Jealousy can spell the end of even the strongest of friendships and if you do not believe that there is an issue, you run the risk of losing that friendship. Of course, it's not easy to acknowledge and tackle a jealous friend but if you value the friendship and want to be able to move past the situation, you simply have no choice.
Jealousy in friendship takes many forms, some subtle, others not so much. Some friends might accuse you of being too proud and rubbing your triumphs in their faces.
Unfortunately, there are people out there, friends or not, who just want to bring you down because your life appears better than theirs. Whether its through snide comments or being dismissive of your accomplishments, there's always that one person who, not matter the situation, refuses to be happy for us.
People say that you should be flattered when people get jealous of you, but within a friendship, jealousy is like a rot that simply refuses to heal and can completely ruin the bond you share. So, what are the solutions and what can be done to improve the situation if you know that a good friend has something against you?
You might have gotten a fancy new job, lost weight in all the right places, gotten your writing published, or even gotten engaged. Naturally, your first instinct is to share the good news with the people you care about the most, your family and friends. But what do you do when their reactions are not what you expected?
This will probably leave you feeling hurt and confused as to why they are acting this way but understand that the problem is not with you, it's with them. If you want to salvage the friendship then you need to take into account these next 3 steps.
1. Dont ignore it
Ignoring the situation will only make things worse and it will worsen like a cut that has not been treated and will end up infecting every part of the friendship. If you leave it and let the unhappiness and jealousy grow, you will only make the division between the two of you larger until it is simply beyond repair.
You may also start feeling resentful towards that person and unconsciously root for them to fail, just like they are doing to you. Jealousy begets jealousy and you may find yourself mirroring their actions ad turning into somebody that you don't like.
Depending on how close you are to this friend, you need to decide if you should just let it go or confront them. If you want to salvage the relationship or cut it off officially, it is advisable that you confront them, make them aware that you have noticed their behaviour and do not want it to continue.
2. Communicate honestly yet gently
Honest communication is the key to fixing most things including unhealthy behaviour among friends. Take the time to speak to your friend about how they're acting and how their behaviour is affecting you. Be honest and gentle and remember that they are holding onto resentment and the only way for them to let it go is for you acknowledge it, understand it and try to help them let go of it.
Their initial instinct will be to deny it altogether but do not let that sway you. Don't start the conversation with something as blunt as, “I know you are jealous of me”. Instead, open up with, “I have noticed that things have changed between us and that you seem distant.”
Make it clear that something has to change in order for your friendship to move forward positively and let them know how much you value the friendship and want it to work.
3. Try and understand why
Another important thing that you have to do is to understand 'why' your friend is acting the way they are. Why are they jealous of you? Why does this person feel this way now? Why does this person always have to turn things into a competition? Why does this person feel the need to watch you fail?
Most of the time, people have their own reasons for feeling jealous.Often, the person sees something in you or another person that makes them feel that they aren’t as good. It could be real or imagined, but the feelings of inadequacy are projected through negative thoughts or actions. Jealousy emerges as a reaction or solution to those feelings of inadequacy. Instead of dealing with these underlying feelings of inadequacy, the jealousy turns into little digs and insults when they are together.
Understanding the why can lead you to explore the reasons behind those feelings and solve them, together.