Jealous: feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.
I Googled that; so if you disagree, please take it up with them. The rest of you who are curious as to where this may be going, let’s address this…
Lately I have been haunted by this thought of jealousy; not because it applies to any state on my being, but because I am realizing folks have been throwing the word around as casually and haphazardly as a child might a Frisbee. For some, it seems their go-to explanation behind the reasons others may reject their behaviors. Or may shun their presence. The more I think about it, I can see the allure of such an explanation… citing jealousy does a few things for the speaker and I must admit, I am quite fascinated. Let’s look at it a bit, shall we?
Let me start by saying I do acknowledge there is such a state as jealousy in the world. Acknowledging what another is or has and finding oneself lacking in any specific area as it relates to them is a natural thing. Being envious or jealous (within reason) can motivate us to push harder; to do more. So yes, it does exist. I periodically play the lotto. Trust me when I lose and in watching the news I see the newest millionaires… I experience pangs of jealousy. I marvel at their good fortune in winning and curse my rotten luck! Then I remind myself I am God’s favorite… and buy another ticket J
So what I am addressing here is not the natural tendency to (again, within reason) covet what another may have (or what we perceive them of having); but rather that other tendency some have adopted to view themselves as the object of others’ jealousy. The tendency that flips to an unhealthy and oftentimes, delusional arrogance. You see, my comparing myself to you and feeling envious is acceptable. However, my thinking so highly of myself and what I think I possess that I rate you, find you lacking and therefore deem you jealous is a whole other matter! The first emotion means I am humble. The second means I am an asshole!
The main component or ingredient in a diagnosis of ‘jealousy’ is comparison. Two things need to be compared and one deemed ‘better’ for the emotion to take root and thrive. But what I am fascinated by is who is doing the comparing. Similar to a judgement of beauty, if one is complimented by another as it relates to their beauty, that is one thing. However for someone to compliment themselves and view the world as it relates to their opinion on their beauty is a whole other ugly animal! (And, especially as beauty truly is subjective). Get it now? You complimenting me because of either my physical attributes, financial health or academic, personal or social achievements says something beautiful about you. Me complimenting myself for the same reasons says something quite ugly about me.
So, some folks have been attributing the rejection of others towards them as being motivated by jealousy. Quite simply that means that Person A has taken a look at their life and elevated all or parts of it to a status they believe outweighs and outreaches Person B’s. They have, because of some misguided and delusional sense of self, convinced themselves the only reason for rejection is materialistic or physical and have totally ignored the more likely truth… behavioral. You see, for me to believe you jealous of me, demands I believe I am better than you. In which case, my behavior becomes arrogant, obnoxious and unwarrantedly elitist. All I see from your rejection of my behavior however, is a resentment and jealousy of me.
Question for you – have you ever realized those amongst us who consider themselves the object of others’ jealousy are more often than not not the ones who have achieved much themselves, but have been fortunate enough to have stood in the right spot to catch a reflective glow from those who have? Those who are so busy being obnoxious they ignore how tenuous their so-called status is? Those who live vicariously through… their partners, children, friends? Those who value things as opposed to people. And, who only value people as it relates to their sense of self?
There are two prior posts of mine that are being recalled right now: the first is the one I did where I cautioned parents from overdoing this “love thyself” conversation with their children. Where without shame or apology I (still) insist that to instill in our children an unchecked sense of self can manifest (albeit cute) narcissists. Now, do not confuse what I am saying with confidence. I believe teaching our children to love themselves and to be confident in themselves is paramount. As parents, we owe them that. But, teaching them that at the exclusion or expense of other’s places in this world is where I believe the problem lies. Teaching our children that every rejection of them is born of jealousy sets them up for a sense of entitlement that the world will be unwilling to pay. Sometimes, people just don’t like us and it often has nothing to do with what we look like, may have or can do. More than likely, if you think you possess something to make others jealous, their rejection of you lies not in your possession, but in your obsession… with yourself. Get over yourself!
The next post I am reminded of is the one I did reminding those who needed it that, “celebrity is not sexually transmitted”. The reflective glow… I will leave this one right here. Yall are smart.
Listen. There are a few things in this world that are facts – DNA or rich, for instance. So much more is subjective – beautiful, smart, successful (personally or professionally)… even gender. My pointe here is, to have someone cite behaviors around them as being the product of envy or jealousy is asinine! To believe anyone is looking at you and consider you enough to then deem themselves lacking is arrogant in a way that truly only reflects your insecurity. You know what? I recant my earlier statement… I have talked my way through to the understanding that those amongst us who constantly consider themselves the object of another’s jealousy truly do understand not only how tenuous their so-called feat is, but they also understand the true gangsta of those they seek to vilify. I mean, only those insecure and lacking tend to speak of how much they are/have. The one truly to be envied is the one constantly humbled by the graciousness of others as they look upon them…