I like to think that I'm a good hunter. I show up to raids on time at least 90 percent of the time, I do my best to bring my flasks and food, I keep my gear properly gemmed and enchanted, I research all encounters, and I do very respectable DPS. But despite all of this, I am not recognized by how good of a player I am. Instead, I am recognized "by association."
My best friend is a restoration druid, and he is damn good at what he does. This, of course, means that he gets invites everywhere to various guilds or raids, and I'm simply tagging along as his DPS -- the guy who gets into the guild or raid by association. It isn't all bad, of course. He and I do everything in game together, and we make a pretty good team, so if continuing to stick around with him means staying in his shadow, then that's OK with me.
Of course, the problem with being "by association" is how it is taken with others. If my best friend is promoted to an officer, he's going to share everything with me, so I am promoted. "By association." If guild leadership gets too many complaints about his behavior as an officer (which I never found out of line), it would be unfair to still have me as an officer, so I am demoted. "By association." If he leaves a guild over a dispute with guild leadership, I'm kicked out of the guild. "By association." And one time, he was kicked from a guild because he was defending me against some smack-talkers. Guess who also got kicked out? "By association."
So, fellow readers, do any of you live in the shadow of another? Or do you cast that shadow? Do you ever wish you could find a way out?