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Your best friend enthusiastically shares some big news. You say all the right things and display the right emotions.
You really want to feel happy for your friend. You really want to get rid of these feeling of envy. A few years back my closest friend Im jealous of my best friend me she was pregnant. I responded with appropriate excitement, said the right words, and showed the right emotions. But with each smile, word, and act of joy, I died a little bit inside. The first chance I got to be alone, I wept bitterly. Bad as all this misery was, I felt worse that I had these feelings in the first place. I was worried. Worse, I might lose myself and become a bitter, resentful person.
It took quite some effort to finally come of the situation without ruining my friendship or letting it poison my soul. Here are some of the lessons I learned along the way:. And yet, sometimes when we want something bad and find that our friend got it instead, it fills us up with envy. Research has found that thought suppression is often ineffective, and can actually increase the frequency of the thought being Im jealous of my best friend.
Other studies explored this paradox further, and support the finding that trying to suppress a thought only makes it more ingrained. So first thing, stop trying to get rid of these thoughts. Accept them for what they are—normal feelings that arise in a normal human being. At first glance it may seem like the person who made you envious is the source of your envy. However, if you dig a little deeper, you may realize that the reason you feel envious has little to do with the person who brought out the feelings.
In my case, the real source of my feelings was that I desperately wanted a baby. At this point you have a choice. Will you become resentful of those who can, or will you make peace with the way things are? I knew there was nothing that my friend could do about my inability to get pregnant. But separating the source of my feeling from the person made it possible to feel happy for her, in spite of my continued feelings of envy. Ever so slowly, I started to feel excited about her pregnancy and the opportunity to experience the miracle of a baby through her.
Your envy is probably here to stay—for a while anyway. Instead of fighting it, address the source of it. I knew deep down that four years was a long time to wait to have a baby. But I hated to face it head on. When I realized how easily I fell prey to the green-eyed monster, I knew it was time to take my head out of the sand and deal with the issue. I started infertility treatment. My friend was right there by my side as my biggest source of support through this emotionally exhausting roller coaster. In turn, I was able to share with her the excitement of her pregnancy.
In fact, it was a huge motivation to keep going on rough days when all I wanted to do was give up and curl into a ball.
I finally got lucky. Five months after she delivered her son, my daughter was born. Our friendship had survived the difficult test. I could probably stop right there, and that would be a fine place to wind this story up. The year that I had my daughter, three of my other close friends had their first kids too, in addition to this one. In the subsequent years, however, it was clear that my little tryst with the stork Im jealous of my best friend over. All my friends had their second kids, but my attempts at growing the family further just did not pan out.
As my friends got pregnant one after the other and had babies, I looked at their growing bellies and subsequently, their tiny little bundles of joy with longing. Sumitha is the blogger behind afineparent. Connected Hearts Journal is a keepsake memory book parents put together with their kids and in the process have conversations, teach life lessons, build up self-esteem, instill an attitude of gratitude and so much more!
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Envy is a strong involuntary feeling that you cannot get rid of by just wishing or willing it away. Nail down the source of your envy to let the person who made you envious off the hook.
Let this knowledge lead you toward personal growth instead of resentment and bitterness. Focus your attention on addressing the source of your envy, instead of trying to eliminate the feeling. About Sumitha Bhandarkar Sumitha is the blogger behind afineparent. More Posts.
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Why It's Normal To Be Jealous Of Your BFF