(EDIT: For those who aren’t familiar with my usual vocabulary, please note that I use the term “yelling” very loosely and when I use it, its kind of tongue-in-cheek.)
I had this odd thought last night.
I had died to Legion Flame on Jaraxxus.
I don’t know how I died to Legion Flame on Jaraxxus. I ran and everything. I even used my mouse to turn! But after my face ended up on the floor, I checked my combat log and sure enough it read “pwned by legion flame u fail n00b” (I have the settings on my combat log set to “illiterate arrogant bastard.”)
Generally when I screw up, I quickly try to think of ways to blame it on someone else. I have a lot of practice at that and can be pretty creative. But no, not last night. Last night, the first thing that crossed my mind was:
“I hope I get yelled at.”
My second thought was “Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?”
Ok, time for some background. I was that kid in the first grade who always cried when she got in trouble. I was also that kid in high school who always cried when she got in trouble. I don’t know how my fellow students let me get away with it (I suppose being freakishly tall and kind of rough had it strong points) but fact remains, I tend to take everything personally. I don’t hold grudges for those things, otherwise I’d lead a very miserable life, but I do go out of my way to avoid being scolded.
So why did I suddenly want to get punished?
I think having Windsoar’s post about raid leading styles on my mind had a lot to do with it. I’ve been enjoying pondering the culture shock I experienced (and loved!) when I went from a laid back raiding guild a more performance oriented guild. While things are still pretty civil, feedback is faster, more direct and sometimes tinted with, um, manly emotions. When I joined I was a little nervous, after all, I’m a fragile crybaby and I didn’t get the chance to listen in on a raid before joining. But it’s been a few weeks now and other than my usual (and somewhat excessive) shyness, I haven’t been stressed at all by the raid environment. If anything, I giggle when the guys get carried away at each other. It’s like they prod each other until they get mad and take their aggression out on the fight. It’s very in-the-moment and never seems personal. Everyone gets a little hassle for their mistakes, regardless of their place in the guild. It even seems that the better players get pointed out more than us new recruits. (I think they do purposely go easy on me, which is nice because it does take me longer than the average player to adjust to a new team.)
But that still doesn’t explain why I suddenly have an urge to be punished.
One of the habits I’m trying to rid myself of is listing of every one of my screw ups at the end of every fight. I may be a fragile crybaby, but I’m really hard on myself. My mind is constantly racing. Did I do ok? Would could I do better? Why am I epic failing right now? Of course, now that I don’t advertise everything I do wrong in raid chat, I ended up posting my list on the internet, but, you know, baby steps. It’s like there’s this process engraved my head:
1- Do something wrong.
2- Feel crappy about it.
3- Feel better.
Like, to feel better, I have to feel crappy first. I’ve done yoga for a few years and whenever I look for a new instructor, I have a test: I give them 30 minutes to make me cry. Because if it doesn’t hurt like hell, it’s not working as well as it could. There’s a purging feeling that comes with the exertion. It makes my mind quiet.
Kind of weird how things work. I never, in a million years, expected that I would want to be yelled at (ok, yelled is a strong term, maybe scolded). Yet, I’m seeing having attention brought to my mistakes by someone other than myself as a replacement for the annoying, cruel inner voice. I don’t think it pushes me to perform better like it does for the guys: it doesn’t make me mad or bring out my aggressive side. I always give my best, no matter what. But it does get me past the “feel crappy about it” stage a lot faster. Plus, it’s less squirmy than thinking: “Geez I wonder if I’m annoying everyone with my failures“. If I screw up, I know I screw up, they all know I screwed up and I know that they know I screwed up. (Confused yet?) It’s all out in the open. Finally, there’s somewhat of a team element to it. I like being treated like everyone else, at the best of times and at the worst of times.
Funny the lessons I learn from my video game life.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, no one said a peep about my dying to Legion Flame (because clearly, it wasn’t a big deal and its just a funny example). Well, besides my combat log’s illiterate arrogant bastard settings.