I love seeing my friends succeed. In fact, my friends are killing it right now. They’re writing books (hey Max), growing businesses, starting families, traveling the world, going to graduate school. Even though I love seeing them succeed, sometimes I’m still guilty of feeling a little envious from time to time. I’m not proud of that, but it’s the truth! It doesn’t mean I don’t love my friends (and their success) any less though. Maxie’s here today talking about how to deal with friend envy.
Dealing with Friend Envy
Guest post by Maxie McCoy
Friends are crucial. They’re core to our belonging, and our overall well-being… not to mention they give us those random giggles on the phone and entertaining nights together spent rehashing all the best moments of a day.
And we want the best for our friends, right? The very best. We want to see their lives full of so much love, prosperity, and fulfillment because they’re our people.
So what do you do then, when your friend’s life fills you with envy?? You know, that feeling of wishing so badly you could have what they have. Maybe you feel it when they call to tell you about their big new job… or about their engagement… or about buying their first house… or the college they got accepted into… or the cute person that just asked them out… or the money they spent on that coveted new bag…. or the trip you’re watching on stories that looks amazing.
Envy pierces. And it will drive you crazy. Left unchecked, it’ll also put a wedge between you and that friend. You may think these feelings of wanting what your friend has is jealousy. That’s not necessarily the case because jealousy and envy are different. Envy is wanting what someone else has, as in coveting parts of their lives. Jealousy, meanwhile, is worrying someone will take what you have – as in you already have it and feel threatened that you’ll lose it by someone else.
Listen, NO one is perfect. We all feel envious of our friends from time to time. It doesn’t mean your relationship with them is in peril. And it sure doesn’t mean you’re a terrible human. You’re simply feeling something that’s neither helpful nor productive, and it’s good to understand how to check it instead of exasperating it…
First, know what triggers your envy. I have a feeling we both know what one of those BIG triggers are (Social! Social! Social!) I personally rarely scroll through my feeds anymore because it makes me a big bucket of negative energy (FOMO, envy, anxious, galore!). But know what’s setting it off so you can be better prepared the next time you head into the situation.
Second, come back to your own goodness. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again but cultivating a practice of gratitude (or as I like to call it #batshitgrateful) will do wonders for your mindset. When you’re feeling envious, you have to come back to how much you already have and be grateful for that. Write three things down you’re grateful for when you feel the swirl of envy.
Third, ask if there’s anything to learn? Can you envy teach you anything? Likely when you’re feeling the envy tizzy, you probably will say no. But it actually can. Often our envy will show us where we were already feeling insecure in our own life. Can your envy show you where you need to dedicate some time, energy and commitment in your own life – maybe to your health, your savings, your classes, or your career? And then make a plan!
Remember that envy is human. But hopefully, this can help you get it in check so that your relationships don’t have to suffer – because good friends are everything.