How to Handle a Jealous Friend Who Is Trying to Destroy You

Jealousy can be toxic.
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You expect your friends to celebrate your achievements with you and to delight in your happiness. You don’t expect a friend to make negative comments and snide remarks in a fit of jealousy. Left unchecked, a jealous friend can ruin your day, destroy your friendship and leave you questioning why she is in your life.

1 Reevaluate Your Friendship

Reflect on your friendship and what your friend brings to the table. Consider how you feel after interacting with him or spending time with him. If you feel emotionally exhausted or worse about yourself afterwards, you might consider if your friendship is worth continuing. Carefully think through the pros and cons of moving forward with this friendship.

2 Confront Your Friend

If you decide that you’d like to continue your friendship, approach your friend regarding her jealous behavior. It’s important that you be direct and open with her. You might say, “I consider you one of my closest friends, and I value the friendship and closeness that we share. However, your jealousy has been negatively affecting the way I feel about our friendship.” Giving your friend clear examples of the problem behavior, as well as the positive aspects of your friendship, can be beneficial in letting her know that you have seriously reflected on the friendship, says Sarah Noel, a therapist, in the article “Toxic Friends: Is it Time to Break Up?”

3 Have a Frank Discussion

Be honest with your friend about the impact that his jealousy is having on you and your friendship. For example, you might tell him that his comments make you feel your accomplishments are diminished, make you feel down on yourself and leave you wondering if your friendship is worth it. Your friend may not be aware of how his negativity and jealousy are impacting you, notes Irene S. Levine, a psychologist and author of the Friendship Blog article “How to Handle a Jealous Friend: 7 Tips.” It's also important that you try to put yourself in your friend's shoes and attempt to understand the situation from his perspective. The way that he perceives a particular situation could be different from how you perceive it.

4 Insecurity May Be the Root

Your friend’s jealousy may stem from insecurity within herself. Remind her of the positive qualities and strong attributes she possesses, suggests Levine. You might tell her how much you love her determination or her creativity or how you admire her ability to effortlessly talk with anyone. Try to remind yourself that her jealousy is more about how she feels about herself, not how she feels about you, notes Levine.

Stacey Elkins is a writer based in Chicago. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and a Masters in social work from the University of Illinois in Chicago, where she specialized in mental health.