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Q: My best friend and I are basically soul sisters. We have tons of fun together and when we first met I thought I finally found someone who understood the real me and who could relate to what I was going through. But recently she got a new boyfriend (who’s cute and perfect) AND she was valedictorian AND, of course, she got to go to her dream school. Meanwhile, I’m single, have average grades and I’m going to a local college. I want to be happy for my friend, but honestly? I’m a little jealz. I’ve even been flaking on hanging out with her because I just can’t deal with her perfect life. I don’t want to lose our friendship though. Any tips?
A: I’ve got TONS of tips for your situation, friend. First off — you’re not alone. “Frenvy” or friend envy is pretty normal between friends. Luckily, it’s not a crime and it doesn’t have a life sentence — that is, if you can get a handle on it before it turns onto full on mean-spirited jealousy. Here’s how to keep it in check, and how to save your friendship.
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1. Stop Comparing Yourself to Her
Envy usually rears its ugly head when we feel like we’re “losing” at something, while we see our friend as “winning.” It’s important to remember we are not in competition with our friends, or anyone for that matter (unless, of course, you’re an athlete!). One of the easiest ways to feel bad about ourselves is when we begin to compare ourselves to others. If you were honest with yourself, you’d recognize that you are busy seeing someone else’s amazing qualities instead of your own.
2. Find Your Mojo
Jealousy and envy often camouflage our insecurities. If you are envious of your friend’s new relationship, then perhaps you’d like to start dating but aren’t sure how to begin. Your frenvy is a good opportunity to use her success as motivation to make some changes in your life. Ask yourself: What is she doing that I can use in my own life to achieve my personal goals? Maybe you’d like to join a new activity, or work up the courage to speak to that hottie who works at the local ice cream parlour.
3. Make a List of Your Awesome Qualities
Feelings of inadequacy are often at the roof of jealousy, which is why now is the perf time to show yourself some major self-love. Make a list of your achievements over the past year. Next, make a list of your internal gifts. Are you a good listener? Are you super generous? Do you have major compassion for animals? Then for the next few weeks, take a look at your lists every morning and remind yourself of your awesomeness.
4. Own Your Jealousy
If you can get a grip on your jealousy pretty quickly, then it’s not totally necessary to speak with your friend about it. However, if things have been awk between you, it’s time to own your green-eyed monster. Arrange a time to chat and when speaking with her, keep in mind that she hasn’t done anything wrong. Start the convo with: “Lately, I’ve been having trouble being happy for your and your good news. It’s hard to admit that, but I’m working on my feelings and I wanted to let you know because I don’t want to lose our friendship.” Hopefully the heart-to-heart will make you both feel relieved, and ready to hang out like OGs.