Goblin Mode Isn’t The Only Way

Allow me to introduce you to… the expanded goblin mode chart.

Goblin Mode

Back in my day, before normies co-opted the term, goblin mode meant isolating yourself and submitting to your basest desires. Stuff like staying home, eating junk food, and watching Netflix for 10 hours a day.

Here’s an example. During the pandemic, my two roommates and I were having dinner together. With no context, one roommate turns to me and asks:

“Hey… Do you think I have rickets?”

I slowly turn my head towards and reply, “Like a vitamin D deficiency?”


I raise one eyebrow. “Umm, why do you think that?”

“Well,” says my roommate, “my joints hurt.”

“When was the last time you went outside?” I ask.

“Oh…” he shrugs. “Two months ago.”

What!? Me and my other roommate erupted with more and more incredulous questions. Considering that my roommate spent most of his free time watching v-tubers and playing video games, this was only one step away from goblin mode.

In goblin mode, you’re alone in your cave. But what if you’re alone and grinding?

Monk Mode

You’re training at the gym, studying for a degree, or starting a new business while isolating yourself from family and friends. You aren’t in goblin mode. You’re in monk mode.

Monk mode can be good place to be, at least temporarily. You’re super focused on growth but neglecting relationships. Sometimes this is a sacrifice that must be made. Sometimes monks take it too far.

A lot of people on social media like to brag about how hard they work while cutting “toxic” people out of their life. They might be in monk mode. But what if they’re also socializing, networking, and building relationships?

Hustler Mode

When you’re improving yourself and being social, you’re in hustler mode. Think of a stereotypical tech bro. By day, he’s working at his startup and pushing code to prod. At night, he’s at the Rosewood charming venture capitalists and ladies alike.

A lot of “bros” on social media like to toot about being in hustler mode. They humblebrag about the effort they put into their online business while flashing fake pics of their extravagant lifestyle. (In reality, these bros work regular 9-5s and their online business is little more than a pyramid scheme with extra steps.)

If you’re really developing your skills, hustler mode can be a good place to be. But for most people, it’s unsustainable. Your energy drains day by day, week by week. Soon, your calendar is double booked and you’re running on caffeine and pure spite.

Bacchus Mode

So you pull back. You keep partying while shoving your career into the back seat. You’re staying out late, eating and drinking terribly, waking up at 3pm next to a group of friendly chinchillas in Hayward, and not knowing how you got there. You’ve reached Bacchus mode.

This is a time when you have fun while being social. You have neither cleaned your apartment nor declined an invitation in weeks. You’re having a good time, but your body and your career pays the price.

People in Bacchus mode generally don’t reply to messages. They’re always busy but never doing anything important. They arrive 2 hours late to every engagement, if at all.

After enough time in Bacchus mode, you tire of the constant partying and retreat back into your cave. You just want to be alone for a little while, maybe eat some potato chips, maybe play some video games. You’ve returned to goblin mode.

“I just need a day to relax,” you tell yourself. “Maybe tomorrow, too.”

And the cycle repeats.

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