The Truth About Jealousy in Friendships
You might be wondering how we got here. Well, in fact, the biggest fact is that “jealousy in friendship is a thing.” We all try to downplay it, but it exists. We are all jealous of our friends, and I’ll prove it to you today. Welcome to my blog, HoneyDrops Blog, and welcome to my masterclass on Jealousy and Friendship 101. Today, I’ll be writing to you about “the truth about jealousy in friendships.”
Before I continue in my quest to prove to you that you are a jealous friend, two truths can exist.
- Jealousy is not a bad thing.
- Jealousy will not end your friendship.
Now let’s continue.
We are all jealous friends.
It is impossible to be with a “friend” for as little as six months and then say you have never been jealous of them. There are those times when you don’t even plan it. But you feel like, this guy is always winning, why am I not winning? I mean your friends are always in your phase talking about their recent wins. Meanwhile, last week, they got invited to speak with Queen Eliza. You are still in Nigeria struggling to get your project read by Professor Sule.
Then, they come and say they got a new job. The following day, they found a new man. Pause! I know you are thinking this is not you. If you have never been jealous, it simply means your friends are not doing anything aspirational and you need new friends.
If you have never been jealous. Just pause here, this blog post is not for you. My fellow jealous friends, let’s match on.
Is it normal that I am jealous of my friend?
Yes, it is normal to feel jealous occasionally. Being jealous is not bad. It is the actions you take based on this jealousy that will count in the long run. Whether you choose to heal from it or let it consume you. Ordinarily, your friendship should be aspirational. You should look up to each other’s success. Your friend’s wins should challenge you, and your wins should also challenge them.
The problem we have with jealousy in friendships
Another strange truth about jealousy is the fact that we are Nigerians, Africans or religious people. Whenever we think about jealousy, we remember that Nollywood film where Genevieve Nnaji killed Omotola Jalade to marry her husband. Or do we remember all the posts from Instablog Naija where a man poisoned his friend because he was travelling abroad? In real fact, is this jealousy or is it envy? So think about that as we continue.
Jealousy is a bad emotion. It is how toxic relationships start to develop. No doubt. But it comes. Does that make you a bad person? No. When jealousy comes, there are two things you can do with it. You can either self-reflect, learn or grow. Or you let it grow inside of you into bitterness and envy.
There is a thin line between jealousy and envy. It doesn’t mean that anyone is good. But one drives you to take drastic actions. It is only bitter and envious people who do hurtful things. I think we should take time out and give these thoughts contrarian views. We will definitely see it differently.
What to do when you are jealous of your friend?
Give yourself space
Stop feeding your jealousy. Jealousy starts with the little things and moves to the things that make a big deal. So the first thing to do is to give yourself space. Don’t give room for jealousy to grow. Note that I said, give yourself space, not them. You need space to deal with that feeling and keep your emotions in check. You don’t need to be reminded of why you are jealous in the first place. Mute them on social media, and tell them you need a break or take a trip. This is the first step to healing your mind and will help you find the next steps easily.
If it is too much for you to bear, please leave the friendship. That’s what a real friend will do. You could start giving negative vibes. It’s not worth it.
So, after giving yourself space, figure out why you are jealous in the first place. It could be because you are jobless and your friend got a well-paying job. It could be because SAPA is dealing with you. Meanwhile, your friend is living in finesse. Or you are a single pringle potato and your friend and their boo are giving you God-when vibes. It could be anything but finding the root cause.
After doing this, make sure you are not jealous because of society’s standards. In your self-reflections, take time to celebrate yourself, stay positive, figure out what your friend is doing right and try to replicate it. Now, instead of eyeing their success and wishing it disappeared, Now, that is witchcraft. If your friend loses that job and the two of you are broke together, who will suffer more if not for you? Reflect and grow from it.
Talk to someone about it
When talking to someone, don’t talk to another jealous friend. Or to other friends. Talk to someone more emotionally mature than you. Talk to your mentor, see a therapist, or find a spiritual leader. Don’t go around rumour-mongering. When two jealous friends collide, the third friend is in trouble.
Talk to your friend
The fact that you can’t talk to your friend about this shows how weird jealousy is. It is sad, though, that speaking up and saying the truth about jealousy is unsettling. It is uncomfortable to do it. I mean, how do you present it? Sade, I am jealous of you. Funny! We may never get it right. When you do, you may be lucky, your friend may also be jealous of some of the things you do. My advice is to deal with your feelings before going ahead with them. If you are lucky again, your friend might be the one to give you space because nobody likes wahala.
Go for therapy.
If all the previous steps do not work for you, Seek professional help. You have a lot to learn when it comes to dealing with your self-worth. One person’s success shouldn’t make you roll over on the ground. Apart from one-on-one sessions with a therapist, group therapy will go a long way. Sit down with your friends, talk to them about your highs and lows, and let everyone share their experiences. This will help all of you curb jealousy. Not every time, chill and vibe. Talk to your friends and let your friends talk to you.
Why are you not a bad person for being jealous of your friend?
You recognize their efforts.
As their friend, you see the good work they are putting out and you recognize it. That’s a win.
You admire what they have done.
Everybody wants success and wants to be associated with it. That’s another win.
You also want the same for yourself.
Tell me who doesn’t want to be successful? That is a big win because you have seen what is possible. All you have to do is learn how to do the same and join your friend on the winning table in the slot meant for you and not their own slot. We can win together.
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