I've been playing with the same group of people for four years. We've had our ups and downs and we've had our stupid arguments, and like any complex social unit we've settled into specific molds.
My mold, until recently, was the GM. Constantly. I like GMing, and I'm lucky to have a party comprised of individuals who, when they GM, tolerate the fact that I struggle to turn off GM mode, and are comfortable telling me that I'm being a control freak. I am that obnoxiously intense player who, after building my character, always tries to figure out what the other players made and find out where they're from and to figure out their why and how they became an adventurer. Essentially collecting all the information that a GM would collect. My endgoal is, for the most part, altruistic: I want to figure out the archetypal roles the other players are filling in the roleplay so I can play the party diplomat. If there's one thing I've learned as a GM, the single most annoying thing to deal with is a party of narcissists. Everybody is competing for limelight, stumbling stupid over each other to be the glory hound. All of my players complain to me about each other, with the exception of the newest player, and the argument can be boiled down to this: Player A is upset because Player B did "x," and Player A believes Player B is in for a rude awakening when Player A responds to "x".
When I'm a GM, I can handle this; I know what RP archetypes each of my players like, and I give them the chance to play out their fantasy, but I find a way to make it so that the success of their fantasy (Player A wants to be a demagogue sorcerer-tyrant, Player B plays the catty, indifferent badass, Player C plays the comical relief, etc.) depends on the survival of the group (Player A's ambitions are unattainable without Player B's and C's aide, Player B needs Player C to stay in the good graces of NPC #1, Player C needs Player A in order to acquire <Plot item>). I'm certain other GMs can commiserate.
Now that I'm a player and Player B and A are GMing back and forth every other week in their own respective universes, I'm wondering why the hell I even bother playing. I enjoy the stories, I enjoy the combats, but the thing I am not enjoying is the ego-trips while I'm on the same side of the table as either player. Player A likes to take jabs at players in and out of game when he is doing well and other players are having no luck with the die; he consistently insults players (not their characters) for things that are statistically and mathematically beyond their control, but cannot handle the same style of "humor" when its reciprocated. Player B flat out refuses to discuss battle strategies or tactics in-game or out-of-game because he's so enamored with his build (which is a clever one) that he refuses to think beyond what he can do in a vacuum.
Maybe its just the GM in me, which likes to see the party working cohesively because that means that I've successfully challenged them, or maybe I'm being an over-sensitive control freak player, I'm willing to admit to either and both, but I derive no enjoyment from the game when my players/peers are more absorbed in their personal fantasies than the collective fantasy that we're trying to create.
Does anyone else ever feel like this or experience similar scenarios?