trying to improve our ability to have better relationships after we quit is normal. I relate to this because growing up I was bullied a lot, which caused me to isolate and stay in my room all day playing games.
But the thing is, I was still lonely, and it’s this loneliness you need to pay attention to. If you’re feeling lonely even though you’re playing games, you need to take a break and start working on feeling less lonely in your life.
And this is exactly what happened to me. So when I quit I decided to start learning how to make new friends and improve my social skills. I knew I couldn’t continue to live my life the way I was and even though I didn’t know how to improve my social skills, I was going to figure it out.
So how do you train yourself to develop better relationships?
At first I started going out every night, sober, to clubs. I did this for a couple years but then I realized I didn’t really like clubs or the types of people I was meeting, so I switched it up.
And I followed these two strategies:
1. Who do you want to meet?
For me, that was entrepreneurs, who like to travel, who are more conscious, who want to leave a positive difference in the world, who would be a good friend, people who are ambitious, people going after their dreams who inspire me, and people who can teach me.
Now you: Write down three qualities you want in your friends.
2. Where do these types of people hang out?
Now you: Check out Meetups, clubs at school or events in your area. Find one you can go to this week and make it happen.
But what if you’re anxious? Use this mindset.
The biggest difference in my life now between when I played video games and where I am today is due to the people I’ve surrounded myself with, and I’ve done it very intentionally and from the ground up. I was bullied in school, I didn’t have any friends, people told me I’d be a 36 year old bum, and I’ve proved them wrong.
But I’ve done it by surrounding myself by people who believe in me, but first by believing in myself first. Thanks for the question.