This weekend I heard two different stories of friendship jealousy. But unlike what I’ve mulled over in the past—what to do when you’re jealous of a friend—in both of these cases I was hearing from the subject of the frenvy. Both women have close friends who are jealous of them, and both friendships are at serious risk because of it.
In the first case, the girl in question—let’s call her Kristy—is married and currently house hunting. Kristy says she knows her friend—we’ll call her Claudia—is jealous because whenever anything good happens to her, Claudia gets the crazy eyes and starts shooting Kristy with death glares. Claudia is bitter that Kristy is looking for a home, that she’s found a husband and gets along with her in-laws. Unfortunately, Claudia’s father died recently, so she resents the fact that Kristy has a healthy and happy family. (As someone who has lost a father, I understand being jealous when you see you friends having moments with their dads. But there’s a difference between wishing you had a father and wishing someone else didn’t.) It would be one thing if Claudia was jealous of Kristy but kept it to herself, but no. She is openly bitter, and sometimes rude, about Kristy’s good fortune.
The second scenario is similar to the first. We’ll call these ladies Mary Anne and Stacey. Mary Anne is engaged and so is Stacey. But everyone hates Stacey’s fiancée, while Mary Anne’s is adored. Stacey’s parents don’t get along with her inlaws, while Mary Anne’s parents and her in-laws have a great, healthy relationship. As with Kristy and Claudia, Mary Anne knows Stacey is jealous because she is obvious about it. She makes snide jabs at Mary Anne’s happiness and mocks any of her good news.
What’s interesting are the different ways each lady has handled this relationship hiccup. Since Kristy and Claudia are in the same group of friends, Kristy has resigned herself to the knowledge that Claudia will always be in her life. They have too many mutual BFFs to cut each other out. So Kristy grins and bears it.
On the other hand, Mary Anne has said goodbye and good riddance. Why be friends with someone who isn’t happy for your success? Sure, we’ve all had moments of frenvy, but if you never root on your BFF? Then she’s not your BFF.
There’s nothing worse than when a friend makes you feel guilty for your happiness. If your best friend won’t celebrate with you, who will? It’s been a while since I have found myself in this situation, but I of course remember the fights I’d have with friends as a kid. Oh, how often my mom would say “she’s acting that way because she’s jealous.” I learned, eventually, that those weren’t real friends, but I can’t imagine dealing with this as an adult.
So I ask you, have you ever been in Kristy or Mary Anne’s shoes? How did you handle it?