Ever since the book came out, I've received feedback about how it's made women think about friendships throughout their lives, as well as who is in their lives now. The goal of this blog is to open up and create a dialogue about friendships: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Each week I will post my thoughts, experiences, as well as various articles, topics or quotes that I feel are important when examining female friendships. Please feel free to leave comments; I look forward to hearing from you!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Jealousy and Friendship

I recently came upon an interesting article on jealousy and friendship:
How to Overcome Jealousy Within Friendships by Karen Kleinschmidt

We don't like to admit that we get jealous of our friends, but let's be honest: we do!  Maybe a friend recently got an amazing job promotion or is now dating a very handsome and funny guy OR maybe your friend just won the lottery (hey, stranger things have happened!).  It's normal to feel conflicting feelings for our friends; we feel happy for them but at the same time, we feel jealous.  As it says below, I believe it's important to acknowledge what you're feeling, and if you feel comfortable, to let your friend know.  If you don't, it will start to feel like there's a polka-dotted pink and blue elephant in the room.  In other words, it would be hard to ignore!

An excerpt from the article:
"Jealousy Is Counterproductive
Step 1 
Accept that you feel jealous of your friend. Acknowledge this feeling within yourself and pinpoint what it is that makes you feel this way. Do your best to avoid pushing your jealous feelings away as your friend will likely pick up on your jealousy through facial expressions and/or your actions. Admitting this feeling to yourself will allow you to explore ways to overcome your jealousy.
Step 2 
Take action by telling your friends you are proud of them when they accomplish a goal or something of importance. Face-to-face interaction might be too difficult at first, so a phone call, text or email might be a better route if you fear your jealousy will show.
Step 3
Force yourself to congratulate your friend despite your jealous feelings. Raghunathan said in his article that forcing yourself to act as though you are happy for your friend will help you overcome your feelings of jealousy. It works in the same way as forcing a smile when you are less than happy."

Regarding Step 3, I think it would depend on the friend.  If it's a close friend, I would tell her how I'm feeling rather than pretend I'm feeling something I'm not.  For example, you could say, "I'm thrilled for you but it's bringing up my own struggles with being single/jobless/whatever the situation may be.  I hope you can understand."  In genuine friendships it's important to be truthful about your feelings instead of hiding them.  If it's more of an acquaintance, I'd force myself to put my feelings aside and try to figure out what's going on with me. 

What do you think?  Have you ever felt jealous of a friend?  If so, did you tell her?

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