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How Dare You

We all know that human friendships are complicated and fragile at the best of times, but when one person in the friendship suddenly moves away, gets that job they’ve always wanted, buys that nicer house or even a bigger TV, friendships seem to become ever more shaky.

It is funny how I find myself returning to the same question; why is it that people can’t seem to accept or in fact be happy for one another when something good happens? Why is it that something which might in fact be life changing for one person, is belittled and brushed off by those people who claim to be your friends.

I have come to believe that the positive and life changing things are topics of conversation that don’t correspond to what people want to hear, it doesn’t tally with what people want to know is happening to you. It seems we are tuned into thriving off the doom and gloom in other peoples lives, and not the good.

It seems to me that people block out of their minds that which they cannot fully grasp, and good news stories are these very concepts. Good news is just too alien for people to really deal with, they just ignore it, pretend it doesn’t exist. Its as though those good things that can happen in life create a conflict within people’s own sense of security, I.E, they are no longer the centre of their small universe. They realise there is something more going on outside of their trivia, and to be blunt, they don’t like it.

To be blunt there will come a time when that people who claimed to be a friend, won’t be your friend any longer. Why, well you are no longer ‘on their wave length’ or their perceived wave length, and all because something good has happened to you.

It is a universally well known fact that most ‘friends’ can’t hack it when your life has moved on, improved, gotten good and changed direction from the old trajectory that they continue to move upon. Why? Well, could it be that these people believe that some how you are leaving them behind, becoming too big for your proverbial boots?

For me it is almost as though these ‘friends’ are saying through clenched teeth; ‘How dare you get a better life’.

It might be upsetting, and it can leave you wondering if their reaction towards you is warranted; is it something you have actually done or said? You ask yourself over and over, have I changed? Is it your reaction, attitude, opinion and behaviour that has changed towards your friends, or is it in fact your friends who have changed?

I always think that a persons reaction towards you says more about them and their own insecurities, than it does in any way about you. It isn’t you that has changed at all, it is them. I know this might all sound harsh, even paranoid, but I have experienced this treatment at the hands of ‘friends’.

Since moving to Madrid I have realised just how difficult it is for people to accept that my life has changed. I’m not sure what offends them so much about this fact, whether they think I’ve suddenly become richer, happier, or that life has become somehow easier for me. Yet, obviously they don’t know anything about me or my life, even though they are supposed to friends.

People may ‘move on’ to seemingly better things, but that doesn’t mean they or their lives have become miraculously transformed into some sort of utopian perfection. Everyone has something to contend with. The grass isn’t automatically greener for anyone, just because they may have a change in their life for the better.

Regardless of anyone’s altered circumstances in life, it doesn’t mean that suddenly you are no longer essentially who you always were, their friend. For me, it doesn’t matter what happens in my life; if a friend is a friend, they will always remain so. I don’t change how I feel, it is they who change.

Perhaps as friends we should all just be a little more gracious, kind, loving and affable instead of ignorant, angry, jealous and spiteful. Friends after all are not enemies. Then maybe for once we would actually be able to happy for those we call friends and for their good fortune, and not disappointed that their lives aren’t collapsing around them.

Just a thought.

21 thoughts on “How Dare You

  1. Its truly amazing. I know what you mean. People didn’t really want to know me after I moved to America. They were jealous, I think. I know it hurts and it’s hard, but you will meet new friends. 🙂

  2. I think a lot of people feel trapped in their own lives, and when they see someone make a dramatic change — like moving to Madrid, maybe — it somehow makes them feel even more powerless and pathetic. It’s as though you’ve taken control of your life, at least to some degree, and that removes the excuse they’d been relying on to justify their own inaction. But no matter the explanation, losing a friend is hard to accept.

    • Thanks for commenting, I appreciate it.

      I agree with you, the pints you raise are spot in. People like to feel they are not alone in their boat. I think changes can make them feel left behind, and definitely powerless.

      Yeah, losing a friend is tough; seems it is more difficult when life changes to keep hold of every friend, even when you want to!! It’s frustrating, and sad.

      Thanks again for your comment.

    • 🙂 I was going to say much the same thing. I think some friendships act mainly as a mutual support and justification-for-misery society. When one partner/member makes positive changes, it exposes the other’s fears and flaws. Be strong; you have proved that you are in control -though it may not make it easier to deal with the hurt in the friendships in the short-term.

  3. You’re right, it does say more about them than you – a lack of contentment can make people defensive and wanting to rubbish other people’s endeavours to reassert their own drudgery. It’s easy to find comfort in convention, to cling to, and to undermine those that try to do something new. If people are truly happy, why would they snipe?

    Enjoyed reading your post – always thought provoking 🙂

    • Many thanks for dropping by and commenting, I appreciate it.

      Agree with your points completely. I especially think that if they were happy, then they wouldn’t snipe. I wonder why any one who feels at ease with their world would need to pick apart others.

      Thanks again, oh, and you are very kind; it’s nice to have my words described as thought provoking! Thanks 🙂

  4. Here in Australia, we call this “Tall Poppy Syndrome”. As in we must cut down the tallest and strongest.
    Whenever an Australian makes it big overseas, the public releases a stream of criticism, (see Kylie Minogue, 1990’s), a better example doesn’t exist.
    On a “real people” scale, I think our friends want to be happy for us, but they’d rather the good news was theirs. We tend to relate everything we hear back to ourselves don’t we? Not stopping to actually HEAR and appreciate what is being told.
    Funny how you often read a post that relates very closely to something you were about to say in your own blog.
    I may have to give you a mention in my next post?

    • Thanks for dropping by and contributing your thoughts on this topic, I appreciate it 🙂

      You have raised some pertinent points! I must say I have never heard this referred to as ‘Tall Poppy Syndrome’ but I love the term! It completely encapsulates what these people do to others they deem a threat in some way.

      I never knew Kylie had her fair share of Australian bad press. I know for a while in the UK she wasn’t as popular as she now is. This is how it is; a person being pulled down for no real reason other than what could be categorised as jealousy.

      This is so true and I couldn’t agree more; we don’t stop to listen, we wait for our turn to speak. It seems we can’t watch others progressing, and then think how great it is for them and families. We always wish it was us, perhaps yet again we are left feeling the grass is greener (I’ve written about this situation before, but it seems intertwined here too)?

      That happens often to me too! If you decide to write something relating to this, and want to mention me/my post as reference, then thank you, by all means do so. I will appreciate it.

      Thanks again for you comment, Bex

  5. I have this friend, he’s a really good friend. He has helped me out so many times, I couldn’t enumerate if I tried. We hadn’t met in a very long time. Just a few months ago, I reestablished the connection. But we have both changed. Well, actually we haven’t changed that much. I’m just not as naive as I used to be, I have a job, responsibilities. He has responsibilities, too. But my impression is that he isn’t doing well at all. Not because he isn’t making money. He is actually quite cunning. But he is also building castles in the sky, as we Germans say. He lives in a place that isn’t earthbound. And he regularly fight quixotic battles while disregarding quite real threats to his liquidity, which would be manageable, given the proper attention. And when I tell him that, he feels insulted. That’s when he starts going on about how firm his character is, because he has a college degree, which I don’t. Luckily, this exchange with him was over a safe distance, via email, or else I might have given him a firm slap for that. That’s where I haven’t changed: I still get rather enraged when people get arrogant.

    • Thanks for your input, I appreciate it as usual 🙂

      You raise lots of points in your reply, which leads me to want to reiterate that re-uniting with old friends isn’t always a good thing. They do tend to measure their life against your own and compare notes. If you come out trumps they often don’t like that, even though they made their life choices, freely and not coerced!

      Perhaps you should let him stew in his own juice for a while??

  6. The sad part is, you’re right. Many people can’t deal with the success of others. You have to remember, if they want, you can help lift them up, otherwise, leave them be.

    • Thanks, appreciate your input on this as always 🙂

      I agree with you. It is almost self defeating of them in some respects, and totally their loss if you decide to end the friendship. I have found though, that those who act this way, often have the audacity to come to you when they need help! After spending all that time hating on you for doing well, they then want your help – that makes no sense to me! I suppose some people just have no shame!

      Thanks again for your comment.

  7. I hear what you’re saying here and I think that Green Embers is right with his idea that most people want to pull you back. I’ve never figured out why.

    That being said, I’m the exact opposite of the norm: I love it when my friends and family succeed. I figure that it’s way cooler for me to know successful people than it is to know failures. And who am I to criticize? They’re my peeps, so I gotta say “yeah!”

    • Thanks for commenting Ally, I appreciate it as always 🙂

      Agreed!! I feel the same. I don’t understand criticising and revelling in others misfortune, especially those you are suppose to be friends with (or love). It really makes my mind boggle!!!!

      Thanks again for your words!

  8. I agree with you so much on this. It is super interesting but as people I think we hate success. When we hear stories about successful people, often times you see comments belittling the success, making excuses like ‘he had all the right opportunities’ or ‘guy was in the right place at the right time.’

    Watch hardcore music enthusiasts, if they have a favorite small time band that becomes big, you’ll see comments that say, ‘oh they sold out’ or ‘their music sucks now that they are big’

    I think maybe there is some part of human nature that wants to pull people back. It’s weird.

    • Thanks for your comment Green Embers, much appreciated as always 🙂

      Yep, I think the points you have raised are spot on. Its almost as though there is morbid fascination in seeing people fail.

      There might be some people in the world deserving of being pulled down, they might have been complete horror bags before they were famous (or successful), but that certainly doesn’t apply to everyone. Plus, I think there are some people out there who like to judge others harshly, but refuse to judge themselves!!!

      Yes and human nature can be quite nasty sometimes.

      Thanks again for commenting.

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