How to Stop Jealousy Within Your Friend Group
Jealousy is a common yet destructive emotion. In a group of friends, jealousy may crop up when one friend’s fortunes are better than another's. This can lead to tension in the group. To deal with jealousy in a friend group, you can figure out if someone feels jealousy and why, talk to the person about it, and try to make everyone in the group feel equally important. If the person is too negative or destructive, take a step away from the friendship.
Facing the Emotion
Acknowledge the emotion.One of the most important things to do when dealing with jealousy within your group of friends is to acknowledge the emotion. Jealousy may appear as many different emotions: anger, betrayal, insecurities, humiliation, fear, and loss. If you name these feelings are jealousy, you can deal with it. If someone else feels jealousy, you can understand better their responses to things that happen.
- When you know that a friend is jealous of you or someone else, you can understand that their negative reaction may not be because of the friend, but directed at themselves because they are comparing themselves to others in the group. Jealous emotions usually stem from a sense of inadequacy and a perceived threat to one's self.
- For example, your friend may get mad sometimes when something good happens to you. Maybe they get upset or feel left out if you do something with someone in the friend group without them. This may all be due to jealousy.
Determine if your friend is actually jealous.You don’t want to accuse your friend of being jealous if they are not. You may be suspicious, but your friend may be going through something difficult. Ask them if they are okay and if there is anything they need to talk about.
- Your friend may be going through a bad breakup or maybe they have just gotten snubbed by someone they cared about. This can cause them to be negative towards other people in the group's relationships. If they are having family troubles, they may feel more insecure or be more easily upset than usual.
- If they say they are fine, you may want to look for signs of jealousy. For example, they may be passive aggressive, overly competitive, unsupportive, or clingy. Other signs of jealousy may include being critical and negative, gossiping, and not congratulating other people on their successes.
Talk with others in the group.Saying how you feel out loud can help you to become more aware of your feelings and sort them out. If you feel jealous of your friend, you may want to talk with others in the group. Make sure to frame this not as if you are talking behind your friend’s back, but that you are concerned about your own feelings. You want to save the friendship, but you need to talk to someone you can trust.
- Tell your friend, “I need to talk to you about something. I am feeling jealous of our friend. I know that it is irrational and unfair, but I want to talk through it so I can deal with the emotions and move on.”
Determining the Root of the Jealousy
Determine how the person is masking their jealousy.Jealousy makes people act out negatively when they might not otherwise do so. Sometimes, they may put the jealousy behind them and work towards moving forward to preserve the friendships. The way a person acts affects the entire friend group, whether it is negative or positive. Figure out how they are responding to the jealousy to figure out how to deal with them.
- For example, the jealous friend may push the jealousy aside and be supportive. However, the jealous friend may let the emotion make them bitter and angry and become a bad friend who talks behind the group’s back or backstabs them.
Assess your friendships.If there is a lot of jealousy in your friend group, you should take a look at the friendships within the group. Why are you friends? What are the friendships built on? Have you build your friendships on trust, respect, and a deep connection, or is it based on superficiality and convenience? Understanding the nature of the friendships within the group can help you figure out what to do.
- True friends who truly care about one another and respect each other won’t feel bitter jealousy that leads to deception or harm. They may feel jealous, but it will be benign jealousy that is easy dealt with.
- Insecure or superficial friendships may not have the deep respect and connection needed to move beyond bitter jealousy.
- If you find that your group of friends is superficial or materially competitive, then it might be wise to find new friends.
Figure out why the jealousy occurred.If you feel the jealousy, you should take a long look at yourself and why you feel these emotions. If the jealousy is with someone else, you should have a conversation with them about why they feel jealous.
- You may want to ask them why they feel jealous. Then, help them realize that the feelings are not really about their friend. They may be about themselves. If this is the case, be there for them and help them deal with the underlying feelings.
- For example, you may say, “Do you know why you are jealous of our friend? Is it because you have feelings of low self-esteem or feel like you have failed? You are my friend and I care about you. You are not a failure and I like you. I want to help.”
- Try to figure out what the jealousy is about because this will help you determine how you can support the person and resolve the situation. For example, is there any jealousy regarding a romantic relationship, another person's success, or someone's abilities?
Dealing With the Jealousy
Be supportive to your friend.Jealousy is a sign that someone feels inadequate and that they may lack self-esteem. Some things you can do to be supportive include:
- Helping them to cultivate positive feelings based on their own qualities.
- Helping them take responsibility for their perceived lack.
- Finding common ground with them.
Confront the friend.If your friend is jealous and is treating you or someone else in the friend group negatively, talk to them about it. They might not know they are being mean or underhanded. If they know it, you can take the chance to discuss the problem the two of you are having.
- For example, you may say, “I have noticed some issues in our group recently. I'm worried something is bothering you. We need to talk about this before it affects our friendship.”
Avoid accusations.When you talk to your friend, they may get extremely defensive. If they are jealous, they may feel embarrassed, guilty, or angry. To avoid losing a friend, don’t accuse your friend of anything. Make them realize you don’t blame them or think they were out to hurt you.
- Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. For example, you may say, “I feel hurt by how unsupportive and passive aggressive you have been. I think we should talk about this because I value your friendship.”
Keep more information to yourself.You may need to distance yourself emotionally from the friend if they are jealous of you. If you are working towards a goal, a jealous friend may try to discourage you or undermine you. This may end up hurting you in the long run. To help with this, keep certain things to yourself.
Take a break from the person.If your friend continues to be jealous no matter what, you may want to physically distance yourself from that person. You may not be able to get them out of the friend group, but you can control how much you interact with the person.
- For example, you can limit what you tell the person and how much time you spend with the person.
- If they ask you why you are acting the way you are, be honest. Say, “I do not appreciate your jealousy towards me. It is hurtful and destructive. I think we should take a friendship break because of this.”
Working to Save the Friendships
Bond with your friends.Jealousy may arise when friendship bonds start to weaken. This may be caused by distance, busy lives, or growing apart. To help try to fix the jealousy in the group, try spending some quality time together. Use this time to get to know one another again and remember why you were friends in the first place.
- For example, you may start going to dinner more frequently, like a weekly pizza night or someone different hosting dinner every week. Do something fun together after dinner, like watching movies, playing video or board games, or sitting around eating dessert while talking.
- Go on a group outing to somewhere fun, like a concert, a local park, a museum, or a community event. Try to use the experience to bond and have fun together.
- Spend a weekend together. Rent a cabin or lake house and spend the weekend enjoying each other's friendship.
Offer to listen to your friend.If your friend is the jealous one, offer to listen to them with an unbiased ear. Tell them that you are there for them and will listen if they are having problems. However, make it clear that you still care about the other friend, but you care about them, too. Tell your friend you want to be there for them.
- For example, you can say, “I know you feel jealous of our friend. Jealousy is a natural emotion. I am here to listen to you and help you through this if you want. I will not judge. I care for you both, and I don’t want the friendship to be ruined.”
Use the jealousy to move forward.Sometimes, people feel jealous because their friend is doing something they wish they could do. If this is the case in your friend group, use this moment as a learning moment. Get inspired to do something to better yourself or achieve a goal you’ve always wanted.
- For example, you may be jealous because your friend got into shape, learned to play an instrument, or made a career change. You may want something similar for your life. Instead of being jealous, use your friend’s success as inspiration to make a change in your own life.
Emphasize positive traits.Often, jealousy arises when someone feels compared to someone else and lacking. To help yourself or your friend if this is the cause of the jealousy, focus on the positive traits. This helps people not feel left out or less important or liked than others.
- This should be for all the people in the friend group. Make sure everyone feels equally valued and each person’s strengths and accomplishments are treated with the same enthusiasm.
Video: How to Stop Everyday Jealousy & Envy
Men’s Fashion Basics – Part 55 – Key Colour: Brown
Over The Knee Boots – A Must Have Of This Season
Rihanna’s Fenty Puma Goes Back to New York Fashion Week
Game of Thrones Writer George R.R. Martin Is Working on an Animated Ice Dragon’ Movie
A shower curtain liner with a weighted hem
The Golden Globes 2019’s Cutest Coolest Couples
How Doctors React to Shameful Confessions
How To Make Extreme Athleisure Look Sexy According To Stars
18 Amazing ASOS Coats That Will Sell Out Before It Gets Cold