You think you have the most wonderful friends in the world. You’ve enjoyed years of fun times and they’ve always seemed so supportive of you, especially during tough times. Then one day, they take issue with you on trivial things and down play your success. Your feelings of hurt and disappointment occupy your thoughts as you ask yourself “Is she jealous of me?”
Perhaps you tell another friend or your mother the story and she quickly brings up that ugly word “jealousy.” Why would my best friend be jealous of me? Aren’t girlfriends supposed to help one another and lift each other up? Sadly, it doesn’t always work that way.
I too have experienced jealousy and it led to terminated friendships. It hurts! I felt so betrayed! I just couldn’t understand why my friends weren’t happy when great things started happening to me after years of being alone and coping with adversity my whole life. It made me angry! How dare they be jealous? With hot, red, rage spewing from my face I blurt out “They should be HAPPY for me!”
How to Deal with Jealous Friends More Effectively
First, it’s important to understand what is jealousy and how it comes about. Then, what are the signs of jealousy in friendships and then how to avoid being jealous of others. We’re all human after all. How will you know it’s time to move on from a friend who’s jealous of you? It’s not easy but, it’s a problem that’s not easily fixable either.
What is Jealousy?
Wikipedia defines jealousy in this way and I concur:
“Jealousy is an emotion, and the word typically refers to the thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, concern, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of status or something of great personal value, particularly in reference to a human connection. Jealousy often consists of a combination of emotions such as anger, resentment, inadequacy, helplessness and disgust.”
It stems from insecurity and jealous people covet desired things that others hold. It could be love, financial security, status, lifestyle, success, popularity, independence, self-control, freedom, happiness or anything held of high personal value.
Signs of Jealousy
You may be asking yourself “How does a jealous person act?” They start to be bothered when good things happen to you.
Jealous people talk badly about you to mutual friends and discount your success, even if it is well deserved. They start pointing out all of your faults to others and persuade them to see your shortcomings. As good things happen to you, jealous friends get more resentful until nothing you do is right in their eyes.
Jealous friends will downplay your success instead of celebrating it. You’ll notice their lack of emotion or enthusiasm when good things happen to you.
I remember quite vividly how some of my friends were not so happy when I got engaged to my husband. I had finally found a good guy to marry and they downplayed it. They seemed disappointed and had a hard time not showing it.
Signs of A Jealous Person
Here are the signs a person is jealous of you.
- discounts your success.
- isn’t happy when good things happen to you.
- competes with you.
- tries to upstage you.
- doesn’t support you.
Some jealous people are busy bodies, speak negatively, often talk badly about others, are very insecure about their looks, money, and self-worth. They may have a persona that is much different than their true home life.
They act as if they have a desirable home life but, in reality, they are unhappy and possibly disgusted with their husband, financial status, or job. Perhaps they’re jealous that you became a stay-at-home-mom while they’re a struggling single mom. In reality, they simply want what you have. They covet certain aspects of your life.
Your jealous friends may be regretful of their own poor decisions.
These women, and men too, rather be friends with women who they perceive as having less than them – less money, a unfulfilling job, a jerk of a husband, unmarried, etc. Therefore, they can pity them and in return feel better about themselves and their own lives. This is not uncommon.
These type of women (and men too) may be jealous of your wonderful husband and successful relationships you have with your family or other friends. They may show possessive behavior of your relationship and try to control you and your feelings. If you dare bring up your feelings of discontent with them, they deny ever doing anything wrong and may even tell you that you are the problem. Does this sound familiar?
Once I told my ex-best friend that I felt as though she thought I was inferior to her. Her response? “It’s all in your head.” I said to myself “I don’t think so!” It’s best to avoid confrontation with people who are like this because you’ll never get anywhere with them period!
Why Are My Friends Jealous of Me?
It is very disheartening if you are the person of whom your friends are jealous. Perhaps you worked very hard for that promotion, sacrificed time with your family, or you weathered through personal life storms to obtain the life you now have.
Maybe you and your husband sacrificed a lot to obtain your financial freedom and good lifestyle.
Or, maybe you chose an unselfish man who adores and respects you and your friends can’t stand it. You can not control the way your jealous friend feels.
My friends just couldn’t handle that they couldn’t pity me anymore and that our friendship was even possibly based on pity. I made them feel better about their own lives because I lost my parents while still a teen and then didn’t have a husband and kids for many years. That’s so sad… isn’t it?
Weddings Bring Out Jealousy
When you get engaged, is when it all starts! Your friends are anxiously awaiting to find out who you’ll choose to be your Maid (or matron) of Honor and who’ll you’ll choose for Brides Maids or some will just assume certain positions. It’s hard to not hurt people feelings when making selections and people feel ENTITLED!
Friends are always comparing who has a better dress, wedding reception hall, bigger diamond ring, etc. Instead of focusing on the most important things like premarital counseling and things that really matter. Money doesn’t make people happy!
I’ve heard time and time again how girls have to get a certain dress because all of their friends spend x amount of dollars or really their parents. Don’t get caught up in it. And if you’re fortunate enough to be able to afford a nice wedding, don’t let others ruin it for you by their rude comments and them telling you what to do.
So, when you’re getting married, just anticipate one or two of your friends will display signs of jealousy. It’s almost inevitable!
Sometimes friends don’t want you to be happy because they are not happy with their own lives. They don’t want you to be happy either. Have you ever heard of the cliche “Misery loves company?” It is hard to swallow and understand when they are supposed to be your friends. Would they admit that? Probably Not!!! Most likely they will deny they are jealous.
Here is a quote from the movie A Bronx Tale which, sums it up jealousy quite well.
3 Tips on How to Not Be Jealous of Others
We’ve all experienced feelings of being jealous of others. It is a normal human feeling. However, we should condition ourselves to practice humility so that we don’t hurt ourselves and the friends to whom we have become jealous. Instead, let it motivate you to do better for your own life.
- Recognize jealous feelings and ask yourself why you feel this way. Be truthful with yourself and don’t blame others for your decisions or make excuses. Accountability goes a long way.
- Own your mistakes and change them into positive life-learning/changing experiences. Then, you can be happy too.
- Choose people who are secure in themselves to be your friends. People who are secure about themselves, are emotionally stable, have integrity, practice what they preach, and treat others with kindness and respect.
Good friends are unselfish and don’t use people. There are many good people in this world, we just have to find and befriend them. Make someone prove they are worthy to become your friend.
Find New Friends, Better Friends
As our circumstances change due to marriage, divorce, become parents, relocate, etc. we will need to make new friends. It is natural for people to want to be friends with others in which they have much in common. For example, when I had my first child, I looked to make friends with other new mothers so we could talk about our transitioning to motherhood, new experiences and find solace. Some of my older friends were past this point or still in the singles party scene.
When you have jealous friends, it is almost inevitable that the friendship will perish. Losing friends to jealousy will leave you feeling as though you did something wrong when in reality you just became successful and/or happy. Unfortunately, there are many people who will not be happy for you unless they are happy with their lives.
Learning how to deal with jealous people isn’t easy. In most cases, you are better off without these people in your life. They were not friends with you for the right reasons in the first place. Don’t blame yourself and take some time to heal. Remember the saying “If you find one true friend in life, you are lucky.”
“You can’t be friends with someone who wants your life.” -Oprah Winfrey