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4 Ways To Appreciate a Friend’s Success and To Stop Feeling Jealous

Photo Credit: bokan/Shutterstock

When a friend experiences a big moment — like snagging a dream job, getting engaged, or even winning the lotto (hey, you never know!) — it can feel natural to be happy for them but to also experience some amount of jealousy or insecurity if you haven’t achieved the same level of success. Remedying those negative feelings is part of what inspired Chelsea Behrens, owner of Rise to the Occasion, to become a career coach. She specializes in helping women achieve success by feeling valued, heard, and seen at work. 

“Social comparison is something that comes up with my clients,” she explains. Based on her experience, Behrens provided CircleAround with a few strategies to try the next time you feel a little down after your friend experiences great success.

1. Congratulate Her

Above all else, it’s important to show your support for your friend’s success, not only at the beginning but throughout your friendship. “Remove yourself from the equation and congratulate your friend for her success. It's about her, after all,” Behrens recommends. 

Some other ways to congratulate someone include saying, “I am very proud of you!” or “What are you excited about most?” or “You continue to inspire me every day.”

2. Consider Your Own Gratitude 

“When friends experience great success in their lives, it can bring up thoughts like, ‘Why haven't I done that?’ or, ‘I'm a failure next to them.’ But rather than choosing negative thoughts, think of what you're grateful for in your life,” Behrens suggests.  

It’s easy to compare yourself to someone who has had a positive breakthrough, but once you start listing things about your own life that you are grateful for, it can shift your mindset. 

3. Remember Success Is Not Easy

It might seem like your friend had a stroke of luck, but there is always more to the story than what their Instagram post might reveal. Success doesn’t happen overnight. Achieving a goal usually takes a long time and lots of hard work.

“Consider the amount of effort and work your friend puts in to experience their success,” Behrens suggests. She encourages others to think about what is needed to reach that same level. It helps put the achievement into perspective and provides a framework for your own goals and aspirations.

4. Learn From It

“If her success is something you want to strive for, what can you learn from her?” Behrens asks. “Who are her mentors? What classes and programs has she invested in?”  

These kinds of questions can help you evaluate and learn from your friend, making their achievements motivation to achieve your own goals. Not only that, discussing these things with your friend can create a stronger bond and strengthen or open your network as a result.

The Bottom Line

It’s possible to work towards big goals in your life while celebrating the successes of others, and it’s even more joyful when great success happens to your close friends. Learn from these people in your life while reminding yourself how grateful you are to know such amazing people who can continue to inspire you and who will be there for you when it’s time to celebrate your own achievements, too.

CircleAround is operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of Girl Scouts of the USA. The site serves women nationwide by providing content that is uplifting, thought-provoking, and useful. We make revenue distributions back to GSUSA so they can further their mission of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place.


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