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In the shadow of a best friend

(19 Posts)
BrandyGran Tue 29-Aug-23 10:28:46

I have been best friends with a lovely “girl” for a very long time. She is outgoing popular and very pretty. I am more introspective and not so pretty. Everywhere we go she attracts attention. I feel overshadowed and not sure if I’m jealous or just fed up. Any comments?

hollysteers Tue 29-Aug-23 10:34:15

You might be undermining yourself. Do you really enjoy her company? Do you feel better after being with her? If not, maybe you have another friend to go out with who doesn’t make you feel like this.

Theexwife Tue 29-Aug-23 11:22:25

If your “best friend” wasn’t outgoing there would probably be things that you would not have done and people you would not have mixed with.

She cannot change being more attractive than you, I expect you are more attractive than others, it is irrelevant.

You say girl and use the word pretty, how old are you?

fancythat Tue 29-Aug-23 11:25:54

You feel fed up?
I think there are always things we dont like about someone. Even a best friend wont be perfect.
But in this scenario, doesnt sound like she is doing anything wrong?

ExDancer Tue 29-Aug-23 11:34:47

I know just how you feel. My 'best' friend from school was the same - she'd see a boy she fancied and I got his friend! I laugh about it now because I got the man I married whilst she's tried three and still not met Mr Right.
Look at the funny side it can be quite amusing watching from the sidelines.

VioletSky Tue 29-Aug-23 11:50:51

I think you need to work on your self esteem. There is far more to people than looks. Create your best life and focus on happiness, leave no space in your mind for jealousy, it is a pointless emotion

BrandyGran Tue 29-Aug-23 12:40:04

Thanks everyone. Ur right VioletSky. Must work on that. However my friend has a most friendly and engaging personality as well!!

Visgir1 Tue 29-Aug-23 12:44:54

I think your lucky to have a friend like this.
Enjoy being with her, if she's your friend your obviously a special person as well.

ParlorGames Tue 29-Aug-23 12:45:03

Would this friend be quite so confident and outgoing if she were out and about on her own? Maybe she sees you as her 'wing-man' ??

biglouis Tue 29-Aug-23 13:00:09

I advise you to look at what you have rather than what you lack vis a vis your friend.

Many years ago I had a best friend who made me feel like this. It was nothing she had done. Just that she was exceptionally attractive. especially to boys. I also had an exceptionally pretty sister. I knew I was not ugly. Plain rather. It often made me feel very down and like a second class citizen.

One day I confessed my feelings to my grandmother. She reminded me that I was a lot more intelligent than my sister and said "Looks dont last forever. One day her looks will fade but you will always have your brains." My grandmother was a very wise woman.

Time went on. My sister became a single mother - something I certainly did not envy her in the 1960s. My friend emigrated to Australia with her byfriend and later married.

In the meantime I built a very solid career using what I had - not my looks but my intelligence.

BrandyGran Tue 29-Aug-23 15:59:43

Thankyou Visgirl. I shall count my blessings and accept there are things I can’t change and enjoy and feel lucky I have a special friendship.

JdotJ Wed 30-Aug-23 12:03:47

You are the 'wind beneath her wings' and just as valuable as she.

janthegranx6 Wed 30-Aug-23 12:06:12

This sounds like teenage angst. Popular and pretty isn't something that I look for in a friend now I'm almost 80. Kind, reliable and positive would be more the things I value these days. Perhaps finding some more 'comfortable' friends would be worth the effort.

inishowen Wed 30-Aug-23 12:22:21

I'm married to a very charasmatic man. He lights up a room. I dont mind as I'm an introvert and just fade into the background.

Shelflife Wed 30-Aug-23 12:24:57

Try and increase your self esteem!!

Cymres1 Wed 30-Aug-23 12:39:25


Would this friend be quite so confident and outgoing if she were out and about on her own? Maybe she sees you as her 'wing-man' ??

I had a long term friend who I was expecting to be friends with forever. Until, that is, she started to make it clear that 3 was a crowd, and went in for intimate little chats about my shortcomings with my husband. I walked in accidentally on one which I shouldn't have heard. Then I took a long hard look at how many times I had been the trip organiser/travel agency then become the stooge.
We are both health professionals, and on one particular trip I said not to let on, but she couldn't resist becoming the instant attraction for all health problems. Centre of attention, and simply lapped it up.
I began to see the real person, the sideswipes and rudeness and the number of times things like this and other efforts to look good at my expense or embarrass me, had actually happened (which I had ignored because of the friendship,) and I gently detached myself from the situation.
The difference has been terrific, in all honesty. I have a busy life anyway, full of great friends and also very content in my own company. Husband is no longer put in an awkward situation of piggy in the middle, so all good. Another friend who is aware of what went on described her as a psychic vampire, while I think that could be a bit strong, there was definitely a pecking order and I was stooge, "fat friend", and easy to step on sidekick.
Life is so much better without her, and she's going her own sweet way.

Gundy Wed 30-Aug-23 13:28:30

Don’t be jealous. Some people are attention seekers and that’s what she probably dwells on.

Just know that she has weaknesses - those may be your strength of character. Many people can see right past outward beauty and “effervescence” and look for inward beauty, genuine warmth and intellect.

You can be that person!
USA Gundy

Jaxie Wed 30-Aug-23 13:43:46

In my teens I had a friend who was extremely attractive to men, she could afford beautiful clothes. I was tall, ungainly, cut my own hair, wore spectacles and was impoverished, so had to wear homemade clothes. I learned to talk my way into young men’s affections, she relied on her looks. She kind of took me in hand and got me wearing more flattering clothes & make up. I fell in love with a research student who had loads of girlfriends but in the end he fell for me and we’ve been married nearly 60 years. My friend married my husband’s old school friend. He was a high earner so she never worked outside the home. My husband is stingy, so I had to earn money to give me choices for myself & my children and so attended university as a mature student (I’d started work aged 16) and secured a very satisfying job. Very recently she informed me that she had always been jealous of me because, in her words, “ You are an intellectual.” She also asked me where I had met my very good friends. “Mostly at work.” I told her. She is very depressed in her old age and I think realises she should have developed some interests outside the home. Her husband is controlling & domineering. I have always been able give as good as I get to my husband because I had earning capacity and knew I was not dependent on him. Looking back I realise I was as jealous as hell of her in our youth, but now I’ve turned into her agony aunt. My conclusion: good looks come at a price. I hope I don’t sound unsympathetic. As Voltaire says, go dig your garden and this friend didn’t.

CanadianGran Wed 30-Aug-23 19:15:36

I have one very outgoing vivacious friend as well, who tends to capture all the attention while we are out. I am definitely the quiet side-kick when out with her.

But it doesn't bother me because her sparkle and animation is what drew me to her in the first place. I'm sure my quiet and happy outlook drew her in as well, which is why we have remained friends for a long time.

Try to think of the reasons she is drawn to you as a friend. Perhaps if you feel a bit overwhelmed while out, then arrange to meet in quieter surroundings, like a walk or visiting in each other's homes.