Learning to respect myself
Many of us walk around the world in white, male privileged bodies, yet we still, at our core, don't believe we deserve real friendship.
by Dave Winer Friday, December 30, 2016

Many many years ago I had a "friend" who I'll call Dick, because that's what he is.

I met him when I was 25. I had developed a product, but hadn't gotten anyone to believe in it. I went to trade shows and borrowed booth space from friends, they let me camp out in a corner and meet people there so I could do demos. At one of these shows "Dick" had been given the space next to me. He always talked so loud that the people I talked to couldn't hear me. He took up my space so I had to stand against the wall and look like an idiot. I eventually gave up and walked around the show, pretty dejected.

A few years later, after I had made a success of my product, I ran into "Dick" and he was the same guy, only this time he was kissing up to me, but he still talked over me, and the way he told stories he always had it better than I did. I never liked him, but at times I thought of him as a "friend," I guess because I didn't believe in myself enough to think that I deserved real friends who liked me and treated me well. A guy like "Dick' only has "friends" because there are a lot of people like I was, people with a poor self-image.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago "Dick" showed up again in my life, this time on Facebook. I had forgotten what a jerk he was. This is something I tend to do. I thought it was nice to cross paths with him again. But after our first chat, I found myself feeling upset and didn't like the feeling. Later I figured it out, that's how Dick always made me feel. Because I'm so forgetful, he actually had a chance for a clean fresh start. But people don't change, unless something terrible happens in their life to shake them up. Clearly that had not happened to "Dick."

So Dick was coming to NY and wanted to get together for lunch. We set the date for Monday. On Sunday he texts me and asks if we could do it Wednesday instead. I was able to switch, but I kind of saw where this was going. Then on Wednesday morning he asked if we could push the meeting back 1/2 hour, because he had something before that might run over. I said okay.

So I walked to the restaurant and got there exactly on time. He wasn't there of course. I registered with the host, there was a 45 minute wait. This is a very popular restaurant. I didn't know. I waited outside ten minutes in the cold, and under my heavy jacket I'm sweating, because I walked 40 minutes to get there. So, after ten minutes I get a text saying he'll be 15 minutes late (on top of the ten minutes he's already late). So I left. I took the subway home. 45 minutes after when we were supposed to meet, I got another text from him asking where I was. I ignored it. When I got home I unfriended him.

(I think I figured it out. He knew there would be a 45 minute wait, and decided to let me do the waiting. That's what an ass Dick is.)

So our first and last experiences were the same. I don't think I'll ever see or talk with this person again. But the moral of the story is we have people in this world who for whatever reason need to have power over other people. I am not one of them, and am thankful for that. It's taken a long time for me to understand how this works. I don't know how people get like that, and I don't really care to know. But I know that I'm worth being treated with respect.