After you quit playing video games you start to realize that most of your friends are gamers, and that’s actually kind of scary. What will happen if you quit? Will you lose all of your friends?
What I want you to know is that you don’t necessarily have to lose all of your friends, so check out the video:
Now what I want you to know is that there are two different strategies you want to implement in order to deal with this situation.
The first is how to stay friends with your gamer friends, and to do this what you want to do is find a new way to interact with them that is outside of games.
So you want to create more distance and that doesn’t mean disappearing it just means interacting with them on Facebook or Skype or something other than on Steam or in voice chat, where you can still maintain the friendships but they don’t trigger you.
You also want to have a conversation with them and let them know that you’re taking a break from games and to not invite you to play.
Now when you tell them this some of them will be triggered and get really defensive. This happens because gaming is something that means so much to them (and meant so much to you), that for you to quit that can cause them to feel threatened about why they play themselves.
Of course this isn’t fair, nor does your decision to quit have anything to do with them playing, but I just want you to be prepared for this because it’s very common. Unfortunately.
With the friends that get defensive and more or less aren’t very supportive of your decision to quit, you want to create a boundary. You can reiterate that you have decided to quit and you are asking them not to invite you to play.
Now not all of your friends will honor this, and I had this too, so just make sure you have a default answer anytime someone asks you to play. I would just say: “No, thank you and please don’t ask me to play.”
Again, some won’t honor this and for those you need to recognize that if they really were your friends they would be more supportive – who are they to tell you what to do? – so you want to create a stronger boundary and I would cut off contact with these friends.
Remember, you are deciding to quit because you are deciding to quit, and regardless of why you want to quit you are allowed to make that decision for yourself. Don’t ever let anybody else take that away from you.
Throughout life, your friends are going to come and go. That’s ok, it’s called the impermanence of life.
The second is starting to learn how to make new friends who aren’t gamers. If you just stay friends with your gamer friends eventually you’ll be tempted more and more to play because that is how you can connect with them.
To do this, you want to recognize that with gaming you found a sense of community, and you did this by exploring new games, getting involved in the areas people hung out (forums, streams, etc) and then you started to connect more with people.
So now that you’ve quit gaming you want to follow a similar path. Find some new activities and go hang out in areas where people who do those activities hang out. Watch this video for more on that.
By implementing both of these strategies, finding new ways to interact with your current gamer friends and being intentional to make new friends that aren’t gamers, you’ll be able to rebuild and grow your social circle and you won’t even notice the friends you have lost that weren’t supportive of you anyways.