Skip to main content

3 useful tips to deal with a jealous friend more effectively


Having a jealous friend, whether they’re jealous of your other friendships or envious of some aspect of your lifestyle, puts you in an extremely difficult position. On the one hand, confronting these issues can lead to conflict and a changing dynamic. On the other hand, ignoring jealous behavior can also damage the relationship.

If you’re trying to patch things up with a jealous buddy, we have all the information you need to help you determine your course of action. We’ve provided a handful of tips on identifying and addressing this thorny issue, all while keeping your friendship intact.

What causes jealousy?

First things first, a little bit of jealousy is normal and natural. When you want to spend time with someone, it can be frustrating when their attentions are elsewhere. In other scenarios, it can also be natural to feel mildly envious of a friend’s job, relationship, or home. At the end of the day, it all comes down to wanting something you don’t (or can’t) have.

This is also a form of insecurity. If someone lacks something in their lives, like the aforementioned job, relationship, or expensive house, it can damage their self-esteem. Often, the jealous party will act out because they fear losing standing in the relationship or make their lifestyle seem more enviable by downplaying others’.

Wayhome Studio/Shutterstock

How and why does it show up in friendships?

If you think your friend may be jealous of you, there are a few telltale signs to look out for. Before taking any action, spend some time ensuring your friend is acting out of jealously or insecurity. This can be a tricky subject to tackle, and the last thing you want is to insinuate that they’re obsessed with you or dissatisfied with their life. There are a lot of other reasons that may explain your friend’s odd behaviors. Maybe they’re a naturally competitive person and the conversation should be around building a friendship that’s more celebratory. Perhaps they’re having trouble at work or in their personal relationships and are misdirecting their frustration at you.

In these instances, a person exhibiting jealous behaviors every so often isn’t the same as dealing with a jealous person. While it is still worth a conversation, especially if it’s harming the friendship, these are likely isolated circumstances.

With that said, there are some behaviors that may indicate that jealously is an ongoing issue. One indicator is constant negativity. Think of this as the “hater” mindset: No matter what you do or accomplish, your friend’s first reaction is to downplay your achievement or one-up it with their own successes. This is one of the strongest indicators that jealousy is in the mix. If it feels like they are rooting for you to fail, you could be right.

Are any of these warning signs ringing a bell? If so, it may be time to take some action.


How to deal with a jealous friend

Jealousy can be a difficult thing to resolve, especially when it’s someone close to you. As is the case with most things, no magic bullet exists, but there are tips and techniques to address the situation.

  • Be honest and compassionate. Gently help your friend understand that your life may not be as perfect as it seems from their viewpoint. Share your struggles in a non-competitive way. Provide a listening ear when they talk about their own issues and don’t minimize them.
  • Do not become confrontational. Remember that you can’t singlehandedly control the behavior of others; you can only control yourself. If your friend becomes defensive, resist the urge to push back. Instead, try to understand the source of the envy. Insecurity is often the source of jealousy. If you can help mitigate the insecurity, you can help your friend feel better about themselves.
  • Create some breathing room. If the jealousy makes it uncomfortable to be around each other, it may be time to take a little break. Spending some time apart can help put things in perspective and may allow your friend to remember that the bond the two of you share is more important than their envy.

Dealing with a jealous friend can be difficult, but in the long run, you’ll both be better for it. With these tips in mind, you can handle the situation easily.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

Editors' Recommendations

Scott Harris
Scott Harris is a freelance writer based near Washington, DC, with more than a decade of experience covering health…
5 great conversation starters to make small talk more natural
small talk easy group office

Perhaps it’s an underrated skill, but effective small talk is one of adulthood’s great minor talents.

Having pleasant small talk at the ready can put people at ease, amuse them, and even help strengthen or create relationships. This can apply at work, on a date, at a family reunion, or just about anywhere else. Although there isn’t a whole lot of small-talk data available, it seems likely that many, or even most, people aren’t so adept at shooting the breeze, meaning anyone who can fill the awkward silence might be viewed favorably just by doing it.

Read more
5 helpful solutions to try when you’re feeling left out by friends
solutions left out friends man feeling

There’s no way around it: humans are social creatures. It’s important to have independence and the confidence to not let the opinions of others define us, but at the same time, a need for belonging is hard-wired in our brains going back to our days when strength in numbers could literally mean the difference between life and death.

That must be why it’s so painful and frustrating to feel as if you’re being left out by your friends. If it’s any comfort, you’re not the first person to experience these feelings, and you’re far from the last. On a practical level, this means the issue is well-understood by experts, and while no one (including you) can wave a magic wand and make the issue go away, there are some strategies and techniques you can use to help you process and respond to the problem.
Don’t jump to conclusions
Before going any further, retrace your steps. Are you certain you’re not inadvertently giving the issue more power than it deserves?

Read more
The best swim gear for a more effective workout
best swim gear woman goggles adjust

Swimming has long been a favorite workout because of its big benefits and low impact--making it a virtually ideal form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels.

But that doesn’t mean anyone should simply dive in and start paddling. Obviously, being a strong swimmer is the most important prerequisite, but there are important pieces of gear--including tech--to make your dips in the pool as productive and enjoyable as possible.

Read more