Green is so not one of your wedding colors, but it's the hue your best friend turns each time you bring up your selection of bridesmaids dresses, cake flavors, or even your invitation suite. Whether she was caught by surprise or feels threatened that your impending nuptials will ruin your otherwise solid and emotionally stable friendship, your best friend is jealous of your engagement. What's a girl to do?
That depends, says Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., psychologist and professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and producer of The Friendship Blog, on how your friend's jealousy has manifested. "It may cause her to reflect and take stock of her own situation, especially if she isn't involved with someone or is in a relationship with someone who hasn't been willing to commit," says Levine. "Her jealousy might seep out in negative ways that strain the friendship. She could become angry, anxious, passive-aggressive, or withdraw and become distant."
If your friend simply needs time to reflect on her own relationship status, try to play the supportive friend who's willing to listen when she laments she's also not engaged. "Don't rush to judgment over her jealousy," urges Levine. "She may need time to adjust to the news."
If she's worried that your wedding will affect your friendship, she may also need reassurance "that you value the friendship and will do everything to preserve and strengthen it," Levine points out. "You may need to explicitly remind her that the upcoming months are going to be busy ones for you and your fiancГ©, so you and she may not be able to spend the same amount of time together - but that doesn't mean the friendship is less important to you."
Regardless of why your friend has turned green over your engagement, "try to be sensitive to her feelings," Levine suggests. "For example, you will want to temper your ebullience if she seems to be depressed over your engagement or anything negative going on in her life. You may want to emphasize some of the positives in her that you admire - whether it's her relationship with her family or her success at work."
In extreme or persistent cases, your friend's jealousy "may be symptomatic of a more fundamental problem with the friendship," says Levine. "Your friend may not feel good about herself or may feel insecure about her relationship with you." And that, she says, could cause you to "discover that she isn't as close or ideal of a friend as you thought she was."