“I’m just trying to bring you back down.”
Nick (that’s not his name) and I were grabbing a beer in Salt Lake City somewhere in the fall of 2014. I had just posted a picture of my 95% naked body on Instagram as part of the inspiration for a video titled “Awkward Modeling” which we wouldn’t get around to filming for another year. It was raking in the likes and I was getting psyched about it when Nick facetiously muttered, “You’re really cool bro.”
“Why do you do that, why do you say stuff like that?” I replied defensively.
There’s a silent pause. We sip our beers. This type of energy had been an ongoing pebble in each of our shoes for the last year, and this was the first time I had said anything about it.
“I’m just trying to bring you back down.”
For the first time in a while, his voice carried a vulnerable tone of sincerity and pierced right through the buzz of our drinks. Slightly annoyed, I looked back down at my phone and continued to get lost in my shallow world of social media.
Another time in Vegas with a group of friends, we were all pre-gaming in the hotel room, surging our dopamine receptors with magnificently fake & euphoric confidence, gabbing about doing a sketch comedy show because we’re “So funny in real life! It would just be like workaholics! We’re all friends, we should do it!” Me: “Ya I’m definitely ready to try something new haha” Nick: “Ya, seriously, I don’t watch your videos haha” I roll with the punch like it’s nothing, “haha ya, they are all kind of the same…”
That was back in 2013. By that point I had been building LAHWF for about a year and was fairly used to criticism and ‘haters’, but when it came from one of my best friends who I considered really funny and had spiritual-like chemistry with, it just stung a little harder than normal.
I’m making it sound like Nick was a total asshole, and at times it certainly felt that way, but looking back now years later I realized how full of myself I actually was. The phrase “Don’t let it go to your head” flew right past me and left me floating around in a foggy, fabled fuck-I’m-great fantasy of falsehood. Hashtag alliteration. In my head, the more views I got, the more famous and richer and ‘great’ I became, and this bubble of ego just kept growing exponentially, parallel with my channel.
I distinctly remember one particular douchey thing I said that I never forgot. Nick had mentioned he ran into this girl that I had a dated for a month or two and I thoughtlessly remarked, “oh how is she? Is she over me yet? Hahaha”. Not laughing, Nick just looked at me confused and annoyed. I quickly backpedaled, “Oh wow, that was kind of a douchey thing to say huh.” His face eased a little, “uh, ya kinda haha.” This annoying, new aura I carried around naturally tormented Nick as well as a few of my other friends and I was completely oblivious to it. Nick was one of the few that called me out on it.
It’s interesting how you can sometimes look back at the way “negative” people treated you years ago and have a drastically different paradigm. My view of Nick and other “negative” people today is much more open-minded and accurate. He was only trying to bring me back ‘down to earth’. I could easily excuse Nick’s negative remarks as jealousy, or I could seek to understand where my friend of 15+ years was coming from. Your true friends will tell you when you’re being a douchebag. Of course, there’s always a balance.
Thanks for reading,
Los Angeles, CA
7 thoughts on “Negative Nick”
Very interesting perspective.
I usually have more clear cut and open minded respect for the Nick’s that rag on the Don Draper types. But as another commenter has said, it seems a bit off, more uneasy, and worthily controversial to “come at” the people just halfway there. The people who need the support of friends. Who need fan praise. They’re hungry and it’s just a temporary moment, neccessary in succeeding with all ambitions. Being ultra confident isn’t bad. Things like, “she get over me yet?” is obviously douchey and not okay, but if my longtime friend had said that, I’d nip it right in the bud AND also not assume the worst of them. And definitely wouldn’t behave passive agressive.
We all have our moments, including Nick–whether he has someone calling him out for it, or not. He may have mostly being fearing losing both a friend and a good guy to a culture of falseness, or he may have been confused about watching his awkward, privately funny, pal, suddenly (seemingly) gaining a fambase, or he may just be especially irritable to self pride in other’s and other emotions or experiences he doesn’t relate to. I agree with not assuming “jealousy” of others, but lacking jealously isn’t proof of righteousness. I’m sure he’s a fine guy and has love for you, but I wouldn’t hang with someone so unsupportive and refuses to fully speak their mind. He has a petty and shady streak that can potentially weigh done a total prick or a man finding and embracing himself for the first time in his life and wants to smile about it.
I believe that we all need to ease up and let others shine without feeling threatened or impulsively starting up judgement. It won’t change anything besides making a good person feel shittier or just downright confused. Cause an actual douche will simply disregard such criticism, and conciously not change anything about themselves upon being called out. That D would get pissy and then cut “haters” off. That’s what I’ve seen anyway.
It’s definitely and interesting debate and topic: How much ego is acceptable? + *Is it more important for a friend to regard us optimistically and with understanding?* V.S. “Or rather as a reflection for self awareness, and work to provide us a counter focus via humbling and toughening us?* I follow the first option. I want my friend to be interesting and enjoyable to be around. And in turn, I’ll automatically treat them to loyalty and support. That’s just me though… I really don’t know how most operate. Maybe every Andrew needs a Nick and vice versa. And maybe some people are meant for friends unlike either.
And I’m sure, it’s trickier with the friends you’ve know super long because while the friendship may be powerful and strong, it isn’t rooted in choice after a point and mostly just a, “that’s my friend, cause he’s kind of always been my friend…” I assume it’s more difficult for either party to properly self evaluate in those cases. I’ve moved millions of times and don’t have any friendships older than six years, and even so, I place myself and well being before all (not politically speaking ofc, I’m very passionate in regards to social activism of children, disabled, poor, etc, lol), and am very adaptable so no one being can make me obsessed, really. I don’t believe people are replaceable but other versions and unqiue and fun people are always to found, EVERYWHERE. And for that reason I never see a need to settle. I wouldn’t be satisified while surrounded by people/someone intent in “putting me in my place.” I’d walk away from that.
And that might be a personality thing. I have no problem believing that a braver person would sit and take it, learn from it, and be content with what they found and the angle they find it at. I’m just not that person, though.
Love these posts… So much to consider.
This blog really nails what it means to, “learn from every encounter and journey you hear about.” This is what education and self improvement is. Very interesting, questioning, vulnerable, unnerving, uncertain and human. 👌👏
I really want to thank you for sharing your thoughts and your personal experiences.
Its helpful to know, that there are more people with similar feelings, problems, thoughts or whatever you wanna call it..
I personally dont dislike social medias, as everything it has its ups and downs. But i think at the time being, it causes a lot of difficulties especially for the younger generation. Unfortunately, i dont see it getting better anytime soon..
PS: sorry if my english isnt on point, isnt my native language..
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“Walking with a friend in the dark is better than walking alone in the light”
– Helen Keller
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Not sure I agree with Neg Nick’s tactics of bringing you down, but I like the idea of not writing that stuff off as just jealousy– even if on some level it is, there’s probably more to it.
Really digging this style of post, I think you’re getting to Marc Maron levels of level-headed vulnerability. Ever considered doing a podcast? I feel like it could be a good medium for your longer interviews.
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I am a follower of LAHWF for three years and I followed your second channel for two years.
I just felt watching a vlog, but there are no new vlogs. So I looked at your twitter ’cause I thought: ‘Maybe there is something going on’.
I couldnt find anything, so I clicked the link to this blog & it is really calming and relaxing to read it! Maybe you can promote this blog in one of your vlogs, I think that there are more people that want to read them!
Benjamin de Haas
Ive came to this same conclusion this year… but. What if these people would’ve never tried to, “bring you back down to earth”? Your drive for success would’ve ben fed by your ego and you wouldn’t of noticed and you’d be rich as fuck now. I sometimes look at this as, they’re trying to bring you back down to their level, where they’re humble but they have no drive, they’re not hungry for success and money and fame as someone who is swimming in their ego and their drive is off the roof. I think ego and drive come hand in hand and as shitty as it makes you, it gets you places. Nick is the kind of person that you need when you’ve already made it to the top and you need to come down. Not the one who bring you down when you’re halfway there.
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