On this week’s GOSSIP GIRL, Dan finally makes a move on former-nemesis-now-unrequited-love-interest Blair, which, despite her skinny-pregnancy, extremely complicated (and weirdly easily attainable) pre-nup, and looming problems with bruised and vengeful former boyfriend Chuck, Blair responds to. But then multi-hyphenate Serena (the multihyphenataion being Blair’s-best-friend-and-Dan’s-high-school-girlfriend-but-they-broke-up-and-got-back-together-a-bunch-of-times-and-now-Serena’s-into-him-again-but-Dan-isn’t-into-her) sees it all and uh oh!
What Serena Says
My BFF stole my not-BF – how could she?!?!
Back Up And Tell It Right
Whoa girl. Serena has a common view shared by many of us when strong feelings are involved, which is that we tend to view people as possessions and other people’s intrusions on those feelings as theft. But this sense of having had something stolen is a trap and here’s why. From Serena’s point of view, Blair has stolen from her since Blair knows about Serena’s feelings for Dan and, as a friend, should allow Serena’s feelings to take precedence. Serena’s trap – and one, I might add, that she falls into ALL THE TIME – is that of assuming her expectations of Blair’s behavior are valid. For example, Blair could make the equally logical argument that Serena knows she’s trapped in a loveless marriage (to a prince for a year, there was a video involved and some weird thing with a dowry – I can’t go into it right now) and that Dan’s been there for her so it’s Serena who needs to respect her need to reach for happiness and not the other way around.
In the same way that crime requires “mens rea” (a guilty mind), so does betrayal need an intent to betray. In the absence of that, there’s just your needs conflicting with someone else’s needs. A friend simply wanting the same thing you want is not a betrayal regardless of what your friend knows about your feelings. Instead of focusing on what you think the other person did to you and potentially destroying a strong friendship, focus on whether your exepctations of that person’s behavior was either fair or realistic, and, if not, work on your own feelings of sadness or disappointment. It may not feel good to have a friend chasing a guy you’re into, but it’s also not a stab in the back.
Which isn’t to say a lot of backstabbing isn’t exactly what I’m hoping for for Seblada in the upcoming months…