Don’t Let Someone Use Your Success & Run With It //
Success can bring out the best and worst in people. It’s no wonder why there are phrases like “They want to see you doing good, but never better than them” and “Haters will broadcast your failures, but whisper your success” flying about. As I become a fully fledged adult, out in the big world and working full-time after finishing my degree, I feel as though this discussion has never been so prominent in my life.
It has come to my attention recently that there are a growing number of people, who I would have previously deemed ‘close friends’ in my social sphere, coming to me for a helping hand when they want shortcuts into the industry or they want access to my contacts and network.
Firstly, I have no problem with supporting others and their ventures. In fact, I pride myself on being able to talk openly about how I got where I am today. And that’s not to suggest that I think I have ‘made it’ – I still have a long way to go and so much to learn.
Always seeing the good in people can be hard, because it can be difficult to differentiate between distinguishing whether someone wants a favour or they are actually using you. You must always look at things realistically and understand that most of the time people have genuine intentions. However, there are people who think it is acceptable to take advantage of other people’s eagerness to help and guide others. It is when people grapple at your successes and claim that they got there on their own accord, that it becomes a bit of a problem.
Why should I have to spend years studying, networking, reading, educating myself and walking this journey alone, only to have a ‘friend’ run to me when it is convenient for them, ask for my advice and then once I have helped them get a taste of the industry, they tell everyone they know that they got to move a step forward because of their own efforts and networking ability?
It’s sad to know that I am at that stage in my life where the term ‘friends’ has begun shift into a new realm. I try my best not to dwell on these friends, who only care when it works for them or when I am trying my hardest to better myself and it’s working out.
I’d also like to point out that most of my friends are lovely and genuine and I would move mountains for them in a heartbeat. I have amazing friends who come with me on trips, events and networking opportunities. But it is those people who latch onto you and suck you dry of all your knowledge and your overall identity that it becomes draining. You are stuck in a one-sided friendship.
So please, if you take any advice from this, it is that you should not use someone else’s success or higher position to weave yourself into something, only to tell your peers that you made it on your own. Be honest. This world is so full of false pretenses already. That genuine friend of yours has helped you in more ways than you could imagine. That friend has gone out of their way to assist your success and empower you. At least have the decency to credit them for it.