Friends in low places

Joey Garcia

My best friend and I got an apartment together, not far from campus. We had a party and I invited a guy she knows I like. We were drunk and he kissed me. She pulled me aside and said he kissed her, too, like six months ago. She confronted him in front of me (and everyone) and made him say which one of us he wanted. People started leaving. He tried to avoid answering, but then picked her. She immediately dragged him into her bedroom and started having extremely loud sex. I get it, she’s a lot prettier than me. I left. She blew up my phone crying she’s sorry, doesn’t like him and the sex was terrible. I snuck back when she was at work and got stuff so I don’t have to see her. I’m staying with my sister who won’t give me advice (long story). Please help.

Welcome to planet Earth, where people do crazy shit. Sneaking back into your own apartment as if you’re not half-owner of that space? Crazy. Standing in front of someone who is supposedly your BFF and listening while she intimidates a guy into choosing between you? Crazy. Not noticing that your best friend isn’t a friend at all? Weird. Can you see how you are using this situation to make yourself small? You have as much right to be in that apartment as she does. You don’t have to go when she is present if you’re not ready to talk to her. But you do have to walk in like you belong there because you do.

Watching a guy you like crumple when confronted by (let’s be honest) your former best friend is devastating. But hanging around while she eviscerates you? No, just no. FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) can inspire us to freeze or fight or run away. Here’s what it means: We believe something so profoundly that it influences our body. Sometimes that’s a good thing. Other times, it helps to investigate our beliefs about ourselves or others or the world. If you velcroed to thoughts about being inferior to your roommate—less attractive, less desirable, less likely to be in relationship with the guy you want—you prepared yourself to feel less than her.

Another perspective is to celebrate your uniqueness and allow yourself to be equal to others. When you live from that internal space, you might notice that you’ve been competing with your roommate for quite a while. So the confrontation you witnessed was an external representation of your internal dialogue. Change the script and you change your life.

Are you willing to become your own best friend? Forgive yourself for not seeing the competitive and unkind side of your roommate, and yourself, sooner. Remind yourself regularly that it’s safe to accept your roommate and yourself (and others) as whole people. That is, everyone has good qualities and challenging attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. So not everyone should be in our lives forever. Some people pass through to provide us with the gift of revealing where we’re stuck. It’s our job to set ourselves free.

Meditation of the week
“As long as we are not ourselves, we will try to be what other people are,” said spiritual teacher Malidoma Patrice Somé.

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