When Your “Friends” Want You To Fail

I’m at a weird point in my life, and as I try to figure out my next moves, I’ve decided to make some changes to become a better version of myself. I have habits that I’m not necessarily embarrassed of or apologetic for, but that are standing in the way of me and my full potential, so I’m changing them. That’s something that your friends would ideally support, right?

I don’t know what it is about trying to change for the better that draws so much negativity out of the woodworks, but in an extremely short period of time, I’ve been somewhat shocked at how many people I consider friends have been trying to catch me failing to meet my goals and getting some sick kick out of it.

“Didn’t you say you weren’t drinking on week days anymore? I’m pretty sure I saw a martini in your Snapchat story on Monday.”

“Didn’t you say you wouldn’t go on mindless Netflix binges? You tweeted about 13 Reasons Why nonstop for like a week.”

“You said you were going to work on your blog every day but you didn’t post for two days.”

I’m a very thick skinned person. I know how to laugh at myself, and I can admit when I’ve fallen short. But with all due respect to my self appointed moms, I got this. 

I get it, when you put yourself out there to the extent that I have, people are bound to have opinions. But no matter how much you think you know about me based on what I choose to share online, you’ll only ever have a fraction of the story.

For around two months now, I’ve made a conscious effort not to drink on weekdays. Is this because I’m an alcoholic trying to set strict boundaries for myself? Not really, it’s about making more efficient choices with my time and money. On Monday, while killing time before my train from New York to Boston and looking for somewhere to grab lunch I saw a deal for a $20 12 oyster dish and a martini. So I had it without incurring the slightest buzz. During that lunch, I worked on two blog posts, and went on about my day completely sober. Imagine that. Life isn’t a House of Cards episode; touching one drink during the weekday in a 2 month period doesn’t have real consequences for normal adults.

I’ve noticed that the peak of my traffic was in July of 2016 after I published an article about why I was voting for Trump. I’ve been trying to recreate that time and time again, but have yet to reach anything nearly as engaging as that post. So I’m paying attention to what people are talking about and what’s trending, and realized that by watching popular shows that everyone’s talking about, I have a good chance of generating high traffic. I watched 9 episodes in one day not because I had nothing better to do and not because the show is that good, but because part of good blogging is producing timely, relevant content. Some of that can be done through shortcuts, and some of it can’t. If I just wanted to veg out and watch Netflix, I’d be watching an animated kids movie or something funny, not a show about a suicidal teenager. And in case you were wondering, my blog posts on 13 Reasons Why were two of the most viewed articles on my blog. Go figure.

Working on the blog doesn’t always mean banging out blog posts. Sometimes that’s research about best practices, sometimes that’s fine tuning and tweaking things that most readers probably won’t ever notice, sometimes that’s beginning initiatives that won’t be public for months. 

These short two months have been a reminder in the importance of remaining self motivated, self disciplined and above all, self assured because the only person you can ultimately count on to always invest in you and believe in you is yourself.

I know what I’m doing and what my intentions are, and if you’re trying to improve yourself, that’s something you’ll have to constantly remind yourself of as your so called friends doubt you and try to tell you what you can and can’t do. 

Some people have good intentions, but some people just want to see you fail. Not because they’re necessarily bad people and not because they don’t care about you, but because your failure provides them with a false sense of security about their own choices. They feel better about all the risks they never take when they see risk takers struggle, whether or not their perception is aligned with reality.

All you can do is continue to put your best foot forward, no matter how it’s perceived. And if anything should motivate you, it should be the opportunity to inspire friends with boring, miserable lives to take chances of their own for once as opposed to criticizing yours.



  • Estelle
    12 months ago

    Great article Seijah! This is the first time I’m coming on your blog and I already fell in love with it (appart from the Trump side, but we can’t agree on everything). Will definitely stay for a while 🙂
    I had a couple of friends who were so negative. It’s not that they wanted me to fail, but in general they went on their lives with so much negativity about everything. When I announced I was about to move abroad, they looked at me as if I was crazy. I moved in the UK for a bit more than 2 years now. And I’ve never talked to them again.
    Life is short, so choose your friends wisely 🙂

    • The Pretty Patriot
      12 months ago

      I’m glad you like it! Thank you for sharing that – I feel like every situation is different but it’s just so frustrating when people in your life have a negative outlook whether or not they intend to because they project it whether or not they intend to. You’re right though, life is too short for friends that don’t bring out the best in you

  • Kuleigh
    12 months ago

    Hate to admit it but sometimes I’m the one wanting to see my friends fail instead of lifting them up. Jealousy is the thief of joy and it’s so hard to fight that temptation to put people down sometimes.

    • The Pretty Patriot
      12 months ago

      It’s amazing that you can admit that! It happens to the best of us but jealousy really is the thief of joy and it takes constant reminders to stop letting it get the best of us

  • Lisa
    12 months ago

    So well written, and I know what you mean. But there are always going to be people like that around you, but don’t ever let it get you down, If they are that interested in your life that means you are doing something right! Keep it up!


    • The Pretty Patriot
      12 months ago

      Thank you! That’s so true & I’m trying my best not to!

  • Kanani
    12 months ago

    I want to write something more meaningful that ”Preach!” or ”That’s truth!” but I can’t. It’s just so on point! Sharing to FB right now!

    • The Pretty Patriot
      12 months ago

      Lol thank you!

  • Nimbe
    12 months ago

    Really really loved this article. I’ve had this happen a few times and it is due to making things so public on social media. It might seem like a harmless comment but after some time it feels like nagging. Agree with you though, all you can do is be your best self and strive to do well and people will see that. I want to be able to motivate and inspire sometime even if it is with a small positive change 🙂

  • Esse
    12 months ago

    Well said! But some are just here to kill your joy! Don’t let it get to you, keep shinning

  • Mikayla
    12 months ago

    I very much appreciate the transparency of the commenter who says she experiences this as well. I know all too well that when people nitpick at you or are waiting to catch you failing it’s because they know there’s only two ways to appear bigger– to grow or to cut down those closest to you. I know this because I’ve experienced both sides and it actually makes me even more resilient and sympathetic towards those who criticize. They’re probably just going through their own issues and aren’t handling it very well. All power to you though! You’re clearly a professional. Great blog, this is my first time visiting. Off to read your post on 13 Reasons Why 🙂

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