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I’ve always lived with a very real sense of social scarcity. As a child, I was very unpopular and often bullied. My younger sister always seemed to find social interaction very easy, and it looked to me as if everyone just loved her on sight. So on the rare occasions I did make friends, I refused to let them meet her. I knew, really, that if they were to meet the cool sister, they would defect to her. She was better than me in every way. Why would anyone ever bother with me when she was around?

This went on for a long time, but nowadays my life is very different. I’ve been described as popular and outgoing recently. These words don’t fit with my self-image. I still think of myself as just living on social scraps, taking what I can where I find it. But it’s not true. I have a number of real, very genuine, very close friendships, for which I am endlessly grateful and surprised.

I’ve ended up introducing a few of them to each other quite recently.

I hate doing that. It always brings my insecurity bubbling up, and I start to feel competitive, like I need to prove to all parties that I am still the one worth knowing and loving, even now that I’ve shown them each other.

I’ve done a lot of it lately. Partly as a kind of showing off, and partly because it was inevitable or convenient.

They’re becoming each other’s friends independently of me, and I feel so horrible and possessive. I also feel betrayed and used. I know it’s irrational. But I feel it anyway.

I’m trying not to let those feelings leak through to my behaviours. I love all of my friends, and I hate feeling competitive with them. I’m also ashamed of my jealousy.

I’m doing what I think is right, and not what feels right. Hopefully the moral highground can keep me warm after everybody friend-jacks me and runs off in a pack.

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