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How to Overcome Jealousy Within Friendships

By April Sanders ; Updated June 13, 2017

Friends are friends forever -- or until one of them becomes more successful than the other. People are sometimes drawn to each other by the things they have in common, and this is especially true in friendships. But when one friend starts having more than the other -- whether it's more money, job prestige or even more romance -- jealousy can rear its ugly head. You might not be able to stop being jealous entirely, but if you want to keep your friendship, you have to learn how to cope with your jealousy.

Acknowledge your jealous feelings. It's natural to feel jealous sometimes, according to Irene Levine, professor of psychiatry at New York University and author of "Best Friends Forever." In a "Woman's Day" article titled "How to Stop Being Jealous of Your Friends," Levine says that only by acknowledging the feelings can you work on a strategy for overcoming them.

Focus on the positive. Find the thing -- or things -- that are positive about your life, and focus on those things. Sure, her husband may be the King of Romance, but your son is a straight-A student who just earned a major scholarship to college.

Remind yourself about the transient nature of life. What often goes up comes back down again, and in the end, what really matters are the intangibles. Career success and material things -- even your friend's huge, fancy house -- aren't important in the long run. It's the relationships we build that matter -- including the relationship with your friend.

Look at the downside. Sure, your friend got that promotion, but she has to work twice as many hours. Look under the surface and you might find that your friend's life isn't as rosy as you first thought.

Learn from your friend. Maybe she lost all that weight because she worked out five times a week without fail, even when she didn't want to. Take a page out of her book by setting a goal and keeping your eyes on the prize. And if your goal is the same, swallow your pride and ask her for tips on how she achieved her success. A true friend will do whatever she can to help you achieve your own goals.

Tips

Consider being honest with your friend. If she senses that you are treating her differently, tell her that you are proud of what she accomplished but you can't help feeling a little jealous. Confessing your jealousy may actually make your friend warm up to you. Still, be careful how you say it: You don't want to make your friend feel bad about her achievements.

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