Ryan Shepard
About Author
February 22, 2024
 in 
Relationships

How To Cope When Jealousy Shows Up In Your Friendship

If we're honest with ourselves, we've all been there. Your girlfriend calls you up to tell you about this new amazing job she got, the house she purchased, or the person she's met, and you're hit with that strange feeling. It's a mix of joy, which you definitely feel because you're so happy for your girl, but also a bit of jealousy...you wish those things were happening to you too. Of course, telling your friend that you're a bit envious feels, well like a shitty thing to do, so you keep it to yourself and suffer in silence.

In the best-case scenario, coveting aspects of your friend's life resolves itself on its own. Your life also starts moving in a direction that makes you happy, and you find yourself more and more satisfied with what's going on in your own world and less concerned with how much better you think your bestie has it. Worst-case scenario, your friendship suffers. Either you start pulling away because watching your friend's life turn into one you've always hoped for is super triggering for you, or your friend senses that you're not truly happy for her, and she's the one who starts putting some distance between you.

I've been on both sides of this, and I know how it feels. Anyone who knows me knows how deeply I love and treasure my friendships. They've gotten me through some of the hardest days of my life and have been right by my side through the happiest as well. But that doesn't mean that our bond as girlfriends hasn't been tested and that, as close as we are, the dreaded green-eyed monster hasn't reared its head in our lives. Through all those messy feelings, we've managed (mostly lol) to remain a tight-knit group. Here is how we did it.

My best friends and I on my wedding day 2019

Understanding the Green-Eyed Monster

Jealousy is like that uninvited guest at the friendship table, making an appearance when we least expect it. Acknowledging and understanding this emotion is the first step in addressing it. It doesn't mean we're bad friends; it simply means we're human, grappling with our own insecurities and desires.

Open Communication

The foundation of any strong friendship is open and honest communication. If jealousy starts creeping in, consider having a heart-to-heart with your friend. Share your feelings, but frame it in a way that emphasizes your desire to understand and support them. Honest conversations can often dispel misunderstandings and strengthen the bond between friends.

Celebrating Wins Together

In a world that sometimes pits us against each other, it's crucial to celebrate each other's victories genuinely. Your friend's promotion or engagement isn't a reflection of your own worth; it's a unique chapter in their life. Choose to be genuinely happy for them, and remember that your time to shine will come too.

Reflecting on Personal Growth

Jealousy often stems from our own insecurities and unmet desires. Take a moment to reflect on your personal goals and aspirations. Are there areas in your life where you'd like to see growth or change? Use these feelings as fuel for your own journey rather than letting them fester into resentment.

Finding Common Ground

Even if your paths are taking different turns, there's always common ground to be found. Look for shared interests, values, or experiences that connect you beyond life's milestones. Focusing on the foundations of your friendship can help build bridges over the envy that may arise.

Whiskey tasting is Louisville, KY 2018

Supporting Each Other's Journeys

True friendship is about supporting each other's individual journeys. Understand that life is a series of highs and lows, and your friend's current high doesn't diminish your own worth or potential. Be the cheerleader they need, and trust that your time for celebration will come too.

Practicing Self-Compassion

In the midst of jealousy, don't forget to extend compassion to yourself. It's okay to feel a twinge of envy, but it's crucial not to let it define your worth or the value of your friendship. Practice self-love and acknowledge that your journey is unique, filled with its own beautiful moments.

Seeking Perspective

Sometimes, a change in perspective can make all the difference. Try to see your friend's success as an inspiration rather than a threat. Consider the effort and hard work that went into their achievements and use it as motivation for your own goals.

Conclusion

Jealousy is a natural emotion, but it doesn't have to be a friendship-killer. By fostering open communication, celebrating each other's wins, and practicing self-compassion, we can navigate jealousy in friendships with grace and understanding. Remember, we're all on our unique journeys, and there's room for everyone to shine.

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