What Is a Good Way to Handle a Jealous Friend?

Confronting the jealousy directly may preserve your friendship.
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You get a good grade on an exam and your friend stews over it in silence. When your application to your preferred college was accepted, your pal had only something negative to say. Handling a jealous friend can not only be toxic to the friendship, but also damaging to your self-esteem. Fortunately, there are several options when dealing with a jealous friend.

1 Solutions to Avoid

In a bid to preserve the peace, you may change the subject or pretend not to see your friend's jealousy. You may also withdraw or avoid sharing any positive events for fear of upsetting your friend, according to The Knot article "Engagement Issues: 10 Tips for Defusing Jealousy." These solutions can actually be more damaging -- and the problem may continue on unabated.

2 Confronting the Issue

Find a calm, private time to have a conversation with your friend. Rehearsing what you plan to say ahead of time can also help you keep your cool during this emotionally charged time. You might say, "I feel hurt because it seems to me that you are upset about my new friend. Can we talk about it?" according to the TeensHealth article "5 Ways to (Respectfully) Disagree." This also gives your friend the opportunity to explain his side of the issue. If your friend denies feeling jealousy, or attempts to start an argument or blame you instead, explain that you can discuss it later and leave the conversation.

3 Stroking Egos

Your friend may feel jealous for a variety of reasons -- maybe she feels threatened by a new friend of yours. Maybe your achievements at school, work or in other areas feel threatening. Spending time showing your friend affection and giving compliments on her personality or abilities may help her feel more secure, according to The Knot.

4 Moving On

Some relationships are made to last, while others that involve a jealous friend may crumble. If after confronting your friend, he continues displaying jealousy, making negative comments about your abilities, or if he tries to sabotage you, it may be best to move on from the relationship, according to the PBS Kids article "When Friends Fight." Distancing yourself from your friend and letting phone calls go without an answer may be ideal. In the meantime, getting involved in new hobbies or clubs at school can help you socialize and make new friends.

Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.