February 28, 2014
by Casey Truffo, LMFT
You may have never experienced it. You may have never considered it. She is your best friend and you want her to be happy. She's found the love of her life. She is glowing. She lights up when she walks into a room. So, why aren't you happy for her? What is wrong with you? Are you envious? Are you afraid you'll lose your best friend? Chances are, the one word that sums up how you're feeling is "jealous".
Jealousy is an emotion, a negative emotion, and negative emotions can suck the life right out of you if you dwell on them. Although not many people can say they've never felt jealous or envious of somebody else, being jealous, especially of your best friend, is dangerous territory. In the case of your best friend's romantic relationship, jealousy is the emotion, and envy is the resentment you feel about her happiness.
If your best friend and her beau have a seemingly wonderful romantic relationship, and you are single, it can be difficult to not be jealous of her good fortune. It's normal to feel like a third wheel if you spend a lot of time together and now you’re the odd one out when you spend time with them as a couple. And maybe your best friend and her beau are becoming increasingly exclusive, and the time that you and your best friend spend together is dramatically decreasing. Ouch.
There are ways to work through the feelings you are experiencing. The first thing you have to do to start getting past the jealousy is to admit it. Maybe you don't want to blurt it out to the world, but you need to at least admit it to yourself.
Time for a little soul searching
Figure out why you're jealous in the first place. Are you jealous of the fact that your friend's romantic relationship seems to be everything you’ve been looking for, but haven’t found? Maybe you are involved in a romantic relationship of your own and what she seems to have is “better” than your own. In either case, try to focus on your own romantic relationship (and do your best not to compare). Maybe the person you are committed to is not the right person for you. That does not mean you should dump your current beau, but you should take an honest look at why you feel this way in light of what your relationship might be lacking. Jealousy can rear it is ugly head even when you are in a good, healthy relationship – a red flag that it may be time to take a deeper look at yourself and why you suddenly feel your relationship isn’t good enough. Try to keep in mind that each relationship is different, and what makes yours click (or what may need fixing) will be unique to you and your beau. Comparing the two relationships will most likely lead only to resentment toward your friend AND your boyfriend or girlfriend.
Are you jealous because you're single and your best friend isn't? You may think that your best friend will no longer have time for you. This may or not be the case. Regardless of whether or not your best friend's romantic relationship is flourishing, best friends always have time for each other. It is important to give your friend your time. As I'm sure you've heard in some variation, "Men will come and go, but best friends are forever" or "Never let a man come between your friendship." These things are very true; however, when you are the one involved in the situation, those things can be easier said than done.
In order to get past being jealous of your best friend, which could ultimately ruin your friendship, there are several things you can do.
- Don't compare yourself to others - Not matter how compatible you are with your friend, no two people are the same. Focus your energy on making your own life exactly how you want it.
- Love yourself, have high self-esteem - The value you place on yourself will go hand in hand with self-esteem. Realize that you are beautiful, you are strong, you are amazing, and you are worthy.
- Focus on your qualities and what you're good at - Everybody has a special qualities unique to only them. Sometimes you may not be aware of those special qualities until you do some soul searching.
- Be thankful for what you have in your life - Learn how to be kind and how to be happy for others and what they have in their lives by being happy and thankful for what you have in your own life.
If you have tried to get past the jealousy you feel towards your best friend's romantic relationship but can't seem to shake it, the counselors at the Orange County Relationship Center can help. Our counselors are trained professionals who can listen to your issues and provide you with the tools you’ll need to get past being jealous and envious of your best friend. Jealousy and envy can ruin even the strongest friendships. Don't let your friendship become a statistic. Call the Orange County Relationship Center today at 949-220-3211 to schedule an appointment, or use our online tool to set up your appointment. Friendships are precious, don’t let something as resolvable as jealousy take your friendship away.