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My friend keeps telling me they feel dumb in a way that makes me feel dumber

We became friends in year 12 and sort of bonded over our similar academic abilities and interests. I could tell they agonise and obsess over grades a lot but I don't judge them for that because I know my fixation on academics can get pretty intense too sometimes. After they got into Oxbridge and after I was rejected, they started mentioning how they feel dumb in comparison to other offer-holders they met, how they keep thinking about their interview and how embarrassing and unintelligent they probably looked to the interviewer despite knowing it was obviously a good enough interview to get them an offer, and it's been more than a few times that they've said things like that.

I've tried to brush it off because I genuinely don't think it comes from a place of animosity. They can lack tact sometimes and not pick up on social cues, and I try to empathise because I'm like that too sometimes. I'm trying to be patient and just nod along because I don't want to rain on their parade - they deserved to get in and Oxbridge will be great for them, and I never doubted their potential. It just stings to hear those things sometimes, and even to hear them talk about how excited they are and what they're going to get up to at uni. I don't think they talk about those things to hurt me in any way because it's not like their life revolves around me, but if they think they're dumb and their interview was embarrassing and terrible, what does that make me? They know I have an older sister at Oxford and know about how much I have worried since starting sixth form that I don't measure up to her, and then knowing for sure that I don't after I was rejected.

I'm trying so hard not to be bitter about my friend because their success is not about my failure, and I don't want any underlying resentment to affect either of us. They've been genuinely kind and supportive to me many times and I really like them as a person, so I refuse to think they're doing any of this to hurt me, but sometimes I feel like they care a bit too much of an 'academic rivalry' between us that I don't really perceive. I want to support them too instead of being resentful about something like this. They should be allowed to be happy about their successes without worrying I might feel bad, and I have definitely agonised over grades to people who struggle more with school than I have as well. I feel bad for being upset about something like this because I've probably done similar things.
(edited 4 weeks ago)
Maybe she's getting her ego crushed at Oxford, so telling someone who didn't make it into Oxford that she feels dumb makes herself feel better. Bit of a negative view but she might not realize how it's affecting you. Maybe make it more clear to her that this makes you feel bad.

Obv you don't want to rain on their parade but I think if you let this go on you will get hurt more in the long run so I think it's better to tell this to her now

Hope you can sort this out! 🤞

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