Jealous of Your Friends Because Their Parents Bought Them a House? Here’s How To Cope

Jealous of Your Friends Because Their Parents Bought Them a House?

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Your best friends just announced their parents are buying them a house! You manage a fake smile and toast to a long, happy future in their new home.

Yet inside, resentment and jealousy are bubbling to the surface, threatening to burst through. Yes, you care for your friends and wish them only the best. But now, all you can think about is how you’ve scrimped to keep up with bills and save for your own house—which is still a distant dream.

We get it.

It can be tricky when you’re stuck saving for your goal of homeownership, and your friends seem to have an unfair advantage. Yet no one wants to feel envy, especially toward their loved ones. So here’s how to calm the green-eyed monster and preserve your friendship.

1. Acknowledge your jealousy

Remember the jealousy you felt at your friend’s birthday party when she opened her Barbie Deluxe Dreamhouse?

Contrary to what our parents told us growing up, it’s OK to feel envious sometimes. Especially when your friend’s parents buy her an actual house.

“The social construct is that envy is a moral failure and prohibits us from appreciating and celebrating the good things that happen for others,” says KathyDan Moore, owner of KDM Counseling Group in St. Petersburg, FL.

Yet the best way to come to terms with jealousy is to acknowledge and be honest about your feelings. If you let resentment fester, it can become a destructive force. You might even feel shame, which can lead to feeling inferior. Plus, pent-up negative emotions could eventually ruin an otherwise solid friendship.

“So admit that you feel envious of your friend’s good fortune, and set yourself free from your judgment,” advises Moore. “Once you can do that, you can move forward.”

2. Accept your friend’s status

In most situations of jealousy, Moore suggests using it as self-motivation. For example, if you were envious of a friend’s outgoing personality, that could motivate you to be more of an extrovert.

But no amount of self-exploration is going to make your parents richer.

So how do you deal with your friend’s new address on Easy Street? First, take a stroll down Gratitude Avenue.

“This doesn’t mean making a list to ‘keep score’ but try to identify areas of your life where you may feel blessed,” says Moore.

And try not to make too many assumptions.

“For all you know, your friends may have obligatory pressure coming from their parents that you don’t,” says William Schroeder, co-founder of Just Mind Counseling in Austin, TX. “Pressure to have grandkids or go into the family business. Maybe they envy your freedom of not having micromanaging parents.”

3. Be transparent

If your friends have a house free and clear, it’s conceivable that they might also have more disposable income. Maybe they can invest, buy a car, or take a vacation that’s beyond your budget.

Meanwhile, you’re stressing because your landlord is raising the rent again. If that’s the case, maybe it’s time for a heart-to-heart with your friends.

“So much of what hinders us in relationships are the truths we swallow,” says Schroeder. First, tell your friends how difficult this new situation is for you and how hard it is to relate to their frustrations about renovating their home. Next, invite them to share their feelings and really listen—without mentally preparing a rebuttal.

4. Strategize for lopsided financial socializing

Good for you! You’ve accepted that your friends have deeper pockets than you. But how does that play out the next time you go over to their house?

Maybe you feel you can’t stomach one more night at their house, nibbling from an exquisite charcuterie board and sipping rosé from hand-blown wine glasses.

It might be difficult, but try to simply push through and enjoy being with your friends.

“You have to find a way to accept and admire what you have as opposed to focusing on what you don’t have,” says Schroeder.

So if you can’t swing expensive wines or hostess gifts on your salary, make some always-welcome homemade goodies for the next cocktail hour. And if your friends are compassionate and insightful, they won’t focus on the disparity in finances because they respect you.

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