How To Cope When You’re Jealous Of Your Friends

Being jealous of our friends is something many of us have experienced even if we don’t want to admit it. After all, we all want to be happy for our friends, just as we would want them to be happy for us in return. The worst thing is that it makes us feel insecure, but these aren’t permanent feelings. There are always ways we can build in new mental defenses and ways of thinking that aren’t so negative and anxious.

  1. Talk to the friend making you feel jealous. One important thing to remember is that they aren’t making you feel this way on purpose. You are. And, you are in charge of how you respond to a situation. Something as simple as talking to the person involved can fix a number of problems. It can make you feel less like a villain for feeling the way you do by discussing it with your friend. You don’t want them to not feel comfortable telling you about their successes, but it might help you be more comfortable if they know not to go on about it.
  2. Reassess your own goals. A lot of the reason we feel jealous is that we either want what our friend has or we feel bad that we don’t have the same thing. Either way, we resent them for it and it’s not their fault. That said, you can look inward and think about ways you can reassess your goals. What do you still want out of life? Is there a disconnect between what you’re doing and what you want to happen? Think about ways you might be sabotaging yourself with negative attitudes, rather than fostering success around you.
  3. Acknowledge dissatisfaction. If you get to the bottom of why you resent your friend’s success, you can go some way to feeling more gracious. If you feel unsuccessful in comparison, try to weigh out some of your other successes to boost your ego. It’s all about context. Just because they’re ahead of you in their career, think about your relationship, or your academic successes, or other things in your life that you’re proud of. There’s plenty to boast about, so allow yourself to feel good about that as well as finding the places you have to work on.
  4. Talk to other friends and family. If you’re too embarrassed to talk to a friend who incites your jealousy, go to a third party. Talk to other people in your life and share how you feel. Sometimes, a well-placed vent can exile the negative thoughts you were bottling up by saying them, escape them. It’s likely that they understand what you’re going through and you’ll feel less alone.
  5. Focus on fulfillment. Don’t internalize the negativity. Instead, ask yourself what actions you can take. How can you regain your agency and your sense of purpose? What’s missing, and how can your natural feelings towards your friend indicate this?
  6. They aren’t stealing your success. Know this: the success of another person does not erase your potential to succeed. It takes nothing away from you. There is space for everyone to make leaps in this world. Believe that. We barely have enough doors open to us at the moment as women in this world, don’t let’s close them for others because we’re insecure. Trust yourself.
  7. Know that you aren’t alone. These aren’t pleasant feelings, but emotions aren’t permanent. They don’t define our whole identity. You aren’t a bad person for feeling jealous. We’re all human and it doesn’t help the matter to be cruel to yourself.
  8. Applaud their success. They’re probably doing the same to you, but you just don’t see it. Success looks so different for each person. We all have different values and priorities. For some, they might not blink twice at academic success but will be really wistful that you have a great relationship with your partner. For others, it’s the other way around. Step into other people’s shoes and see how your life becomes golden. Treat others how you want to be treated.

There you are, a few surefire ways to think more positively about yourself. That is the main route to be able to think more positively around the world around you. The more you learn to forgive yourself for what you perceive to lack, the more you will be able to applaud other people when you see them succeed.

Hannah has a Masters degree in Romantic and Victorian literature in Scotland and spends her spare time writing anything from essays to short fiction about the life and times of the frogs in her local pond! She loves musical theatre, football, anything with potatoes, and remains a firm believer that most of the problems in this world can be solved by dancing around the kitchen to ABBA. You can find her on Instagram at @_hannahvic.