Jealous of a friend’s boyfriend?
There is a good reason why jealousy is categorised in a list called the Seven Deadly Sins. Note the word "Deadly". Jealousy can have deadly connotations, it can destroy relationships, ruin families and hamper professional improvement significantly. It has a ruinous effect on the person concerned too - a jealous person has a host of stress related health issues and is never happy with what he has.
We are familiar with the usual forms of jealousy - in a marriage, between boyfriend and girlfriend, among siblings and among successful friends and colleagues. There is another kind of jealousy. Sometimes, jealousy can raise its ugly head in between friends because one of them falls in love.
It's easy to understand why. Suddenly, one friend is deprived of his/her best buddy - and the time that they usually spent together is being compromised by another person's constant presence. One of the worst threats to a close friendship is jealousy and this should be avoided at all cost. Since the person who is feeling the jealousy can't be open about it for fear of coming across as not supportive of his/her friends happiness, the negative emotions could manifest in strange ways. Jealousy among friends can cause wide rifts which are difficult to bridge, so it is best to have a talk if you feel things are going downhill between the two of you. Don't feel awkward about talking to your friend and asking if there is anything wrong.
So if you are in a new relationship, try not to exclude your closest friends from your life. Look for signs which tell you if they are unhappy or jealous. For example, your friend might not seem to be enthusiastic about trips you plan with them and your partner or unexcited about news concerning your partner and you. Insincere happiness, brushing off anything positive, constantly finding fault with your partner's behaviour and attitude are signs that you should talk to your friend about her feelings. Try and assess whether you are paying enough attention to your friend or see if she/ he is in a bad place in her/his life at the moment. When someone is not happy, it is difficult to be happy for someone else. Open the channels of communication with your friend and let him/her know that they are as important as they were earlier but also communicate the need to spend some time away from them with your new partner. Explain this and they will understand.
And if you are on the other side - i.e. if you are the friend who is jealous of his/her best friend being suddenly kidnapped by a new person in his or her life, take some time to think about your jealousy. Just because your friend is happy with another person doesn't mean that your importance diminishes in any way. Realise that your friend will need time alone with his/her new partner and allow them that freedom. A new relationship needs a lot of space and personal time together to grow - if you have been in a relationship then think about the initial days of your life together with YOUR partner. Be sensitive to this fact and learn to relax your feelings about this aspect of your friendship. Yes if you are being completely ignored by your friend then it may be time to re-evaluate your friendship and have a frank talk about it but if it means a little less time spent with your best friend because she wants some alone time with her boyfriend then try not to be so rigid.
Have you experienced a friend’s jealousy? How have you handled it? Tell us your experience...