Here is a real, actual conversation I had today with my colleague, whom I’ve considered a friend, after I called them to ask for advice.
Let’s play a game!
“Find the number of egotistical, backhanded statements made in this conversation!”
Me: “The boss sent me an email saying she hoped I’d consider not-quitting my job. I don’t know how to respond… this feels like the universe is testing me….”
Colleague: “Wow, she must like you way more than me. I told her I was going to apply for a new job, too, but she didn’t say anything like that to me.”
Me: “Oh, it’s probably just because I work more hours than you that she said that to me.”
Colleague: “That’s really surprising that she wants to keep YOU on, since she gets more complaints about YOU than anyone else.”
Me: “The complaints I get aren’t actually about me or my work; they’re because people are really invested in the department I work in….”
Colleague: “Wow, she must really believe in you to put up with all of those complaints. I think that’s a big compliment.”
Me: “I think people actually respect me. For example, I had a conversation with [names people] and…”
Colleague: “Well, those people are nice to everyone. They’re really nice to me, too.”
Me: “Okay… anyway….”
End scene here.
Ironically, my ego is saying, “I’m so proud of myself for recognizing the egoism in the conversation.” HA.
It’s disappointing to see your friend turn into your “frenemy” because of their ego.
It’s also humbling to see your own ego rising to the occasion and (unnecessarily) defending its honor.
That’s all. I’m a work-in-progress. Sigh.