Envy & Friendship: A deadly combination

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I came across an article on Facebook (yes I still use FB) recently about a young lady who dated a guy for 6 years, paid all his fees, had 7 abortions, for him to end up marrying her best friend. Obviously, there were more elements to this story but from what I read, it was clear that feelings of envy were the fuel behind such a betrayal. This article inspired me to gather my thoughts into a new blog post.

I have to admit I often get my wires crossed when it comes to Envy and jealousy. Both appear to be similar but are two very different things. Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, and possessions. Whilst Jealousy is a feeling of unhappiness because someone has something or someone that you want. The two can be seen as a natural complex emotion, which goes hand in hand with each other. Although envy appears to be the worst of the two since it is one of the seven deadly sins of the world.

Envy is the one that intrigues me the most only because this is the emotion that I know has the most power and venom. It can be felt by both men and women at any given age.  But don’t be fooled even animals experience envy too, may I remind you it was envy that led Scar to kill Mufasa in the Lion King. It just goes to show if feelings of envy manifest in the wrong way it can push a person to do some of the most unthinkable things. I have been on this earth long enough to see the ways in which feelings of envy can destroy relationships, especially friendships.

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Believe it or not

 I know this might be a tricky thing to get your head around but friendships can sometimes be a breeding ground for feelings of envy. It is usually one-sided but in some cases, the feelings can be mutual. As common as it is, most people do not like to openly talk about or even address those feelings. It is either sugar-coated, downplayed or will go unaddressed. I get it, I really do and if you find yourself in such a situation you have to proceed with caution.

I of all people know how awkward it can be opening up to someone about my suspicions of an envious friend. Accusing a friend of being envious of you is a strong accusation that should be not thrown around lightly. If you do not approach a situation like this correctly people will definitely be looking at you funny. I remember I never ever wanted to come across conceited or worse yet paranoid so I kept my thoughts to myself for ages. But I kid you not if feelings of envy within a friendship are left to its own devices, the consequences could be dire for both parties involved.

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Red Flag

This might come as a shock to you but for some people envy within their friendship circles doesn’t really faze them. In fact, some thrive off it as it keeps them on their toes. These people are the real champs because I couldn’t do it, not today, not tomorrow, and not ever. Only because I have seen first-hand how dangerous this can be. My mum, my brothers and I were left in a life-threatening situation caused by the actions of one of my mum’s so-called friends.

Nobody saw it coming and this made the entire ordeal 10 times worse. I think about that situation from time to time and I still carry the trauma from it with me. I guess this is one of the reasons why I don’t hesitate to cut a friend off if they do something that hurts me. I won’t go into full details but if things went another way you probably would not be reading this blog post. But I give thanks that my family and I serve a God who works harder than our opposition. It was this incident that opened my eyes and made me see that a friend can be envious of you for reasons other than material possessions.

It could be related to things like your personality, physical appearance and self-confidence. Upbringing, job, achievements, lifestyle or just the way others treat you. This is what makes it worse for me because what causes a person to be envious of their friend is extremely hard to pinpoint. Anything could be a trigger, imagine if you have something that your friend wants there is a possibility that you could be a target. This just blows my mind because everyone is not the same and we are all born into different circumstances.

However, where envy in friendship is concerned  I do strongly believe that it has more to do with the person who has those feelings, oppose to the person they are projecting those feelings on. It is rooted in a person unhappiness or lack thereof. Unfortunately, you might just be the friend who ends up with the short end of the stick because of it.

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Not everything is written in black and white

One thing I have learned about envy is that it is not so easily detectable, especially when it is coming from your friend. I can tell you this for free but no one works harder than a friend trying to conceal their feelings of envy towards you. In fact, the lengths that some people are willing to go to try and cover up their antics is mind-boggling. I had someone go as low as point the envy finger at me when it was clearly the other way round lol honestly I can’t make this shit up.

It made perfect sense though and I actually don’t blame that person for trying to pin it on me. Who really wants to be known as the envious friend? I will be damned the day I scroll through Instagram and see someone openly out themselves as an envious person, but I know it will never happen. Most people choose to keep those kinds of feelings tightly under wraps, some might even take it to their grave. However, there are some people who can’t contain those feelings of envy towards their friends and no matter how hard they try, their mask will eventually fall off.

Below are some signs of an envious friend.

  • Passive aggressive backhanded compliments
  • Talks behind your back
  • Constantly competing with you
  • Imitation
  • Attempts to upstage you
  • Always bringing you down
  • Act super fake when you tell them some good news
  • Belittle you
  • Failure to acknowledge your achievements
  • Downplay your accomplishments
  • Never supports you

As obvious as these things are, they will most likely fly right over your head. When we are friends with a person we are often blinded by the things they do or say because we see them as our friends. So we constantly overlook their envious feelings towards us or make excuses for them. I know this to be true because I have been there before. I always used to make excuses for one friend by putting their many attempts of sabotaging me down to it just being a coincidence.

I was so blind sighted by the love and attachment I felt towards this person. My mum was not because called that person out for who they really are. It is funny how are mums can spot our envious friends long before we do.  Aunty Lorna constantly drummed it into me to watch the company that I kept. But despite all of my mum’s attempts to safeguard my brothers and I, each of us had to learn the hard way.

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A rare photo of an envious friend

Say it with your chest vs keep it moving

In my case imitating, competitive behaviour, and talking behind my back were just some of the things I had experienced. The competitiveness and imitating were probably the most draining out of the three. It got so bad to the point where it actually put me off the person. I will never forget when I voiced my concerns, other people would tell me I was overacting, being too sensitive and paranoid. I was even told that this person had no reason to be jealous of me because they come from ‘money’ and I did not. There is a downside to speaking out about your suspicions of an envious friend, there is a chance that others might not believe you.

If they do believe you they will most likely encourage you to not say anything or play it safe by ‘keeping your enemies close’. Maybe it is just me, but in my mind playing it safe with an envious friend will just contaminate the relationship. However, there are special circumstances where things are better left unsaid. If you know how a person is just deal with them accordingly without causing a fuss. Not addressing the issue or playing it safe can sometimes be the best form of action. But whatever path a person decides to take just know that the friendship will never ever be the same.

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For me personally, I am not interested in maintaining any friendship with someone who is envious of me. I have been there before, it is draining and you will never ever be able to trust that person in the same way again. I refuse to be a target of abuse at the hands of an envious friend it is not fair on me. It is a risk that I am not willing to take and trust me when I say you will never ever know where you stand with each other.

When I think of it, maintaining a relationship with an envious friend is kind of problematic. I can’t help but be reminded of that viscous acid attack that took place in the UK a few years ago. Naomi Oni was followed home after work by her friend Mary Konye. Disguised in a veil, Mary drenched Naomi’s face in acid, which resulted in severe facial burns and hair loss. During the trial, it was discovered that it Mary’s feelings of envy towards Naomi influenced her to carry out such a devious crime. Mary even accused Naomi of carrying out the attack on herself for social media fame. Can you imagine? wowu, this incident alone is a clear example of just how deadly envy can be. It is so deadly that it has the power to rip a friendship apart.

“Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” –Proverbs 26:24-26

Where do we go from here?

I am not trying to turn you into the envious friend police, but I want you to be aware that this is a real thing and it can happen to any one of us. If a friend chooses to be jealous of you for whatever reason there is not much you can do to stop them. It is not our duty to patrol the feelings of our friends. We can not control anyone other than ourselves. Let’s face it as long as the sun rises in the sky every morning there is someone out there who will have feelings of envy towards their friends.

Uncle Bob Marley dropped a gem on us when he said: “Your worst enemy could be your best friend and your best friend your worst enemy”. If you ever find yourself in this position with a friend or a group friends, face the issue head-on,  try to find a solution if all else fail to go your separate ways. Do not allow it to linger in the background if it makes you feel some type of way.

Final words

Everyone in life is on their own journey; we are all operating at different frequencies to one another. it is no secret that all of us have the ability to be great, in our own special way. There is room for all of us to live the life we want and have the things that we desire. We just have to be prepared to put in the work for those things and wait our turn.  There is no need to be jealous of anyone especially your friends because it just causes unnecessary pain. A person who is envious of another has taken their eyes off themselves.

Being envious is not going to get you where you want to be in life any quicker. In fact, harbouring’s feelings of envious towards another person will only slow you down. It does more harm than good.  I am not trying to sound like an Instagram quote but envy truly is a disease and it robs people of fruitful friendships. No one is perfect, maybe you have been an envious friend in the past or you have been the person on the receiving end. No matter what your experience has been, I hope you take something fruitful away from this post.

Stay blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

PS – Please vote for my Travel & Lifestyle blog in the 2019 UK blog awards. You can vote for me as many times as you like as it only takes one click. I would love to win or at least make it to the final. Click here to vote and thank you in advance, I appreciate it. – Jenna’s World Viewimg_3479-edit

31 thoughts on “Envy & Friendship: A deadly combination

  1. This post hit home for me because I’m feelings some envious vibes from one of my really close friends but I’ve chosen to just not address it mostly for one of the reasons u listed above, she’ll probably deny it or say I’m overreacting. Thanks for this post!

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  2. Very good write-up Jen! Envy and jealousy are very fluid feelings to have as a person and it’s important to be aware of why people may feel the way they feel and where it comes from (e.g. desire of something, personality or past experiences) The lack of happiness for a “jealous” person though can be subjective: It’s possible that they don’t feel any disdain for a friend’s achievements or success but rather reflective of not achieving a similar kind of success themselves, sometimes they may not even go left at all in terms of behaviour. The ability to use emotional intelligence and rationalise with an appropriate moral response to things helps with those feelings.

    Johnny | Johnny’s Traventures
    http://www.johnnystraventures.com

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  3. This post hit close to my heart as I experienced a friendship like this last year and now, we no longer speak. It was horrible to go through and I felt alone and insecure when it occurred especially because rumours were spread with the fallout of the friendship. It really hurt me and this post reminded me that we do have envious friends sometimes in life and that those who truly care will work to keep the friendship and change how they feel. I’m lucky to have friends who care enough to see past any envy they have. Thanks for sharing this!

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  4. This is a really interesting post and I think it’s so great of you to talk about it to help others. I never really knew the difference between envy and jealousy so thank you for clearing that up for me. It’s crazy what people will do because of envy going too far. I’m so sorry that there was an awful situation for your family but I’m glad it worked out well in the end. A truly great post, well done you!
    Alex x
    http://allthingsalexx.wordpress.com

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  5. This is such an important and very truthful post – a lot of people will appear happy for you but aren’t truly content with others becoming successful. It’s a real shame and I’ve definitely experienced those kind of ‘friendships’ before. Thankfully now I have a small circle of people who I know are genuine 💛 thanks for sharing – this was so interesting to read xx

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  6. I’ve never actually sat back and considered the difference between envy and jealousy before but this actually makes so much sense! I think it’s normal to have a little bit of envy among friends because someone is always going to have something (either physically or a trait) that you would like but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being envious. It’s when it spills into jealousy and things get bitter and nasty is when there’s a problem. Great post! Given me a lot to think about 🙂 xxx

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  7. I would rather have one loyal friend than ten fake friends. I’ve experienced having an envious friend before, and it was such a toxic relationship. It’s not worth it to stay friends with someone who talks behind your back or belittles you.

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  8. This was really interesting, I’ve never considered the difference between the two before. I know I can certainly be envious sometimes, it’s a natural emotion. I don’t really see a major issue with feeling it unless you make it nasty and start to act negatively towards a person just because they have something. If anything, I see it as a motivating factor to work harder and get that thing for myself. Very thought provoking post x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

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  9. Love Reading your posts Jenna!!! Once again a spot on outlook on envy in friendships. I remember as a teenager and adult my best friend was just so consumed with envy and it was hurtful at times and eventually I had to cut her out completely which is shame. Now we are in our 30s with babies and I always wonder whether I should get back in contact but just think it would now be the same envious streak but with our children. Sad that some people have this jealous streak but it is natural to us all to some degree I suppose.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi my Love

      Thank you for reading, I am glad this connected with you. Thank you for also sharing your own personal experience too. Like you, I think that friendship is left in the past or the bin. Now that you have kids, I wouldn’t even recommend those kind of people in your space.

      But you know this is life and this is just what comes with it unfortunately.

      Jenna|xo

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I totally agree with you. But I sometimes feel envious of my friends’ successes. I wanted to have what they have but I believe those do not make me a terrible friend as long as I am still supporting them and not doing any harm to anyone.

    Saw your blog and thought if you would like to follow each other? Follow me and I’ll follow back asap. Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear something from you! 🙂
    http://www.cielofernando.com
    FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM

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  11. OMG, so much truth in this. It recently happened and I could not believe my eyes. I had this friend and it is funny because she was so jealous of me and the lifestyle I chose to live. Fortunately for me I discovered it early for and I had to cut her off. Well, articulated post.

    I actually wrote an article on friendships, you might check it up here and give me a follow.
    http://theaestheticsvida.home.blog/2018/11/19/what-is-friendship-to-you/

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi
      Thanks for checking out this post. Great to know you were able to get out of that situation early, who know what would have happened if you did not.
      I will most definitely check out your post.

      Jenna|xox

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  12. I wish a post like this was around when I was 17/18 years old. The heartache and depression I went through because I was trying to keep envious friends was so painful to go through, but at 17 all I wanted was for people to like me and to have friends. Well I stopped that a LONG time ago and have no time for that nonsense so I keep friends, and even family, [that I suspect are like the people I dealt with in college] at bay.

    Great work Jen. You broke this down precisely and eloquently. I pray it helps someone else.

    Xo, Jessika G.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Sis❤️

      Thank you for reading, when we are young without the knowledge things like this are bound to occur. We just give thanks now that we know what we know now.

      I am so happy this resonated and I am glad to know you felt like I executed it precisely!

      Jenna|xox

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  13. Great post!! You know what hit me the most, is reading the comments and people saying this is something they’re going through or have dealt with. Let me tell you what I DON’T have time for in a friendship, it’s jealousy. It just messes the vibes man. I tell my friends back home all I have to my name is my dog; do not sit and look at me with green eyes.

    What kills me is if that “friend” opened up and shared their feelings they could prob strengthen their bonds (depending on how mature the other friend is). And another thing, you’re soooo right about envy and jealousy in friendships being the norm now. It’s almost like that’s what we expect in our friendships. I feel sorry for people who have accepted that as their normal because when ppl act funky with me I will quickly turn my phone off and go watch anime with my one true friend who never lets me down – my damn self.

    Liked by 1 person

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