Friend or Foe

Whenever I meet someone that likes to be the center of attention, they become either friend or foe. I have to admit that when I was younger I might have tried to take the center of the attention and compete for it. I have moved on from that and do not feel like being the center of attention unless there is nobody else to take it.

The last time there was a struggle for being the center of attention it ended up being a very sad situation. I lost a friendship that I had poured a lot of effort into. Ever since I have been trying to evaluate situations and not try to ever steal the thunder from someone else, or burst any self created bubbles. People are very attached to their bubbles no matter how fragile they are. But this is not about the sad stories… this is actually about someone I thought was foe and became a friend.

I was not the most popular kid in high school, as a matter of fact I was quite unpopular. Funny thing about it is that even though a lot of the people that would pick on me thought that I did not get their sarcasm. Moving to a different country changed a lot of things and gave me the opportunity to catch up on age, one of the biggest factors on being picked on. Thanks to facebook I have reconnected with a lot of the people that I knew back then and I have started to see that there was a lot more people that I actually liked and got along with. The horrible memories I have from back then are actually just due to concentrating on the negative, there was actually more positive than negative.

During college I had a nemesis that a lot of people shared on disliking. I would challenge him every single time I could because of his knowitall attitude. He was very intelligent and capable but even teachers would get annoyed by his attitude. Funny thing was that we ended up in a very small class together, only 5 people. We went head to head every single day and the teacher was more of a referee than anything else. Towards the end of our college career we ended up having to see each other more because of a friend in common and I started to remember my days of being the outcast. I reached out and ended up making one of the best friends I have now. He is a very constant friend now that we are adults. I was at the hospital the day after he had his first kid and I was happy to hold his kid in my arms. He went from being a foe to being a great friend.

Being competitive has taken a toll on my relationships in the past and I am glad I am over trying to be better that anyone at anything. I still have fun being competitive playing video games or even board games, but professionally or in relationships it is just not worth it. It feels a lot better to build bridges and relationships than try to come out ahead.

3 Responses to Friend or Foe

  1. I am introverted and non-competitive but usually have friends that are the opposite. I think its a good balance in a relationship.

    Glad I found your blog.

  2. John, everybody needs a genuine friend like you. I know I have been thru a lot of turmoil lately and I haven’t used your shoulder as much as I should have. But the fact of the matter is, I know that it is always there and I will always have someone to shelter me from the rain and fill my belly. I can truly say that I have never loved anybody quite how I love you. That’s not always easy for one guy to say to another. I just want you to know how much you mean to me.

  3. I admit that I have a competitive streak in me that I have to be conscientious about not letting it come out and roar its ugly head. But I have to agree with Barbara in that there does have to be balance among a group of friends — we kind of serve our own purpose.

    That’s a nice message from Travis.

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