Jealousy, often referred as the “green-eyed monster,” is present in all aspects of our lives. These insecurities come and go depending on the level of intimacy and attention. Helen Fisher, PhD explains that we feel jealous for many reasons.
But, “therapists often regard the demon as a scar of childhood trauma or a symptom of a psychological problem. And it’s true that people who feel inadequate, insecure, or overly dependent tend to be more jealous than others. But the “monster” actually evolved for positive reasons. Throughout our primordial past it discouraged desertion by a mate, bolstering the family unit and enabling the survival of the young. At the same time, it has pushed us to abandon philanderers—and many a futile match—in favor of more stable and rewarding partnerships.”
When it comes to jealousy outside of a relationship, it is important to be aware and understand why someone is envious of your relationship. It goes deeper in the psyche of how we feel and if we are being replaced. Some people cannot tolerate others being happy when they are not happy themselves. There are friends who feel they’ve lost their best friend to a significant other. Perhaps you know one or two of these folks.
1. Your friends hate hearing about your relationship.
If your friends start to snarl or shut you down when you begin to talk about your relationship, it is a sign that there is jealousy involved. True friends are happy for their friend’s happiness. They don’t go around making remarks or ignoring them for being in a relationship. Perhaps it’s time you ask your friend(s) if they feel left out. You can take a night and just spend with them. Changes in friendships catapult others to irrational behaviors and question their bonds as friends.
2. Your friends become passive aggressive.
No one likes passive aggressive behavior. It becomes annoying when a friend agrees to something but deep inside means something else. Who wants that kind of sarcasm and cynicism?
As per PsychologyToday, “Jealousy is a complex emotion that encompasses many different kinds of feelings ranging from fear of abandonment to rage and humiliation. Jealousy can strike both men and women when a third-party threat to a valued relationship is perceived. Conventional wisdom holds that jealousy is a necessary emotion because it preserves social bonds, but jealously usually does more harm than good, creating relationship conflict and strife.”
The passive aggressive behavior is a form of masking the fear of losing your friend. It’s easier for that friend to be passive than to confront what really is hurting him/her.
3. You stop getting invited to places or gatherings.
If you hear of parties and gatherings that have taken place but you weren’t invited, there may be some jealousy in your friendship. If you are missing out on events happening in your close circle of friends, it could be a sign you need to ask what’s going on. The more time goes by, and things aren’t addressed, the longer the distance becomes in your friendship. The greatest distance between friends is a misunderstanding. If you aren’t getting invited, perhaps it’s time you create the gathering and invite your friends.
4. Your friends start rumors that are far from the truth.
This is a no-no. True friends do not go around making up stories for dramatic effects. If you have a friend who is spreading rumors, you might want to evaluate your friendship. A real friend doesn’t gossip and make up events to make themselves feel better. You can be assured that this is not only jealous behavior, but manipulation. And, while you are re-evaluating your friendship, also let them know that the behavior is not going to be rewarded. It’s disrespectful and humiliating.
5. Your friends disappear and stop hanging around you.
Just like not being invited to gatherings, if your friends are giving you the cold shoulder, you are owed an explanation. Real friends can sit and talk about anything. You need to address what the deal is with the disappearing acts. Also, you might have to ask yourself if your partner is part of the issue. Is he/she not reaching out and being friendly? Is he/she being dominant with your time and space? Are your friends picking up on some toxic behavior or just being jealous of something special in your life?
6. Your friend starts to talk behind your back.
This is a bit different than spreading rumors. When a friend starts to talk behind your back, sharing intimate details of your relationship, it’s painful and disrespectful. You may want to reach out to that so-called friend and let him/her know that you will not tolerate this in your friendship. Address it and put a stop to it, while also being aware that jealousy is based on insecurities. Is your friend missing you and acting out? Is your friend feeling rejected because you have no time for him/her?
7. Your friend can’t stand when you and your partner show affection in public.
Some people cannot handle affection. They truly have an issue when a friend starts touching or kissing a mate in front of them. There are several reasons for this. First, they feel left out because perhaps they don’t have anyone in their lives. Secondly, people tend to take PDA to an uncomfortable level that makes others feel as if they witnessing an erotic state of voyeurism. There is a time and place for affection. However, if it’s a peck, a hug, or hand holding, and you witness a friend making a face of disgust, it might be more about them than you. That person could be dying inside because he/she doesn’t have this at the moment. And sometimes it’s their insecurities whispering in their ears, “Why can’t that be me?”
8. Your friend has a comment and opinion about everything.
Passive-aggressive behavior is difficult to swallow, but constant opinions are worse. If your friend has to comment about your mate all the time, it’s a sign that something deeper is brewing. He/she is envious of your relationship and cannot help it. They may start with supportive comments and turn negative in an instant. If your friend tries to one-up on everything you share with her, this is a huge sign of jealousy. You have the ability to put a stop to it. It’s difficult enough to start a new relationship, so by adding the stress of friends and their opinions, you have a recipe for disaster. You need to set boundaries with what you are willing to entertain and what you need to stop accepting from a friend.
Sometimes friends miss the fun and silly times spent with their friend before “the one” came into the picture. Be loving and compassionate with that friend who is acting out. He/she may just be missing one-on-one moments, the ability to be there all the time, and the sharing that seems to be lacking at this time. Reassure him/her that being in a relationship is not going to change the intimate moments shared before your partner arrived into the picture. Jealousy is not just about wanting what someone has, but about missing what they once shared.