What To Do About A Jealous Friend

91 comments

Good morning!

Wednesday already. :)

I have been baking since 5:45am this morning, as I have a bunch of orders to get out before noon today. I started my morning off with some strong Japanese Sencha tea and then later on in the morning I had this juice composed of 1/2 cuke, 1 apple, 1 piece ginger, 1/4 lemon.

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Breakfast this morning was Banana Soft Serve vegan Overnight Oats (recipe found here). I cannot even begin to tell you how much I love this breakfast!!

So I won’t. I’ll just show you the goods!

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Omg.

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I seriously could not handle how good this was this morning. IMG 6108 thumb   What To Do About A Jealous Friend

I sprinkled the top with a few cacao nibs too.

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As you can see below, today is NOT a Wordless Wednesday! :mrgreen: more like, Verbal Diarrhea Wednesday…but hey it all balances out, right? ;)

What To Do About A Jealous Friend

I received this email from a blog reader named ‘Amy’. Amy would like your opinion on the situation below.  I too thought it would be a great topic for discussion!

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[Image source]

“Hi Angela!

I have been struggling with something for awhile now and didn’t know if you had any advice/done a post about this, or might be willing to.  I have a friend who is competitive with me when it comes to pretty much anything: exercise, diet, money, new gadgets/toys, etc.  I don’t want to sound like I have a big ego, but honestly, I get the feeling that she is jealous of me and that is why she brags or makes comments that make me feel badly about myself.

To give you a little background, this friend (I will call her B) actually used to have an eating disorder.  She was very thin when we were in college together, and never sought help for her ED.  Flash forward 9 years later, and now B has 2 small children and is struggling to lose about 10-15 pounds from her pregnancies.  My weight has fluctuated a little bit in the last 10 years, but currently I’m at the lower end of a healthy weight for my height.  But I really feel like, because B never dealt with the issue of her ED, she has a way to bring out the ED tendencies in me – does that make sense? 

Back in college I got a little more attention from guys than B. I guess that’s why I think B might be jealous, though I promise I have never brought that stuff up or "flaunted it" around her!

B also teases me in front of other people for eating healthy.  For example, our friends get together a couple times a month and they usually bring a lot of sweets.  If I bring something healthy or pass on the sweets, B will remark in front of everyone how she could never "deprive" herself of things like that.  She’s said things like, "Well, I worked out for 2 hours today so I can have those things," or a couple of times she’s mentioned how she skipped a meal that day so she doesn’t feel guilty. 

I feel conflicted because I don’t want to place all of the blame on her – I know I have some things I need to work on in my ED recovery.  But also, because she never sought treatment for her ED and I feel as though she might be jealous, I feel like she’s putting me down/making remarks just so she can feel better about herself.  And that’s not okay, either, right?


I know the easy solution would be to stop being friends with her, but we’ve been friends for over 10 years.  Also, we have many mutual friends, including my 2 sisters.  And sometimes we really do have a great time together – it’s just the comments she’ll throw in here or there that make me feel badly. 

So I guess my question is – do you or your readers have any insight/advice (other than ending the friendship) on how to deal with friends like this?”

 

I think this a problem that SO many women experience. Our relationships with other women are so complex whether it be relationships with female coworkers, classmates, sisters, mothers, or friends. Expectations are so high for women in today’s world. We are expected to have it all: a great job, a great relationship, a great body, great kids, a fancy car, while juggling all of it with a big smile on our face. I think this pressure can create a competitive atmosphere between women, especially women you have frequent contact with (friends, family members, coworkers).

My Jealousy Story

I used to be jealous of my happy friends who I thought had the perfect life.  While I was never the type to externalize my feelings onto others, the jealousy ate me alive on the inside. No matter how thin I was, I was never good enough, and the grass was always greener on the other side. These feelings are bound to impact one’s relationships in one form or another, whether it is passive or overt.

My big turning point was realizing that jealousy was only setting me back in my progress to a better life. Sure there are things I cannot change about myself, but I realized I could be happy by being good to myself.

I often remind myself of this quote:

Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value.  Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point – that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you.  There is only one alternative – self-value.  If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved.  You will always think it’s a mistake or luck.  Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within.  Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences.  Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security.  Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them.  ~Jennifer James

I was that girl who scanned for evidence to feed my jealousy. I truly don’t believe I could have gotten past it, had I not recovered from my eating disorder because then, and only then, did I believe that I had value. This doesn’t just apply to eating disorders, but it can apply to any struggle that we have in our lives. Only after I started seeing my value, did I realize that nothing about my friends or surroundings had changed. I didn’t suddenly have a stroke of good luck. The only thing that changed was my perspective. Everything else was the same, but everything was so different simply by changing how I viewed the world around me.

Because of my past, I can see where B gets her insecurities from, however that does not justify her actions. It is really difficult when you love a friend dearly, yet you feel like they bring negative influences into your life.  Who wants to say to a friend, ‘I think you are jealous of me.’? Who wants to break-up with a long-time friend? I would probably ask my friend where the comments are coming from and if they wanted to talk about anything that is bothering them. Sometimes, if you probe a little, you find out that people just want to talk about something that is bothering them, but they can’t find a way to express it in a non-hurtful manner. Honesty is not always an easy thing for people, but I think if we all communicated a little bit more, many of our problems would go away.

If talking with your friend doesn’t help, there is really only so much you can do. Remember that good friends will be happy for you and your successes. Be wary of anyone who is trying to diminish your light. Sometimes no matter how hard you try, a person isn’t ready to change. How long you are willing to put up with B’s treatment is something only you can decide.

Today’s questions- Have you ever been in Amy’s shoes? Do you struggle with jealous friends or feeling jealous of other people? Have you ever had to ‘break-up’ with a friend?

 

Love looks through a telescope; envy, through a microscope.  ~Josh Billings

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{ 90 comments… read them below or add one }

Sana May 5, 2010

Wow. Friendships are HARD! I think they are harder than (gf/bf) relationships!

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Jessica @ How Sweet May 5, 2010

That’s it – I’m trying the oats tomorrow! As for the jealousy issue, I just think that no good can come out of it. It is rare that we know what someone’s life is truly like, and the grass is always greener. I have definitely broke up with negative friends.

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RhodeyGirl May 5, 2010

As I get older I realize I don’t have room in my life for friends who are not really friends. B is not being a friend to Amy in my opinion. I have had to distance myself from a few friends who were always negative and making passive aggressive comments towards me out of jealousy for whatever reason. I am over it. My life is too full and too happy to include them any more, as awful as that sounds.

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AGS May 5, 2010

I absolutely agree with this. I have quite lmited time in my life for negative individuals. I see setting boundaries, reducing contact, with difficut friends as a normal adult activity. Also, as we mature, we change: our expectations for ourselves and others change; our needs change; our passions and joys change. Sometimes, friendships are “set aside” or are less prioritized in the course of life’s changes. It is neither good nor bad, but a natural progression of life.

To Amy. Perhaps consider simplified scenario. If you arranged for your child to have regular play-dates with a little friend, and saw the friend regularly mistreating your child, you would probably first see if there was some practical course of action to adjust the poor interactions, and then — if that didn’t produce results — simply stop the play-dates. Perhaps at a later time, the two kids would play better together, but for now, it doesn’t work well.

Good luck in this difficult situation!

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francis August 31, 2012

thanks for your comment

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Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin May 5, 2010

I’m going to have to try those banana softserve overnight banana oats!! They look soooo good. I actually have overnight oats for breakfast today with chia seeds for the first time ever!

And for Amy, I think she really just needs to talk to her friend straight up. Maybe she doesn’t realize just how negative of an effect shes having on Amy, and the best way to phrase it, in my opinion, is to make it less of an attack like “You are jealous of me” but rather “I feel uncomfortable when you make comments about my eating decisions in front of others.” Maybe not quite so formal but you get the idea :)

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Jenn @ LiveWellFitNow May 5, 2010

Relationships with friends (with anyone really!) can be so complex. Throw in an issue such as jealousy..those are tough waters.

As I have grown and watched many of my friendships change, ultimately valuing myself and the friend that I am has allowed me to better my friendships. Honesty brought us closer, even if not at first. Consideration for one another’s feelings allow us to grow, even if not at first.

I know how difficult this feels. Know that you are strong Amy and both you and B deserve to feel value in your friendship.

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Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman May 5, 2010

I’m so thankful that my friends and I love each other and are proud of each other without ever being jealous. That can eat you up and drive a wedge in your friendship from both sides. I think it’s important to remember that no one has a perfect life. And while your friend may seem on the ball with the perfect job, husband, and life, there are probably things she doesn’t share that she hates about her life. We all have ‘em.

As for the Amy and B story, I think the best friendships are built on honesty. I wouldn’t bring up the jealousy issue since, really, it’s just masking something else and it may make B defensive to hear Amy call her jealous. But I’d talk to B and tell her my worries–when you say X or Y it bothers me. Are you sure you’re OK with your eating. And so on.

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Heather (Heather's Dish) May 5, 2010

when i was in college i had a friend (she was my roommate) who got jealous of my boyfriend (now husband) because we were spending so much time together. she knew that i struggled with disordered eating and would say horrible things to me to INSTIGATE that over and over again in my life! after about a year of toxic “friendship” we moved out and never spoke again. just recently we’ve been able to come together and she’s apologized, but there comes a point where, if a friend is causing you emotional and/or physical harm, they’re not actually a friend and you have to break it off. we all deserve to live a happy, HEALTHY life…after all, it’s the only one we have! every second should be seeking joy.

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Diana May 5, 2010

I’ve had a friend jealous of my progress in terms of weight loss, etc. We did have a few fights and at times we didn’t even speak very much. Fortunately, she grew out of it. She’s pretty much accepted who she is and does the best she can with what she’s got.
As for me being jealous of other people, well, I’m human and sometimes I am but at the end of the day, I do not let it consume me, they’re only fleeting thoughts.

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megan May 5, 2010

I agree with the commenter who said she should talk to her friend. Her friend probably doesn’t even realize she’s doing it, she’s just subconsciously trying to make herself feel better. a friendship of 10 years is very important, and if her friend is really struggling as much as it seems, i think amy should try to be there for her. although, she needs her own health to come first, I guess. But if she can handle it, I’d say confront her in a loving manner and take it from there.

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Daniel May 5, 2010

I used to be extremely jealous of one of my friends, which is partly what lead me to end up with my ED, but basically he’s an excellent athlete – fastest kid in the school and going to college backed up by his talents. He practically ate whatever he wanted (pizza, chips, sodas, etc.) and had a nice set of abs and I wanted to be able to do all of that. I’m happy to say that I did get the abs, but I realize now how silly it was to be envious when his diet really isn’t doing much for his health and now I see myself as eating much healthier and feeling better anyways!

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Life Lite May 5, 2010

I had a very similar situation, although eating disorders were not involved. We were friends from the time we were 6 years old until college and were even roommates our freshmen year. We met playing softball and became great friends through the sport but as we got into high school every time I was around her I felt like she was trying to be competitive either with the guys she had asking her out, the clothes she was wearing, how well she was doing in sports, etc…

Her biggest focus, and where she placed her value, was in men. Throughout highschool it wasn’t uncommon for her to ask me to come along as the third wheel on a first date or something. I usually had a boyfriend and assumed she just didn’t want to be stuck in an uncomfortable position alone so I obliged. I went with her every year on her birthday vacation that her Dad treated her too and we finally hit a boiling point. She was dating someone, I wasn’t, we met a guy on the cruise, she wanted him, he wanted me and it made for a huge mess. She ended up breaking down about it all, and I simply told her that I loved her and valued our friendship but that the constant competition was wearing on me. She understood but said she didn’t know how to change it.

Fast forward a year or so, it was our first year of college. She had always prided herself on being a virgin and not drinking, even used it as a pickup line for guys. But after realizing that college guys are not so impressed with that she immediately started throwing herself at guys. It got to a point where there was a different guy every night just so she wouldn’t be alone. The end of our friendship was when I told her that I loved her and respected her, but she wasn’t respecting herself. I told her she deserved better and should demand better but she responded telling me that she didn’t care about being that kind of person and that she was fine with what she was.

I felt I tried my best to talk to her and tell her my feelings and eventually had to move on. I do miss her from time to time, but the drama and constant competition weren’t healthy for me or her. Now she is in a healthy and solid relationship and seems to be happy, as am I, just unfortunately we aren’t able to celebrate this together.

Good luck!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin May 5, 2010

I’ve never been in Amy’s situation, but it sounds like it would be tough! I think it’s worth it to try to work on the friendship though, because it just sounds like a case of her friend’s insecurities. If she can help her friend work though that, it might help resolve the jealousy problem.

I’ve only had to “break up” with a friend once back in high school, but that was because of different lifestyle choices. She got into drugs and that just wasn’t my cup of tea.

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midgetkeeper May 5, 2010

That’s such a hard situation. I think that Amy should have an open and honest conversation with her friend, it’s time to lay it all out there and see how her friend responds. I know it’s a tricky issue but a true friend would understand and respond accordingly. If not I would break the friendship :(

Jealousy can be an awful, and really destructive on both ends.

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Shauna May 5, 2010

As far as Amy’s situation- It is possible that her friend is saying those things to make herself comfortable with her decision to not restrict her food intake. It may be that Amy is taking the comments as directed at her when they are not necessarily directed at anyone or not meant as an insult.

I think too often we let what other people are saying become about us when really it has nothing to do with us. Besides, we can control how we react to something but we cannot control other people’s actions. I think the best strategy would be for Amy to start thinking those comments have nothing to do with her and even if they are directed at her when her friend see’s that she is not getting a reaction then she will probably give up or maybe even realize they are about herself more than anything. It is probably she doesn’t even realize she is doing it.

BTW the breakfast looks delicious! I need a food processor stat!

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Faith May 5, 2010

Wow, that’s an intense issue. Up until last weekend, for two years I’d lived with a girl who I also felt was jealous of me. We both had fiercely competitive personalities, so EVERYTHING was a competition – exercise, eating, academics, and even our social lives…it was so draining. She was intent on being the “alpha female” and our strong personalities clashed immensely, yet in the interest of preserving the peace in our suite we generally kept the bickering in the form of sarcastic yet pointed banter. I genuinely hated the tension that caused.

For your original reader, it’s a hard position. I’m sure she wants to both save the friendship but not at the cost of triggering her health. However, sometimes in toxic relationships like that, it is more beneficial to distance yourselves entirely. I’ve been so much happier just in this one week without constantly being exposed to D’s negativity and biting comments.

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Paige @ Running Around Normal May 5, 2010

Eek, that sounds like a not so good situation. It almost seems like her friend is way more competitive than she is jealous. Seems like she makes everything a competition. Thankfully, I don’t have any friends who try and compete with me…I’ve weeded those types out over the years, and now surround myself with those who will lift me up, not bring me down – and me to them as well.

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Bella (Stilettos on the Streetcar) May 5, 2010

I’ve been in a similar situation and it is tough. In the end, I confronted my friend (as gently as I could). She was completely unaware of how she was making me feel. Her comments weren’t actually about me at all. They were about her trying to justify her life choices. From then on, I’d gently point out when she was putting me (or herself) down. It was awkward for a few months, but I’m happy to report we are still friends. In fact, we’re better friends now because we’re honest with each other.

I’d recommend addressing the issue head on. It’s scary, but much better than losing a friend.

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Scott from YourInnerSkinny May 5, 2010

This is not just an issue that women deal with, men do as well.

A lot of my guy friends are guys I’ve been friends with for 20+ years. I’ve been told by a few of these childhood friends (always after a few beers) that they’re jealous of my success. I never quite understood that as they all make more money than I do and all own homes and all seem quite happy and in all honesty, I don’t feel like I’m a huge success, I’m just very happy with myself and what I do and maybe that’s what they’re jealous of.

I DO see their jealous come out though and it’s mostly when we’re together as a group. They lash out or try very hard to put me down in front of the other “boys” and it’s ALWAYS about how I dress, me eating healthy or me not having a drink when they’re all having beers. It use to REALLY bother me, but I’ve realized that I can shrug it off now and that what they say or think has no real barring on my life. These are guys who have been my “friends” for over 20 years (and I’m only 29) and they’ll always be there if I need them, so for the greater good of our friendships, I’ve just learned to shrug off their hurtful comments and live my life how it makes ME happy. And you know what, I am!

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Abby May 5, 2010

Yea, I think I know where Amy is at! I had a friend in high school that got some dirty body image thoughts in my head because she had them of herself. I think she was jealous of me and some circumstances in my life. We “broke up” because one day she hated me! After that, I lost weight..she lost weight..and it’s just like she never could remove herself from me, and I’ve always felt the sting of it. Now I know, 4 years later) that she’s not someone that I ever want to be friends with again. Friendships never should be held together by jealousy or competition. I think Amy shouldn’t disown her, but create her own boundaries and let B know that some things are just inappropriate between friends (if they really are “friends”).
Tough situation! My prayers are with Amy, I know the struggle and pain!

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Ameena May 5, 2010

I think we have all had friends who we were jealous of or who were jealous of us…I realized that instead of investing time in toxic relationships like that I simply had to cut those people out of my life. No need to waste time trying to get along with people who you just can’t get along with!

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Morgan @ Life After Bagels May 5, 2010

I get really jealous of any of my friends who don’t work weekends like I do. Then I get mad at them for going out on Saturday’s for, let’s say brunch for example. I wish they would schedule things better so that I could participate, but I also know it’s not their fault that my schedule is the only different one.

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Staceyhttp://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/ May 5, 2010

I have been their. I think just being confident in who you are and the choices you have made in your life including being healthy. The other person tries to put you down to cover up their own insecurities.

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Wei-Wei May 5, 2010

I feel bad, because I’ve (sort of) been in B’s situation. I used to always be jealous of my best friend; she was thinner, fitter, smarter, got better grades, quieter, more “mature”, everything I wanted to be. I was insanely jealous; she would always get the A* (an A+ in British school systems) and I would always get the A, just one step behind. I knew I was good, but I wasn’t as good as HER. I hated her for a very long while; we called her “Miss Perfect” to her back AND to her face, and shunned her when she got good results, instead of congratulating her. Notice I’m saying “we”; yes, I was so jealous that I spread it to all of the girls in our four-person group as well.

I know now that I was very insecure back then. I’d do things for attention, and whenever we got into an argument I’d always ask the same question: “Well, what am *I* good at? You’re better than me in EVERYTHING.” And then she’d list what she thought I was good at, like writing, or drawing, and I’d just pass those off as things that had no importance. In my eyes, she was good at everything useful, and the few things I was “good” at? They meant nothing. I couldn’t see my self-worth, at all.

It’s a lot easier being friends with her now that we’re in different schools; there are no more grades to compare and I don’t see her as often. But I still suffer from the same problem; I’m susceptible to being jealous and sometimes find myself purposefully sabotaging other people. I do try to act happy for other people’s successes, but sometimes… Jealousy gets the better of me, and I become very upset. I don’t act out jealousy anymore, but even just being jealous in my head and keeping it to myself… it hurts.

Oh, God. Writing this comment makes me want to cry. Sometimes I want to ask myself… Why do we hate ourselves so much? It’s not fair.

Amy, I wish you good luck with this situation… I hope you understand that it’s your friend who has insecurities, and you shouldn’t let that bother you. It’s her problem, one she has to face herself… so talk to her. She’ll deny it at first; who wants to admit to being jealous and making hurtful comments on purpose? Maybe she’s not doing it on purpose, but… talk to her, just the same. I wish my best friend had just talked to me instead of enduring being teased for being “Miss Perfect” all the time. And I wish that I could have listened.

Wei-Wei

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Marcia May 5, 2010

This was a very interesting post. I wonder how much of this tendency is nature vs. nurture. How you can train yourself out of it.

I’ve always been competitive, but rarely jealous. I can look at my friend with a fabulous house and an enormous kitchen and say “I wish…ah well”. And I’m over it. I’ve always been that way. I work hard. I recognize that everyone is different.

I can train and run and run and I’m not ever going to run a half marathon in under a 9 min mile like my friends. I can study and study, and I’m a very good engineer, but I’m not going to ever be smarter than my boss.

My brother, on the other hand, has had serious issues with jealousy his whole life. I prefer action to reaction I guess.

Thank you for your honesty.

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kalli@fitandfortysomething May 5, 2010

love your breakfast! looks like dessert :) oh i try to hang with only supportive friends now…..i am too old to deal with jeolous or intimidated friends!

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Kristin May 5, 2010

I’ve had to end several friendships because ultimately the relationships were toxic for me. Yes, it absolutely hurt – I was VERY close to at least two of them – but in the long run I’m much better off, and considerably more at peace w/o them. Much as it stinks, oftentimes we’re better off ending these types of relationships than we would be if we tried to repair them.

Incidentally, the last time this happened I ended things pretty much because the other woman refused to allow herself to heal from some past issues. She had every resource at her disposal and was VERY aware of what was going on – but she also apparently really enjoyed being the victim. Her garbage was fueling mine, and amazingly enough as soon as I dumped her my life started to improve dramatically.

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Jessica @ The Process of Healing May 5, 2010

Wow. That is a really tough situation.. I do think if B had gotten past her ED, things might be a bit different for her. But it’s still no excuse for her to treat you the way she does.

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kiki May 5, 2010

yes I have! well…it was actually the cause of my weight gaining…I’ve always been a “natural” skinny girl for the greatest part of my life but since my “best” (don’t know if I can still call her like that after what she did) friend G began to do exactly what Amy was describing (such as doing stupid comments in front of other people about me and my way of living/eating, or literaly making me feel the worst person in the whole world)…this made me feel “guilty” (for what?) and alienated like a fish out of water…and now she is the thin one (she lost pounds while I was gaining!).
I began to set things right 6 months ago and I am trying to go back to the cheerful person I used to be…
I can definitely relate to Amy’s situation…I think it is quiet normal in “women’s world”…I broke up the relationship with my now-ex-best-friend and I am feeling so much better since I did…but, why doesn’t she try to talk with her BEFORE?

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Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday May 5, 2010

Amy should confront B and tell B to stop taking out her frustrations on Amy. B probably doesn’t realize how much her jealousy is affecting Amy and that should be brought out into the open.
It’s a lot like bullying, if you don’t stand up for yourself you’ll keep being victimized.

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Kristi W. @ Life at the Chateau Whitman May 5, 2010

That’s a tough one, but I think an honest conversation might help. If B really values the friendship, then she should take it to heart if Amy were to say something like “Hey, when you say certain things, it hurts me. I would never say anything to intentionally hurt you, so I wanted to make you aware of the situation. We have different situations, and I don’t think we should compare ourselves to each other. I’d prefer it if we just supported and encouraged each other. I think that’s what I need from my friendships.” Who can argue with that logic, right?

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Ellen May 5, 2010

I think that there is some resentment going on for both individuals. B is resentful of the author’s thinness. the author is resentful that B has fueled her eating disorder, held her back, and maybe even makes her feel as if she shouldn’t recover from her eating disorder. If the friendship is valued, I think the only way to overcome this is to break down this barrier of resentment. Someone will have to make the first move and bring it up (having been there, may I recommend wine? things go much more smoothly!) I have a feeling the author will be glad she at least tried to work this out. B doesn’t sound like a bad person, just struggling herself. I don’t think now’s a time to abandon a good friend. If nothing is resolved, then by all means, distance yourself from her, but it seems like resolution is not far off. I’m sure both parties are aware of the tension, someone just has to openly acknowledge it so you can move on.

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Courtney (Pancakes & Postcards) May 5, 2010

In my life, I have found myself on both sides of the issue (and they both suck). I have found myself being jealous and comparing myself to others so often–”if only I had her body, I would be happy.” It took me so long to realize that what I was doing wasn´t just destructive, but that it had become some kind of defense mechanism. I didn´t want to let it all go and accept myself for who I was, because it felt like I was settling, because I was so unhappy with MYSELF. I realized that trying to concentrate on positive feelings about myself, made negative feelings towards others just fade away. It is horrible to feel like you need to continue being a friend to someone who brings you down, but maybe just try to see what you can do to build her up–maybe if she started liking herself more for who she was, she wouldn´t need to cut you down.

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Camille May 5, 2010

I love love love the presentation of breakfast! It looks like when you order a milkshake at a diner :)

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Grace aka Triathlonbabe May 5, 2010

I have got to purchase a food processor for some of these recipes! I see the recipe for the VOO, which I am addicted to, but not the Banana Soft Serve or did I miss something? :)

As for the jealousy thing, I have had experiences with a few friends in the past, but I pretty much just blow them off because I know who I am and I love myself too much to allow someone to belittle me. However, I do have a niece…I know, weird, she’s only 7 years younger than I and we used to be best buds when she was growing up. For some reason, she took a different direction in her life than I, she got married very early and had 4 children right away. I, on the other hand stayed single for a long while and have led an active and very fulfilling life. She is a lot like this friend of B’s. I love her dearly and have gone out of my way to continue our positive relationship, however, she’s done nothing but ridicule me in my efforts to be healthy, also has made fun of the way I wear my hair, the way I dress, etc. I’ve never confronted her about it, but I really need to because just recently she embarrassed me in front of several friends and it really got to me this time. Like I said earlier, I am truly comfortable with myself, but for some reason this is different…and I don’t know why.

So with the same advice that others have offered, I agree, talking to this person might shed some light on there maybe being some other underlying problem, maybe not specifically jealousy. I hope she approaches and B responds in a positive manner just like I hope my niece does when I finally confront her.

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Ruby at Ruby, She Wrote May 5, 2010

Thank you for such a wonderful post!

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Erin (Travel, Eat, Repeat) May 5, 2010

I *love* how you make breakfast look so special every morning. It *should* be special. Definitely the best meal of the day.

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Bee May 5, 2010

Oh wow this post is about something so close to me. I have a jealous friend and I’ve been (still am?) the jealous one. Although to be fair to me, I never ever made rude remarks and comments because I know this is my problem and my problem alone.

As far as the friend goes… there really is no way to solve this. I have learned to ignore it, although sometimes that doesn’t work. I really wish people thought more before speaking because while their relationship with food might be different than mine (and in my case my friend’s relationship with food is unhealthy although she won’t admit it) they really should respect it.

I’ve almost lost it a couple of times though, so I can totally sympathize with Amy and her problems (no solution though)

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Keri@kerirunsslow May 5, 2010

Angela, you give such good advice!

Both my sister and I have struggled with eating disorders in the past. She was way deeper into it than I was, and though she’s been at a healthy weight for more than 5 years now, she still focuses on food and likes to criticize what I eat. I obviously can’t ‘divorce’ my sister, so whenever she comments on what I’m eating or not eating, I just smile at her and remind myself that what I eat is my business, and what she eats is her business. When I flash a huge smile and keep doing what I was doing before she made the comment, she gets really frustrated. It might sound kind of mean, but it feels really good to be able to turn that negative energy back on her and know that she’s only making herself feel bad.

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Therese May 5, 2010

I have to say, I agree with you Angela on what to do. If Amy can talk to her friend that’s the best thing to do. I wouldn’t accuse B of jealousy but just bring to the forefront that her words hurt and if there’s something Amy can do to help her. If it doesn’t work or talking to her just isn’t going to happen then, I agree, there’s not much else you can do.

I have definitely broken up a friendship. This person wasn’t jealous of me but his negativity was sooo toxic and I was at a point in my life where I was trying to get out of my own negative mindset and so felt the only thing I could do was remove myself from the situation. He wasn’t too keen on it but I had to do it and I am MUCH better off. The people in my life are some of the most positive people you’ll ever meet and that’s totally rubbed off on me!

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Lauren @ Health on the Run May 5, 2010

This is a huge issue that is so prevalent in relationships — and it’s so easy to get caught on either end. I’ve read through the comments and there are a lot of really great ones already! So I will just echo others and say that I think Amy should really sit down and talk with B. It might be hard for Amy to admit to B’s face that her comments are hurtful and tear her down. But unless the issue is brought out in the open, I don’t think the jealousy/resentment will ever go away, and the friendship will only continue to become more and more toxic.

If they do talk, and nothing changes, then I think Amy will have no choice but to put some distance between herself and B. She can’t keep holding on to a toxic relationship, even despite their past history. And especially because she’s struggling with her own ED. She needs to surround herself with people who will help her recovery, not fuel the problem.

Best of luck dealing with this situation ‘Amy’!! I really hope everything works out and you are able to salvage your relationship with your friend!

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JJ May 5, 2010

What a hard situation Amy has with her friend. I agree that the best thing to do is talk to B and let her know that the comments are having a really negative effect, the worst thing about jealousy – having it and being the object of it – is that like an ED it is secretive. You have to bring that monster out in the open. The other thing I would suggest, because it works for me, is when someone calls you out in public about “not indulging,” tell everyone why you are doing what you are doing. Let them know that the decision not to eat sugary or processed or junk foods comes from a place of happiness. Let them know that eating well makes you feel great and you look forward to having a green monster in the morning, a fresh salad for lunch, and healthy snacks throughout the day. Honestly, if someone brings it up I am only TOO happy to go on and on and on and on… you get the idea. My friends just roll their eyes now, but they are smiling, because they support me, which is what friends do. If a friendship is affecting your health, you need to be honest with the other person, try to fix it, set clear boundaries about what is not acceptable, but in the end – move on if you have to. You can maintain the same kindness but none of the bad feelings.

I can’t wait to have my oats tomorrow morning!!!

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Layla May 5, 2010

I had a coworker that would do that to me… and we weren’t friends. We barely knew each other, actually. But we both attended meetings on Thursday mornings and she would seriously sit there and eat five cheerios for breakfast, and brag about how she ran 12 miles that morning, and ran 12-15 miles every morning (getting up at 4am) and then when I’d eat something, she’d make nasty comments about it. One time, our company ordered pizzas for us. I had two slices on my plate. When I walked past her, she said (really loudly), “oh TWO pieces of pizza?? Feeling ambitious today, huh?” and laughed. I was like… what?!!? I was naturally skinny back then, because I was 24 years old and had a very high metabolism. Times have changed since I’ve aged, but I always felt that she was projecting her issues onto me, and I never understood why.

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