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Getting the Job! When Your Friend Doesn’t…

Q: I recently just beat out a friend for a new job that is very coveted. I saw her after the fact and was friendly as usual, but she has been snubbing me ever since! Do I just have to wait this one out?

Great communication makes great relationships. Poor or no communication dooms them. I went after a job in television and beat out a coworker and good friend for it. That was more years ago than I care to count, and we are still the best of friends. Why? Because we sat down after I was awarded the job and talked about how we felt about my getting it and his losing it. What made it worse was he had told me about the job opportunity in the first place. I aced the interview and his good deed went “punished.” One fact of life is there is no guarantee about anything. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. And in job competition situations only one person wins. If you value your friendship with her, then invite her to coffee and let her know that while you are happy that you have the job, you feel really bad that you couldn’t wave the magic wand and make it happen for both of you.  Ask yourself, is it your fault she didn’t get the job and you did? Of course not. For whatever reason, you were more qualified, interviewed better, had more skills, better attitude or were perceived as a better fit than anyone else interviewed and that is why you were hired.
It doesn’t always help to be encouraging as in, “I know you’ll get the next one,” because that usually just comes across as condescending and patronizing. So you may want to start out by telling her you feel a bit at a loss and didn’t know if you should say something to her or if you should just let this pass and hope she’d warm back up. (That is the truth about things, isn’t it?) Tell her truthfully and sincerely that you hope this turn of events won’t hurt your relationship and ask her if she had gotten the job instead of you, and your feelings were hurt, would it bother her if you were giving her the cold shoulder routine? Ask her if there is anything you can do or say to make her feel better about how things turned out. Tell her you value your friendship and hope you can move past this. The point is that you are offering to help her feel better about things without apologizing for winning the job. (Let’s remember this is not your “fault” and you are really not responsible for her hurt or angry feelings, she is. You certainly have nothing to feel guilty about. And a reasonable, mature person who values you as a friend will work with you and appreciate you for initiating this process.) If she is not willing to participate in bringing the friendship back to center or warm back up to you, then it tells you the strength of your friendship was not very deep and that she is not mature enough emotionally to be happy for a friend’s good fortune. You have taken the high road and taken care of your part in this without belaboring the situation or becoming co dependent to her issues. 

Dr. Fayr Barkley, PhD. is a Human Behavior Researcher, based in Beverly Hills, CA. She is the foremost world expert on the Cougar/Cub dating dynamic as well as general human behavioral issues and patterns. Her 20+ years of doctoral research and interviews with thousands of people from all walks of life, ethnicities and social/economic backgrounds has earned her expert status on ABC News, CNN, The Examiner, Ezine Articles, Helium.com, More.com, as well as numerous interviews with the foreign and domestic press. She is a former CBS News correspondent, award winning PBS producer/director and was the on camera relationship expert on the hit television series “Blind Date” for six seasons. She operates the dating site www.CougarInternational.com and is currently co-executive producing a television dating game show that will be aired in 135 U.S. markets and seen in over 44 million households. Her 1990 Ph.D. doctoral project, ”Childhood Psychosexual Imprinting and the Effects it Has on Adult Male and Female Relationships Specific to the Older Woman/Younger Man Bond” is the basis of her expertise in imprinting makes her a true authority in this field. Dr. Barkley is sought out as a public speaker, consultant, adviser and relationship expert to the news media, legal profession, psychological profession and individuals who want to learn “what’s behind the curtain” of human behavioral patterns.
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