Life is full of trials, of course, and healthy relationships
can offer invaluable support. But in a society where we often feel
pressure to maintain the flow of our peers, it’s easy to fall into the
trap of comparison and insecurity—particularly with the ones closest to
us: our friends.
So what do you do when you have a jealous friend who either ghosts you when things are going especially well, or scoffs at your happiness and success? And how do you identify a toxic friendship that’s begun to reek of resentment? We turned to the experts to help you navigate the situation so it doesn’t result in a (platonic) breakup.
First, here are a few classic signs that your friend may be jealous.
often begins with what is not said. For example, you may be spilling
over with excitement about your new car, but your friend barely gives it
a glance. You offer them a tour of your freshly renovated home, but
they casually shrug when you rave about the bathtub. You announce your
big promotion—the one you have been vying for since last year—and they
offer up an underwhelming “congratulations” that renders you feeling
“The earliest sign of jealousy is usually that your
friend seems withdrawn when things are going well for you. Perhaps they
either dismiss your news or move on from it very quickly,” says Dr.
Judy Ho, PhD, clinical and forensic neuropsychologist, and author of Stop Self Sabotage.
As it progresses, you may notice backhanded compliments
and passive-aggressive jabs that haunt you for weeks—often delivered in
such a subtle way that you wrestle with how to confront them. Perhaps
your friend snickers at your good news, saying you got lucky in your
connections. You may have prepared a delectable spread for a dinner
party, but they joke that your wine selection
wasn’t up to par. Or, they remind you that even though you had the
whole crowd roaring during that speech at a mutual friend’s wedding, you
stuttered at first. These are all classic indicators, and there is
almost always a caveat. Dr. Ho says such cryptic behavior typically
happens because “the person who is jealous of you deeply senses that
they are being unfair.”
Watch this video to understand more on the signs of jealousy and how to deal with such people.