Have you ever been envious of a friend?

It’s Ok if you have: I think there are times we see what someone else has, and we do get a little green at the thought of it. Maybe your friend has a great job, or a wonderful new relationship, or is pregnant- and you might really want these things, but at the present time it just isn’t there for you. Perhaps it makes it difficult to spend time with this friend, or maybe even be happy for them.

These are honest emotions, and you shouldn’t berate yourself for feeling them.

But…

Maybe you should have an open discussion with your friend about how you are feeling.

In Conversations on Love by Nathasha Lunn:

At times, that ongoing conversation might include sharing painful thing. Saying I’m proud you are achieving so much in your career, but sometimes that reminds me I’m struggling with mine…Because Susie made me realize that my envy was not only rooted in wanting what others had. Really it grew from a fear of being left behind , and of loneliness.

When you are envious of a friend, what is it really about? Is it really wanting their great job, or is it because you just aren’t in a good place at the moment and you feel scared and alone and afraid?

FYI- we all feel scared and alone and afraid sometimes. Really- we do. It might not look like that on social media, but there isn’t a person out there who hasn’t had moments of doubt and insecurity. But that’s why you need to talk to your friends about how you are feeling. They are your friends for a reason: share what you are going through. Chances are they will be scared of something too, just maybe not the same thing as you are.

Be honest with your friends about how you are feeling. Talk to them. Communicate. Having emotions is a part of being human- you just need to learn how to deal with them in a positive and healthy way.

37 thoughts on “Friendship Envy and Honesty

  1. I don’t often find myself jealous of my friends. I try to pick friends somewhat like me. It takes a lot for a person to make friend status. I have 3 people I consider friends the rest are acquaintances. I did/do get jealous of them for mainly relationship things. I am jealous of people who don’t have trauma and come from a large caring healthy family. When I was younger I was jealous of the people who still had high school friends, who had family who gave them breaks from their kids when they needed it, and people who could be irresponsible yet still had kids who were honor students while I tried hard and my kids struggled. So mainly I’m jealous more of relationship issues then money, cars, house, jobs, pregnancy, etc… But aren’t we jealous of what we don’t have? Like someone’s pregnancy if we are infertile.

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    1. I think we all are capable of seeing what others have and be a little sad that we don’t have it. And yes…I totally get being a little envious of someone who came from a family less dysfunctional than the one you came from

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  2. I can identify somewhat with this post. I have been jealous of the success of friends, particularly when my circumstances were not as bright. I questioned my worth, etc. It has taken much inner work to treat these feelings.

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  3. Sometimes my real life friends puzzle me, but most of us are sort of on par with cohesive lives- meaning there isn’t a great deal of difference in the *what I have versus what you have* life that might evoke feelings of jealousy. Regardless of that I agree about talking things out but I’ve found it’s harder to tell friends the truth– fear of alienating them/losing them maybe?

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      1. Yes- perhaps not in a group of close friends, friends who are more like brothers or sisters- although brothers and sisters don’t necessarily talk things out either. I don’t have a relationship with anyone right now who I consider a bestie, nothing like I did when I was young. I write more openly here than I would with (besides my kids) in real life. I think that’s why I used the word puzzled in the initial comment. I’m just at a loss to describe friendships in general.

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      2. Hah! I seriously doubt I have the power to MAKE you think or even do anything LA. You are highly capable of overthinking all on your own. However I think it would be interesting… I know that I define friends much more differently than my youngest daughter does and I still don’t understand where her criteria lies at all.

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  4. I felt jealousy when I was in college and starting in my career. Fortunately today — not so much. I had a wealthy roommate in college who took a job in a restaurant. He dad promised her a bundle of money and a new car if she quit. Meanwhile, my dad was late with my tuition payments and I was working to pay rent and make ends meet.

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  5. Yeah I guess some of this is true, but as a friend we should be happy for our true friends’ triumphs, as they should be for ours. Envy is a funny thing because it is so narrow minded. So okay, he has a nicer house, maybe drives a Cadillac while I have a Pontiac. But he has his own set of problems to deal with as we have ours. You really want to trade?

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  6. There was a period of time when I was silently envious of a friend’s marriage. I kept it inside for a very long time. However, when I finally did share it, I think it made her uncomfortable. Not sure if she took it wrong, but she did know some of the struggles I was having in my own marriage. So it’s not like I came out of the blue with those feelings. Sometimes I think honesty can backfire. But then again, maybe the thing about prefacing those thoughts with something positive is best. Saying how happy I am that she has this great marriage and they can openly share things with each other, but how it sometimes reminds me that I don’t have it. I can see how that would be a better approach. Well, you live and learn.

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  7. I went through a dark period in my life, post-divorce and unemployed, when I absolutely felt this way. Not just toward friends, but pretty much everybody. Thankfully, I channeled those negative emotions into making positive changes, and voila! Couldn’t be more content or less jealous nowadays.

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  8. You’re so right about the need for honesty when we have those emotions that aren’t so nice. My husband and I are friends with a couple that seem to compete with us, and we’ve noticed that they only want to get together when things are going very well for them. When they’re struggling, we don’t hear from them. That’s when we figured out they were competing, and only want to be around us when they’re “winning.” It’s sad, and it makes us question the friendship, because we don’t share those values. I’m not perfect, but I don’t gloat when things are going well for me or get jealous when they aren’t. And I have a hard time relating to people who do that!

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  9. Oh yes I have for sure! A couple of years ago my friend announced she was having a baby I was SO JEAULOUS! Then I thought would I want to go back go sleepless nights and the loud noise of a baby crying…NO!

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  10. It’s very important to be honest or otherwise you might simply distant yourself out of jealously and the other person will be left thinking they did something wrong. It’s normally to compare and feel jealous, it’s not normal to cut the person out of your life because of their success.

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