Sasha Answers: Friend Envy
Hi Sasha, I'm in a tricky situation. My friend is a great girl, pretty, funny, VERY bright. We're finishing university this year and I was lucky enough to get my dream graduate job at the first place I applied and interviewed for. This all happened about three months ago. My friend, however, is yet to get a graduate position, despite having applied to over 20 places. Ever since I told her about my new job, she's turned everything into a competition. And I mean everything. Grades in particular, but she's even started making snippy comments about my eating habits. She has, consistently, throughout high school and uni been "the smart one" and I think she's really disappointed that she hasn't gotten a job yet. BUT she's making me feel really bad about getting one! I really don't know how to handle this, because on one hand I'm pissed at my friend who just can't be happy for me, and on the other I feel really bad that something I've done has made her so upset. What should I do?! D
I’ve been thinking a lot about envy lately and admittedly when I was younger I definitely had pangs of it, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize how cool it is to really root for your friends and genuinely feel happy for their accomplishments.
However, that state of mind comes with maturity and I think when you’re coming out of the gates of adolescence, and trying to figure out who and what you are, you can’t help but look at your peers a little competitively. That’s all totally normal and healthy, but sadly your friend has taken it a step too far. Instead of concentrating on her own personal growth she’s been sidetracked by her own personal lack.
That’s a slippery slope, so before it gets ugly I’d call her on her negative behavior. And just be straight up; let her know how disappointed you are by her reaction. It’s not like you need a f-cking parade, but a little cheer from her corner would be nice. If she is as good a friend as you say, then this should be a wake-up call for her to check herself. I have a feeling it will.
Congratulations on your job and keep me posted! xx
Thanks for writing in and keep your LIFE + STYLE questions coming at me here.