Jealous of friend
I've known my friend for 4 years and she is a good friend, but I always find myself getting jealous of her. I'm not very good at much and my friend is good at almost everything. She is an amazing dancer and has won awards. She can sing really well and has again won awards. She can swim so fast and fantastically. She is a great actress and she has been on T.V. and the radio. She is also very pretty and always catches the eyes of boys, especially my best friend.
I try to put on a brave face, but it's so hard because she always shows off and brags about it. How can I stop feeling jealous of her? People have told me to ignore her, but it just doesn't work! Please help!
Dear Worried Friend:
The first thing to understand about jealousy is that it has everything to do with you and very little to do with the person of whom you are jealous. I think jealousy is always based on the fear of losing something important. Is it a common feeling for you? Have you experienced it in the past with others? If you have, you can begin to look for similarities in the situations.
As for this situation, you have known your friend for four years which is quite a long time and you have remained friends during that time despite your jealousy. You say that she is a good friend. I can't be sure, of course, what you mean by being a good friend, but I assume that at the very least there are lots of things that you like about this girl and that she has shown you that she cares about you and your feelings.
If this is so, why don't you try telling her about how you feel. Tell her why you feel the way you do. It sounds as though one of the things you are worried about (fear) is, losing out to your friend in areas where you compete. For example, you say she catches the eyes of boys and especially your best friend. Is he also your boyfriend? Can both of you (your girlfriend and you) be friends with this boy or does she "take over" in such situations? A truly good friend will listen to you and will understand your fears and you can probably work out something so that she doesn't compete for things that are important to you.
If, on the other hand, its more important to her to win than it is to be friends (and your saying that she brags about things makes me wonder if this might not be true), then it may be time for you to re-evaluate the friendship.
It seems to me that in addition to being jealous of some things you are also envious of your friend. Envy is different than jealousy. With envy you just wish you could do everything and be everything that someone else can do and be. This usually results in your feeling bad about yourself. I find that sometimes people who already are dissatisfied with their abilities will pick people with lots of abilities for friends. People think all that talent will somehow rub off on them. Unfortunately, it usually results in the person just feeling worse.
If this is true in your case, I would again suggest that you talk to your friend about your feelings. After all, she has also chosen you to be her friend and she may be able to see your good qualities more clearly!
I hope this will be helpful to you. Good luck!
Jerry Button, L.M.H.C.
This question was answered by Jerry Button. Jerry is a psychotherapist, personal development trainer, workshop presenter and relationship coach practicing in Delray Beach, Florida. He believes that the key to quality of life lies in relationships. His approach to interpersonal and emotional problems is relational and psychodynamic. Jerry is experienced working with individuals, children and families and welcomes challenging opportunities.For more information visit: http://www.dynamicrelationships.net/