I think it is important to remember that feeling second best is not one person’s fault, with that being said there are multiple factors to feeling like a ‘silver medal’.
I have an overwhelming feeling on a consistent basis of feeling second best in my life. I tend to feel like a third wheel, a backup friend and have found myself as ‘the other woman’ on more than one occasion. It is a particularity difficult pain to explain to my friends, some of the advice I’ve gotten ranges from absolutely awful, to somewhat helpful and clearly based on an understanding of the feeling.
“Don’t think like that!”
Oh okay, let me just tell my thoughts to take a breather, and I’ll go ahead and just stop thinking that way. Problem solved, feelings sorted.
“Perhaps it is not someone choosing you second, or as an alternative but more so your own view of yourself.”
Much better, and a far better insight into the feeling; This is what brought me to the aforementioned notion that the feeling of being a “silver medal” is not the doing of one person, or at the fault of one. Within the constructs of my own life experiences it is certainly a combination of the thoughts, actions, and words of both involved parties but sometimes it really can just be your own lack of self-confidence.
In one of the most significant romantic (not-so-monogamous) relationships of my adult life, I spent the majority of the time feeling second best, despite the incredible amount of support, love, and reassurance that I was more than enough. It took me a while to realize that no matter how much reassurance from my “partner” was given, no matter how many false promises were made (to be fair, I believed in the promises at the time), the feeling of being second best was yes in large part to their actions, but more so my own internal issues.
I had allowed myself to become involved with someone who only put me in first place when it was convenient for them. This was not only unfair to me but unfair them as well, and as a result of this, my already existent feeling of being second best grew to something I could no longer ignore, nor deny. I had thought that my “partner” was putting another woman first, and in my head, I thought I should let him. Is this emotional abuse? I cannot be entirely certain. An article from BetterHelp offered me some perspective. In the end, he really needed to put himself first, and not me, or anyone else, and I needed to do the same.
The truth is, there’s no quick fix to the feeling, in most situations feeling like a silver medal is painful due to of a terrifying combination of feeling inferior and feeling as if there is a far better alternative to yourself for others to choose. It is really about having to find out what makes you feel like #1, and a personal journey to your own gold medal feeling.
“I’m not too perfect, to ever feel this worthless “ – Beyonce