Coping with a Jealous Friend
You know how wonderful you are, and you know that others know how wonderful you are, but what do you do when admiration crosses over the line into jealousy? For most teens there will come a day when you realise that one of your friends is jealous – whether it be of who you are, what you’ve done or something you have – and that this jealousy is hurting your friendship. When this happens it can seem like there is nothing that you can do, but the good news is that there is. Don’t let jealousy spoil your relationships. Tackle it head on and you might be back to normal much sooner than you think.
Confront Your FriendIt can be hard to walk up to a friend and ask them what the problem is, but if you want to save your friendship you’ll have to do just that. Don’t approach them and ask why they are jealous of you (unless of course you want to appear totally conceited), just take some time alone with them and let them know that you’ve been feeling like there’s something been coming between you. If they refuse to respond, then use the opportunity to explain how you have been feeling. Chances are that something you say will strike a nerve and your friend will open up as well.
Hammer Out a SolutionWhen you figure out what is irking your friend, ask him or her what (s)he thinks would make the situation better. If, for example, (s)he say that (s)he feels like (s)he doesn’t get to spend any time with you because your off with your new friends from the swim team then maybe you could invite her along the next time or block off one day a week for just the two of you. Remember, though, that whatever solution you decide on should be a compromise. Don’t limit your own talents or opportunities simply because your friend is unhappy. Try instead to include him or her in your new life and see how that works out.
Practise Your PatienceEven if you do get to the bottom of your friend’s jealousy you’ll likely need to remain patient while (s)he works out his or her own emotions. Even if you can think of a compromise to help get your friendship back on track you can’t do the emotional work of getting over jealousy for your friend. There may be pot-holes in the road up ahead, and you may need to chat with your friend again. If you do, remember to stay calm and ask what is wrong. If it turns out to be the same issue, tell your friend that you feel you have been sticking to the compromise. It may be that your friend is unable to see that, or (s)he didn’t really commit to the compromise and wanted you back all to him or herself. If this is the case then there’s not much you can do about it besides reiterate your offer to meet him or her half-way.
Even the best of friendships can be tinged by jealousy. This destructive emotion is rarely productive and can turn best friends into worst enemies. Before taking drastic action, chat with your jealous friend to see if the two of you can work out a compromise. If you can’t, be prepared to know exactly how far you will go to keep your friend – and how far you won’t.