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Drama Mamas: Of friendship and hate

Drama Mamas Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are experienced gamers and real-life mamas -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of the checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your realm.

All About Eve: delicious drama, delicious acting, delicious writing. Do watch. This week's letter has not-so-delicious drama. Do read.
Dear Drama Mamas,

I met a person that I instantly hit it off with roughly 5 years ago. We became best friends almost overnight. She played DPS and I played a healer. We ran dungeons nightly together and formed a raid team where I was the main healer. We chewed glass weekly and the people in the raid were all awesome. We joked around, didn't get upset over wipes, and were generally stress-free; for a time, it was good.

Then there was the heroic ZG run.

I will never forget that night. It was my friend, myself, and an officer in the guild who I didn't know very well but was told was a cool guy. The tank was pugged. The tank had been a jerk to me throughout the entire run and wiped us twice because he kept attacking CCd targets then blaming it on me being a 'baddie'. So, I refused to heal him anymore. He could either leave the group, or we were kicking him in 10 minutes when the cooldown was up.
I sent a whisper to the officer since he doesn't know this is how I usually handle people being rude to me and/or my friends. I apologized for taking up his time but... he lost it. He left the group then went into guild chat to publicaly insult me and call me names. I didn't respond because I didn't want to fuel this. And then I was kicked from the guild. When the other officers saw this, they invited me back and said they were going to talk with that officer who I'll refer to as Zed from now on. They said Zed's behavior was unacceptable.

It came time for the raid that my friend and I run. I hop on and ask her for an invite only to be told I can't join because Zed is in the raid. "So? I don't have a problem grouping with him even though he treated me like that.". Turns out he refused to group with me so I wasn't allowed to come. That night, they finally killed the boss my team had been working for over a month on. I was furious.

As chance would have it, the guild was falling apart and my friend and I decided to form a new guild with some of our close friends. [...] Then, due to financial issues, I had to disappear for about 3 months.

I come back to find Zed online. Wait, what? Why is this guy, who's been causing me so much grief, in the guild? Does my friend know (she's the guild leader)? [...] She invited him while I was gone. [...] I decide to give Zed another chance. Right off the bat he's complaining to my friend that I'm taking things out of the bank (I managed the bank before I left). The breaking point came when he put me on ignore on all of his characters because he's still upset about that fateful dungeon run.

[...] Of the original members it's just me, my friend, her fiance, and a warrior buddy of mine. I feel like my friend has betrayed me. She shouldn't have invited Zed into the guild when she knows our history and knows that he's been causing problems with me all the time.

[much drama redacted]

Now she's regularly running heroic dungeons with Zed healing. I can group with her maybe once in a day if that. [...] The guild has pretty much ostracized me because they all think Zed is a great guy so there must be something off with me if I'm stubbornly refusing to group with him. I decide to confront him explaining why I'm upset, wondering why he thinks I owe him an apology when I haven't ever done anything directly to him, etc... Turns out he's offended that I offended his friend (through a poor joke which I resolved with his buddy ages ago).

Zed catches on that I'm refusing to group with him when he's told he can't come to the single heroic I get to do with my friend every other day. [...] Now he threatens to leave the guild if there's going to be segregation between members.

Yesterday I realized that I was so unhappy with this game. I was unhappy with this guild and it's clear the friendship of 5 years that I used to have is just not quite there anymore. She says she still wants to group with me but every time we plan to do anything she tries to bring Zed so I end up leaving and she spends the rest of the night with Zed. She says she's tired of me making her feel guilty but, if she was a good friend to me she would have no cause to feel guilty would she?

The new members in the guild see me as an outsider that just hates on their favorite guild member for some irrational reason. My friend sees me as a stubborn burden as she has to plan who she groups with and when so everybody's happy, and Zed thinks everything is cool between us but I can't get past my hate issues. I'm tired of being stressed out all the time and I'm tired of making my friend feel stressed, angry, and guilty all of the time.

I want to leave this guild. But it feels so late in the game to jump to a new guild after my history with this one. Should I hop servers for a clean slate? Maybe switch factions for a really fresh start? It's extremely difficult to just leave my friend after 5 years (we were so close that we even texted during the day outside of the game). Do I work through my issues with this guy since I'm the only person that still can't move on or do I just go for broke and start from scratch? I'm just so tired of all of this drama. It feels so unfair that this cancer made its way into my guild by the hands of my friend who chose to keep him around... but, life's not fair.

I would appreciate any insights or advice you might have.

Sincerely,
Anonymous
Drama Mama RobinDrama Mama Robin: Anonymous, I've had to severely edit your letter due to space concerns. And though I prefer brevity, the extended explanation of your situation has informed me enough to feel confident in my advice.

Fasten your seatbelt. It's going to be a bumpy reply.

I'm going to start off with the good stuff. After the original dungeon run that started all of this, Zed handled the situation like a power-drunk drama queen. He of course should have expressed his opinion of your behavior with you in private, and he should not have unilaterally gkicked you. He also should never have ignored your characters. As I've said before, if you have to ignore a guildie, one of you is in the wrong guild.

Unfortunately, with the behavior you've described, that person is you.

Let's break it down:
  • You gave the pug tank an ultimatum without first discussing it with the rest of the group, particularly your own guildies. Uncool, man.
  • You left for three months and expected the guild to not have moved on without you. Of course you are going to be replaced in the core group, and of course the GM -- friend or no -- is going to get the best people for the job. If you're not around, getting someone with whom you have a personality conflict is not a big deal.
  • Did the GM agree that you should just take over bank management duties again? Assuming is rarely a good thing to do. Zed should have complained, though your friend shouldn't have told you. She seems to be more of a friend to you than a good drama-avoider.
  • You make this huge fuss about Zed being around. It's no wonder he's not happy that you're back.
  • You also insulted Zed's friend at one point? Hmm.
  • You keep giving your friend ultimatums, even though Zed is still willing to group with you.
  • You continue to be the difficult guildie and wonder why everyone is siding with the one who is willing to compromise.
What's the saying? If you meet one jerk in a day, it's him. If you meet two, that's unlucky. If you meet three jerks, it's you.

Your friend has done the opposite of betray you. She has kept you in the guild and befriended you even though you have treated her and her guild terribly. She keeps asking you to group with her, hoping that you'll finally relent and try to get along with her other friend, Zed. I admire your friend for her loyalty to you, but think that she should have let you go the first time you gquit.

I don't think you can get over your feelings of resentment toward Zed, otherwise I would suggest apologizing to the entire guild as a whole and your friend and Zed in private. So I definitely think it is time for you to go -- while still keeping in contact with your friend via Battletag or Real ID.

Whatever you do and wherever you go, never refuse to group with a guildie. And stop issuing ultimatums in guild or groups. You'll meet fewer jerks. I promise.

Drama Mama LisaDrama Mama Lisa: So much drama, so little WoW ... Anonymous, you are spending more time dictating the terms under which you'll play than you are actually playing. I believe they call the proper response to that situation "less QQ, more pew pew."

You managed to partially resolve some of this mess when you decided to apologize to Zed to smooth things over. Unfortunately, you didn't come to grips with your feelings, and you continue to act like a drama queen, refusing to group with him and destroying the guild atmosphere.

What is it that you value here? You say you value your friend's friendship, yet you continue to rip it to shreds with petty demands. You say you value your guild, yet you sow drama by feeding a poisonous situation. If you truly value either of those things, Anonymous, you must bring your relationship with them into focus immediately and repair the damage. The alternative is to admit that you care less about your old friend and the guild than you do your own feelings and your ability to play as you like -- in which case the natural solution is to cut ties without rancor and move on.

Less QQ, more pew pew. Put it on a sticky note on your monitor. You can't control what other people in a multiplayer game do, say, or think. You can control what you do, say, or think. Controlling your scene doesn't mean manipulating and domineering other people; it means shaping your relationships through thoughtful behavior.

No more QQ, Anonymous. Just pew pew. If you can't stop the QQ, go someplace else to pew pew.

Phew.

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with a little help and insight from the Drama Mamas. Play nice ... and when in doubt, ask the Drama Mamas at robin@wowinsider.com. Read Robin's section of this post on how to get your letter answered and please remember that we cannot answer privately.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

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