I sometimes answer rather bluntly/harshly to close friends (this includes my SO as well) over a question during our gaming session because it's either something I already answered or something that they can find because it's right in front of their eyes.

Let me give you some example, first with my best friend with whom I often play video games with. We started a game yesterday called For Honor as they released some free version of their game. To acquire the game it required to log into your Ubisoft account to add the game to your library and my friend asked me (we are far away from each other playing online) if he had a Ubisoft account to which I responded rather quickly/bluntly "How the f### am I supposed to know if you have a Ubisoft account" because I'm not his mom and clearly not keeping track of every single account / launcher my friends have.

Fast forward 3 hours when we both downloaded the game, first coop mission it's some kind of tutorial when you have to block an enemy on the left, right and top. He then asks me what he should do while I finished doing the guard tutorial and the game tells me that I have to wait for my mate to continue, I'm perplex as there is a clear objective in the top left corner telling you to do this or that which is common to most games these days. I got annoyed again and told him "Are you even looking at your screen or just asking me before doing anything?". Don't remember my exact words but something along these lignes.

For the record this happens in most games that we start playing together. This is even more annoying if I have already played a game and he has not because he'll enter follow mode and I'll just play solo with my friend following blindly (I tried running in the opposite direction of the arrow indicating the quest location and he follows) which is not fun at all. For some context my friend is a gamer he has over 5000 hours of play time spread over several games on Steam.

Another example is with my SO, we sometimes play video games and I try to be cooler about it as she clearly doesn't have my friends experience in video games, but I will often find myself getting angry at her. For example playing a game called Portal Knights where you, among other things, can craft items. We for some reason would have to craft Item X and she would ask me "How do I craft this" to which I would answer "Well you open the craft menu and look if you find the item in one of the category so you can craft it". But then we would have some other quest 15 minutes after asking us to craft something else and she would again ask me again and I would answer bluntly "Are you even searching through your craft menu ?".

I think I'm reacting like this because I personally hate to depend on people (directly I mean, by asking someone) until I absolutely have to, I mean I won't post on StackOverflow until I've look at the first 3 page of the search result and nothing comes up. I like finding stuff on my own. Plus while I'm ok to explain some "advanced" concept that may not be obvious/explained in the game tutorial, I think it's best my friends/SO find out things on their own regarding basic stuff that you can find rather easily / are explained clearly in the tutorial.

My goal is to deal with the situations described above and instead of snapping, in a preventive way convey that in one hand while I'm ok to lead the way I'd like to play with my friend and not for him(by that I mean ordering him to go here, collect that, ..) and on the other that it would be in my SO best interest to learn how to search on her own instead of having to ask me every 30 seconds how to do this or that (something like teach someone how to fish instead of giving him the fish).

My question is how do I effectively convey to my friends / SO that I would like them to be more self-sufficient when it comes to our gaming session ?

Some context : I'm a 25yo male living in France. I'm not currently under stress and these interactions don't end up in a fight but just in my friend/SO shutting down because I snapped at them.

  • Ok, but if they don't ask you how to do something, and they do it wrong, how do you react? – lukuss Jun 14 '18 at 11:07
  • @lukuss I honestly don't mind, if they are doing something wrong, first it means they tried and second it means that they won't do it wrong twice (well that's the plan :D) / are learning which is good. None of the game I'm referring to are played in a competitive environment (more so with my girlfriend, just local coop games) – Tapaka Jun 14 '18 at 11:14
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's about an intra-personal problem, and not an IPS skill. – OldPadawan Jun 14 '18 at 11:48
  • 2
    The thing is that you are not "asking how to interact in a better way to teach them, explain to them, communicate with them". I guess this question differs quite a bit from what you think you asked. – kscherrer Jun 14 '18 at 12:19
  • 1
    For what it is worth, I always found crafting extremely boring, and it seems that I am not the only one. You either have to try random combinations, or memorize them. I would just craft when it is absolutely necessary and to do so, ask a friend the right combination I need. Maybe your SO asked you every time for the same reason: she has absolutely no incentive (here, fun) in learning how to craft. Are you sure she has fun playing with you? Or does she play just to spend time with you? – Taladris Jun 15 '18 at 9:09

To work with your examples, I'm a gamer too, one more avid than most of my friends. When playing games with friends, there will oftentimes be questions asked that while obvious to the likes or you and I, are less so to others. It can sometimes be frustrating to answer all the questions and the temptation to answer bluntly is always there. There are a few things you can try however to avoid coming across as so blunt:

  • Bear in mind that games often require on-the-spot decisions. As such, new players will be tempted to quickly ask you a question rather than find the answer for themselves. If a player asks "Do I have my weapon equipped?" for example, instead of bluntly replying if they can even see their character, calmly talk them through how they can answer this question themselves without talking down to them. "It looks like you do but we can double-check. If you open your menu and go to inventory, what items are selected there?" This approach allows you to help give your answer while taking the sting out of them asking something that might normally prompt a blunt response for being so obvious (to you). It also helps your friends learn the game by them going through certain steps themselves.
  • Similarly, on-the-spot questions can impulsively prompt on-the-spot responses, and I'm as guilty as any gamer of sounding blunt or angrier than intended. If your friend asks a question, take a breather, ask them to repeat it (even if you heard it), do something that will allow you a few seconds to think of a well-worded response. This can also put your friend at ease as you taking your time with a reply will make them feel like less of a burden or distraction.
  • Whatever response you give, avoid swear words. Even a calm reply with swearing within can come across as far more severe than intended.
  • Following on from a calmer response, offer an easygoing follow-on if time allows. If your friend asks something that suggests they are struggling with a basic aspect of a game, offer a chance for them to get comfortable before moving on. "If you want, we can go through that mission again? It's a good part for practising that manoeuvre. You can take the lead!"

These approaches can often apply to other common scenarios, not just video games.

It's also best to remember that some questions like "Do I have an account on this?" may be rhetorical. In this day and age, it's easy to lose track of what sites and services we sign up for, your friend may be fully aware that he/she can check this for themselves. Take the time to make a (non-vocal) judgement on the person and their question; are they really asking something I have to answer?


First off, are you really sure there are no things at all that give you stress, anxiety, worry or anything like that? This really feels like situations I have been in myself, where I was having busy days with work or college. If you are frustrated, for whatever reason, it is easy to have that frustration extend into other parts, without always realizing that.

On to the issue, there might be an issue here that your friends and your SO are simply slower than you. The For Honor example I don't get, because it is, as you said, rather easy. But, perhaps you are just more swift in getting these kinds of things? Do you expect them to instantly understand game mechanics where you already know them?

Also, perhaps it is possible that your friend followed you (with the quest thing) because he'd rather play with you, then check off a bunch of quests of his list (with or without you). Maybe your SO also asks these things because she wants to initiate talking with you. Do you talk normally, or do you just play the game? Is it possible that your SO sees playing a game with you as spending time with you first and playing the game second while you do not?

Now, on how to fix these things. Some people like to understand issues they face, others simply like to get over them. You clearly like to understand things and will research when you meet them. Your friend and SO fall perhaps in the other category. You can not make them do this, there is nothing you can say that will lead to that and not be hurtful to them at the same time. It is better to let them make the habit on their own.

Next time they ask about something, instead of snapping, answer that you don't know it and that you haven't done it before either. You could give a small hint of where they should look for it. Something like "Hmmm, haven't done that before actually... maybe you can try looking in the crafting menu?"

In the end, most of this will boil down on you though. I know you are hoping to get a solution to this problem, but the solution is simple. You need to learn to control your anger and frustration.

It is okay to feel like that, it is not okay to let it out every time. You are going to have to learn how to get frustrated and angry and not immediately vent that out. Just keep it in, push it back down and remain civil. It does not matter if your outburst would be misplaced or not, what matters is that you can control your emotions in every scenario.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.