ONE of the worst dynamics that can kill a friendship is jealousy. If one friend is jealous of the other, it can potentially ruin the friendship, or at least negatively affect it. Sometimes, however, when a friend is jealous and they don’t want it to show, it can come out in very strange ways.

EMOTIONAL WEAKNESS

According to Asiphe Ndlela, a Joburgbased psychologist, jealousy can be experienced at any age. “It is an emotional weakness and indicates insecurity which has its roots in the personal experiences of your friend, and expresses your friend’s wish to be like you,” says Asiphe. “Your friend might be jealous of your appearance, your professional or social success.  Your friend might feel inferior because of her low education. Of course it is not impossible that she is simply a bad person by nature who believes that her worth increases by putting you down, and who feels happy only when she hurts you.” 

HOW TO SPOT JEALOUS PEOPLE

Asiphe says a jealous person won’t come and tell you that they are jealous of you, nor will they say it directly to one of their friends. Instead their jealousy will appear in the form of hatred, resentment and gossiping. “The envy they have towards you will spill out of their mouths in the form of non-constructive criticism, rude treatment or disrespect for you,” says Asiphe. “The next time you hear that someone was gossiping about you don’t become angry because there is a big probability that person is jealous of you and that she found nothing better to do other than talk about you.”

IDENTIFYING A JEALOUS FRIEND

?SHE COPIES YOU You can easily spot that your best friend is jealous of you if she tries to copy you in every single thing. If you buy new couches, she buys better or more expensive ones, says Asiphe.

?LACK OF ENCOURAGEMENT Asiphe says there are moments when you are happy about something and you want to share your happiness. “You share the news and expect her to be equally happy but she gives you a very dry reaction.”

?TEARS YOU DOWN She keeps criticising you for everything or belittles you.

?FAKES HAPPINESS Sometimes, your best friend might pretend that she is happy for you,  but actually she is envious inside.

?AVOIDS YOU Ever experienced a situation when you plan something with your friend and suddenly she acts very busy? This happens because your happiness is a reminder to her that she is not happy.

?DESIRES ATTENTION FROM COMMON FRIENDS When you are at a gathering with your old friends, does your best friend try to get all the attention from your common friends? This is a definite sign of brewing jealousy inside her.

DEALING WITH JEALOUS PEOPLE

Eric Nzima, a life coach, says there are lots of methods for dealing with jealous people. “If the person is jealous of you because of your achievements, then flood her with more good news and let her feel more jealous,” says Eric. “You can also confront the person and if she is smart enough she will realise that you are telling her that you realise that she is jealous.”   Eric says if the person is important to you, then you can treat her nicely and with humility in order to let her jealousy for you cool down a bit.