BFF: Best Frenemies Forever
You love her yet you hate her. Does being jealous of your best friend make you a bad pal?
We don’t really talk about it but you’ve definitely felt hints of jealousy towards your best friend at one point or another. Maybe you think she has better hair, or is smarter and funnier. And sometimes, it can be hard to be happy for her when you don’t seem to be living it up as well as her. “I question if I’m a good enough friend whenever I start to feel jealous about my best friend’s achievements,” says Sally Yeo.
Human Behaviour Psychologists define jealousy as feelings of inadequacy and fear over something that we could have lost out on – that’s why you get jealous when a friend gets a promotion over you. The thing is, it’s OK to occasionally feel jealous. Like anger and happiness, jealousy is a natural emotion. In fact, a survey conducted by psychologist Stanley Rachman involving college students found that just about all of them had fleeting negative thoughts – such as impulses to hurl abuse or wishing harm on someone close to them – from time to time. The takeaway is that these thoughts are all part of being human.
Going Green However, there’s a difference between thought and deed, and the latter is likely to cause harm. “Sometimes, my BFF would lament that my life must be great because I come from a wellto-do family. She would tell me that I would never need to work hard because my parents would provide for me anyway,” says Eugenia Lee. Over time, jealousy can turn into resentment, and this might lead you to act on your feelings. Such negative behaviour can result in the erosion of your friendship.
Toxic Mix If you find yourself consumed by jealousy and are putting your friend down just to feel better, you’re crossing the line. It’s only natural to compare yourself with your BFF, but it’s important not to go overboard with envy. A good friend should be supportive. If you can’t get over your jealousy, then perhaps it may be time for you to reevaluate your friendship.