I'm starting to resent my bestfriend
For context, we've recently graduated highschool. Recently though, I feel like I'm starting to resent her. This has been a trend through alot of my close friendships, which usually end up in me pushing the other person away after a few years, after developing negative feelings towards them.
She's my best friend, is nothing but kind, loving, and understanding towards me so it hurts me when I feel these negative feelings towards her. I can't help but also feel some envy towards her. Her family quite well-off financially, whilst I grew up lower class, as well as this, she's absolutely gorgeous and so kind - which are qualities I don't feel I exude, but have always wanted to. I don't want to feel envious, and try not to compare myself to her, or feel any resentment towards her, because I value our friendship so much. I think oftentimes this ends up in me trying to 'prove' to myself that I'm somehow better than her, even though I know our friendship isn't a competition.
She'll sometimes do things mindlessly that hurt my feelings (i.e, responding to my exes if they try to spark up conversation with her and being friendly, staying acquaintances with people who she met through me, who have really hurt me in the past - or becoming friends with them) Recently, one of my exes even hit on her, and all she did was make a joke back to him - only stopping texting him once I explicity asked her to. These things hurt me as to me, it seems like a no-brainer to not do them, as I would never do them to her, but she will only stop if I directly tell her to stop, which I don't like to do, but often have to as I feel if I don't, my resentment will only grow. I don't think they're unreasonable things to ask from her, because these people aren't necessarily close friends with her, and in every case, she's never even met them. Regardless, these things really hurt me.
It's gotten to a point where everytime she posts something on social media, or acts in certain ways - things that never used to bother me - make me snarl or roll my eyes in annoyance. And everytime, I feel like such a horrible person.
I love her so much, and she tries so hard to be such a good friend to me, and she really is. I don't want to resent her for the few mistakes that she makes. But, I can't help but feel my cycle of finding a great friend, then suddenly hating them is repeating.
Firstly, welcome to the forums we are so glad that you found your way to this supportive and welcoming community. We hope that you find ideas, options and support from the shared experiences and knowledge of all our members. This is a safe space to share and express your own feelings, struggles and experiences without judgement.
I'd like to join Sophie_M i welcoming you here to the Forum. It takes a fair bit of insight into yourself and courage to post here, something that can seem pretty daunting, however I expect you will end up glad you did.
It sounds as if you have a pretty good friend and that you really want this friendship to continue, and that's great.
The problem does not sound so much to me as an outsider looking in that your friend does things that should not be done. Interaction in a group is natural, and it says a lot abut her valuing your relationship the she will stop whatever she is doing if she finds out it is hurting you - pretty good.
I guess you might have to ask yourself why these things hurt. You say yourself that at times you compare yourself unfavorably to her, and overall from all of your post I get the impression you are not too happy with yourself, but don't have any way of improving how you feel.
As you predict, if in the past you have lost friends by pushing them away then it may happen again, and that would be sad.
Can I suggest you seek some counseling on this? Often one does not see a way out of things and a professional perspective can be a real help. If you felt that might be the way to go I'd suggest an extended consultation with a GP and ask if counseling is recommended, and if so how it can be arranged.
There is one thing you might like to bear in mind, if you were not a person people felt drawn to then you would not have these friendships, which goes to show you must be pretty nice person, whatever you may think
Hi Croix, thank you so much for your response and insight.
I do have confidence in myself, but can often feel very insecure, especially when comparing myself to other people. I try to actively be confident and improve my self esteem, and sometimes even feel I have an overinflated ego. Regardless, I do agree - I am not too happy with myself overall.
I've received counseling a few times in my life, in year 5, 11, and 12. In year 5 and 11, it was also because I was having issues socially. My mum even said that when I was very young, I had alot of trouble making and keeping friends, I think this may be because I moved around so much, so I'm not used to long-term friendships. I'd like to seek counseling again, but everytime I do - I receive an immense amount of pushback from my mum, statements along the lines of "what do you have to be sad about?" etc.
I really appreciate what you said at the end of your message, too. It made me tear up. Ever since I graduated, I felt this looming feeling that my friends don't really like me, but your message was very reassuring.
I'm 66yo and hoping I have lots of life experiences to help out. I've also had 4 long term relationships including 2 marriages.
my marriage of 10 years now is close to perfect. Perfection involves times apart..."absence makes the heart grow fonder " so some hours in my shed actually helps us in our connection. There's not rule of thumb however. Depends on the individuals but it's something to consider.
Other things I'd like to mention is , when young adult age, reactions like jealousy, sensitivity, pre judgements, lack of tolerance etc are all well, more obvious. Actions like social media posts can lead us to wonder who that person really is. But much older people can easily make more allowance for individualism. Eg one ex partner loathed my motorcycle, it didn't mean she didn't love me.
There's also another saying " familiarity breeds contempt" which is the result of when, imo, the irritations are just too much to be included into that zone of toleration.
To sum up, I would suggest your theory of swaying from strong to deflated/irritation is not a personality defect. It's far more likely your high hopes, the person's high care levels then add some disappointing traits that annoy you and the "turn off" begins.
Be aware that compatibility is a fickle and hard thing to find and emotions place barriers we kind of don't want there. This can lead to self doubt. You have no reason to doubt nor ignore your feelings.
I'm very sorry your mum resists the idea of counseling, obviously she does not realize one does not need a 'reason' to be sad, it can just happen, no matter what.
It's a pretty negative question, and tends to imply you have no business being sad, forgetting you have no control over the matter. It might be better if she praised your strong points and supported you in what you feel is necessary.
I suppose the only answer to her question you can really give is that you believe counseling may make things better for you.
I'm glad my pointing out the truth made you feel better
I think you should talk to her about this. Say to her what you said here, about how you have noticed that she keeps in contact with people that have hurt you. You say she is your best friend, so I think she would want to know that she is doing things that hurt you. It might help if she explains to you why she is doing them. Often people just don't realise that what they are doing is hurting someone else and when attention is drawn to it they modify their behaviour.
I don't think it is unreasonable to not want your best friend to be friends with people who have hurt you but it is also ok for her to have friends that are not also your friends, in general. We all get along with different people. While one person may have a problem with a certain personality trait, others may be fine with it and vice versa.
It is also ok to feel envy etc., without there being something wrong with you. I think we all have moments like that. That is why the saying "the grass is always greener on the other side" is so common.
In regards to wanting to prove you are better than her, I would suggest that everyone has their strengths and weaknesses already. You would have things about you that she admires etc., or she would not be your friend. Let her be better in some ways because you will be better than her in others. You also may not know what type of problem someone has. Most people keep that stuff close to their chest. In the end, it's not a competition, as you already said. If you try and play that game, you will never win and always be miserable because it will be endless. There will always be a new competition.