If you look on Wikipedia, the Imposter Syndrome is defined as a psychological pattern in which an individual doubts their accomplishments or talents and has a persistent internalized fear of being exposed as a "fraud".
I am a college student who has been performing well academically and happens to be at the top of the class at the present.
A few months back, I had to appear for my institute examinations which were being carried out online due to the pandemic. It was an open book exam and as anticipated, we students took the advantage of the situation by dicussing and writing the same answers. In the results, all students scored almost the same in theory. However, there were differences in the Internal marks. I had scored more than my friends in the internal marks.
A close friend of mine, whom I have known for quite a long period of time (almost 4 years now), claimed that the faculties had done favoritism and had give more marks to their favorite students.
I don't deny her claims about the favoritism happening in my department. Infact, it is something which has been happening almost at all places be it schools, universities, offices and many more places. But people never speak up against it. People never target the person who does the favoritism. People don't say anything against favoritism, to the ones who are doing it, so as to save themselves from any kind of expulsion or spoil their image in front of the authorities.
Favoritism is wrong and I am totally against it.
But my friend went ahead and alleged that I had been manipulating my teachers to give me good marks all the time. She further told me that I used to think of her as a dumb person, who would not come to know the reality that I had been manipulating teachers for years into giving me good grades.
She told me all of this and didn't even give me a chance to put forward my side of this issue. My call was never picked up by her. She also started posting these allegations on social media apps, targeting me indirectly.
All of this started getting into my head. I started discussing this issue with my other friends as well. They were not ready to believe the allegations that were put against me, since the allegations were coming from a person, who had been quite close to me.
I started questioning myself, my abilities and my achievements. All of it started getting into my head. I had trouble sleeping, focusing on my work, and basically used to have sour moods for the whole day. I tried to move ahead with my life. But it was difficult.
Generally, I am quite a helpful person and sensitive as well. After the incident, I started making myself selectively available to all people around me, as I didn't want myself to be hurt further.
I was moving ahead and was trying to cope up with my life. Just when one day, I receive a message from the same friend, apologizing for what she did. She accepted herself being a toxic and harsh person and mentioned that she was having sour mood for days as well.
After that, we had a small conversation where we asked each other about our well-beings. I thought that the issue was resolved.
However, a few days back she again started alleging me by putting statuses on whatsapp, indirectly targeting me.
Now, I have again started experiencing the earlier problems - trouble sleeping and focusing on my work.
I feel sad, bad about myself all the time and a person whom I trusted well and was quite close to has been accusing me of something which I haven't done or will ever think about.
Tell me how to cope with the issue. I am in a really bad mental state right now.
P.S.: All of this has been going around for like 2 months now and still I am having trouble getting my life all back together.