How can I overcome jealousy? Whenever I make a friend and they mention being with their other friends I always feel like I'm a substitute for when their other friends aren't around.
Here’s the thing. The jealousy is a symptom of something else. The reason you’re feeling jealous has more to do with your own feelings of self-worth than it does about your friends. Jealousy springs from insecurity. We worry that we somehow won’t measure up; we can’t compete. The problem lies in feeling like you have to compete at all. If you’re not feeling worthy of friendship than you will suspect your friends motives. And unfortunately, overcoming jealousy in this case means taking some time to work on you.
The truth is that when we make new friends, sometimes they are a substitute for our other friends. When I have a new friend that I am not familiar with and I’m building a relationship with them, it takes work and so my other friends are sort of the safety net. Does that mean that I don’t enjoy spending time with new friends? Of course not. It simply means that the friendships are different. The relationships are at different stages. And as a result, it’s going to BE different; to FEEL different. What you need to do is accept that the person who is with you wants to be with you and that’s hard to do if you’re not feeling worthy.
So here’s my advice. When you’re with your friends, old or new, be in the moment. Try not to worry about how it all fits in the cosmic world of friendship. Just enjoy being there. Be present. The rest of the time, work on yourself. We all can benefit from some time for introspection and for work on strengthening our self-esteem. Consider finding a counselor or someone that you can talk to openly about how you’re feeling. Think about the things that make you a unique and special person and realize that you are worthy of friendship and love. And most of all, understand that your feelings are just that, feelings. They are not fact. Relegate them to their proper place. Give yourself permission to feel, but also remind yourself that feelings are not fact and try to take each situation, each interaction with your friends, as it comes.
Don't be shy! Say what's on your mind and get a good dose of perspective in return.