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Swimming With The Sharks

Dear Sugar
I'm on a highly competitive swim team and we practice twice a day. Naturally, I spend a lot of time with my teammates.

Lately, a couple of the girls are beginning to bug me. They constantly dish out compliments to everyone - but in a tone that just doesn't make it sound like they mean it. They'll say something like "Ohmigosh, you're so fast." How am I supposed to respond to that?

They also ask me personal questions that I don't want to answer. Things like, "What'd you get on your ACT?" and "How fast did you go on that last set?" If I do end up sharing with them, they repeat it to everyone else on the team and I don't like it.

But at the same time, they ask me to call them so that we can hang out, and then get offended if I don't call. Why are they acting like this? It's like they hate me, but at the same time want to hang out with me? It's really confusing me and getting annoying. Perturbed Percy

Dear Perturbed Percy
I'm not sure why you are surprised that you're encountering callous girls on a highly competitive team? They want to know everything about you so they can see how you measure up.

I'm not shocked to hear that if you're whooping their butts, they want to "keep their enemies close." Beware of girls like this. It's not that they are evil; it's just that they want to be #1 - all the time.

Can you imagine the pressure involved with having close friends like that? You are obviously a threat to their ranking and they don't want to see anyone beat them. So act like a professional does in an office.

Understand that to work well, together it's important to have a sense of camaraderie and team spirit - but if you feel it's phony, then don't socialize with them outside of the pool. It's best to balance being both as pleasant and private as possible.

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