Friday, January 16, 2009

How to Make Your Friends Secretly Hate You

It sounds like a SNL skit with Kristen Wiig playing someone really awkward (her forte). Someone hates how in love her friends are and decides to talk to them about it. Except this is actually the advice Margot Carmichael Lester gives MSN readers.

Everyone hates at least one couple for some totally standard reason. Who wants to see people so freaking adorable and in love? Kissy faces and obnoxious nicknames? It's disgusting. Why should they be so freaking happy? And then when they talk about the sickeningly sweet couple things they do, you kind of wish pterodactyls would descend from the sky and eat their faces off.

Subtle, right?

But Margot recommends a different approach when a friend's relationship is bothering you. First step:

  • Fess up. "Tell your friends that you're thrilled for them and what they've got going on in their love life and you can't help but be a wee bit jealous...Telling on yourself will close the distance the jealousy creates, and you will look and feel instantly hotter with that weight off your chest."

Because that's really going to help. What is the Happy Couple supposed to do? Say they're sorry? After all, they have a right to be happy. If you tell them their love makes you feel bad about your own life, they're going to feel unnecessarily guilty and not really have a way to deal with it. After that, your company will always be a reminder of that guilt and they'll avoid your company. And rightfully so.
  • Be grateful. "Gratitude trumps envy. Start focusing on what you do have rather than pining for what's 'missing.' Hang a whiteboard on your fridge and write down three blessings in your life — big or small — when you're en route to that lonely, bitter place or catch yourself in a 'poor me' whine. Bottom line: Recognize all the love and goodness in your life — right here, right now — and envy won't stand a chance."

This one's more reasonable. The white board might be a little much, but it's good to count your blessings. Plus, you can remind yourself about how Happy Couple probably argues about where to spend holidays and how to invest savings and when they should get married/have kids/retire. Just don't keep the white board out when you have friends over; then you'll get back into that awkward whiney monologue that no one wants to hear.

  • Ask them to share the love. Your pals who are lovingly linked are in a great position to help you get that way, too. "Ask your friends to brainstorm with you on some ways to help you get your own love story started...Suggest they start by fixing you up with one (or two or three) of their honey's eligible friends."

Another bomb. If your Happy Couple Friend had someone to fix you up with, they probably would have already mentioned it. Bringing it up casually is one thing. Getting together friends for a "brainstorming session" is obnoxious. It's like their job is to set you up. Furthermore, I don't really know anyone who's harboring amazing guys. If I don't tell a friend that a guy friend of mine would be perfect for her, it's because I don't really see them as a couple. A brainstorming session isn't going to change that. Also, this makes it sound like finding romance for you is your friends' responsibility. It makes you sound desperate and awkward, and will make your friends feel guilty when they can't really come up with anyone for you. Plus, just because your attached friend happens to be in a stable relationship doesn't mean she'll be any good at finding someone for you.

That's not to say you should hide your feelings. But it's better to rant with another single friend about Happy Couple than to talk to them about it. And to discuss dating options. But please, don't come off as some kind of desperate dating whiner. Sometimes, that's even more annoying than Happy Couple.

And remember, when you start hating that Happy Couple, just think of the pterodactyls.