Dear B. Scott,
What do you do when your friend isn’t happy for you? I don’t think she’s jealous, she’s never been the jealous time. It’s just that whenever I have some exciting news to share or whenever I seem really happy, she ALWAYS does something or says something negative.
For example, I’ve been out of work for a few months and I finally found a great job with good benefits that I was excited about. Of course I couldn’t wait to call my best friend and share the news. The first thing she said to me was: “I read that industry is having trouble” and THEN she sent me an article with all the losses.
That was the last draw and made me write this letter. What do I say to her?
Dear Love Muffin,
Let me start off by saying congratulations on your new job! You should be very proud of yourself.
You can’t force others to be happy for you, but at the same time a true friend would have no problem being happy for you.
I found myself in this exact same situation not too long ago. I had a friend who I would bring the most exciting news ever and his reaction would simply be ‘okay’ or ‘that’s great’ — no exclamation point.
I could tell that something about my successes was bothering him and it made things very uncomfortable. As time went on I simply stopped sharing things with him and it ultimately led to the end of our friendship.
When good things happen, a real friend would be happier for you than you are for yourself. A real friend not only matches your spirit of excitement, but also uplifts your spirit in both good AND bad times.
You can approach this two ways.
The first way is that you can simply stop sharing things with her.
The second way is to let her know exactly how you’re feeling. There’s a chance she’s subconsciously projecting her jealousy and personal insecurities and not even realize how negatively she comes across.
If you decide to have that conversation, I’ve learned that having specific examples (like the job conversation) help illustrate the point and makes it easier for the other person to reflect on their actions.
At the end of the day, friendship and happiness should go hand-in-hand.
Submit your questions now: firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to tweet me @lovebscott with the hashtag #AskBScott