Why do I prefer playing with strangers instead of friends?

General Discussion
I never really thought about it until today, but I was wondering if anybody else feels this way too. Sometimes I'll receive a random friend invite after a match because I'm a support/tank main, but I always end up declining it, even if I had fun playing with them and thought they were a nice person. I'm not really sure why I do this though. I just feel more comfortable playing with strangers and I always have, ever since I played my first MMO, Ragnarok Online.

I didn't care much for guilds and I'd usually run solo for most of the content. If I did party up with someone, I never ran with the same group more than once, most of the time. We'd finish our run, I'd thank them for the help, then we'd go about our ways. Now, this isn't to say I never tried playing with friends before, but... It never really ended well. I'd always end up playing the game more than them and inevitably become better at it and/or reach a higher level.

They'd want to do lower content, but I'd want to run endgame content, so it was kind of annoying to say the least. It was just easier to find people to run endgame content with than wait for my friend to catch up. I was always the same with fighting games too. I'd spend hours upon hours practicing in them to improve my combos and setups, but my friends would only play them maybe 30 minutes a week, if that, then when we'd play against each other, I'd absolutely destroy them.

It just wasn't that fun for me and they made it perfectly clear it wasn't fun for them any more either, so I had to find randoms online to play with if I was going to get any kind of competition. I kind of feel the same way towards Overwatch though. Every friend I've ever had in the game doesn't play it as much as me, their SR is usually lower, so we can't really queue up for competitive, and that's pretty much all I play (until the weekly loot box reset anyway, then I play 3v3). It just feels like every time I game with a friend, I outgrow them at some point and it's no longer fun for me to play with them.

Can you imagine reaching Grandmaster and your friend, a gold player, is wanting you to queue up with them? It's hard to imagine having much fun in that competitive environment after the games you're used to playing. I don't know if it's a psychological thing or what, but I just tend to prefer playing with strangers and stick to solo queuing most of the time because I'm able to play at my own pace. If I join a group and the group wants to stop playing after 5 matches, but I want to keep playing, then I'm going to have to solo queue anyway.

In any case, sorry for rambling on like this... It was just on my mind and I was wondering if other players around here feel the same way, and if so, why do you think that is, and are you doing anything to make changes in your life to turn those strangers into friends?
You care about the opinion of your friends in how well you play. An inside you think if you play poorly your friends won't want to team up with you anymore. After all if a GM player does poorly infront of a Gold player it will look bad.

Random players, you don't care if they think you are bad or great, as there are 29 million more.
I've always played games more with strangers than friends. The problem is that my friends like to play dozens and dozens of games but not get very deep into any of them, while I pick a handful and get really good at them. Case in point, my friends are placed silver, gold, and low plat, while I'm consistently masters.

It's fun to play with them, but only if I keep my expectations of winning at a bare minimum, because they are really really bad. Even the Plat will do things like solo dive the enemy healer as Winston--while they have a Roadhog!--and then blame the team for the loss.
I like playing arcade with friends on discord, but ranked....no. They are plat-diamond, and I am silver. They know I am hindered by my medications so my reaction time is trash. But I feel like I would be hurting their ELO. I have had a few offers where they even say they will carry if need be, but I feel like if they got mad about loosing I would take it too hard.
You are not alone like this. Its the same for me.

My friends play multiple different game while i always stick to overwatch and final fantasy 14 mostly so i'm far better than them and sometimes its problematic.
Especially in FF14 because i want to progress and not wait an eternity for them to catch up so i always end up clearing all the raids, extreme boss, etc... without them first, then i don't mind giving them a hand but it has lead to some heated discussion and one of my friends stoped playing it, telling me that i was a solo player... well excuse me if i play three times more than you and want to clear stuff and progress...

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