How to Stop Feeling Jealous of Your Friends’ Success

It feels awful, but envy within peer and friend groups is not unusual

Madison Malone Kircher
Forge
Published in
3 min readAug 14, 2019

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A group of friends celebrating  with a toast and raised glasses.
Credit: gorodenkoff/iStock/Getty Images Plus

TTwo of my best friends got new jobs this month. Great jobs. Impressive jobs. Jobs with solid salaries and opportunities for career growth. I love these people. I want them to succeed, and I know they want the same for me. I am really, truly thrilled for them.

Or at least I really, truly want to be. But when our group text-thread blew up the other day with their good news, I felt strange.

These messages weren’t a surprise: We had eyeballed application materials together, and workshopped negotiation strategies. What was surprising was the envy that gnawed away at me, even as I added my congratulations in text and emojis.

I made a mental list, detailing all the reasons the logical part of my brain knew this jealousy was ridiculous: These are some of my favorite people. I’m employed. Hell, I love my job most days of the week. We work in different industries; it’s not like these were jobs I’d want or am qualified to do. Other people’s success doesn’t diminish my own.

And then, when that didn’t work, I called a professional. Jessica Methot is a human resource management professor at both Rutgers and Exeter. “Despite not being in the same…

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Madison Malone Kircher
Forge
Writer for

Madison Malone Kircher is a staff writer at New York Magazine. She lives in Brooklyn. Twitter: @4evrmalone