What to do when friends are jealous of your success

Serena asks: In school my friends always try to avoid me because I’m better than them in studies and everything. What should I do?

Hi Serena –


Before I answer your question, I want to ask you one:  Are you sure that that’s why your friends are behaving this way?  If so, they’re being extremely petty.  So you might want to see if there’s a way to find out if something else could be going on – if they’re avoiding you for something you didn’t even realize you’d said, or because they’ve decided you’re not wearing the cool brand of shoes or something!

But if you’re right – this is ridiculous!  Your friends are acting out of meanness and jealousy.  And my advice to you is simple:  Keep doing what you’re doing in your classes, and find better friends!  The last thing anyone needs is “friends” who try to keep them from accomplishing their best.  If they’re annoyed that you’re a good student today, they’ll be annoyed that you have a great-looking date tomorrow, and that you have a great job later on.  Who needs that?!

Now there’s another kind of envy that’s not so bad.  Say, if you have a friend who isn’t as good a student as you and wants your help.  That’s fine.  It’s like if I see another dog eating barbecued ribs.  I don’t begrudge her that she has some, but I’d sure love it if she’d share!

But these friends you’re describing are saying “Since you got ribs, we won’t chase you in the dogpark.”  Sheesh!

So again, make sure you’re right, that it’s not about something else.  But if you’re correct, then there’s only one rule for you:  Don’t slow yourself down, or defeat your own success, for these people.  They’re not worth it.  No one is.




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