ADVICE: “What Should You Do When Friends Let You Down?”

Every week, New York City’s own party messiah takes your life questions and sets you safely down the right path to a solution in his new weekly advice column in The Village Voice. Read the latest edition of Ask Andrew W.K. below or by clicking HERE.

A full archive of Ask Andrew W.K. can be found HERE.

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September 28th, 2015

Dear Andrew W.K.,

I tried to throw myself a birthday party the other night. I thought it would be a fun way to lift my spirits after a very hard year for me. I invited my friends a month ahead of time, made preparations, bought a cake, set out snacks, etc. I felt I did everything right.

When the day came, all the people who said they would come never even showed up. I was alone in my house with all my bad, lonely thoughts. No one has apologized for missing my party and I’ve been ignored since. I feel as though life is pointless if I do not have people to share it with. I do not want to live, but I do not want to die. How can I find happiness enough for me within myself and not be bothered by how carelessly people treat me?

With love,
Party of One

Dear Party of One,

In an ideal world, we would all strive to be truly self-reliant. Being self-reliant isn’t solely about maintaining a sort of rugged individualism. Nor is it about being a loner cut off from the rest of society. Being self-reliant simply means that you no longer rely on other people for your happiness, worthiness, or any other essential feeling. It also means you no longer blame other people for your sadness, disappointment, or frustration. Self-reliance is about building a world inside yourself that is more beautiful and perfect than the outside world, one impervious to outside circumstance and the ups and downs of life.

As self-reliant individuals, we would no longer feel our emotional well-being tethered to the whims of the stock market. We would no longer base the quality of our day on who said a nice or not-nice thing to us. We would realize both happiness and sadness occur inside of us and solely because of us. We would realize that how we feel is a state of being that we alone are in charge of — and no person or event or object can “make us happy,” and likewise, “make us sad.” Those feelings are states of mind that we decide on. We are in control of our inner world and we decide how to feel about what happens outside of it.

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Photo by Adam DeGross