Groups of friends can always be a challenge. It can get cliquey; there may be backstabbing, and you may notice that you're being left out or leaving someone out.
But what do you when you are the friend playing favorites and don't see anything wrong with it?
Several years ago, I met a girl that would test my friendships. For the sake of this, I'll address her as Ann. She was not a backstabber, or a gossip, she didn't try to hurt anyone.She was sweet, caring, and thoughtful. In other words, she was a perfect friend and I'm blessed to know her. In fact, there were 2 other girls that were blessed to know her.
The issue was how each of the friends felt about the other. I had my best friend who I had known for years; the other girl knew Ann the longest, and Ann regarded me as her closest friend. So although there was a general attachment to eachother, there were different bonds being formed between all of us.
Where the problem grew was when Ann's long time friend began to feel jealous that Ann and I were so close. I had noticed that there was a connection between her and I that was different from her and our other friend.
The problem was Ann was not afraid to make it known that I was her closest friend. One day, I told Ann that our other friend was getting jealous of our friendship and I suggested we try to equalize the way we treat eachother when we all hangout. Ann's response still stays with me "Is it wrong that I like you best? You're my best friend!"
The way Ann viewed me, was the way I view my own bestfriend. I wanted to talk to her first, see her most, help her first. It made me think, is it actually wrong to treat another person better if you feel a closer connection with them? It's one thing to be the jealous friend who feels they may lose their friend, but it's another to be the person playing favorites and feel justified to it.
Sometimes you don't know you're playing favorites. You simply gravitate to a person without notice. This is how it begins in most cases. Slowly, without notice or even concern, you grow closer to someone until you can't help but feel a tight bond between them.
Ann was not able to hide her feelings towards me. What's more she didn't feel the need to. To her, bestfriends should not have to censor how much they care for each other simply because someone is jealous. But our jealous friend did not understand how someone she knew first and longest could not have the same bond with her. She told me, I already had a bestfriend and to not steal Ann away.
The situation was only remedied when I decided I'd let Ann and our friend have their hangouts without me, while Ann and I would hangout separately. My jealous friend was still jealous but she was at least saved from watching Ann act sugar towards me.
Ann tested my friendships with both my friends. For one, I found her company so enjoyable that at times I preferred seeing her over others; Also, there is a feeling of knowing someone is very fond of you that makes you want to see them even more. I felt I was neglecting my other friendships at times. I began to get irritated with my jealous friend because she began to dictate when I could and could not see Ann, and made me feel guilty for spending time with her. Finally, I was taught by Ann that some people cannot hide or tame their affections. It's as if they like letting everyone around them know who is the most important person to them.
Ann and I are still good friends; she's still the same; still regards me as her bestfriend and does not feel the need to hide it. For someone like Ann, it may be best to have your cute little friendship away from jealous eyes.