A friend is someone you have a mutual affection or special bond. Friends are human and they have feelings too and sometimes those feelings aren’t easy to admit. Feelings of jealousy and resentment are normal but what someone does with those feelings is important. How do you know if a friend is jealous?
Your friend may be jealous of you if they are:
- Happy to see your pain
- Comparing you in a negative way
- Excluding you on purpose
- Trying to hurt you on purpose
- Gossiping about you
- Ignoring you when you try to speak
- Joking about you in a bad way
- Angry or annoyed at you randomly
- Always trying to compete
- Lack of eye contact
Jealousy involves negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, anxiety, fear, and resentment. The issue isn’t really with you but with their own lives projected onto you. It’s important to know when the dynamics of a friendship has changed, especially if signs of jealousy have been exhibited more than one time. Information is power.
1. Happy to see your pain
Some people actually get off on the struggle and pain of others. Someone you call a friend should never become a participant in enjoying your pain. A friend should be there to help you during some of the most difficult times in your life.
A friend shouldn’t stand on your shoulders in the way that the world does. If your friend enjoys your suffering, it’s time for some new company.
2. Comparing you in a negative way
Comparisons are part of life and many times our differences are what make us unique. Comparisons and critiques that leave you feeling deflated from someone you trust can be difficult.
If a friend always compares you to others by criticizing you in a negative way, it may be a sign your friendship has changed. A friendship doesn’t give others permission to damage you on purpose.
You don’t need your friends to tell you everything you want to hear all the time, however, how comparisons and criticisms are shared matters. If a friend can’t consider your feelings and always seeks the negative, jealousy may be a factor.
3. Excluding you on purpose
Being a friend doesn’t require you do everything together but if a friend has to sneak or make excuses for excluding you that’s a problem. If everyone around you but you is included, that is a sign that there could be some jealousy.
Communication and honesty in friendships is key. If a friend can’t be honest about excluding you there’s a reason.
A friend will tell you the truth when you need it and sometimes the truth can hurt. However, when a friend acts with the intention to damage or destroy your self-esteem on purpose that is no longer a friend.
People who love you want to protect you. If a friend works to influence your mood in a negative way as entertainment that’s not love that’s abuse. Friendships should bring something good to your life instead of creating hurtful memories.
5. Gossiping about you
Gossip is a concept that’s old as time and it’s usually something we do with a friend. Information shared in confidence is expected to remain with a friend. A friend should never gossip about you to others.
A friendship should include trust and honesty and the ability to be vulnerable when you can. If you can’t trust a friend to keep sensitive conversations private, be mindful for the future. No trust means there’s no friendship.
If a friend is gossiping about you but has never had these conversations with you directly that’s a problem. A real friend understands they can talk to you during the good times and the bad. Real friends talk to each other instead of telling everyone else.
6. Ignoring you when you try to speak
If when you speak you’re ignored but they pay close attention when others speak, it’s a sign that a friend may be jealous of you. They may also dismiss your opinions or tell you that what you think makes no sense without presenting a valid argument proving the opposite.
Friendship doesn’t have to include competing for your voice to be heard. You’re not required to spend your time trying to prove yourself to anyone else.
7. Joking about you in a bad way
It’s fun to tell a few jokes and have a little fun but that should always come from a place of love. If your friend decides that joking about you includes always insulting you or tapping into those raw and hurtful emotions, that friend is jealous of you.
There’s a difference between having fun versus hiding behind a joke to say mean things. Don’t allow someone to cloak their venom in a joke. Words matter.
8. Angry or annoyed at you randomly
We’ve all had a moment when we’re annoyed or angry because these are natural emotions. But a friendship shouldn’t include anger directed toward you for no reason.
If when you interact with a friend they seem angry or annoyed at you for no reason it’s toxic. If you’re trying to celebrate or share your accomplishments but a friend is angry or annoyed you need better support.
9. Always trying to compete
A real friend wants to see you win and knows that if you’re winning that doesn’t mean their losing. Friends support each other. Friends motivate one another to push beyond our comfort zones to chase our dreams. Unfortunately, some friends don’t.
Some people see the success and drive of others and use it as a motivator to become your competitor and adversary. Every step you take they duplicate and always say they’ve done more.
Friendly competition is healthy but do not confuse it with jealousy. A friend that only wants to show you how they can do everything you do better is stressful. Share and celebrate your progress with friends that don’t view you as competition.
10. Lack of eye contact
Eye contact is a way to connect with another person intimately during a conversation. There will be tons of intimate moments with your friends and sometimes all it takes a look to communicate an understanding.
A friend should be able to look you in the eyes and communicate with you in good and bad situations. If direct eye contact never happens it’s time to assess the friendship. If a person can’t look at you in the eyes they’re just not interested.
We love our friends and invest so much time into nurturing those relationships. Some friendships are for life and others are friendships for a short time. Be mindful and know the signs when the status of that friendship may have changed from love to jealousy.
Jealousy is a natural emotion that all of us will feel at one point or another in our lives. It’s not wrong to feel jealous. Jealousy becomes an issue when you use that feeling to exhibit undesirable and malicious behaviors.
A friend isn’t required to agree with everything you want to do or even be happy for everything you’ve accomplished. However, a mature adult can acknowledge how they feel but not allow it to block their ability to be a good friend to you.
Be a good friend. Don’t allow your emotions to block a beautiful friendship.