Christian living

What to Do When Jealousy is Ruining Your Friendships

She’s so much prettier than me...

She’s so much nicer than me too...

…and she’s skinnier.

But I have a better personality…right?

The comparison trap is real. We either compare ourselves to others and feel better about ourselves or we compare ourselves to others and feel worse. My comparisons have ruined many fun times with my friends and have stopped friendships from blooming. No one could see it on the outside, but inside I was building walls between me and the nicest people I knew – because I. was. jealous.

I’ve recognized the destructive nature of jealousy for years, but only recently have I only found a way to stop comparing. I found two key things help me to stop being jealous of my friends and to start enjoying being around them.

1. Get to Know Your Friend Better

When I compare myself to another girl, I generally look only on the outside (appearance, fitness etc.). I’ve noticed, though, that as I get to know my friends better, I start really caring for them as people. I enjoy hanging out with them and focus on the experience of spending time with them rather than focusing on what each of us look like. My focus comes off of me and turns toward them and their well being. I wrote in this article that pride is the root of covetousness, and I still believe that wholeheartedly. When we get to know our friends better, we can take the focus off ourselves, humble ourselves, and love our friends.

“…the essence of gospel-humility is not thinking more of myself or thinking less of myself, it is thinking of myself less.” – Tim Keller

2. Be Real

In some cases, I only really stop being jealous of my friends when I cry in front of them. When I’m crying, it ain’t pretty, and I am opening myself up to the full judgement of my friend. But I’ve realized that when I cry, the last walls of competition crumble with this complete humiliation. When I let people see the real, messy me, the relationship blooms and the competition ends.

It might not be crying for you. Maybe it’s opening up about your family struggles, your doubts about your faith- whatever you count as personal and only for the special few. Of course, you should not be vulnerable to this extent with everyone. You should only really open up like this when you know your friend can be totally trusted. But even a little bit of real, raw honesty goes a long way with your acquaintances. Don’t dump all your problems on every person you meet, but if you have a bad day, tell someone! Be honest with your friends and let yourself look less-than-perfect. Be real with them, and they’ll be more real with you. And as you get to know each other better, you can stop comparing yourself to them and start appreciating them for who they are.

Let’s Talk

Have you ever struggled with comparison? What do you do to stop comparing yourself to others?

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Related: Pridefulness: the Secret Sin Stealing Your Joy

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9 thoughts on “What to Do When Jealousy is Ruining Your Friendships”

  1. This is a great post! I agree on the crying-in-front-of-friends thing. It makes you so vulnerable! I do get jealous of my friends, but more often I get jealous of the friendship that two of my friends have with EACH OTHER. I guess that means I have to cry in front of BOTH of them! 😅
    Anyhoo, just joking. Great thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Aha, honestly I think me and my friend have this running joke, because she’s an only child and her house is really quiet, and I have 7 siblings, so my house is super loud. We’re always like, “wanna switch??”
    But honestly sometimes I think this girl has a perfect life. No family issues, no past trauma, no broken friendships…
    And then there’s me. 😂😂😂
    ✨But we’re still best friends.✨

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I cried reading this… it’s so relevant to me right now, especially your 2nd point. So often when friends ask how I’m doing, I don’t really respond honestly. I really needed to read this. Thank you so much!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Omg when I was about 7 I used to do this all the time, my best friend would get picked for everything – I’d think she’s pretty or sportier then me! But, we should only be in competition with ourselves! Great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

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