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You Asked: My Friend Is Too Competitive

Dear Sugar,

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

To see DearSugar's answer,


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.


Join The Conversation
JaimeLeah526 JaimeLeah526 8 years
Personally I think that if you were her friend you wouldn't mind her going to the same auditions as you and you'd be happy if she got the part. It's a competitive job and you have to learn to deal with that. There is no way you'd take it personal if you weren't so insecure that she'd get the part and you wouldn't. Let it go and hope that your friend can forgive you for being such a jealous bitch.
Blackwood Blackwood 8 years
why would you give that advice to begin with? does your friend actually ask for it? if not, then stop offering it. I would feel patronized if a friend and work fellow would suddenly come and give me any kind of uncalled advice, and then have the nerve to even ask (I assume that you asked your friend why was SHE in the audition that YOU had previously told her about, given that she told you that she was invited too, making it sound like she was just defending herself) why I am actually taking it! If I'm wrong and that was not the case, and she actually asks for your advice/opinion/etc., I'm sorry it sounds so hard... but then you need to question yourself: why do you actually tell her all about your work when it's clear that you perceive some bitter attitude from her every time you do it? next time she tries to ask you something related to work or brings up the subject, tell her that you don't feel comfortable talking about that with her and then calmly explain her why you feel that way. Hopefully, you will both agree to review the whole situation in more depth (maybe she gets the same vibe from you, or not, who knows) and work it out eventually. Good luck.
Sporky Sporky 8 years
I think competitiveness and friendship are mutually exclusive. She wouldn't be a friend of mine.
Ashlina Ashlina 8 years
What I would do is, don't talk to her about your career at all, if it has to do with you'r career don't even mention it. You need to focus on yourself, and she will understand that if she is a true friend. When you're with her, just tell her that there will be no talking about it. Being with a friend is about having fun and not worrying. You will learn what to tell her and what not to tell her, but talk to her about it first to make it known to her what she is doing..if she's a good friend, she will understand.. GOOD LUCK!! :)
Ms--Anonymous Ms--Anonymous 8 years
Lay off telling her about your auditions. Period. If you want to keep contact with her just wait till AFTER your auditions to tell her about them. By that point, she wont have the opportunity to make any more pop-up visits! I had a friend like this too same situation and all but I just cut her off because to me we had a friendship to her it was a competition and chance to squeeze me for info....
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 8 years
I have a friend that is very competitive in daily life situations, she is supposed to be my best friend (for more than 10 years now), but at times I wonder. I have back off quiet a bit and tend to not tell her much of what is going on with me (which is sad). I do not tell her plans that I have or give much detail in things I do without her because of jealousy. I down play every thing. It sounds bad, but in the long run it just means that more than likely you really don't need to be that close. I know it's different situation, in many ways but I think that people can almost be friends with you because they feel they are better or it just becomes a convenience. So maybe you should figure out how valuable her friendship really is to you.
austerity austerity 8 years
Actually, maybe this girl's line is misunderstood. By 'helping a little too much' she may also mean that this competitive girl is simply taking more than she was offered and is crossing the line of what's decent in a friendship.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 8 years
I'm with Austerity and DearSugar. Sadly, competition and close friendship do not mix. Competition is an adversarial relationship (in order for you to win, she has to lose, and vice versa). An adversarial relationship precludes friendship, so there you have it. Truthfully, a couple of my friendships were ruined by my friends being competitive with me. I was not competitive with them. In fact, I'm not a competitive person at all. Long story short, I ended the friendships because they became very ugly towards me. Competition can bring out the worse in people.
austerity austerity 8 years
This girl may be a good friend, but at the end of the day she would not hesitate choosing gigs or her career over you. She'll probably be nice, but won't hesitate to use you to get ahead or when it comes down to it, choose her career over your friendship. So here's my advice; be cordial and nice as usual, but don't get taken for a ride. I agree that you should avoid talking about your acting and gigs altogether with her, keep avoiding the topic. It's not good to mix business with personal things especially in competitive friendships. I have the exact same situation, this friend of mine and I have always been very compatible and have fun but at the end of the day, I know who she is and she'd use me my contacts without batting an eyelid, even if that meant hurting our friendship; that's just how she is. So I've learnt how to deal with her. I have other friends who are strongly competitive but in a healthy spirit; this girl would stab me in the back if she could get better from it. But I never allow her the chance. bottom line: when it comes down to it, you too should choose your career over being loyal to this girl. If she asks for contacts, simply say you don't know or forgot, she'll get the message. Ignore any retaliative talk she might give.
lildorothyparker lildorothyparker 8 years
Stop giving her information about your auditions. If she doesn't know about it, she can't show up unexpectedly and you have no reason to be mad. Keep in mind that you're pursuing a career whose inherent morality aligns itself more with Stalin than two rosy-cheeked girls following their dreams. Denise Richards and Heather Locklear anyone?
xoxoxx xoxoxx 8 years
Once I heard that your advice was "helping her a little too much," I could tell that you have a little c-streak in you as well. She is going overboard by going to your auditions, but it seems as if you may be kinda...pushing her to be competitive yourself. You two are not best buddy material...break her off.
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