Even the best of friends can get jealous of each other at times. This is especially true if you're both going after similar things in life, like relationships, career paths, and personal goals. Jealousy has the power to ruin a friendship if it isn't kept in check. While you can't help the way you feel, you can control how you react to a jealous tinge.
Everyone Has Their Own Path in Life
Even if you and a friend are going head to head in competition or at work, you have to realize that you are two separate individuals who will each make your own way, and this is true even if the goal you both have is the same.
When you realize that your path in life is unique and unlike anyone else's (including that of your friend), you'll see that feelings of jealousy are a wasted emotion that just saps your energy. In other words, allowing jealousy to seep too far into your mind and heart will actually take you away from your own happiness.
How's Your Self-Esteem Doing?
So often, when we feel jealous, it's because we're doubting ourselves. Even if you and a friend are both trying to lose weight, for example, you wouldn't feel jealous when your friend hit her target mark if you were confident that you would eventually meet yours as well. You'd be happy for her.
The same is true with work goals, money, or relationships. If you doubt that you'll have that same kind of success, it's a sign that you need to work on your self-esteem. A poor self-esteem will not only keep you from your own life goals, it will cause you to act negatively toward your friend.
Seeing a Friend Succeed Can Inspire You to Have a Better Life
If jealousy has a purpose at all, it's to fully open up your eyes to the possibilities in life. Instead of looking at the situation as if your friend has something you don't, look to the inspiration this person is providing for you.
You'll see that not only is your own goal possible, a new ambition may emerge as a result of your friend's success.
Acknowledge Jealousy As a Normal Feeling, But Don't Let It Rule Your Heart
Here's the reality, you are going to be jealous from time to time. It's a feeling, just like other negative feelings you may have toward your friend occasionally, like annoyance or anger. Once you know that, you can handle it properly. This is especially important in friendship, where your job is to be happy and supportive of your pal.
Part of the reason friendship can be such a hard thing to maintain is that it challenges us. But guess what? We need to be challenged. We need to step outside our own lives from time to time and cheer for someone else. It helps us get perspective and become more self-aware, and it also reminds us that the world is not all about us. Even if you do feel a momentary pang of jealousy, you don't have to let it linger for long. Allowing jealousy to set the tone for your friendship will end it. Plain and simple. Remaining in a state of jealousy is not something you do if you're a friend.