Tags: Am I too sensitive?, boundaries in friendships, frienemy, Jealousy and Envy

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The female friendship subject is something that has been cropping up quite frequently over the past while. I know I keep saying it, but I never fail to be shocked by the capacity for women to fail other women and to consistently put men before friendship. I’ve had a new experience which symbolises that I am at different stage in life: when a friend cannot be happy for you.
I’m talking relationships but this is applicable to anything that is of enough importance for it to impact on your life, bring about happiness and create a change in your friendship. That’s new jobs, promotions, pay rises, baby, boyfriend, wedding, new car and other material items.

 

Obviously if what you’re happy about is something that’s a very sensitive subject, be sensitive about it! This doesn’t mean you can’t be happy or tell them, but do be diplomatic. If they’ve just got sacked for instance, they’ll probably struggle to be ecstatic over your fat pay rise and a promotion. Equally if your friend has just lost a baby, it’s not that she doesn’t feel happy for you being pregnant, but she’s very likely to be still grieving and still hurting.
But what if it’s just about their own discontent?

 

Sometimes friends don’t know how to or just can’t be happy for us and they rain on our parade.

 

Maybe they’re negative, maybe they ignore whatever it is that made you happy even if it’s smacking them in the face, or maybe they even ignore you. I’ve heard stories of women being suddenly frozen out and being unable to assimilate what they have done to be treated in this way.

 

I’m fortunate that nothing very bad has happened but I have found that I’m a bit stunned and my feelings are a bit hurt. It’s not like I’ve been rubbing any of my happiness in her face, but I’m feeling a bit of frost even though it’s not winter!
Friendship is something that should exist whether you are up or down. You should be able to be a friend whether you are both unhappy, both okay, you are up or she is down. It is not acceptable for you to only feel that you can be a friend and be happy for her, as long as you don’t perceive her to be doing better than you.

 

Sometimes it is hard to be full of the joys of spring when it feels like things aren’t going too great for you, but being happy for a friend is not about you, it’s about THEM, which means that genuine friendship should allow you to find it within yourself to be happy for them without grudging them. Yes, we’re human and this will be hard sometimes, but at this point, when you really can’t feel it, you either fake it till you feel it, or keep it zipped until you can find it within yourself to be genuinely happy for her.

 

If you’re a woman on the receiving end of a friend who can’t be happy for you and is not being nice to you, hard as it is, don’t take it personally. It’s not about you, it’s about her and with any luck, you can still be there as a friend whilst she comes through this difficult phase and she will see the error of her ways and get the friendship back on track, gracefully. However, this difficulty can also be the marking of the point where you both take different roads and your friendship doesn’t survive it or eases into an ‘acquaintance’ zone. Remember that friendship and the ability to be happy are not mutually exclusive. Your friendships can co-exist with your state of happiness or sadness and that’s what friendship is about!

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