Let’s say that you experienced something good in your life; you got a hit a jackpot, were successful in trimming down some pounds, fell in love, or got something published in a magazine. Your happiness does not let you wait it out and you wish to share it with your closest friends, the people you hope will be happy for you, the ones you count on to share in your joy. You meet your friend for coffee to share your great news and their reaction is to downplay it, and they may even seem amused by your excitement. Their lack of shared excitement leaves you hurt and wondering what you did wrong.
Of course, we’re talking about jealousy, something that can have a corrosive effect on friendship. And its not always out in the open but rather wrapped under layers of passive aggression and veiled hostility.
1) Lack of Support:
There is no way your friend will let you go forth with something that you plan on doing that may result in your success by telling you, â€˜you arenâ€™t smart enough,â€™ or â€œyouâ€™re not well suitedâ€ for a job, a romance, or just about anything you really want. At times you are unprepared, but a true friend will not give you that input unless itâ€™s truly warranted, and not just to keep you small. A true friend is able to say these three words â€œgo for it.â€
Likewise, they are never available for you in the time of need. Theyâ€™ll come up with some great excuses too. But a true friend who wants you to succeed and be happy will find a way to be there for you when you need them. They may not be perfect or able to be there every time, but they’ve always got your back.
The unexcited response your friends give you when you share good news with them or immediately seek to cut it (and you) down to size, veiling it with words like â€œperspectiveâ€ or claiming they â€œjust want help you keep your feet on the groundâ€ or â€œbe realistic.â€ While they are at it, they will never let you forget your past failures.
Its one thing to ask some reasonable questions to make sure youâ€™ve thought of everything but something completely different when theyâ€™re putting a damper on every good thing that comes your way. A true friend is neither stingy with the adjectives nor trying to pull you back down to earth theyâ€™re flying up there right alongside you.
3) The Gradual Cut-off:
Your friend looks for ways and excuses to spend less time with you as your lifestyle, your hard work, and sacrifice start to manifest into the ideal life, you have always dreamt of. To them, your happiness is a constant reminder of their unhappiness and, as a result, theyâ€™d rather stay away. Sometimes seeming â€œreally busy,â€ puts it forth or theyâ€™ll just slowly disappear. A friend, who does not envy you, will want to celebrate your happiness with you; a jealous one skips the party every time.
How should you deal with it?
It has been said before and it remains true that as your practice transforms you and your life expands, some people around you will not be able to take the next steps with you and sometimes they can actively resist your growth. As much as you want to help your friend find happiness and release from jealousy, that is something only they can do themselves. It is their choice and no amount of cajoling on your part will get them there.
You probably donâ€™t want to make any of your friends unhappy, so why let yourself be diminished and drained in the process as well? If youâ€™ve followed the three steps above and the situation has not improved or gotten toxic, its best to understand that letting go is the only way. So, all you can do is forgive them for how theyâ€™ve hurt you and set them free. Letting go is by far the best way to go about this.