Life is a Team game

Hello fuzzbutts,

I’ve been seeing a lot of lonely people lately. I’ve also seen others who have friends but apparently don’t even like them. Always complaining or being exhausted by relentless drama. Especially given the current atmosphere lately and how many people seem to be losing “friendships” due to differences of beliefs, it’s easy to feel lonely and isolated. So there’s people playing the game of life solo and others are playing with a bunch of toxic randos.

Unfortunately, there’s no getting around the fact we need others. Yes, it’s important to be able to be on your own and satisfied with your own company. Absolutely. On the other hand, it’s also important to be around those who will help you grow and motivate you to do better!

So today’s post is to have you evaluate your relationships or what you’re doing right now and start exploring some more. It doesn’t even have to be in this fandom! Try to find a community interested in the same things as you that also motivates you to be a better you. I met an artist recently and suddenly I found myself way more motivated to do even more art practice. I also dipped back from some relationships that were draining me. Is there anyone you know who inspires and motivates you? Is there an interest you have and a community around that will get you more active?

Look for the qualities you want in your own life and look around for those who are already there or interested in doing the same thing! Your path to growth will be accelerated by having others help keep you going!

Random Acts of Love

Hello fuzzbutts!

Tonight I wanted to talk about something I’ve been doing recently. Lately, I finally decided to take the pressure off myself as far as dating and enjoy my own company more while spending less time stressing about romance or being on the numerous apps I used. I noticed a shift in myself as I actually felt much more relaxed than I have in a while. More than that, I’ve found myself spreading this energy out to those around me and I feel like it’s been good for me and the responses I get make me feel even better.

Know anyone who creates? I happen to have friends who make a lot of art and also follow a ton of talented artists I’ve never spoken to. I happen to like their art. So why not tell them it’s great? Heck, if I get more than 20 favorites on a piece of art, I feel awesome. I feel even more awesome when people actually comment something positive on the piece. So how would they feel if I sent them a direct note? So that’s what I’ve been doing- Emailing, direct messaging, or noting the artists and creators once in a while that I appreciate their work and just how I think they’re so talented and amazing.

It’s a small gesture. It’s extremely small for something in a fandom where the content creators are really what drives the furry fandom. I feel the love of furry art, fursuits, and other media is what bring us furries together. The artistic world is full of self-doubt so you never know when an artist is feeling a little self-conscious or down on their abilities. So let them know you appreciate their work and how you feel about what they produce.

As a disclaimer, do not do this AND THEN ASK FOR SOMETHING. Nobody likes feeling manipulated and it undoes any good feeling the artist was getting from your compliment. It’s just a bad move and it’s not cool. Send a genuine compliment and just let them know you like their art.

Don’t Burn Your Bridges

Hello fuzzbutts!

Work is rough. Work is tough. You’ve been slaving away at your job and having a difficult time. You’re looking for a way out, sending your info and resume out to find a new job. Finally, you find a new opportunity! You’re all set! Time to leave! Now you can give everyone a piece of your mind, flipping the bird as you make your triumphant exit.

Don’t do that. It’s not classy. Also, depending on your industry, it could easily come back to bite your tail. In Southern California, if you work in science, it’s a small world! There’s a ton of companies but turn-over is high and people scatter around quick. In my current job, I’ve seen technicians show up at our place of business where they all worked with my coworkers in my past. I’ve also heard people talk about giving references for other contacts. Sure, it might feel great to let everything boil over and spew over those jerks now that you’re leaving. Head out the door after unloading all your grievances and you can forget about references. Not only that, though. Those people will eventually move to new jobs for whatever reason and you’ll eventually leave this new job for something else. Imagine you apply for a job, have a decent interview, and then one of those people you unloaded on has a private word with the person considering to hire you. So much for the new new job.

On top of that, sometimes it’s not the job itself but your compensation for it. You’re looking for something new to earn more cash and feel a bit more appreciated. I’ve seen a lot of people where they start to slow down in their work, eventually to the point where multiple people are wondering “What do they even do anymore?” People remember the quality of your work at the end. If you’ve pretty much quit your job while still collecting a pay check, it builds a sour taste in the mouths of those around you. I had a great coworker who got tired of his job. We were friends until the last couple months when he gave up on the job and all his work went to me. Not cool, bruh.

Sometimes you know there’s a job out there where you don’t care about going back to there. I did seasonal work at the now-defunct Toys R Us and went in while sick. I eventually decided it wasn’t worth the effort. I went to the manager and let them know I wouldn’t be in tomorrow and that I was quitting. I didn’t storm in there, talk about how poorly run the place was or the crazy stressful situation of seasonal work at a toy store. I was polite, sick, and straight-forward. Granted it was still during the seasonal period so I knew there wouldn’t be a “next year” if I wanted to come back. That was a possibility I seriously considered and I still made the decision. With my career now, it’s important to keep a good, honest reputation because it turns out my contacts, especially my former director, know a lot of people around the country.

Anyway, the point is to be good to those around you, whether it’s at work or just in your daily life. You never know if you’ll meet up again and you need to weigh the short-term good feelings against the long term.

Good luck, fuzzbutts!

Being Pawsitive!

Good morning Fuzzbutts!

One thing I keep seeing furries do on social media like Twitter or Ferzu, is furries just begging for compliments, posting about how depressed or lonely they are, or even going as far as to wonder aloud to a bunch of strangers whether anyone would notice if they were gone. I swear my head wants to slam on the desk every time I see these posts. It’s not unexpected- we’re a huge bunch of social misfits who dress up in animal costumes to have fun! Still, don’t publicize your negative mood and expect anything other than pity responses to help you feel better. Pity responses help you feel better until you reach the end of the response. Then you’re back to waiting for other pity posts. Worse, if nobody responds to it, you end up making yourself feel even more badly!

I don’t recall anyone I’ve met and had a good, lasting relationship with so long as I was sad or seeking attention by being negative. I haven’t seen anyone create strong bonds through it either. We’ve got to do a better job of presenting ourselves in a positive light if we want to attract the best people. So how do we get out of a bad funk that isn’t an actual chemical imbalance?

Help people! Not just other furries but anyone. You need to find a way to be positive. For all those “Would anyone notice if I’m gone?” posts I see, I silently ask “Well do you do anything that others will remember you? Why would they notice if you’re gone if you spend your life living in your head? Why is it so important to be remembered anyway so long as YOU know you’re doing something important?”

Find a charitable cause you support and toss a small gift to them. Doesn’t have to be a huge gift. Also give it somewhere it will be appreciated. I’ve met fuzzbutts who just want hand-outs and then don’t appreciate what they receive, if anything. I donate toys or cash to a children’s hospital where the proceeds go to buying supplies and toys for kids who may be at the lowest point of their lives. I’ve never met a single child there (medical privacy and all) but I know those kids need some help after all the times going into there and find the donation bin was empty until I showed up.

Sadly, not everyone will be in the right frame of mind when you’re trying to help. Learn to recognize when people genuinely want help or when they just want to complain. The former is somebody to interact with while the latter will drag you down. Protect yourself from the drainers and meet the great fuzzbutts in the fandom.

I’ve met more cool people in this fandom by being a “cool dude” according to them, being a positive and optimistic person. I like to start by believing the best in the new people I meet and keep habits in my life that focus on others and trying to be helpful. Whenever I feel bad, I don’t post it for the world to see unless I’m also posting a solution to the problem. If you want to improve your life and feel better, start reaching out more in service of others and not to beg. You’ll feel better and more productive with your life!

Good luck fuzzbutts!

Maintaining Productive Relationships

Hello fuzzbutts!

History lesson time! The famous Jim Rohn famously said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” End of history lesson.

For your homework today, I want you to sit down and consider the relationships you maintain. Are they productive? By that, I mean are you getting something out of the relationship? I don’t mean just tangible stuff like money and things. I mean “does this relationship help you feel better or drive you to grow as an individual?” Think about that. Maybe these people are more like drama llamas who sap your energy and expect you to save them from every crisis. Yet, between every crisis, they emphasize “Oh I don’t do drama.” Yeah ok…

I keep a very small, tight network of friends. I know a lot of people and can get along with a wide variety of furries. I love to learn from them and see how their lives are progressing too. Fursuit makers and artists are especially cool since I love how they turned art into a way to make a living for themselves. I have friends who pursued goals for their careers and just inspire others with their work ethic. Just by watching these people work to improve their lives, I feel inspired to do it in my own life to find ways I can do better for myself.

Then there’s the other people. I’ve known people who take in a known mooch, provide for them, and finally got frustrated with the mooch enough to kick them to the curb. They thought maybe they could “fix” this person who obviously didn’t want that. The drama llama always has problems. The friend of the drama llama can’t maintain relationships with other friends because there’s never time to spend time being happy with people because they have to constantly console the llama. The grown child just can’t take care of themselves. They have no idea how to do anything and just tag along. They don’t actually try to learn or adapt to situations and just have to have their hands held for any little thing. There’re toxic people who are just friendly enough to keep you around but take every opportunity to say something negative about you or one-up your achievements with their own exaggerations. There’s all kinds of people who aren’t going to help you reach your potential.

You need people to support and inspire you. Not some vulnerable pet for you to protect to validate your sense of power/ability. This is a two-way street! Just as they inspire and support you, you need to be a supportive friend who lives a life they will find inspiring in their own ways. Remember, you’re the average of the five. That means some people will be further along in their personal growth and some will be a little bit behind you but you’ll have something to learn from everyone.

So your homework is to review the people you most associate with. If they’re toxic, dump them. If they’re not toxic but they’re not inspiring, helpful, awesome, etc, then put a little distance to make room for the best friends. If you know people who keep you motivated and help you do better, then pull them in tighter and make yourself more available to spend time with them (talking to the introverts in the audience).

I hope you continue to grow yourself because personal growth is always productive.