Kathryn Lindsay
December 24, 2014 6:00 am

It’s happened before and it will happen again: you and your bestie have a lot in common, and sometimes that means they get the thing that you’ve also really been wanting and working toward. Now, I’m not talking about presents under the Christmas tree (that said, if anyone gets some of those mini Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups in their stocking, they better share with me!). I’m talking about the bigger stuff. A good grade on a test, a college acceptance, a job, an internship, a promotion. When these things happen, it can feel like there are those little cartoon angels and devils sitting on your shoulder and whispering in your ears. On the one hand, it’s your BFF and you love her! That’s so awesome that her hard work paid off. But on the other hand, you worked so hard, too! Why should you have to watch your dream happen to someone else?

It’s a tough spot to be in, and a struggle that happens to everyone at least once. As someone who’s been on both sides of the sitch, let me break down what I’ve found to be the best and (almost) tear-free way to handle this awkward situation. It can be done.

First and foremost, let them know you’re happy for them!

This is super important, especially when your first (internal) reaction is probably not the nicest. Remember, this person is your friend and they deserve your support during bad and good times. Let them know you’re proud of them — because you really deep down know that you are! Swallow your pride, put on your big girl pants, and recognize this is your BESTIE we’re talking about. Girl worked hard for this, and you are proud of her.

Take some time to yourself.

But you are sad, so after you’ve given your congratulations (your heartfelt congratulations), sneak on outta there. There’s only so much smiling you can do before the sadness creeps in and boils over, and the last thing you want to do is have your bestie think you’re mad at them rather than happy for them.

Now’s the time to reevaluate. So you didn’t do so hot on an assignment, or you didn’t get that job interview. Let it all out (cry your feelings, eat your feelings) and then think about what it all means. You have a chance to do better next time, and you have this experience to learn from.

Get their advice!

You also happen to have a person right in front of you who knows how to help you with exactly what you’re struggling with! First of all, they know you well! And will probably know exactly how to make you feel better. Second, tell them how interested you are in whatever it is they got, and see if they have some advice for you.

Have them look over what you’ve been working on and see if they have any feedback. Have them keep an eye out for other opportunities that might be the right fit. If you support your bestie, they’ll support you right back, and together you’ll be an unstoppable team.

So the next time you feel left out or behind, remember that friendship is stronger than the little or big things. Rather than looking at life as a competition, look at it as a give-and-take, and an opportunity to learn and grow and take on the world — with your best friend by your side, of course.