How to Deal with a Jealous Friend

It’s totally normal but it also needs to be addressed.

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Jealousy is complicated. It’s not something that you like to admit to feeling, and despite how common it is, it’s seen as a negative character trait. However, jealousy is a completely normal feeling to have. It’s especially normal to feel towards friends, especially if you’re insecure about yourself and/or your standing with your friend. By now, you are probably very familiar with this feeling and know how to deal with it.

But how do you deal when it’s your friend who is being the jealous one? Maybe she gets mad when you hang out with other people. Or maybe she gets upset that you got a better grade than her in a class, or that your love life is going well when hers isn’t. Whatever the issue may be, how do you handle a jealous friend? Here are our top tips.

Two friends sitting at a table with coffee talking

1. Start a conversation

If your friend is occasionally jealous, maybe that’s no big deal. But if it’s happening a lot and is affecting how you feel about this friend, you need to start a conversation about their jealousy. Yes, this is an uncomfortable thing to do, but the only way they’re going to know that you’re upset is if you tell them. 

Make sure not to attack your friend when you’re bringing up their jealousy. Don’t make them feel like it is all their fault. Assume the best about your friend and start from a place of “this is just a small issue that can be fixed.” After all, in most cases, that’s correct.

2. Take time to listen and understand

Even though you may feel that you need to take immediate action to make sure that your friend doesn’t get jealous again, they might just need to have someone listen to how they’re feeling. Sometimes, the best solution is just talking it out with them. 

Make sure to also try to understand where your friend is coming from. Would you be jealous if the roles were reversed? How would you want your friend to handle the problem if you were the jealous one?

Two woman on a cliff with their arms wrapped around each other

3. Assure your friend of your relationship

The reason that your friend may be feeling jealous, especially if this jealousy is prompted by you hanging out with other friends or beginning to date someone new, could be because they are feeling insecure in their relationship with you. So, take some time to let your friend know how much they mean to you. Tell your friend all the reasons you love and respect them and make sure that they feel appreciated.

4. Find solutions

Relationships, including friendships, are all about compromise. Maybe you can solve the jealousy by agreeing to spend more quality time with your friend or you can simply be more aware of your and your friend’s actions. Whatever solution you come to, confronting your friend about their jealousy and working through it together will lead to you understanding each other more and growing closer.

Woman sitting on a ledge in fall wearing blue jeans, boots, and a black jacket

5. Know when to let go

Sometimes the only solution may be the hardest one and, in that case, it may be to let your friend go. Obviously, this is not the ideal solution and should only be used as a last resort. If your friend is causing more chaos in your life than joy or if your friend is sabotaging your relationships with others or with yourself, then you may have to break up with your friend. If your friend isn’t willing to listen to what you have to say and make changes in order to not be as jealous, then it may be time to let them go so that you can surround yourself with people who are more positive.

Have you dealt with a jealous friend in the past? How did you handle the situation? Let us know below.

Jealousy is never easy to deal with. Whether you’re the one who is experiencing the jealousy, or you don’t know what to do when your friend is being jealous, remember to take a deep breath. Jealousy is a normal thing to feel and is usually based on personal insecurities so just take the time to remind others that they are worthy and they are important to you. And be sure to be kind to yourself, too!

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