Since conception through infancy as a Nigerian child, it has been one competition or struggles to another. It all began when five of us kids will sit in a circle around a plate of hot eba (garri) and egusi soup. We never allowed the meal to cool to mouth temperature before delving into the native soup.
Growing up in Nigeria, the battle for food was so fierce that we usually explored different tricks to have an added advantage over one another on the garri, soup and fish. Tega hides eba in his pocket. Like a fisherman Victory skilfully catches a piece of fish with his mould of eba.
I got into kindergarten still smallish and met a different kind of competition. This time around, parents did not allow us, children, to grow naturally and enjoy our childhood. We partook in activities that were intense for our juvenile minds.
At an early age, parents wanted their kids to be outstanding academically. There was rivalry for whose kid would come first in the kindergarten class. Somehow, a lot of kids lost control during the stiff chase of academic excellence.
Years later, I became a Nigerian teenager. The contest was now different and diverse. I experienced the contention for who would be the most popular kid in high school. The goal was to be the coolest kid at the same time the brightest student in the class. Conflict among the female folks was aggressive. The contest was about who was the prettiest girl in class or who was snatching whose boyfriend. It became messy at some point.
As a Nigerian teenager, I observed how girls preferred to be friends with other ladies who they perceive to be better off in terms of physical appearance. The ideal way to steal all the attention from guys and leave their friends thirsty for attention. Friendships go south when there is a mix up between crushes and boyfriends.
As a guy, you only get the opportunity to date a girl after passing the evaluation of her friends. Woe to you if any of her friends dislike you or have a crush on you. She will definitely but in bad words. You end up receiving a rejection letter for your boyfriend application.
Finally, we scaled through teenage drama and graduated from secondary school. After high school, our lives all took a different route. For some, it was a smooth ride, the other majority, our lives went on the reverse. Some classmates got admitted to the University on their first trial with the Joint Admission Matriculation Board Exam (JAMB). The rest of us struggled for years to enter the tertiary institution without any success.
We resented ourselves when we saw pictures of our former mates in stylish lab coats in their fancy University laboratory. A few of my mate went to apprentice with an uncle in some of the major cities in Nigeria. Sadly, I hear Jonathan and Chris are now into the Yahoo internet scam. Their Instagram page stinks of an extravagant lifestyle. I look back from my childhood and realize that life has always been about competition and struggle to be the best. Sadly, it won’t be out of place to say life has been unfair for most of the time.
A few years later, our Facebook and Instagram feed gets littered with alluring pictures of former classmates. Damn! We ask our self why we are not yet successful like our mates. Something definitely must be wrong with our life. The profound success of our former classmates drowns us into the ocean of depression. It gets to a stage we become overwhelmed by the persistent flaunt of success by others on social media. Deactivating our Facebook and Instagram accounts seems like the only way to get out of the mess of being the least successful of our former friends.
Fortunately, a few years later, we enter the corporate world. A good job, a furnished flat and a cool ride. For the first time in a long time, we begin to perceive the aroma of prosperity. We quickly enter into a relationship with Ifeyinwa – the girl of our dream. On the long run, we make great friends; people who are always there for us.
On Saturdays, we play lawn tennis at the University staff club. On Sundays, we visit hot spots in the city to enjoy life. Suddenly, we begin to observe that we are the least successful of our friends. How then do we handle being less successful?
Does success make you lose friends?
Success is not a tangible reason to lose your friends. The friends you lose when you become successful or become the least successful were probably not real friends. Be friends with people who are genuinely happy for your success. It is why the foundation of your friendship must be firm and loving. Real friends stick together during hard times and good times.
Should I leave my successful friends?
You should not leave your successful friends because you become the least successful. Real friends will try to assist you and stick with you until you achieve your success. Friends motivate one another. When you discover that the people around you are not real friends, leave them whether you are successful or not.
Why do I feel bad when my friends are more successful?
It is a normal feeling to feel bad when your friends are more successful than you. The experience can be hectic when you are always the person who routinely dishes out congratulatory messages and gets none in return. Most times, it is hard to stay comfortable around more successful people without having the feeling of being deficient.
Most times, we fail to realize we have our path to success. Endeavour not to feel bad about yourself. Shake off the sadness and be happy. Focus on yourself, work smart and stay optimistic.
How to Survive When Your Friends Are More Successful
- Define success
- Protect your Self-esteem
- Evaluate your relationship/friendship
- Be Ready to Collaborate – Friends Influence your Success
- Seek your path and success route
1. Define Success
All my friends are doing better than me? The first thing to do when you become the least successful of your friends is to define success. What does success mean to you?
We all have our definition of success. Defining success will help you to know if the accomplishment of your friends is good or illegal. A person who is involved in fraudulent schemes. Lives an extravagant lifestyle, sees fraud as a form of success. For the records, that’s not real success. You should not associate yourself with people who live in corrupt practices.
Why do I choose bad friends?
You may choose bad friends when you desire to roll with the cool guys in the hood. Environmental factors can also be responsible for why you have bad friends. If you live in a rough neighbourhood, there chances that you will end up with bad people. Wherever you find yourself, don’t choose to make friends with bad people. Their influence can be detrimental to your lifestyle, career and life in general.
2. Protect your Self-esteem
Self-esteem is our psychology – mental makeup. It is how we gauge ourselves. Do we appreciate and like ourselves? Our self-esteem is the first part of us that is severed when you realize your friends are more accomplished. We begin to see ourselves as being worthless with no value. We feel stupid, just as if we are not working hard enough to succeed.
I will be sincere here right now. When you associate with the wrong clique of friends, there is no saving for your self-esteem. It is why you find young people willing to get involved in fraudulent practices. The reason is that everybody except them is succeeding.
For those in the right web of friends, there is hope for boosting your self-esteem. Look beyond success and see how you are valuable. Everybody has got something to offer. Even if you are not up to the success bar of your friends, you shouldn’t lose your self-esteem. Your friends are still with you because they see value in you. Get creative and love yourself.
3. Evaluate your friendship
Evaluating your friendship means that you determine if the people you hang out with are real friends. If they are your friends, then you have to be happy with their accomplishment. At first, you may feel bad that you are the least successful. This feeling is normal. As I stated above, work on your self-esteem so that you will not feel bad for your successful friends.
4. Be Ready to Collaborate
Friends influence your success. When you acknowledge that your friends are more successful, the next step is to reach out to them and discuss your challenges. Tell them how you feel about not meeting up with your expectations. They would seek a way to motivate and offer assistance. They would network you to valuable people. Some of your friends may opt to introduce you to their career. Keep an open mindset and collaborate.
5. Seek your path and success route
The reason why your friends have more win may be because you are yet to discover yourself. Pursue your dreams to achieve success. Are you employed, what is your talent? Learn skills and engage in activities that will equip yourself. Relax, everything is going to be alright.
It is important to note that we bring too many competitions in our lives. Success should not make us devalue ourselves or others around us. Be appreciative for your current achievements and share the love.
- What’s your experience being friends with more successful people?
- Did you end your friendship with them?
- Are you more successful than your friends, what’s your story?
I would love to hear from you using the comment box.