Maybe the first word that popped into your mind is
"Haters." You know, the term we sometimes hastily apply to anyone who is not in full support of who we are, what we're doing or where we're going.
She didn't call them "Haters," but that is what typically comes to mind for many people when this situation rears its ugly head.
Maybe you're going through something similar or you've experienced it in the past. I'd like to suggest that before you lump your friend into the "Hater" category you take a moment to think about
things from a slightly different perspective.
It can be painful when our growth somehow threatens our friends. However, your growth is your most important contribution you can make to the world. When you're in alignment with the law of growth, you are more apt to fulfill your purpose in life. Your first decision is to always love and embrace your growth. Never hide it, but also never flaunt it. I asked my client to spend some time reflecting on her behavior and to honestly examine if she had in any way been flaunting her growth and sending a subtle message to her friend suggesting that her friend wasn't capable of achieving what she had achieved.
Sometimes our growth reminds our friends and family of their own neglect. They now see that they have been repressing the urge within themselves to make shifts and improve their life.
Maybe this has happened to you before. One of your friends reads a book or takes a class and now she's making moves and tending to her personal growth like she knows the whole secret to success. It may start to feel like her moving forward is intended to leave you behind, especially if you've been moving through life with little regard for your responsibility to create your own life. And before you know it, you're experiencing the hot prickly feeling that envy stirs up. Well, envy is just a sign of your own un-actualized desires wanting to be expressed.
You might consider that your friend's anger/envy may be stimulated by her own unexpressed desires and life goals. If you realize this is the case, I'd like you to think of your friend with compassion and understanding.
Ultimately, the most beneficial mindset you should have in this kind of situation is to remain focused on love. Expressing love towards yourself and your friend. You needn't diminish your growth to make room for your friends feelings of inadequacy, however, it is important to acknowledge
Saying and even thinking things like "Why can't you just be happy for me" will backfire 100% of the time. You might try something like, "I understand that you're upset, but I'm not sure what it's about. Can we talk about it?" She may be able to engage in dialogue for truth and healing, but maybe she won't. But, you must make sure that your question doesn't have a defensive undertone. Because, the truth of the matter is, for whatever reason, right now, she can't be happy for you. However, that doesn't automatically make her a "Hater." It does reveal that your commitment to creating the life you desire has exposed how much she is undervaluing her own life and this is causing her pain, and instead of dealing with that feeling, she is lashing out at you. If this rings true, you can also work on your ability to accept that this is what's happening, but needn't mean the end of the friendship.
Here are a few tips that may be helpful:
- Take a short break - perhaps, through giving each of you space and time to make the adjustment to the new you, in her own time she will recognize what's behind her feelings and start to make changes in her life.
- Write her a letter -but ask for permission to do so and clarify that the purpose is to get down to the heart of what's going on so you can get your friendship back in a good place.
- Be a Catalyst, extend Invitations - if you realize that there's some truth to your friend not having a zest for her own life, you can extend invitations, phrased as "Maybe we can do _____ together. I'm starting to lose my mojo doing it by myself." Sometimes people just need
to get in motion and commit to something, to get their confidence and ideas flowing in the right direction.
If you value the friendship and want to retain it, above all, you must be mindful that your reaction mustn't reflect her pain. Stand in your own self acceptance, loving you and whether nearby or from afar, continue to love your friend. Love is the ultimate motivator and healer.
If you've been challenged with this recently or in the past, feel free to share your perspective.
Remember, time is precious. Do your happy dance. Enjoy life!