The Success of Friends

The successes of your friends are always a complicated thing; because unlike the successes of your enemies you can’t hate them for it. You like your friends and you want them to be happy, but their success reminds you of your failures and you find yourself  in two minds. One one hand you would rather not hear about their impressive accomplishments because they make you feel useless, a blight on the earth; on the other hand, you need to show off to people what your friends are doing, in the hope that at least by association people think you’re cool. 
It is difficult to not feel jealousy - it is human to do so. With people you don’t like the transition from jealousy to belittling and hatred is an easy one. They probably don’t deserve their success anyway because they are stupid jerks and sleep around. With your friends you can’t slide into hatred; they definitely deserve their success and are nice people (why else would they be your friends?). So the jealousy lingers for a while. Sometimes, like milk, if the jealousy is allowed to stand, it will turn sour and begin to eat away at the foundations of your friendship. Sometimes it dissolves into admiration and pride. Mostly it just fades away with memory, till the next time your friend succeeds, and then it comes back and lingers again. Unless of course you have in the meantime succeeded at something impressive. In that case you have something to say for yourself and you neutralise each other’s stories. 
All this makes sense in the first place only if you think of yourself as a failure. If you think of yourself in impressive terms, the coolest cat around, then no achievement by your friends will make you jealous or confused. You are, after all, the shit and you have an impressive number of stories to tell; so many in fact that your friends can barely get their stories in. 
Eventually, if you like your friends enough, you will stop feeling jealousy and come to terms with the fact that they are amazing people, much more amazing than you will ever be. The sooner you have this realisation the sooner you can go back to having a good time as they wax eloquent about their numerous and varied accomplishments (or the accomplishments of their successful friends). 
 

An Open Letter to Fifth Harmony

AI