Let’s talk about our friend circles. Maybe you made the basketball team or cheer squad but your friend you tried out with didn’t make it. Or, you and your bestie like the same boy and he chooses you and not her. Instead of them being happy for you, they “turn” against you…or turn others against you. Does this sound familiar?
Insecurity, unhealthy competition, and jealousy can be triggers that cause us to hurt each other rather than celebrate when something good happens to those in our friend circles. What may have once been a healthy friendship can turn into a toxic one.
Now, let’s talk about you…how are you treating your friends when things may go their way, and not yours? How can you stop from hurting those you may be jealous of or feel insecure around?
First, you need to identify your triggers…what things cause you to want to dull someone else’ sparkle? If you are honest with yourself and can recognize what that is, you will be more likely to stop before your start.
Second, replace your negative self-talk with positive self-talk. Don’t focus on what you are not good but what you know you are good at. Your friend might have made the cheer squad and you didn’t, but wait until track season because you can out-run everyone, including the boys!
Third, wear a rubber band around your wrist and when you start to feel yourself triggered, “snap” yourself out of it. It will break your train of thought and help you learn to turn off that trigger.
Four, keep a journal. If you are feeling jealous of a friend…instead of acting on it or reacting to it, write it out before you go to bed that night. A journal is a safe space you can go to write out all your feelings and even share all the ugly you may have wanted to do. Getting it out on paper for you to see and feel instead of for others to notice and experience will work to our advantage.
Five, do something for yourself. Paint your nails, give yourself a facial, take a bath with a lot of candles, buy a pint of your favorite ice cream… If you doing something that makes you feel good, you will be less likely to want to make someone else feel bad.
The struggle to overcome our triggers is real. But we can conquer them if we are pro-active and put in the hard work.
You’ve got this!