Jealousy among friends, it happens.
“Sally is hanging out with Bridget and I never got invited”
“Why does Christine always ring you up, but she never talks to me?”
“Oh my gosh, did you see those photos on Facebook from the other night? I’m so annoyed that I never got told they were going out!”
Don’t get me wrong, there are legitimate circumstances where people deliberately exclude others from group hangouts with purposeful intentions to cause emotional harm. The ‘excludee’ feels left out and these feelings are partly the ‘excluder’s’ responsibility, because of their actions. That type of situation is not ok. However, in this article I’m discussing the situations in which friends spend time with one another with the intention of just doing fun activities together, and just to spend quality time with one another, but other friends become jealous that they weren’t invited or a part of that get-together.
There is a difference between FOMO (fear of missing out) and jealousy.
“A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity” –Robert A. Heinlein
Do you feel loved and appreciated? Are you sure of yourself and what you believe in and value? Do you have any beliefs or values in your life? Is your worth based on what people have said about you or how much you weigh? Do you feel more confident when you have a boyfriend or girlfriend, or are you quite happy being single? Do you feel safe? When everything hits the fan, who (or what) do you turn to?
These are some valid questions to ask yourself when thinking about your sense of security. A secure sense of self can come from a person's occupation, abilities/disabilities, attributes, relationships, family, affiliations, skills, or extra-curricular activities (e.g. volunteering). Personally, my sense of security and worth comes from how God sees me and what he has done for me. God sent his one and only son, Jesus, to die on a cross for me, FOR ME (WOAH!), and for you too! That’s how valuable I am, and that’s how I know that I am loved and cherished, I am wonderfully made in His image. My worth is not something I have given myself, but it is something God has given me.
“Security represents your sense of worth, your identity, your emotional anchorage, your self-esteem, your basic personal strength, or lack of it.” – Stephen Covey
So, I challenge you to think about where your sense of security comes from. A lot of your secure sense of self comes from your identity (which is a whole nother topic to discuss!). Placing your security in things that are fleeting can only lead to insecurities and unhappiness, so think about it carefully. Don’t underestimate the power of jealousy in friendships, it grips you and makes you say, do, and feel stuff that is uncalled for, and out-of-character. It can distort how you see the world and the ones that are closest to you. A friendship with jealousy is like an old person with technology, you can guarantee there will be issues.