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Old Friend May Steal My Thunder

George wrote:

I’ve never been the most confident person. I didn’t completely lack it, but there was a shortage of it in my life. This was especially during secondary school. I went from knowing everyone in my primary school to being a ‘needle in a haystack’. I made friends – but I generally kept myself to myself.

I did envy someone, who actually happened to be my friend. Everyone liked him – and he seemed to have the confidence that I wish I had. Admittedly, he wasn’t perfect, but he had a charm that I admired – and so did everyone else.

I’ve worked hard with my confidence since school. I’ve learned to trust myself, believe in myself – and it’s been a long slog – I’m still not totally there, but I’m so much better than previously.

That particular friend contacted me the other week to tell me that he’s probably going to be working at the same place I was. It’s really gotten to me – it’s almost like he’s turning up on ‘my turf’ – a place where I feel comfortable – and I’m able to display my confidence.

I can’t quite explain it correctly – but I’m trying, it’s like I know he’s going to steal my thunder – I’m worried that I’ll return to being that 15 year old who sat there in a shy manner.

How can I deal with my jealousy? How can I stop myself reverting back to my old school days?

Dear George

The good news is that you are 100% aware this is your problem, not his. The bad news is you think nothings changed since school - and yet you tell me you've changed. So has he.

And he's entitled to a little nervous about the new job and new people. So help him.

Your job is to be a friend to him. Make him welcome, introduce him to good people; tell them what a great guy he is.

Friendship works best when you think about helping the other person, and not when you are only thinking of yourself.

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