Asking for a Friend: Help! How can I stop being jealous of my rich friend?

  • Do you have difficult, embarrassing or awkward questions to ask? Submit them anonymously and ‘Friend of a Friend’ will do their best to help you out
  • This week we talk about hives and insecurity over Instagram
Amalissa HallYP Team |

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Do you (or a friend) have a problem? Friend of a friend is here to help!

Hi Friend of a Friend,

I have suffered from hives since I was two years old. Basically, I get itchy, red rashes all over my body when I’m stressed, or when I’ve eaten or been in contact with something I’m allergic to. Lately it has worsened because of the antivirus measures. 

For instance, I get itchy welts on my cheeks and chin because of the face mask constantly rubbing against my face. I had found two brands that were softer and more comfortable, but one of them is out of stock, and there are claims the other does not protect users against viruses. I have tried literally a dozen other mask brands but they all make me itch like crazy. 

I’m also allergic to every hand sanitiser I’ve tried. Both of my hands are swollen because of regular exposure to chemicals they contain. Every time I enter a classroom, I have to clean my hands, but they are now so swollen it hurts when I write. 

I do not want to forgo these measures as they are crucial to our hygiene and health, and I understand that my allergies are not important compared to a coronavirus outbreak. But some of these measures make me extremely uncomfortable and I really want to put a stop to the itch that is torturing me so badly. Please help me!

Itchy Scratcher

Hi Itchy,

I am so sorry to hear how much pain you are in. As someone who has previously experienced hives, I understand your discomfort. It will certainly be amplified with the coronavirus measures in place.

First of all, I would highly recommend that you speak to a pharmacist or go to your doctor as soon as possible. Be sure to mention both the itching and the swelling. If it’s really bad, you probably need to see a dermatologist. These experts are the best source of advice; it might turn out there is a simple medical remedy.

In my case, I was prescribed antihistamines and steroid creams specific to my skin, both of which helped to calm the irritation. 

What I can help you with, though, is the additional irritants. You say you’ve tried tonnes of masks, but have you tried a cloth one? The World Health Organisation says a high-quality, tightly woven, double-layer cotton face mask will work almost as effectively as a surgical or disposable one. The cotton will be gentler on your face than the synthetic material. Just make sure you find one that fits properly so it doesn’t move around, and irritate your face. When you find one that works, buy two or three so you’ll always have a fresh one when the others are in the wash.

As for the alcohol hand gel, perhaps you need to stop using it and only clean your hands using soap and water. Your school may officially require you to use hand sanitiser, in which case, ask your doctor or parents for a note explaining the situation. Soap and water are more effective anyway. Just remember to use a hypoallergenic and fragrance-free moisturiser on your hands afterwards to stop them drying out.

Feel better soon, Friend of a Friend

Help! I don't approve of my friends dating

Dear Friend of a Friend,

One of my close friends is quite well-off because of his family business, and as a result, he is well connected and has plenty of opportunities to do whatever he wants. To be honest, I’m jealous. He gets away with a lot of things, and to top it off, everything always works out for him. 

I don’t want to be a bad friend, but how can I be happy for him and stop feeling jealous? 

Thanks, Feeling Green

Hi Green,

Jealousy stems from insecurity. What are you insecure about? Do you feel like you can’t measure up to your friend because you don’t have as much money? Unfortunately, if you continue to compare yourself to him on this level, you will never be happy. As the saying goes, “comparison is the  thief of joy”.

You should try to shift your perspective. Instead of comparing your life to his, look inwards and focus on your qualities. What do you attach value to? What is good in your life? What are you lucky to have? Acknowledge your personal successes, and strive to do things that make you happy to be you! 

Money can absolutely give you a step up in life, but it can’t buy kindness, a good attitude or a strong work ethic. This shift in attitude will take time, but creating a standard for your life that is not dependent on others will benefit you for life. 

No matter how successful or rich they are, everyone has their own problems. It may seem as though “everything always works out” for your friend, but I doubt you see the whole picture. You can’t assume that just because everything seems to be going well in his life, that it actually is. 

And if he is, by some bizarre twist of fate, as lucky as he appears, remember that adversity makes us stronger. When people have easy lives, they very often struggle when the slightest problem occurs. By not having as “easy” a life, you have learned to overcome all sorts already.

The fact that you want to stop feeling jealous is an excellent start. Be a better friend by focusing on your friendship. Stop amplifying the differences and focus on the similarities. You must have something in common to be friends! Rekindle what brought you together in the first place. 

Alternatively, if you feel that you are becoming too different to remain friends, it is also okay to grow apart. As you grow up, you will have long-term and short-term friends – it’s a very normal part of life. 

Ultimately, if you want to be happy for him, you have to learn to be happy for yourself, too. Once you can accept your differences, you will feel much more secure and content.

Best of luck, Friend of a Friend

Help! How do I get over a crush on my gay BFF?

Hi Friend of a Friend, 

Scrolling through Instagram and online clothing stores, all the cutest clothes are worn by thin, pretty models. But when I buy the same outfit, it looks weird. I feel like the only way to look good in clothes is to lose weight and be skinny. 

I’m already skipping meals and exercising more, but I’m not seeing the results I want and I’m afraid I’ll get sick if I continue. What should I do?

Wanting to lose Insta(kilo)grams

Hi Wanting,

Firstly, stop skipping meals. You’re right – you will become sick if you continue to do that. You need energy to get through the day, especially as a teen. If anything, skipping meals means you’ll end up overeating when you do eat. Have balanced meals with proteins, carbs and plenty of fruits and veg, and cut out processed sugars and saturated fats if you’re concerned about excessive weight gain. 

Continue to exercise, as that is key to a healthy lifestyle, but do it to enjoy it and not to punish yourself. Also remember that bodies look a certain way because of genetics; no matter what you eat or how much you work out, you can’t cheat nature.

As for what you see on Instagram, remember that part of a model’s job is to work out a lot. Add to that the team of people involved in photoshoots who make models look the way they do. There are photographers, clothing stylists, hairstylists, and make-up artists to ensure that they get the “perfect” shot – which is then edited afterwards. 

Even an amateur model can use clever angles, lighting and filters to make them look “perfect”.

Bodies come in all shapes and sizes, but we’re so used to seeing thin models, we forget that. What’s more, the Instagram algorithm shows us more of the things we like, so if you always like a certain look, it’ll show you more. Follow a range of accounts, especially those that celebrate body positivity, to see a variety of body types. 

Clothes can look amazing on anyone of any size, as long as they fit properly! Buy clothes that flatter you, instead of picking them because they’re attractive on someone else. 

My advice? Spend less time on social media and online shopping; it’s difficult, but it will help your confidence in the long run. Delete the apps from your phone if you have to! Then take some time to discover your own style, and what works for the body you have. Think less about what your body doesn’t look like, and more on appreciating what it can do! If you can hike, walk, swim and dance, it is doing exactly what it needs to.

I hope this helps you, Friend of a Friend

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