I've been friends with three other men since high school, Alex, Michael and Luke. We're all in our mid twenties. Since not all of us live in the same city anymore, I created a Discord server for us to communicate, acting mostly as a group chat.
My friends and I often all participate in "pranks" with each other. Usually online, but sometimes offline. Some examples being:
- Purposefully making a bad play in a team-based game we're ahead in combined with a Steve Urkel-esque, "Did I do that?"
- Changing the virtual locks on our base in the game Rust, immediately ready to undo it once someone notices
- We make fun of Alex, he's an artist, by saying things like "Who would pay money for this?" in reference to his art (we've all, on our own, praised his art in the past)
- We make fun of Michael as a member of the U.S. military by saying things like "Our nation's finest, people." when he makes a bad play in a video game
- We make fun of Luke for having a strong opinion on not sweating small details in the way he lives/his appearance, fondly calling him "garbage man" due to his tendency to keep trash/garbage on his floor in his room
- We make of me for being a bit of a braggart saying things like "Oh listen to Steve he's got a master's degree" with a sarcastic tone
- On occassion we've kicked another person out of the Discord saying something like "Banned" right before doing so, each time immediately reinviting and reinstating existing permissions/roles
Out of everyone in the group, I indulge in this type of humor most frequently. I would say probably 5-10x as much. Although I'd say each of us pokes fun at the other at least once when we're all together online or offline. This is a behavior that I have actively been working on avoiding and I have made progress into less frequently doing this, which some people have noticed.
Our group is no stranger to disagreements, every once in a while things get heated, but for the most part they get resolved. In my case, I get a little more frustrated and often find myself taking a break from the group, leaving the Discord server for a weekto cool off abnd talk to whomever I had a disagreement and come to a resolution. This type of situation has never happened with Luke. Upon my return, I would be granted back the same permissions/ownership role until after the third or so time in which it was given to Alex and then Luke, later. I've had my personal disagreements with Alex and Luke with how they managed the server, but nothing that has gotten too out of hand or anything that's been personal.
Over the past two months of so, I had asked Luke to give all four of us a specific permission to manage a music playing bot in the server. This gave us the ability to skip a song in its playlist. During a conversation, we were having, I was made aware that a friend didn't know that Tom Petty had passed away this year and we jokingly talked about how we couldn't think of any Tom Petty songs besides "Free Fallin'". So I emptied the queue of the current songs and queued up "Free Fallin'" multiple times. Immediately, Luke took the permission away from me and removed all of it.
I was irrationally angry at this point. From my perspective, I was playing off of a joke and a permission that I had asked for specifically to solve pain issues (often times people would accidentally queue the wrong thing and no one could skip that song) was taken away. I left the Discord server, angry, fearful of what this meant for me, and feeling ashamed that apparently I couldn't handle that responsibility even though I thought I had used it in an "appropriately" inappropriate way. I snapped and personally insulted him on another messaging platform with the gist of it being, "You have an extremely flawed personality and because of it you couldn't handle your most recent relationship."
After this, I took a step back for a week to cool off. While I wasn't part of the server, I attempted to invite Luke, and two other friends, Sam and Bob, to dinner, my treat. At this point I had no idea how upset Luke was. After receiving no response from Luke, Sam had told me that Luke was very upset with me. They had been having a conversation with Alex as well about how Luke was "done" with me. He said that all of my previous behaviors combined with this made him extremely upset and that he didn't want to deal with me anymore. I heard this solely through Sam, but he had shown me screenshots of the conversation (that I did not ask for).
I felt horrible. I didn't realize I had cut so deep, even though that was what my angry self had attempted, especially since Luke is usually the one friend of ours who seems unphased by most things. So I apologized saying something like:
I'm sorry for the harsh words I used towards you. There's no real excuse for my behavior. I don't want you to think that I don't like you or don't think you're a good person. I was angry about something dumb and went for a cheap, easy blow in order to blow off some steam which was wrong of me.
He hasn't responded and according to Sam and Alex, it doesn't seem like he's going to. He's "done".
I'm concerned about two things: my relationship with Luke and my relationship with Alex and Michael. They're all dear friends of mine and I'd hate to lose any of them; I care very deeply for them.
Is there anything I can do in this situation with Luke outside of just waiting and seeing if he accepts my apology?
In the event he doesn't, what's the best way I can maintain a healthy relationship with Alex and Michael?
I rewrote this question to better explain some of the nuance; check the edit history if it helps