I freely admit, I am socially inept.
An acquaintance, a member of our gaming community, unexpectedly Instant Messaged me this morning, drunken ramblings from another side of the world. It must have been at least 3am his time. At first I thought I was going to be called to task for overstepping boundaries at our community, or interrogated about the how, why and what of all that I've been doing in setting up a squad.
But the conversation rambled on, pointless. This isn't someone who has ever IM'd me just for the sake of conversation. I was tempted to ask "So, why'd you IM me?" or "So, what's up?" in order to prompt an opening to any awkward query that might be on his mind, but I did not brave such action. Instead I only commented that he is loved by many in our community, since he was talking about what good friends he has and what they will do for him.
He closed with noting that he has good friends because he is a good friend.
I could not reply. I was left speechless. Ramp up the paranoia.
I have long been aware that I am not a good friend; I honestly said so when asked just a few months ago by my own husband. I really do not see myself as a good friend at all.
I am logical and practical: I remember my friend's birthdays because I memorize them or keep them on my calendar, but I don't contact them on their birthday.
I am antisocial: When friends extend invitations I often make excuses to not come, or if they show up uninvited at my house, I tend to drop subtle hints that they need to leave. I do not extend invitations to others to come to my house.
I am analytical: I see all sides of a disagreement among friends, acquaintances and teammates, and I can always find validity in both sides; I do not choose sides, thus alienating those who thought I was a friend. I see it this way: most arguments stem from poor communication skills between the two parties coupled with lack of empathy on one or both sides. Consequently I find most disagreements moot and will not stand by a friend who is making an ass of himself (as I did recently - and I didn't expect others to stand by me when I made an ass of myself) just because some other bloke can't express himself well.
I do not hold grudges for friendship sake: I do not remember who harmed or insulted whom because, as above, I find most disagreements are rooted in miscommunication between the two parties and therefore not worth my choosing one person over the other.
I am selfish: I only remember personal grievances of my very own because these are the only injuries that I hold to myself (but even these I set aside or repress in the interest of more practical, logical accomplishment progression).
I am self-centered: I see others as entities to be directed, sorted, and advised.
After spending some time away from the computer, guilt racking my mind and painful memories of the past spawning emotional turmoil (with much self-derision I admit this line of thought brought me to crying in the shower), I went through all these logic paths and came to a comforting, if somewhat cold, conclusion.
Because I am not a good friend, I am a good bureaucrat.
I am painfully aware of my flaws: I'm self-protective with a weak emotional consitution - a horrid combination.