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“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.” – An extract from Desiderata, by Max Ehrmann.
Jealousy is a friendship killer, there’s no doubt about it, and it’s also spelled death for many a relationship.
An ugly and futile emotion – no good arguably comes from jealousy.
I recently lost some weight and was a tad hurt, then bemused, when a few friends didn’t share in my joy.
I’d worked extremely hard to achieve this particular post-babies goal of mine – including subjecting myself to endless brutality at the hands of my ex-army PT – so why couldn’t people just be happy for me?
Is jealousy just another name for insecurity or a lack of self-confidence? I think it says much more about the sufferer than the subject.
Having said that, to err is to be human and all of us have fallen prey to the green-eyed monster at times.
So, how do we do battle with this particular demon? Is it just a matter of running our own race and not comparing ourselves to others? Do most of us just get better at managing jealousy as we age?
This topic also reminds me of a bitter friendship break-up with a one-time BFF, whose wedding and childbirths I had happily celebrated with gusto, despite being single at the time. Then, when I found love with my now-husband, in the midst of her separation and divorce, she saw it as the ultimate betrayal.
This occurred many years back, and has long since lost its sting, but it taught me an important lesson: true friends celebrate each other’s successes. After all, how can you not want the best for someone you love and care about?
Of course, jealousy in an intimate relationship can wreak havoc and instability for all parties; too little is baffling, but too much is the ultimate kiss of death.
If your partner is suffocating you with obsessive, controlling jealousy, get out of there fast, sister. No one has the right to treat you like you’re his possession.
Relationship experts explain that in one sense jealousy can be defined as a feeling of resentment against someone who is perceived as being more successful or having a desirable advantage.
In another sense, jealousy can be seen as a feeling of uneasiness or suspicion in a relationship, when the partner feeling jealous will be resentful towards someone they perceive as being a rival for their loved one’s attention and affections. Jealousy can lead to nastiness, anger, abuse and even domestic violence in extreme cases.
In either sense, jealousy is an extremely destructive emotion, doing a great deal of harm to the person who is experiencing the jealousy. For example, it can cause self-loathing, loss of appetite, loss of sleep and depression.
Experts say if you are the recipient of jealousy from a friend or partner, try talking to the person. Encourage them to talk about how they are feeling.
Jealous people are usually insecure, so you could try assuring them of your continuing care and affection and point out their positive qualities.
And if that doesn’t help, you could try encouraging your partner to go to couples counselling so that their feelings and concerns can be explored in a safe environment.
Images, in order, via www.inspiredwomen.co.za, www.crownofbeautymagazine.com and izquotes.com.
What do you think? Has jealousy ever ruined one of your relationships?