I have a friend…
We were close friends in the past and since then have mostly drifted apart, but some things she does are still bothering me.
She has told me many times that she finds me very inspiring and envies my life.
I often notice that she takes ideas from me and my life, and then uses them as her own.
I have a manual that says, when she does this, she should tell me (or thank me) that she got them from me, and/or give credit to me when using them publicly – or she shouldn’t use my ideas at all.
Whenever I share something with her, or on social media, that is good news, or something I am proud of, or an accomplishment –
My model says she should: compliment me or acknowledge the good thing (the way my other friends do!)
Instead, she finds a way to ignore it, or to ask an unrelated question “Oh interesting, why did you name it that?” to deflect away from the “good” part of it
We are both creatives so for years we have shared bits of our writing and photography with each other, yet she has rarely acknowledged when mine is good, often doesn’t reply, and later blatantly uses my ideas as her own
I know that her actions are in her model and coming from her thoughts and feelings. I know she might feel so much insecurity and envy that it’s hard for her to react to me honestly. I know that she’s a human who gets to do whatever she wants to. I know that her actions are neutral – but that isn’t believable for me right now.
It happened yesterday, she posted something on social media that she wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for me. She gave credit to others, but not to me. She didn’t mention it to me at all.
After I saw it, I was trying to figure out how I want to act: I can reply to her with something about “I’m so glad you found that, I shared it with you because…” to bring the conversation back to me. I can decide that it’s not a big deal and ignore it and move on. I can acknowledge to myself that I feel annoyed by her and just let that feeling be there.
I can see that I am being competitive and almost child-like about this.
I’ve asked myself why I hadn’t let the friendship fade away like the others from that time in my life have, why I don’t mute her on social media and move on. (We now have a long distance relationship, no longer call on phone, mostly interact through rare texts and social media – it would be so easy to call the friendship complete and let it go!)
And there’s something about the competitiveness in the relationship that my brain doesn’t want to let go of.
I think my manual is really about me wanting to “win”. I like it when she tells me my life is better or I had a good idea or etc.
I know there is probably a ‘better’ way where I try to have a real relationship with her that isn’t competitive, or I let the relationship go. But my brain is still attached to ‘winning’.
I would love to get some outside perspective on this.