My best friend and I are both actresses, and although I love and value her friendship, she's been getting really competitive with me. I want to be able to share all of the exciting stuff happening in my career, but when I do she digs for more information. At one point she even showed up at an audition I was going to claiming she had been invited, too!
I want to help her and I offer her career advice and support, but I'm not getting the same in return. I want her to do well, but at the same time I need to focus on myself, especially since I see her benefiting from my advice a little too much. How can we still maintain a close relationship when there is always this competitiveness whenever career is brought up?
— Career Comes First Catherine
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Dear Career Comes First Catherine,
First of all, any friend that consistently uses you and appreciates your friendship only for what it can offer as a benefit to her career is no friend in my book. Furthermore, while you say your girlfriend's competitive nature is putting a strain on your friendship, I can't help but notice that you're not shy about pointing out that your advice is helping her a "little too much." To me, that comment is reflective of a someone who is competitive in her own right, which makes me assume that this competition between friends is more than the one-sided issue you make it out to me.
You and your friend need to decide if your friendship is more important than your careers, because right now that doesn't appear to be the case. If it's not, then why bother with it at all? A friendship is only as good as the people creating it, so if you want to make it work, you need to communicate with each other. Keep in mind that if you do maintain your friendship, you'll have to be supportive even when things are going better for her than you and vice versa.