Let’s be extra honest for a sec. Maybe because it’s Monday morning, I don’t know. But here’s what I want to know: Is there anyone in your life right now who is supposedly your friend but actually pushes every single one of your buttons? Who sends you through the roof for no good reason? Who makes you feel like the most loser-ish loser ever to walk the face of the earth?
And do you feel bad reacting this way because this person is supposedly your friend?
If so, I hear you. For me, this person was a Facebook friend. Not a great friend, more of an acquaintance, but still, she was all over my Facebook page. And every single post was making me feel like such crap. She was more beautiful, was definitely more charming, had more friends, and seemed to be fulfilling her every desire. In short, I was jealous. Extremely.
For the longest time, I seethed every time I read one of her posts. She had some nerve! Who did she think she was? Didn’t she know that world does not revolve around her? She was so annoying—why did she have so many friends?
Eventually I felt bad about my irrational anger, so I tried to talk myself out of it by focusing on the positives. I told myself that she is a good person (she is, I imagine), and she deserves her successes. I told myself I was happy for her. I told myself I admired her.
Great sentiments, but they didn’t help at all. Still madly jealous. Still sort of nuts.
Then I tried to psych myself out of it. I asked myself the deeper questions about why this person in particular made me crazy. Was I like her and I didn’t even realize it? Did she possess qualities I had repressed in myself? Was I projecting my own insecurities onto her and then judging her as I really judged myself?
All possibly quite true, and yet not helpful. Not helpful in the least.
Finally, something switched in me. I don’t know what happened. I guess I just got tired of feeling like crap. I decided that however much I admired/envied/loathed/whatevered her, it didn’t matter. I was just done. I needed her out of my life.
(Of course, she barely knew I was in her life. This was a fairly one-sided Facebook relationship. So extracting myself from it wasn’t going to pose too much of a problem.)
So here’s what I did. I stopped responding to her posts. I stopped being supportive of her very exciting life. I stopped commenting on and “liking” every happy step she took.
At first I felt conspicuous, like surely she would notice my absence. Then I realized I was being ridiculous. But still I threw in a “like” every so often just to make myself feel better. After all, I didn’t want to send her evil vibes or anything, I just wanted my sanity back.
And then you know what happened? She magically disappeared from my Facebook page. I’m guessing this is how Facebook operates—the more you comment and like someone’s posts, the higher they will appear in your news feed. So since I wasn’t reacting to her like I used to, Facebook assumed I didn’t want to hear about her as much anymore. And you know what? Facebook was right!
I can actually say that this one tiny change has made a big impact in my life. It might sound kind of minor, but not hearing about her accomplishments every day has given me room to breathe, and helped me to be kinder to myself.
I’m sure that my negative reaction to her is truly significant in some way—proof of a major issue inside me just waiting to be dealt with. But for now, until the day comes that I learn and grow and become a wiser person, well, I am quite willing to settle for being a happier person.
© Amy Daniewicz
Photo credit: “Best friends” by Jim Nix of Nomadic Pursuits
This post is part of an ongoing feature inspired by my blog’s mission: ♥ Your Home, ♥ Your Life, ♥ Yourself.