Coping with Jealousy
Jealousy occurs in most human relationships at one time or another. Whether your relationship is an intimate one, a friendship or even co-workers.
For most teens there will come a day when you realize 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. Sometimes, when this happens, it feels like there is nothing you can do. But the good news is that there is! Don’t let jealousy spoil your relationships. Confront the problem and you may find your relationship will be back to normal much sooner than you think.
Confront Your Friend
You may find it difficult to walk up to your 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 that has been coming between you and that you cherish their friendship. 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.
Find a Solution
When you figure out what is freaking 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 you’re off with your new friends from the swim team, then maybe you could invite them along the next time or block off one day a week for just the two of you. Remember that whatever solution you decide on needs to 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.
Practice Your Patience
Even if you do get to the bottom of your friend’s jealousy, you’ll probably need to remain patient while (s)he works out their 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. You may even find there will be troubles up ahead, and you may need to chat with your friend about it again. 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 affected 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.
Remember, don’t limit your own talents or opportunities simply because your friend is unhappy.