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Tips on Handling Jealous Teenage Friends

by Kristen Moutria, studioD

If your teenage friends are jealous of you, you might wonder how to dissolve their feelings of jealousy without undermining your own success. Perhaps you wish you had friends who would rejoice with you during your happy moments instead of making you feel guilty for being successful. Whatever the case, learning how to react to a friend's jealousy will help you keep your friendships strong while you continue nurturing your passions and talents.

Share Your Feelings

Sharing your feelings is the first thing you need to do to address the problem of jealousy with your teenage friends. Explain that you are happy in your life and want to enjoy yourself without feeling guilty. Let them know that their jealousy is bringing you down. Your friends may not even know that you are aware of their envy, and might feel closer to you once you open up about your feelings and try to connect.

Recognize the Cause

There is a reason these friends are jealous of you, and it is most likely out of your control. Even though you think your life might make a lot of people jealous, it is a low sense of self-worth that often causes feelings of jealousy. A January 2005 study published by "Developmental Psychology" and conducted by Jeffrey G. Parker, an associate psychology professor at Pennsylvania State University, found that adolescents with lower self-worth were much more vulnerable to feelings of jealousy. Once you realize their jealousy comes from their own insecurities, you will be more understanding of these friends' responses.

Overcome the Media

People compare themselves to others all the time, and these comparisons are actually encouraged in modern-day society. The media encourages envy, according to Christine Kane, president and founder of Uplevel YOU, a company committed to the growth of entrepreneurs. It makes people, especially young women, jealous by promoting particular beauty products, electronics or anything women may buy to fit in. Women who do not have these items oftentimes feel inferior and left out, and find themselves fighting feelings of envy. If your female friend does not have all the modern technology she thinks she should have, or does not have a runway-worthy wardrobe, she may feel insecure. Having a talk with her about the priorities of society versus the things that truly matter may help her examine what is important in her own life.

Brush It Off

Some jealous teenage friends simply need encouragement to boost their confidence or educate them on the impact of the media. However, some friends may constantly try to bring you down because of their unshakable envy. If you have people like this in your life, be deliberate about ignoring any hurtful comments they make about you. Focus on what makes you special and talented instead of the opinions of others. If your jealous friends refuse to be happy for you, it may be time to find new friends who will make you feel great about your success.

About the Author

Kristen Moutria has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Evangel University. She is currently pursuing her Master of Arts in education from the University of Nebraska.

Photo Credits

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