Ever since last year, I’ve been comparing myself to my best friend Janelle. I feel like she’s so much prettier and cuter than me. Her skin is nicer, her hair is wavy and nicer than mine, and so is her smile and laugh. People say we are alike, but I think she does everything better than me. I wish I was as skinny as her. I can’t stop comparing myself to her. I even feel like my own girlfriend thinks Janelle is better looking than me, but maybe I am being paranoid. I feel like I constantly have to be like her. I wish I was her. I don’t want to look the way I do and I don’t know how to stop feeling this way. I don’t want to be jealous of her anymore. Please help.
Feeling jealous of your best friend sucks, to be quite honest. Unfortunately, it is also a lot more common than you think. Personally, I used to feel this way about a childhood best friend I had. I was jealous of everything about her and I constantly felt like she was better than me in every way. It really affected my self-esteem and my life in general, and ultimately, the bitter feelings I had towards her contributed to the end of our friendship. It was really sad, and the whole time it was happening, I was wishing that things were different.
But this isn’t about me, it’s about you! Feeling like you aren’t as good as your best friend absolutely does not mean that is true. You’re clearly dealing with some self-esteem issues that are coming out as you feeling jealous of your BFF – which is really, really normal. To fix this, you have to work on increasing your confidence, and you also have to figure out a way to stop focusing on your friend so much. Both of these things are easier said than done, but they are certainly not impossible.
First things first: let’s figure out how to stop focusing on your BFF so much. I’m sure there are a lot of great things about her, but it sounds like you’re romanticizing her and her life, which basically means you’re ignoring the negative and only focusing on the positive. It sounds bad, but you have to remind yourself that there are crappy things about her life too. The grass is always greener, you know? You have to keep telling yourself she is not better than you, over and over again, until it starts to stick.
Second: work on your confidence. Give yourself a compliment every day. Make a list of things you like about yourself and keep it close by. Do things that make you happy and that make you feel good. Remember that feeling confident takes time, and it’s not something you can rush. It’s only something you can work on slowly and thoughtfully.
If this sounds vague, it’s because it kind of is. There is no magic formula that will make you feel less jealous of your friend. There are no words I can say or advice I can give that will completely change things. And, to be honest, there will always be a certain amount of jealousy there – there almost always is in some way in every relationship – so you need to learn how to deal with it and not focus on it so much.
The next time you catch yourself comparing yourself to your friend, force yourself to stop and think of something else, whether it’s something great about you or something entirely off topic. If you let these feelings continue, it could lead to anger and bitterness that will come out in another way and could potentially ruin your friendship. And you don’t want that! So, work on this. Give yourself time, and eventually, you will feel better.
What’s on your mind? Heather can help! Send her your question at firstname.lastname@example.org