Negative Nick

“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,

Andrew Hales


Los Angeles, CA








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