Following a dream is a lonely endeavor. And I’m not talking only about those impossible-seeming goals that require endless hours of study and practice, as well as luck. It can be any sort of objective that empowers and makes someone happy. Psychologists must have a better name for this phenomenon, something to do with projection, but I don’t know what that term is. But what I do know is how success and confidence can shorten your friend list.
We could easily assume that envy and jealousy are the forces at play, but it is more complicated than that. It has to do with the status quo. One can be envious of Kate Middleton, but since most of us were not born in English nobility, the Duchess of Wales does not really upset our standing in life. But when someone’s friend, spouse or relative accomplishes a goal, it becomes obvious that the objective was also within their reach as well, that they could have achieved it, but did not. And some people just can’t handle it. At first they will be excited for their friend, especially if they benefit from his or hers newfound success, but then they will find ways to be offended by it.
“He is too busy for his friends because he only cares about money”. “Should a mother be dressed like that?” “They are so shallow, just look at their Facebook photos”. “Their children are bratty”. It can be any excuse to justify what is really going on. That one person’s success can be perceived as another person’s failure. That is when when successful people start losing friends.
A lot of people internalize what is said about them, and accept that as truth. Since most people don’t want to be seen as selfish, greedy, and narcissistic, they abandon their endeavors. The ones who don’t, and end up succeeding, are often regarded with a mix of admiration and contempt.
True friendship is a rare gem, and is not threatened by success. Or failure.
Want to my musings? Share your thoughts!