Why Do I Attract Jealous Friends?

Do you think you’re being surrounded by jealous friends or even family members? When you have these types of people in your life, it can be difficult to know what the best course of action is.

Here are some reasons why you attract jealous friends and ways to deal with it:

Talia Bombola

Talia Bombola

Certified Psychodynamic LMFT | Licensed Psychotherapist | Confidence and Assertiveness Specialist

Jealousy is related to fear of someone taking something you perceive as yours, whereas envy is the belief that someone else has something you lack.

Jealousy lets us know that we are afraid of losing the person/thing we are jealous over. Feelings of jealousy illuminate our attempt to control our desire to possess:

  • things,
  • people,
  • or experiences

They may not have learned how to have a mature friendship

If you are attracting a jealous friend, your friend may not have learned how to have a mature friendship and therefore feels jealous when an “other” (job, person, family member, etc.) is “taking attention” away from the friendship.

You serve as an example of traits they want to have

Another reason could be that the other person has not done their inner work, and you have. They want to be around you because you serve as an example of traits they want to have, and they feel threatened when you choose to spend time with other people instead of them.

Additionally, if your friend has an insecure attachment style, low self-esteem, or self-worth, they may be more prone to feel the friendship is threatened by you having another friend, for example, and they can think to themselves that you’ll leave them for the other friend.

Eduard Andrei Vasile

Eduard Andrei Vasile

Personal Development Coach | Family and Couple Relationships Expert

All their anxieties are projected towards you

Jealousy can seem nice and necessary sometimes. This way, we receive confirmations and validations that we matter to someone. In situations where we lose control, things are not so much fun.

Jealousy can occur whether we are talking about a:

  • Couple
  • Family
  • Friendship

Many clients describe to me situations in which things have become more and more unpleasant.

You may be wondering why your friends are jealous. Most of the time, the answer is their lack of self-confidence. All their anxieties are projected on their behavior towards you. Whether you’ve got a new job, bought a car, or a new home, these events can cause unexpected reactions from those around you.

Is it your fault?” This is a frequently asked question. “Did I brag?” “Should I have kept it a secret?” The answer is no. People have a greater need than to be loved, and that is to be listened to.

Whenever we have an achievement, we call our close friends or family and tell them what a great thing we have accomplished. You should not feel sorry about that, and it’s perfectly normal.

Should I give up on jealous friends?

Friends can be jealous of people we’ve just met, new acquaintances, or simply personal success. The answer is, again, no. Not all jealous friends need to be removed from our lives. What we can do constructively is to explain the situation to them and ask them to reconsider our friendship.

What is the first sign of jealousy from friends?

Well, most of them disappear, somehow. They choose to remain silent. They no longer take part in the events you invite them to. The most annoying thing for you will be that these friends leave when you are at your happiest.

Many of them have the structure of a savior, a friend who considers themself a friend only when they can help you with something.

What do we do in these situations?

  1. Don’t give up on friendship right away! Choose to communicate openly about your inconveniences and choose to explain. We are all different, fortunately.
  2. Be patient with these friends. Everyone knows what is in their soul, and since we do not want to be judged, it is advisable not to do it ourselves.
  3. Don’t ignore it! Although I told you to be patient and explain, do not ignore the problem and do not let it solve itself, because this will not happen.
  4. Check if you are partly to blame. Many times, when we are well, we tend to neglect those close to us.

Last but not least, don’t forget that each of us has toxic behaviors. We need to practice self-acceptance and acceptance of others, a situation in which we will experience self-improvement.

Lee Jason Friend

 Lee Jason Friend

Holistic Services Coordinator, The Ohana Addiction Treatment Center

You have a desirable life that causes other people to feel insecure or jealous

There could be many reasons why someone attracts jealous friends. Some people simply attract jealousy because they live what can look like “charmed lives.” You may simply be a person with a desirable life that causes other people to feel insecure or jealous.

The answer isn’t to try to shrink down to prevent others from being envious. This really comes down to learning how to seek out confident, secure friends who aren’t challenged by the good things going on in your life.

Here are some tips for weeding out foes from friends:

  • Get distance from people who make comments that are designed to put you down, sow self-doubt or undermine your confidence.
  • Get out of the gossip wheel. Disengage if you know that friends are talking behind your back. This works both ways! Don’t engage in gossip.
  • Look for friends with similar interests, hobbies, or aspirations. People who are working on bettering themselves rarely have time to be jealous of others.

The bottom line is that you can’t control how other people feel about you. Some people will simply be jealous because their own hurts and insecurities cause them to feel like something is being taken from them every time you get something.

Related: Why Are People Insecure?

The healthy way to approach every friendship is to be an encouraging friend who “talks up” others without dimming your own light.

Michelle Bareid

Michelle Bareid

Founder, Hair Extensions Advisor

If you take a good look at your friends’ list (current and past) and notice that a lot of them have tended to be jealous of you, you might want to rethink your focus.

Is there something that you are personally doing to attract jealous people? Are you behaving in a way that turns “regular” friends into jealous ones?

You may be continually boasting about your possessions

Start by looking internally. If you are constantly bragging to your friends about the things you have, the money you make, your amazing relationship, etc., you may be setting yourself up for jealous friends.

It’s okay to be happy about where you are in life. It’s another to rub it in people’s faces, especially when they’re struggling, or you’re not even asking about their lives.

If you’re not developing jealousy in your relationship, it may very well be an issue your friends have. It’s important to remember that jealousy is 100% normal.

Everyone will struggle with feelings of jealousy at one point or another. Jealousy really only becomes a problem when it creates issues in relationships, such as deteriorating friendships.

What can you do to avoid this from happening? Communication will always be key. Whether it’s a friend or a sexual relationship, jealousy will arise. The best way to get through it is to talk it out.

  • First, leave the line of communication open. Your friends should feel entirely confident speaking to you about their issues, whether it’s jealousy or another problem. If they feel comfortable talking to you, then you can dive into these feelings and how to resolve them.
  • Second, be open to the conversation. You might not think that you’re bragging to your pals, but they may see it another way. The best thing to do is to let your guard down and listen. Don’t take it personally – they’re trying to salvage a friendship that’s been overcome with jealousy.
  • Third, pump up your pals. If they’re feeling jealous about certain things – your weight, the car you own, the significant other you have – encourage them to get the same. Explain to them that everything you have, they can have too.

Be there for them every step of the way, and they won’t have to have feelings of jealousy anymore. Instead, they will look to you for inspiration.

You have a lot to be jealous about

The final reason why you might be attracting jealous friends is that you have a lot to be jealous about. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it can be challenging to pick out friends who won’t end up a jealous wreck.

If this might be the case, consider evaluating people a little further before bringing them into your circle. Find friends on the same wavelengths as you, so they don’t get jealous.

Scott Steward

Scott Steward

CEO and Founder, Hi Collectors

Dr. Plato once said that envy is the result of people not appreciating what they already have. Just like Dr. Plato, I firmly believe that envy is a tragic disease, one that divides relationships and destroys happiness in its path.

You possess what they lack, and you are what they are not

Why do you attract jealous friends? There are four major reasons why this happens.

People who have a strong desire to get the best of everything are usually more susceptible to being subjected to jealousy. You might be asking yourself why is it bad to want the best of things? It’s not! There are types of people that are called social climbers.

Social climbers are people that have an intense desire to always be on top socially and will do anything to get there. This kind of personality can sometimes lead social climbers to form relationships with people who have a lot more than them, just so they can ‘keep up.’

People that suffer from envy tend to resent those that have what they don’t. People that experience this emotion generally feel as though their talents and abilities are not as important or worthy as others.

They also find it hard to acknowledge the success of others because they believe it’s unfitting for somebody like themselves.

A study done by the University of Notre Dame found that many sufferers of low self-esteem and insecurity define themselves by what they don’t have or who they are not.

Isaac Robertson

Isaac Robertson

Co-Founder, Total Shape

Triggered by your abilities and talents

Jealous friends are usually people with low self-esteem and diminished self-image. HSPs (highly sensitive person) and highly empathetic people often attract people like these because they often feel the need to help others. They soon form a friendship with them because they like to lift other people.

But people with damaged self-images get triggered by the abilities and talents of their friends. This trigger soon gets grown into full-blown jealousy.

So, we need to be quite cautious about bringing people into our lives. We can help others by drawing strict boundaries so that their jealousy doesn’t have any effect on us.

Always choose a friend who gets excited and happy by seeing your growth.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is someone jealous of me?

Jealousy can arise for several reasons, and it is not necessarily a reflection of you as a person. Here are some common reasons why someone might feel jealous of you:

Perceived advantages: If someone sees you as having something they lack, such as a desirable trait, relationship, or material possession, they may feel envious.

Low self-esteem: People with low self-esteem might compare themselves to others and feel jealous when they perceive that others have something they lack.

Insecurity: If someone feels insecure about themselves, they might project their insecurities onto others and feel jealous of their perceived strengths.

Lack of control: If someone feels like they have little control over their life, they may become jealous of someone who seems to have more control or power.

Past experiences: If someone has had negative experiences in the past, they may project those feelings onto others, leading to feelings of jealousy.

What are the signs of a jealous friend?

Jealousy in friendships can often manifest in different ways, including:

Constant criticism: A jealous friend may constantly criticize you or find fault with your actions.

Competing behavior: Your friend may try to one-up you or compete with you in various areas of life.

Negative reactions to your good news: If your friend seems unhappy or unenthusiastic when you share the good news, it could be a sign of jealousy.

Avoidance or distance: A jealous friend may start to avoid you or distance themselves from you.

Envy: They may express envy towards you or what you have.

Insecurity: They may make self-deprecating comments or seem insecure when they’re around you.

Sarcasm: Jealous friends may use sarcasm or make snide remarks about your accomplishments or experiences.

How do you deal with friends who are jealous of you?

Dealing with jealousy from friends can be challenging, but there are steps you can take to manage the situation and maintain your relationship. Here are some tips that can help:

Acknowledge their feelings: Let your friend know that you understand their perspective and are willing to listen. This can help to validate their feelings and reduce their sense of jealousy.

Communicate openly: Encourage your friend to express their feelings and thoughts about the situation. Listen to their concerns and try to understand where they’re coming from.

Avoid comparisons: Try to avoid making comparisons between yourself and your friend. This can exacerbate feelings of jealousy and create unnecessary tension in the relationship.

Share your own insecurities: If you feel comfortable doing so, sharing your insecurities can help your friend see that everyone has their own struggles and that they’re not alone.

Focus on positivity: Encourage your friend to focus on the positive aspects of their life and what they’re grateful for. This can help to shift their perspective and reduce feelings of jealousy.

Can jealousy in friendships be resolved?

Yes, jealousy in friendships can be resolved. While it can be a challenging emotion to deal with, with effort and understanding from both parties, it is possible to work through jealousy and restore the friendship.

How can jealousy in friendship be resolved?

Jealousy in friendship can be a challenging issue to navigate, but with the right approach, it can be resolved. Here are some steps you can take to resolve jealousy in your friendship:

Identify the root cause: Before resolving jealousy in your friendship, it’s essential to understand what’s causing it. Is it a competition for attention or a lack of communication? Understanding the root cause can help you address the issue more effectively.

Open up the lines of communication: Have an honest and open conversation with your friend about how their actions affect you. Explain how their behavior makes you feel, and allow them to do the same.

Practice empathy: Try to understand your friend’s perspective and why they might be acting the way they are. This can help you see the situation from a new angle and find common ground.

Set boundaries: If your friend’s actions are consistently causing you discomfort, it may be necessary to set boundaries. Communicate what is and isn’t acceptable in your friendship, and stick to those boundaries.

Find ways to support each other: Whether it’s celebrating each other’s successes or being there for each other during difficult times, supporting each other can help build a stronger and healthier friendship.

Take a break: Sometimes, taking a break from the friendship can help you gain perspective and come back to the relationship with a fresh perspective.

Should I cut a jealous friend off?

Cutting a friend off should be a last resort and should only be considered if the jealousy in the friendship is causing significant harm to your mental health or well-being. Here are some things to consider:

The severity of the jealousy: If the jealousy is occasional and mild, it may be worth working on resolving it. However, if jealousy is constant and affecting your mental health, it may be necessary to reevaluate the friendship.

The impact on your life: If your friend’s jealousy is causing you stress, anxiety or affecting other areas of your life, it may be time to consider cutting ties.

The willingness to work on the relationship: If both you and your friend are willing to work on resolving the jealousy, it may be worth trying to save the friendship. However, if one or both of you are unwilling to put in the effort, it may be best to part ways.

The presence of other toxic behaviors: If your friend’s jealousy is just one of several toxic behaviors, it may be necessary to cut ties for the sake of your well-being.

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