5 surefire signs that your so-called BFF is secretly rooting for your fall
BY NABANITA DUTT
Is she a soulmate or a snake? The line separating the two is often so fine, and the equation is so mixed up with love and envy, girlfriends who are best friends possibly share the most complicated relationship on this planet. Handling a romantic partner who is a serial cheater is a cakewalk in comparison because the telltale signs between two women are so nuanced and so hard to judge.
Let’s face it. Few women can honestly say they’re not a bit jealous of their best friend. Would you, for instance, feel 100 per cent proud and excited if your bestie got a massive pay raise while you’re still plodding on with your dead-end job? Would you cheer madly if your bestie snared the sexiest guy at the party, when both of you are single, and had been introduced to him at the same time? Do you keep count of the number of friends she has on Facebook, and then want to delete your own account because she seems more popular?
The answer, unless you’re only just missing a halo, is no, no and possibly, um… yes. And that’s okay, because no other relationship in the world is based on principles of such equality.
Just think about it: every person other than her who’s close to your heart is related to you by blood or by marriage. They’re either younger, or older or of the opposite sex.
It is only your bestie, who holds an exclusive position in your life because she is, situationally and emotionally, a mirror image of you. But equality in real life is never really equal, and a smidgen of occasional rivalry and feelings of jealousy are natural knee-jerk reactions that passes with time.
The problem is when it doesn’t. When you’re opening your heart up and sharing secrets with the one person you shouldn’t. The person who is privy to your innermost world and the person who has the power to use that knowledge, at a time of her choosing, to destroy your happiness in a way you never thought possible.
The telltale signs are plenty if you consider looking for them. And if you’re astute enough to recognize the difference between ordinary girl-girl one-upmanship and something more troublesome.
So, have you best-friended a woman whose jealousy of you can potentially vitiate the sanctity of your privacy? Is she likely to compromise your confidence and sell you out, just to see you go down in flames? Even while one part of her really loves you and remains your best friend in the midst of your social/emotional demise?
Here are pointers that should at least get you thinking of holding back a little bit if your BFF sounds like a good match:
Stealing your STYLE in SECRET
Okay, this sounds really superficial, but trust me, here’s where the rot often starts to set in. So you’ve devised some new look for yourself – maybe a new make-up trick or a new way to wear your scarf or something cool you’re doing with your hair. Your bestie acts like she doesn’t even notice the change. Fine. No big deal.
But then, when she is not with you, and you accidentally happen to run into her, she is doing exactly the same thing. A true BFF would have said right off the bat that she totally loves your new look, and how she’s excited to try it for herself. That’s what girls usually do.
A `contender’, on the other hand, will keep quiet, and steal your style – in her subconscious mind, she is imbibing your essence – and say nothing about it. Fishy. Very fishy.
Chatting up your guy – and keeping it on the downlow
It is entirely normal for a woman to text, email or meet her best friend’s guy for some reason or other. But why wouldn’t she tell you about it? There can be only one logical answer. She doesn’t expect your man to tell you either!
In other words, she’s sent some weird sexual feelers out to him, and he seemed to be taking. So, you stay out of the loop, and she can enjoy the feeling she’s one up on you and revel in your ignorance.
`Accidentally’ meeting your ex-boyfriends
Rarely, if ever, does this happen by `accident’. And I’m willing to bet it isn’t some random date you had in high school that she knows about either, but a guy you still nurse a secret crush over – and your BFF is the only living soul you’ve ever shared this weakness with.
Unknowingly, what you have done, is handed her some potential ammunition. And so, she `accidentally’ meets this special ex-guy over social media, or at his gym or wherever you have already told her he hangs out. They strike up a casual friendship – and this time, she tells you all about it.
Notice the difference? Mum’s the word when it’s your boyfriend, but she’s li’l Miss Reuters with the latest news now, because she knows you cannot viably take offence to this `innocent’ meeting. So you boil in private and she feels…awesome!
More interested in your problems – than even you are
This scenario plays out really well if you’re in an unsettled relationship, where your man is either married and dragging his feet on the promised divorce, or he is playing the field or not ready to commit for some reason or other. Or you’ve been in a major fight that could possibly end in splitsville town.
This is a time when a woman sorely needs a BFF – unless the BFF in question is surreptitiously gathering fodder to sell at your cost in the gossip marketplace later.
While you break your heart, grateful for a listening audience, she is the Madonna of patience, ready to stay up nights, willing to spend hours on the telephone, listening to you splitting the same hairs about the most innocuous details that went down between you and him. Over and over again. Is this God’s answer to the best friend every woman dreamed of but never had? Or is it something more conniving in its intent?
The epitome of a concerned friend – and not afraid to show it
If none of the other instances raised a red flag with you, then please let this be it, because now you’re in the seriously dangerous territory of public humiliation.
Your BFF is so `worried’ about shit going down in your life, she is airing her concerns with members of your family and other friends who naturally are conduits to your entire social world, where your innermost secrets will soon become public knowledge.
Understand, that she is not at fault.
It is they who started asking questions, and honestly, she never really revealed anything…
Trust her? Believe her? Well, then, you are so sunk. But for whatever it’s worth, you will not be the first victim of the `beheading-by-bestie’ drama. Not by any stretch. Even Roman Emperor Julius Caeser had his “Et tu Brut” moment, when, at the time of his slaying, he cottoned on to the fact that his best friend Brutus was ultimately treacherous…
And Jules was only a man…
Many of us have been through this coming-of-age journey with our own BFFs already. They stole us, they sold us, but in hindsight, they did all of that because a part of them truly loved us.
The love in there wasn’t unremarkable or make-believe. It’s just that the feminine rivalry took centerstage, and did such harm that the rest of the good times became the least abiding memory.
But we can still revisit that unique friendship, if it is in our past, and learn life lessons from that experience. Or watch out for the warning signs from here on, and not share so much of ourselves in the first place.
Either way, it is every woman’s right of passage – the snake BFF who adored us so much. Maybe, this is the most unsung, un-weighed, written-off relationship of our lives. Something no man can, or ever will, understand.