This isn't technically a polyam question, but I'm struggling a lot with jealousy and I don't know how to deal with it. I asked a friend on a date a while ago (the answer was no but she was v kind about it and we're still great friends) She's now dating another guy and I'm feeling a lot of negative feelings about it. I want her to be happy, but I feel like I want a lot more attention than I did previously, specifically because she gives him a lot. How do I support her and cope with my feelings?
I strongly recommend that you check out resources on the DBT skill called “Opposite Action.” Essentially, the philosophy behind Opposite Action is: when you have a strong negative emotion, often that comes with an urge or a desire to act a certain way. A good way of managing that negative emotion is to identify how that emotion makes you want to act, then do the exact opposite thing.
So when you find yourself wanting to seek more attention from this friend, use Opposite Action to do something else. Reach out to a different friend, or spend time in a solitary hobby. If you want to scroll through her Instagram photos, put the phone down and go for a walk or make something to eat. If you want to say something biting about her new partner, take a deep breath and change the subject or say something positive about him. It’s not trying to ignore the feeling, it’s channeling that feeling’s energy into a more positive choice. You can’t control how you feel, but you can control how you act.
This may also mean taking some space from her and her new partner. I know that you want to “support her,” but a new relationship isn’t necessarily a situation where she needs you to be super present. Don’t ghost her, and don’t end the friendship because of her new relationship, but be intentional about how you seek out her attention. If you’re with a group of people, sit near and talk to other people. Turn down invites to hang with just the two of them. You may have to actively fight urges to do otherwise - again, use Opposite Action. These feelings will fade, and you’ll be very proud of yourself for not acting on them.