Jealousy… it’s a nasty trait right? I don’t know about you, but when I was younger, more immature and less self-aware, a jealous man or friend would appeal to me. Everyone likes to feel cared for, sought after and appreciated, right? In a similar sense, we’ve all heard “oh I’m territorial” or “I’m the jealous type just so you know” or whichever cliche phrase we’ve all used or heard used to justify that unhealthy behavior.
For most of us, age takes it’s natural course of action and we realize that jealousy is nothing more than deep rooted insecurity. We get jealous for one of two reasons: we feel threatened by another human being, or we feel that we are going to be replaced.
Now this is not entirely a negative thing. It also means that we have an important, cherished bond with someone else and that out instinct is to protect it. Life is all about these types of meaningful relationships, but in order for it to be lasting, healthy, beneficial for both individuals, and fulfilling, we have to be mindful of stopping this emotion based off of false truths from blowing out of proportion and effecting our behavior.
How does a jealous friend behave? Most commonly… passive aggressively. If I have one friend, who introduces me to another coworker who she has recently become increasingly close with, and I feel threatened at this new friendship, I’m likely to close myself off from developing any sort of bond with the new friend. I might start to say snide remarks, ignore my friend, try to make her feel “some way,” YOU KNOW. We all know. If you’ve never been the jealous friend, then you’ve had the jealous friend.
At first, it’s like having a puppy. The puppy bites and barks and you think “awww, that’s kind of cute.” You allow it. The dog grows up and now it’s still biting and barking because you thought it was cute before, you even laughed and rewarded him, so he doesn’t understand why NOW he’s a bad boy. You get me?
IF YOU ALLOW IT, IT WILL CONTINUE. So when you start to feel jealous, identify that. Sit with it. Let yourself feel it for a minute, at least long enough to be able to think about what that means for you. It might not go away right away, but consciousness is the first step. Once you’re aware of it, you will be able to quiet that nagging voice in your head, whispering all of your fears to you. You know that you are irreplaceable. You know that we all have room to love other people without removing others. You know that the bonds in your life are real, and that isn’t something that can be taken away, because if they aren’t real, and they do fade or break, then they weren’t meant for you anyways.
And if you’re the friend who has the jealous friend, don’t let it continue and spiral out of control. As a friend, it is your job to be compassionate and empathetic, to try and be understanding without compromising yourself. If you’re like me, and you are not confrontational by nature, it might be difficult, but you have to talk out. Lay down your cards and speak honestly. In most cases, I feel confident saying that it will change the persons behavior and it might give them the reality check they need. If I’m a good friend, will I really sit by and allow someone I care about to exhibit unhealthy and self destructive thoughts and behaviors without saying something? No, at least I don’t want to be that type of friend.
There’s my two cents. For the record, I’ve been both of those people: the friend who was jealous and the friend who had the jealous friend. Both of these situations are uncomfortable, but what I’ve learned is that discomfort is nothing more than the opportunity to grow.
Thank you for reading!
P.S. After I post a blog, I usually get a couple of messages on here, IG or text about it. I LOVE that and it makes me feel so blessed, but I’d also love your feedback on here! It is much appreciated. 🙂