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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Carolyn Hax: Competition tests best friendship

Washington Post

Dear Carolyn: I have been friends with my best friend for over 10 years. She was recently the maid of honor at my wedding. Ever since I got engaged (two years ago) she has been competing with me! The day after she found out I was engaged, she mentioned how she and her boyfriend (now husband) needed to go ring shopping immediately, and made an appointment for the very next week. I began scoping out wedding venues and so did she … even before she was engaged!

Next, my husband and I had been saving for a house for a long time, and as soon as I told her we were house-shopping, she decided they were also house-hunting, even though she hadn’t saved a dime or ever expressed any interest. They didn’t buy one until two years later.

She also one-ups! I mentioned I bought a new car and she said her husband is also buying a new car, one with much better reviews than mine. I almost avoid updating her on my life because I’m afraid she will use it to tell me how her life is so much better.

I did have a very honest talk with her about it and her snobbery subsided, but now it’s back. Please help! – C.

You don’t sound like friends, because friends are happy for each other. (You say snobbery, I say insecurity, tomato-tomahto.) The measuring here goes both ways, and maybe way back.

But 10 years is a lot of friendship to throw away, so try growing into the friend you wish you had. “I hear they’re great cars”; “Good for you guys!”; “There’s no real estate app I like – which do you use?”

Rethink those updates, too: How are you feeling, what are you thinking, what have you read/heard/seen? Talking ideas vs. acquisitions might engage you too much to compete.

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