Q: "My best friend is really pretty. Like I'm talking drop dead gorgeous. She gets all the attention from boys, and it seems like everyone is in love with her. She's my best friend and I care about her a lot, but sometimes I get a little jealous. I don't want to be jealous, but I honestly can't help it. I wish that I could be like her. I don't want our friendship to be ruined because of this. What can I do?" - Anonymous
I LOVE this question. I know exactly how you’re feeling because I experienced this kind of envy a lot during middle school and also during my freshman year of high school. While insecurity and jealousy never really change, I do want to share some tips on how to grow your own confidence and how to love yourself without comparing.
Ok so all throughout middle school I had this one friend. She was so so gorgeous, had the best figure, relaxed parents, money, and did well in school too. In turn, this meant that she had tons of popular, cute boy snapchatting her 24/7 and just attracted a lot of attention in general. Of course I took this as an opportunity to criticize myself: my appearance, my more strict parents, and my lack of attention from boys. I’ll be the first to admit that it was really difficult for me to admire my friend’s beauty and attention without turning her ‘win’ into my ‘loss’. The things I told myself: I’m ugly, people don’t like me, etc were just not true.
The first reminder is that no one has it all… sort of.
Saying ‘no one has it all’ is true but also that would be the easy route for my answer, the perfect excuse. The conventional thing to say is she’s so pretty but she doesn’t have a great personality, isn’t genuine, has small boobs, a weird nose, or a million other negative things you could come up with. You’re not crazy if you think this way, I know I definitely do sometimes but it’s the cynical approach and at the end of the day, pointing out her flaws won’t make you any better of a person. That’s a really hard thing to swallow. What you can do is redirect your attention. Time wasted thinking about your friend's perfections or imperfections does nothing more than simply waste your precious time. Make a list of all the things you love about YOU. There is a world full of people out there that are going to make you feel insecure for one reason or another. Be selfish for a second and reflect on the qualities that you LOVE about yourself: your eye color, your smile, your kindness, and the list goes on. It’s cringy but WRITE THESE THINGS DOWN. Open your notes app and just hype yourself up for 5 minutes. It’s truly the least you can do for yourself. Positive self-talk and creating an intimate and strong relationship with yourself will give you the confidence and reassurance to look beyond your insecurities and stop comparing.
Do you want to crawl in a hole?
The real question: when you’re with this friend that sometimes, unintentionally makes you feel insecure do you want to crawl in a hole? Just leave situation because you’re so unsure of how you are supposed to act and consumed by the thoughts in your head. Rarely? Often? Always? I don’t want to push this feeling on you because it may not be your experience at all but it’s something important to think about. In these social situations where it ‘seems like everyones in love with her’ that you speak about, does your best friend make you feel comfortable, shed light on you, include you in the conversation, and bring out the best in you? If not, that’s definitely something to consider. Now by no means am I suggesting that you end a friendship over this… I mean it is kind of unrealistic to expect that a 14 or 15 year old is going to be completely aware of your concealed insecurities. She’s most likely not even aware that you feel this way. What I started doing and what I think may be helpful for you is to branch off and maybe discover some other social circles were you feel more comfortable. Remain a great friend and spend time meeting fun people and enjoying the company of your friend by her side. Then give yourself a break so you can have the space to try to define yourself without feeling overpowered or overshadowed by this one friend. I know this advice might not be as simple as it sounds in application, but I’m more just wanting you to feel like YOU can be the hot one. I hate that you don’t feel this way and I know how much it sucks because I’ve expierenced it too. Just reflect on the reality of these situations and do what makes you happy, comfortable, and acknowledged.
How to be more confident
Tbh guys I don’t know. I’m still figuring it out. I think confidence comes in waves and it’s one of those things that you sort of have to fake it till you make it. However, thus far I’ve been able to grow my confidence through discovering my style and finding clothes that are both comfortable and flattering. Harnessing confidence could mean pursuing extracurricular activities at which you excel, spending time with siblings or cousins who make you feel safe and appreciated, or spending time in nature. Confidence doesn’t necessarily mean attracting the most attention, being the loudest, or the most attractive. Confidence is rather a self-awareness and trust in yourself to be your own advocate. It is an unspoken inner contract that grows with you. It can shatter at any moment when someone doubts you or you doubt yourself, that’s why you have to work at it over time by being kind to yourself and finding lots of great outlets that refill you and give you joy.
If there’s one thing you can leave with, know that you are not even close to the only person who knows how it feels to be insecure and jealous. It’s just a part of life and I promise that it gets better.
We got this,