You did it! You finally have the job you were dreaming of and all the perks that come with it. However, instead of being happy for you, your friends have changed and are never around. Do you get hints that your friends’ behave differently when they meet you? Or perhaps, you often feel a sense of envy from them. If you don’t know how to deal with jealousy among best friends, this post will help you identify the signs of insecurity so that you don’t have to become a victim of toxic friendships. A study from the University of California found that 41.4% of men envy occupational success while 23.8% of women envied looks. Hence, it’s crucial to know the signs of jealous friends and learn these tips to handle them gracefully.
What Are The Signs Of Jealous Friends?
So, how to identify if you have a friend who’s insecure about your success? Well, there are subtle signs which every jealous friend exhibit unconsciously.
Here are some common signs of jealousy you can detect from your best friends.
1. Synchronizing Your Schedule Is An Impossible Mission
Jealous friends have a hard time dealing with the fact that you’re no longer available to hang out anytime. For this reason, you guys rarely meet, and when you do, it feels like a glass wall is separating you.
Let’s say you want to meet your best friend after a long time but finding a schedule that matches yours seems like a never-ending task. And because of this, you find your friends always making you feel bad for not making time to meet.
2. You Talk Less About Your Success
Do you seem to talk less about your work and success whenever you’re around your best friends? If you do, you likely feel scared of expressing your happiness around them. This shouldn’t happen in any relationship, in fact.
If you always feel like your achievements will make your best friend feel insecure, it is probably one of the most prominent signs that your friend is jealous.
3. You Feel Inferior Around Them
Does your friend seem dismissive about your success? Do they say that you’re lucky to experience positive events in your life? If they do, it’s a red flag that they envy you.
Secured friendships don’t allow you to feel bad for doing good in your life. Instead, they celebrate your achievements together.
4. You Feel Exhausted Whenever You Meet Your Friends
Toxic friendships drain the energy out of you whenever you’re in their presence. They always spew negativity on your way when you present them with good news.
They are all about unnecessary gossips and don’t acknowledge anyone else’s hard work and achievement so that they could feel better about themselves.
5. They Always Judge Others
Jealous friends have a habit of always judging others’ choices and life. They seem to derive happiness from gossiping about other people. They believe that a person cannot reach great heights without doing some shameful act.
If you notice these signs among your friend’s group, it’s possible they feel the same jealousy about your achievements.
6. They Don’t Acknowledge Your Efforts
One of the most visible signs of jealous friends is that they never acknowledge your success efforts. They believe whatever success you have gotten so far, it’s easy and doable for everyone.
Envious toxic people never fail to make you feel that your victory results from a lottery and not something you have worked hard for.
Reasons Why Success Drives Friends Apart
Now that you’re familiar with the signs of jealous friends, it’s essential to know what causes it, what’s the real reason behind your best pals coming out in such an awful manner.
1. You are no longer available as you were earlier.
It’s normal to be no longer available when you’re working passionately. You have new responsibilities, which aren’t always easy to keep up with. It’s natural to work overtime now and then.
However, if you do it too often or you’ve made it a habit to stop for a drink or a cup of coffee with your new colleagues, chances are you have very little time for your friends.
Now would be a good time to look back and see how many girls’ or guys’ nights out you’ve missed and how many phone calls or text messages never received an answer. If you’re never available to them, your friends will eventually give up on you.
So, how to deal with jealous friends when you no longer make time to hang out?
- You find time for your friends, and you remain close.
- You close that chapter of your life and move on to finding new friends.
- Accept the change and get together when you can.
However, there’s a catch. These suggestions work only when your friends are successful, and they understand what you’re going through. After all, combining jobs or business endeavors with parenting and other family obligations is not easy.
2. Your friends are jealous, and they think you’re looking down on them.
Your new job and social status haven’t changed who you are. However, everyone expects you to change. Your friends feel they can’t keep up with you when it comes to expenses, night outs, and shopping, so they decide to avoid you.
You feel left out, and you don’t understand their behavior. What can you do? Well, for starters, you can:
- Call them out.
- Tell them you are the same person and your new income or work status hasn’t changed who you are.
- Give your friends the time and the opportunity to see that for themselves.
Perhaps your friends are intimidated by your new status. They will eventually learn to ignore your new position and treat you the same way they did before.
Give them time to get used to it. Some of them may not, and they may have a hard time hiding their contempt, their inability to accept that you succeeded where they failed. But that is not on you, and you don’t want that type of friend next to you.
3. You’re Not On The Same Page Anymore
People change, and so their priorities. They adapt to new environments and lead a different lifestyle. And this change may cause a distance among friends, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Other times, you realize the change is for the best, and you embrace it. It helps to acknowledge the change and deal with it, rather than stress yourself trying to figure out what is wrong.
4. You Boast A Lot About Your Success
As much as you are proud of yourself for your growth, continuously talking about your success on social media may make people uncomfortable, especially those who haven’t yet achieved any. There’s a line that one should maintain whenever talking about their wins.
A survey of over 16000 people worldwide has shown that the below social media sites, often leave a person upset or induce bitter feelings about themselves.
Furthermore, studies also show that people feel envious when they witness their friends’ happy lives on social media.
5. You Have Become More Private
Do you share as openly with your best friends as you did before? If you don’t, this can be a reason behind jealous friends.
Some studies also reveal that not sharing sensitive information with your friends can cause a rift between you.
However, you can surely find a lot of things to share without compromising information confidentiality. You can share things without giving specific details, and if your friends truly care for you, they will understand the need to keep some details confidential.
How To Deal With Jealous Friends?
Now that you know the signs and reasons behind jealous friends, here are some actionable tips you can take to help for dealing with them.
1. Determine The Reason Behind Their Jealousy
The first step to dealing with jealous friends is understanding where their jealousy stems from.
Research has shown that most jealous behavior boils down to having a difficult childhood. This could potentially be due to the fact that kids with a difficult upbringing seek their friends as the only support in adult life.
- Does your inability to give them the time makes them anger?
- Are you the one who they always come to when they need support?
- Do you always feel responsible for their emotions and feelings?
If you answered affirmatively to the above question, there are possibilities they may feel emotionally threatened whenever you feel to meet these needs.
2. Address Their Insecurities Or Offer Help
A study paper co-authored by UC San Diego psychology professor Christine Harris and graduate student Nicole Henniger shows that young people are more envious of looks, romance, achievements at school and workplace.
However, older people are considerably more jealous of occupational success.
If you feel these could be a reason behind their feeling insecure, ensure that you offer them help in a compassionate way.
- Ask your friend how they are doing at school or the workplace. Did something good happen with them? Were they offered any new opportunities? Or, are they struggling with their own issues and need support?
- Also, ask them if you in any way have hurt their feelings, maybe unconsciously.
- Actively listen to them whenever they are expressing their thoughts.
3. Give Them Space And Time
It can get too overwhelming for jealous friends to properly process their thoughts and feelings whenever you question them about their behavior. Giving space to someone is an essential element of a healthy relationship.
It’s always recommended to give them space and time to observe their own thoughts and actions in such cases.
- Don’t text or call your friend for a few days.
- Understand that you’re not responsible for their emotions.
- Keep doing your own thing.
- Let yourself feel the distressing emotions.
4. Set Healthy Boundaries
Setting boundaries are crucial for fostering a healthy relationship with friends, family, and partner. Boundaries are non-negotiable, and you may even feel guilty for having them initially. However, having them will save you from the mental turmoil you’d have otherwise gone through.
- Communicate your boundaries with friends.
- Set clear expectations.
- Inform them if their behavior has hurt you.
5. Walk Away
If all the above steps fail to work and your jealous friends keep stabbing you down, it’s better to show some self-respect and walk away from such toxic relationships.
The Bottom Line about Success Driving Friends Apart
In the end, just like jobs and marriages, friendships are hard to keep. They take time, involvement, and a dash of compatibility. Sometimes, you can provide that. Other times, you realize it is impossible and move on.
Those who are your real friends and care about you will stay. Those who do not take you seriously and did not take the time to get to know you will sooner or later disappear. Either way, it helps to know who you’re dealing with and who is dependable in all situations.
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Key Takeaways On Dealing Jealous Friends
- Your success may cause jealousy among your friend circle, and it can be unsettling if you don’t identify the signs beforehand.
- Jealous friends have a hard time believing that you can’t change your schedule according to theirs since you’re engaged with your work now.
- They tend to make you feel bad about your achievements and success. Hence, you’ll think twice before expressing your happiness around them.
- This is a typical pattern among jealous friends that they believe your success was out of sheer luck and not because you worked hard for it.
- Toxic friends are energy vampires, and you’ll always feel drained out around them because of the negativity they project.
- Judging others for their life choices is one of the favorite activities of insecure friends because it makes them feel good about themselves.
- Lastly, they never acknowledge your wins and victory because they believe what you have accomplished so far is doable for anyone.
What are the significant causes of jealousy among teenagers?
According to studies, these are some common reasons behind jealousy among teenagers:
- Low self-esteem.
- Poor self-image.
- Unrealistic expectations from friends.
- Lack of trust.
- Fear of not being good enough for others.
How can I deal with a jealous friend?
- Maintain some personal boundaries.
- Talk to them that their behavior bothers you.
- Ask them not to compare them with yourself because you both are two different individuals.