I have jealous friends- what can I do?

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Image courtesy: Jérôme – Môsieur J. via Wikimedia Commons

“I have jealous friends” means that your friends act out in upsetting ways when you go on a vacation with another friend, find a new boyfriend, girlfriend, or get a new job with new colleagues? 

Jealousy is when you’re “intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness.” In a friendship this means that your friend is jealous of your new boyfriend or girlfriend whoever is about to replace your affections.

A recent brain test showed that jealousy lights up the same area of the brain as pain. Yes, pain! Jealousy can be experienced as physical pain.

Do I have jealous friends?

Many years ago I had a boyfriend who would get jealous when I had a “friends night out.” He’d demean my friends, and complain. Those friendships lasted, he didn’t as jealousy is destructive in any relationship.

‘It’s interesting the part of the brain which detects physical pain is also associated with mental pain,’ said Hidehiko Takahashi, who led the research. (Jealousy Spot Identified on the Brain by Scientists 2/16/2009; Metro.co.uk)

I have jealous friends means that when you go with a new friend on a fun Hawaiian vacation, your friends get mean and/or upset. They see that “other friend” as a rival. However, you may be envious of Kate Middleton for marrying Prince William, possibly (or not), but you’re not jealous of her as she’s “not replacing your affections” with another person. You don’t know her, you may want what she has but that’s a different emotion.

Turning These Emotions Into Lessons

If you confess to yourself, “I have jealous friends” then there’s a brain pain going on for those friends. If you have jealous friends, it’s because they think someone is taking you away from them. Ask yourself how you’re acting. Are you heating up the conversation, rubbing your new found Hawaiian-bound friend in your old friends’ faces?

Do you have jealous friends because of your actions. If you want to establish long term healthy friendships it’s time to look at your own behavior.

Envy can be turned into a great lesson for you too. Check out the post on Best Friend Honesty: Is It the Truth or Envy? for more insights on envy in friendships.

Listen, Think, Respond when You Think “I Have Jealous Friends”

Listen – to your friend who is not going to Hawaii. How is she or he acting? Take note.

Think – about how you would feel in a similar situation. How would likely react too? Do you trigger jealousy – if so, why? Do you like the power? Power is temporary and you’re looking for healthy friendships. What can you do to offset your friend’s pain? You’re not going to stop the trip because your friend is jealous, but you can come up with some loving, creative solutions.

Respond – let your friend know that you’ll miss her, and include her by asking if s/he’d like you to bring back a special gift. Let her know that when you’re back you’ll do something special with her too. Be kind and fair with your friend who’s not going on the trip.

Always remember… a great friend starts with you!

Join us weekly on “Super Friend Groups Talk Radio” as we discuss building healthy friendships. Call in live Fridays at 11 a.m. (PT) or send us your feedback on an aired show and if you’d like to contribute ideas for a new show contact us!

Image courtesy: Image courtesy: Jérôme – Môsieur J. via Wikimedia Commons

© Glenda Shaw_Superfriendgroups.com 2014

Please note: I hide specific and identifiable details in my friend stories as these stories are examples of behavior and not meant to hurt anyone. These stories are based on my opinion and perspective, except when the people written about are in the public domain. Any advice in this blog is from my insights, research and opinion only, and must not be considered as legal or medical advice.

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