Rules of Engagement

I can’t take credit for this idea… I got the idea from a friend of mine who I’ve known for a very long time. I think that this page will help people when meeting me for the first time or continuing friendship with me.

Some of the things listed are common sense and what most “decent” people live by, but I think that they need to be addressed. I know that it may seem odd for me to post such a thing, but I think that it will help me build better friendships and relationships in the future if I have some of the things laid out where everyone can read them. (Decent is in quotes because everyone’s view of decency could be different from person to person and it’s completely subjective, but that’s another post for another day.)

Please don’t consider this a document “law” or anything else, especially as every friendship is as different as the people in it. (Consider them guidelines.)

Summary:

I’d rather you text than call. Be honest and direct. I occasionally have problems expressing myself. I often don’t say “I love you” enough. I couldn’t hear until I was an older child which explains some things. If I have the hots for you and you don’t for me, don’t be afraid to tell me. I hate being strung along. I’m sober. Never be afraid to be yourself. I value friendships.

I have also declared Crocker’s Rules:

Declaring yourself to be operating by Crocker's Rules means that other people are allowed to optimize their messages for information, not for being nice to you.  Crocker's Rules means that you have accepted full responsibility for the operation of your own mind - if you're offended, it's your fault.  Anyone is allowed to call you a moron and claim to be doing you a favor.  (Which, in point of fact, they would be.  One of the big problems with this culture is that everyone's afraid to tell you you're wrong, or they think they have to dance around it.)  Two people using Crocker's Rules should be able to communicate all relevant information in the minimum amount of time, without paraphrasing or social formatting.  Obviously, don't declare yourself to be operating by Crocker's Rules unless you have that kind of mental discipline.

Note that Crocker's Rules does not mean you can insult people; it means that other people don't have to worry about whether they are insulting you.  Crocker's Rules are a discipline, not a privilege.  Furthermore, taking advantage of Crocker's Rules does not imply reciprocity.  How could it?  Crocker's Rules are something you do for yourself, to maximize information received - not something you grit your teeth over and do as a favor.

"Crocker's Rules" are named after Lee Daniel Crocker.

Drugs &| Alcohol:

I do not currently use drugs or alcohol. I have in my past and I’m moving past it. This may change someday, but for the meantime, I’d rather be sober and there for people than be in an altered state of mind and potentially useless. However, nootropics and substances used for medical purposes aren’t classified under this paragraph as “drugs”.

Communicating with me:

I communicate better in textual form than any other mode of communication. Therefore, if I’m not sitting across from you and I can’t see you, please communicate with me textually. This can be over text messaging, Facebook Messenger, SnapChat, or Kik. If you’d like a secure mode of communication, please let me know and we can setup something.

   

Why do I communicate better in text?

I couldn’t hear properly until I was an older child, therefore some of my social skills aren’t as refined as someone else my age. Sometimes I have problems with volume control. In addition, I’ve been on a computer since I was four and most of the friends I had when I was younger were found on bulletin board systems (FidoNet) and IRC.

Basically, I like textual communication because it was my first form of communication with my peers. I will, at times, stutter if I’m forming my thoughts quicker than can be expressed in verbal communication, so please have patience with me as I will occasionally need to take a pause in a conversation to collect my thoughts.

Relationships/Friendships:

I process emotions differently than other (probably most) people, so I think that it’s important for me to let you know about the following concerns if you’re interested in pursuing a platonic friendship or a romantic relationship with me.

  1. Be direct and honest with me in all things. (Please see the Crocker’s rules post above.)
  2. If you’re reading this, then there is no reason what-so-ever to feel awkward when you communicate with me. People should never fear embarrassment with me. I will accept you for all you are, including quirks and isms. Never feel awkward or embarrassed with me.
  3. If you’re interested in a romantic or sexual relationship with me, please tell me. (See #2). I am very dense whenever it comes to people flirting with me, so either make it VERY obvious or simply tell me. It’ll save us time. Never make assumptions based on my past.
  4. Everyone is allowed to change their mind.
  5. If I have expressed interest in a romantic relationship with you and you do not feel the same, explicitly tell me. You can do it via text. Simply state something along the lines of, “I’m not interested in a romantic relationship.” If you reject me, we can still be platonic friends if you’d like. I really do not understand why people have such a difficult time with this.
  6. If I ever reject you, I will do so with honesty and grace. However, I would rather not give you a specific reason as to why I rejected you. I do not expect you to tell me why you reject me. The reasons for this are:
    1. I don’t want you to change anything about yourself for me.
    2. I wouldn’t want to change anything about myself for you.
  7. If I’m in a relationship with you and you’d like to end it, please do so promptly and with honesty as soon as you have doubts. There is no need to string me along. I will give you the same respect.
  8. Do not expect me to chase after you. If I’ve expressed romantic interest more than twice and you either don’t reciprocate or you ignore me, I’ll consider you not interested. If I’m interested in someone, I’ll make time for them or I’ll tell them I’m too busy at the moment. There is no reason that you shouldn’t (within a couple of days) answer a message from me, especially when I can tell when you’ve read it. If you’re too busy, just tell me. I’m very serious whenever it comes to my friendships and relationships. I do not like wasting time on individuals that would rather play games or ignore me.
  9. If I love you, I may not say it or express it as much as you need me to, so please let me know ahead of time your needs and I will try to accommodate them. In past relationships, people thought that I didn’t love them because I didn’t express it as much as they needed me to. Please don’t let this happen.
  10. If you’re a new person in my life, please do not say “I love you” without clarification for the purpose of the declaration the first time you say it. If you failed to give clarification the first time you said it, you may need to do so the next time you do. If the intent changes at a later time, such as moving from platonic feelings to romantic ones, please indicate it when you feel the change. I believe in platonic as well as romantic love, but if I’ve expressed any interest in you romantically, please do not say “I love you” without giving me its purpose if you meant it in a platonic way.
  11. I do not believe in “awkward silence”. Small talk is generally annoying to me as I have to do that all day with strangers. I can enjoy time with you without needing to always be talking about something. We can be awkward together!
  12. My emotions and how I express them may vary from day to day, but remember that I do enjoy and value your friendship or relationship. If I seem cold to you one day, I assure you that it’s not your fault and it’s more than likely something that I’m internalizing or going through. You being there helps, regardless of what I may say at the time.

If you see me out and about somewhere alone or with others, please feel free to give me a hug and say hello. I love hugs. I don’t get enough of them and you probably don’t either. Plus, I’d like all of my friends to know each other at some point, so why not start then? (Example, if I’m at Epoch hanging out with a couple of friends, don’t be shy or scared to approach me while I’m in a group.)

Friends would describe me as: intense at times with varying degrees of emotional expression, logical, friendly, well rounded, a handyman, a computer guru (Linux), a great friend to have, giving, loyal, and caring.