Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

Friend's Competitive Streak Gets Hard to Take

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: Since fourth grade “G” has been my best friend. We even roomed together during a study abroad semester.

I know there are things that drive her crazy that I do, but for me, I am having a harder and harder time with how she always has to be or do one better than me. If I spend $60 on a dress, she goes out and gets nearly the same one for $40. When she heard my boyfriend is now the manager of his department, suddenly her boyfriend is a vice president.

It just goes on and on and I usually let it pass, but I nearly snapped last week when she started in on how much more generous her boyfriend is than mine, how he gives her jewelry and takes her out to big expensive dinners, when she knows my boyfriend doesn’t make that much, but I know he treats me well.

I need suggestions on how to shut her down without playing her game. --- CAN’T COMPETE

DEAR CAN’T COMPETE: Your friend sounds insecure, which is most likely where her competitiveness comes from. And, you already realize it’s too easy to get pulled into her game of one-upmanship.

My suggestion would be to continue to let it roll off you, as you’ve successfully been doing all along. Accept she needs to feel she’s one step ahead, but assure her you’re well-satisfied with how things are in your world.

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