Jealousy is normal in all kinds of relationships and feeling envious of a friend doesn’t make you a bad person.
However, fixating on jealousy can have a negative impact on you and them. Here’s what you can do if you’re jealous of a friend.
Think about why you might be jealous
When you notice that you’re envious of a friend, take some time to think about where that feeling may come from. Looking at your jealousy more deeply can help you identify one specific cause, which might reflect how you feel about yourself.
Once you’ve identified the cause, think about what you can do about it. For example, if you’re jealous of your friend because they seem more popular, don’t blame your friend. Instead, try to work on becoming more confident and friendly with your peers.
Try not to be bitter
Even if your jealousy is rooted in something seemingly minor, it might make you feel bitter about your friend. These feelings can be very damaging in friendships so try not to let them control you.
If you find it hard to cope with these emotions, try some simple breathing exercises or talk to a parent, carer or another trusted adult about how you feel.
Stop comparing yourself to other people
Feeling jealous of people we’re close to is sometimes rooted in negative feelings about ourselves. If your jealousy is rooted in your own insecurities, you might need to take a step back and focus on building your self-esteem. Here are a few tips:
Talk to your friend
If the jealousy persists, try talking to your friend about it. Keep communication open and friendly, and don’t blame your friend for how you feel. Here are a few ways to keep the chat constructive:
- Use “I” statements, which show that you’re taking responsibility for your emotions. Try saying something like: “I feel this way about…” or “Sometimes I feel jealous when…”
- Listen to what your friend has to say too. Their feelings matter as well, and they may have questions about why you feel this way or want to offer support. They might even say they are jealous of you too!
- Work together to think of ways to overcome jealousy in your friendship.
Focus on the reason why you’re friends
When dealing with jealousy, it’s always important to remind yourself why you are friends with the other person. Think about your favourite memories together, and the moment you decided to be friends. This may help you get a better perspective on the friendship and move on from jealousy.
However, if the friendship feels toxic, it might be time to think about moving away from it altogether.