I like to think I've learned a lot over the years. I feel like, with help, I've grown to appreciate the people in my life and leave the negativity and the drama behind. I'm not always successful, but I really do try to make sure I keep a level head about things.
One thing I have always struggled with is jealousy. Not the kind that's over boys - friend jealousy.
Growing up, I only ever had one best friend. I was typically inseparable with that person and if you asked one of us who our best friend was, we knew the response would be each other. As I got older and things got more complicated, that changed. That coveted spot that I once held seemed to not exist anymore. My name didn't come out of the person's mouth that I had named as my best friend.
It hurts more than I would like to admit.
I would be positively crushed when that would happen to the point where friendships didn't last because of how I was. In an effort to maintain that #1 status with someone else, I only succeeded in pushing them away. It's one of the reasons I was always sad I didn't have a sibling closer in age to me - the built in best friend I had always longed for that would be family and always there.
I'm not proud of the way I acted in these situations. I remember one time in college, a friend had framed a picture of themselves and a new friend. I got so incensed at someone taking my friend away from me that I purposely knocked their dresser so the photo fell behind it and broke.
I can remember thinking, "They never framed of photo of us together! I can't believe this!" as I watched the frame fall to it's grave.
They're still friends. We are not.
As time goes on, our world grows. We leave our home town's, go to college, and meet a whole new place full of brand new faces. Then we leave college and head out to the work force, where there are tons of new people and new relationships that form. Rinse, repeat.
As I've gotten older and after one particularly bad fall out with a close friend, I re-evaluated the way I acted in these situations. When it happened, I felt like a crazy person - abandoned and hurt. It felt like a betrayal even though there was absolutely nothing wrong with someone having other friends. Even though things still made me seethe inside, I learned to let it go.
It's been the best lesson I've ever learned.
Rather than make snarky comments? I keep it to myself. I walk away, talk to someone else, listen to music I like, whatever. Because in reality, I know that I'm not any less special to these people just because they might call someone else their best friend too. It's just not worth to have the animosity and lash out because of it. It only results in worse feelings and strains the friendship.
For example - my best friend lives in Texas. When she lived up here, she lived with another girl who she got very close with and is best friends with as well. When she moved, eventually this girl ended up down there with her. There are times I feel sad and left out because I know they spend a lot of time together, especially while she's planning her wedding.
But I don't get upset about it. It's not worth it. Ultimately, if I'm feeling that way, I remember that for a long time, it was hard for her because she didn't have anyone familiar down there with her other than her fiance. It makes me glad that she has someone there she can rely on to support her and be there when I can't be. I'm always a phone call away but you can't sit with a glass of wine or hug someone who is half a country away. We need that connection and I'm glad she has someone there for her. I know I am not any less special to her because of that.
The bottom line is that the drama isn't worth it. Once you get past a certain age, people don't do things with the malicious intent you might feel they do. It's easy to slip into our negative feelings, but when you take a step back and re-evaluate the situation at hand? You'll realize that your friendships will maintain and be stronger because you didn't let jealousy get the best of you.
Has this happened to you? Have you had a friend you felt jealous of because of their relationship with someone else?