You think you have the most wonderful friends in the world. You’ve enjoyed many years of fun times and they’ve always seemed so supportive of you during tough times. Then one day, they take issue with you on trivial things and stop talking to you. The treasured friendship you once had for many years is now over! Your feelings of hurt and disappointment occupy your thoughts as you try to figure out how to deal with jealous friends.
Perhaps you tell another friend or your mother the story of how the friendship fell apart and she quickly brings up that ugly word “jealousy.” It was the furthest thing from your mind. Why would my good friends 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.
How is Jealousy Defined?
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.
How to Spot Jealousy/Signs of Envy in Friends
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 and not celebrate it. You’ll notice their lack of emotion or enthusiasm when good things happen to you.
Signs of Jealousy Between Friends
Some jealous women are busy bodies, 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. 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, an 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 possessiveness 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?
Why Are You Losing Friends to Jealousy?
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.
Sometimes friends don’t want you to be happy because they are not happy with their own lives and fear they may never be. 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? Hell no!!! Most likely they will deny they are jealous. Losing friends to jealousy is not uncommon.
This quote from the movie Goodfellas sums it quite quite well.
What to Do if You Are the Jealous Friend
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.
First, 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.
Second, own your mistakes and change them into positive life-learning/changing experiences. Then, you can be happy too.
Third, 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 their friend.
How to Deal with Jealous 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 or happy.
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 have one true friend in the course of your lifetime, you are lucky.”
“You can’t be friends with someone who wants your life.” -Oprah Winfrey