Dear Barb—The Art of Friendship

Dear Barb:

Hi, I read your column weekly and I appreciate your advice.  My question is about best friends.  I have known Chrissy for 25 years and our lives have paralleled in a lot of ways.  I believe that is the reason we bonded and were always there for each other. 

However, recently, things have changed.  For years we had both worked at the same job, but three years ago I resigned and decided to pursue my lifelong dream of becoming an artist.  It has taken me a couple of years to find my artistic style, but I eventually did.  I have had a few showings at galleries in and around town.  I always let Chrissy know where and when the showings would be, but so far she has not attended any of them.  She always has an excuse, like someone dropped over for a visit or she had some kind of event to go to.  When she comes over she never asks about my art or wants to see what I’m working on.  I am very hurt and don’t understand why she would be like this.  It has definitely affected our relationship.  I feel she is not supporting my dream.  Aren’t best friends supposed to be supportive? I don’t know if I should tell her how I feel,  or just let it be and spend time with people that do support me.  Thanks for your response, Laurie. 

Hi Laurie:

The definition of a best friend is a person who you value above other friends in your life, someone you have fun with, someone you trust, and someone in whom you confide.

The first thought that comes to mind is that your friend is jealous or envious of your newfound success.  If she has a valid reason for not viewing your art, I believe she would tell you.  Jealousy is not a healthy quality and leads to all kinds of difficulties in relationships.  You are obviously very distraught by this turn of events.  If it would make you feel better to discuss it with your friend, then that is what you should do.  However, she is unlikely to admit to her feelings, but it may cause her to tell you the real reason, if there is one.

Choosing instead to spend your time with other friends or family who support your dream is a healthy option.  As you move away from Chrissy, she may decide to ask why you are not hanging out with her.  That would provide a perfect opportunity for you to tell her how you really feel.  Unfortunately, these situations often occur when people move in different directions, and one ends up feeling hurt.  As long as you haven’t been bragging about your success, which may lead to feelings of resentment, I think you should choose to move on and focus on your artistic future.  Thanks for your email, Laurie.

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