All Articles Tagged "jealousy"
This is something that’s honestly easier said than done. No matter how much we might try to do the right thing, we’re only human and can let our emotions get the best of us.
I’ll be the first to admit that I have struggled with envy. It’s not something I’m proud of but must accept so I can try my best to make the necessary changes.
Years ago I met a colleague in my industry who seemed perfect. Not only did she come from a privileged background but was able to turn her site into a digital media opportunity. Here I was working around the clock to put out content and make a name for myself and she seemed to do it so effortlessly. Granted I was doing okay considering we met each other at different industry events, but I always felt as if things came easier for her. This made my feelings shift from nice to curious. Why things were working out for her, especially when I felt I had stronger content?
Our paths continued to cross throughout the years and we kept in touch through social media as much as any acquaintance would. I shamefully admit I thought her life was a bit of a fairy tale as it seemed she had the perfect job, perfect relationship and perfect life. Hell, even her Instagram pictures looked perfect.
On the rare occasions we’d meet at events, our conversations would be lighthearted and casual. In addition to all of her perfection she was one of those really (really) nice people that made me like and dislike her even more. I always felt like she was bragging when it came to her life as her stories left her grinning from ear to ear.
Then I realized, it wasn’t that she was trying to be cocky. She was happy and my own unhappiness kept me from acknowledging it. Why was my first reaction to good news such a negative one?
I have seen insecurities eat away at both a person and their potential. How many times have we said to ourselves “I shouldn’t have wasted so much time focusing on someone else?”
This still sits with me today as I thankfully have worked on not projecting my own issues onto others. We still keep in touch from time to time, but now I have a genuine happiness for both her life and mine. It took a minute for me to realize the journey I thought was intended for me actually wasn’t. Both of us are happily married, have begun starting families but are on different paths. Rather than rob myself of milestones and achievements by focusing on someone else, I’ve learned to count my own blessings.
We need to realize that some people are happy in life that it can’t be contained. Instead of writing them off as being arrogant or a know-it-all, we should focus on their intentions. Yes some do try to stand taller than others, but that’s not always the case. Instead of nitpicking every little thing someone says or does, make sure you aren’t approaching a situation with an envious heart. There’s too much good and potential in you to waste it on others. Success is also not exclusive to a specific amount of people.
I’m sure there are some people out there who think of me the way I did my colleague years ago. It’s something you really can’t help. The best solution is to focus on yourself and all the good happening in your life. When you spend so much time replaying another person’s life in your head, you miss out on the opportunity to make your own lasting memories.
She’s your girl. The one you call when you have that devastating breakup. She’s also the one you call when you just want to laugh about said breakup that you thought would completely destroy you. She’s always had your back, prayed for you, and been your biggest cheerleader. The two of you do everything together.
But then, out of the blue, you have to deal with your best friend’s new friend, and for some reason, you see green.
If you watch The Real Housewives of Atlanta, you know that Kandi and Phaedra appear to share a genuine and nurturing friendship, on and off the screen. Their relationship was recently tested when Phaedra’s husband Apollo went to jail. Instead of leaning on Kandi for support as many would have assumed, Phaedra found herself leaning on NeNe. While NeNe and Phaedra’s friendship blossomed, Kandi was left in the cold, wondering what happened to their sisterhood.
To make matters worse, Phaedra was telling anyone who would listen that Kandi hadn’t been there for her while she was going through her ordeal. Kandi defended herself and even claimed that Phaedra didn’t call her as she was going through her personal trials, but instead of just confronting Phaedra, she attacked NeNe more than once. She argued that she didn’t understand how Phaedra could trust NeNe when the RHOA veteran had betrayed the trust of nearly everyone on the show at one time or another. (Who could forget when NeNe called Phaedra the “head doctor”?)
This public criticism was unnecessary, and it made it seem as though Kandi was jealous of the pair’s new friendship. However, that bond wasn’t created to spite Kandi. According to Phaedra, they only grew close because NeNe could relate to everything she was going through with Apollo.
During the show’s recent reunion, Kandi and Phaedra got into a heated discussion about the breakdown of their friendship. There was a lot of back-and-forth and Kandi continued to question NeNe’s loyalty while forgetting that it was her loyalty to Phaedra that was being critiqued.
In this case, there were real issues that brought Phaedra and NeNe together, but what happens when your BFF gets close to someone new, and you’re left with feelings of jealousy?
The first thing you need to realize is that just because your BFF is hanging with someone else, it doesn’t mean that she won’t make time for you. You can always schedule lunch, a shopping date, or an evening out on the town to catch up with one another if you feel as though things aren’t in the best place.
The next thing you should remember is that you should keep your emotions in check. You do not own your BFF, and her decision to create new friendships shouldn’t be something that you take personally. Friends branch out from each other all of the time, but if you all are real comrades, staying close, or even reconnecting, won’t be an issue at all.
It’s also not a bad idea to reevaluate your social patterns. Is she the only one you can call when you want to go have a drink or shop for the latest shoes? It can’t hurt to be sure that you don’t solely rely on one person.
On the flip side, if you’re feeling threatened by your best friend’s new friend, don’t hesitate to ask your BFF if everything is ok between the two of you. Whatever issues you may have with your friend don’t have anything to do with her new companion, so there’s no reason to treat said companion in a discourteous manner. And honestly, your BFF may be scared to tell you she’s having issues with you. Everyone is not the best communicator, and just like Phaedra was going around telling everyone but Kandi her grievances, your best bud could be trying to avoid a confrontation with you. Communication is key to any relationship, and if you want to improve your friendship, speak up. Preferably to the person who owes you an explanation.
But if there’s a chance that you may just be suspicious for no reason, you should probably check yourself. Be secure in the friendship that you have with your BFF, and if you know you’ve been slacking, step it up. You can’t blame anyone outside of your friendship for problems within it.
No matter how hard you try, your relationship will never be perfect. Hopefully, you enjoy the good times and work to fix those that aren’t so great. One of the biggest mistakes a couple–or someone in a relationship–can make is comparing what they have to other people. Does it even sound like a good idea? Here’s why you shouldn’t do it.
There’s a fine line between wishing you had what someone else does and feeling resentful it’s not yours. Jealousy is a powerful emotion that, unfortunately, can make the prettiest person really ugly. Let’s face it, we’re human and don’t always make the best decisions. The first step in change is admittance, right? Here are some signs you have major jealous tendencies.
We don’t do it intentionally. At least, I hope we don’t. But sometimes as women, we find ourselves competing with our girlfriends. Not that we’re racing to some invisible rite of passage type of finish line (first one to the altar gets bragging rights for life!). This competition is more about an unspoken comparison. If we’re not careful, trying to figure out where our lives stack up by comparing it to the lives of our girlfriends can lead to jealousy. The unhealthy kind.
It can range from the petty – Damn, her nail polish game is on point today! Why didn’t I think of putting those colors together? – to the more consequential – Why can’t I be as forgiving as she is? What’s wrong with me? It’s a definite the-grass-is-greener complex and if we’re in tune with our deeper selves, we can recognize that this comparison game is really our inner monolog talking. It’s that little voice in our head that likes to critique our flaws and shortcomings to the nth degree.
It’s not that we’re not happy for our friends when they’re on the up and up. We don’t secretly hope for their demise ‘cause, well, then we wouldn’t exactly be friends, would we? We know the blood, sweat and tears they put into getting that promotion, maintaining their marriage, and scrimping and saving for that dream vacation. We were there during the process, after all, and if we’re halfway decent friends, we were supportive along the way.
But if we long for some of the same things in our own lives and come up empty-handed, we can’t help but compare. It’s easy to forget their long, work-filled road when all we want is to be where we want to be, and with a quickness. We respect and admire our friends, after all, but assume we should always be on equal footing. That’s not exactly how things work in the real world. We’re individuals on our own unique paths, making our own unique choices. The same can be said for our friends. Therefore, comparing situations is futile. It can lead to unnecessary stress, tension, and unhappiness.
Maybe the source of this competitive vibe can be blamed on living in a fast-paced, get-everything-now, me, me, me society. Perhaps we’re still reliving old pain we’ve never fully healed from – the abusive ex we let destroy our self-esteem, the parent we were never good enough for. These things have a way of interfering with our everyday lives and affecting our most treasured relationships years later. But no matter the circumstance, when we compare ourselves to our friends, we fall into a woe-is-me attitude and not only is that tiring, but it’s also played out.
It’s enough that as Black women, we are constantly pitted against one another in the media. We’re perceived as difficult, argumentative, demanding, cat-fighting, back-stabbing…I’ll stop there. None of us want to bring that kind of drama and chaos into our personal lives–we’d much rather watch it on TV. I’m not suggesting that comparing ourselves to our friends will send us down some desperate, real, or whatever kind of housewife path. I’m simply acknowledging that friendship, real friendship, isn’t a competition. If we can be better friends to ourselves, we can in turn be better to our friends.
Speaking for myself, I know my tendency to compete with my girlfriends comes from feelings of inadequacy. That feeling had been triggered at times when friends succeeded in one way or another. I would feel as if, welp, she got the last helping of goodness. Since there’s none left for me, I might as well quit while I’m ahead. Where’s Iyanla to fix my life when I need her?
I was happy for my friends, no doubt, but wanted a sort of success by association. Ludicrous, I know. Before long, I was mad at friends for simply being their brilliant selves. What kind of sense does that make? And if I was in a funky rut – forget about it. I expected my friends to be stuck down in the dumps with me, too. That’s hardly fair or sensible.
Instead of wasting time feeling sorry for myself, I now choose to see my beautiful, thriving, dust yourself off and try again friends as examples of the greatness I can and will achieve. They inspire me to be my best self, not compare my worth and value to their own fulfillment.
During last night’s premiere of season 2 of “Being Mary Jane” we saw MJ picked up right where she left off at the end of season 1: wilin’ out. I truly didn’t think Mary Jane could get any worse than lying on the floor attempting to artificially inseminate herself with a turkey baster (after showing up at the home of the non-complicit sperm donor drunk), yet low and behold she outdid herself last night in a very different way.
I can speak for myself (and likely a few of you too) when I say alcohol has been known to make one express their deepest, most inappropriate feelings at the worst of times. If you have friends who love you enough to see past the drunken stupor they’ll likely forgive you, depending on what comes out of your mouth once Jack and Henny go in. But there’s something to be said for the people who tolerate emotional drunkeness on a daily basis when a friend wants something they can’t have and takes that out on them, repeatedly.
We saw that last night with the introduction of Mary Jane’s friend Valerie who, to the naked eye, seemingly has it all — good looks, a great job, a happy marriage, and 2.1 kids. It’s understandable how an equally attractive, career savvy woman in the same age bracket would feel some type of way about not being a wife and mother as well, but is being in your feelings over not having a relationship worth losing a friendship? Or better yet, is Mary Jane the kind of friend that’s worth keeping around?
Jealousy is an awkward emotion to be the object of. While some might liken it to flattery, just as jealousy is a terrible quality to have in a mate, it can also wreak havoc on friendships — as we saw last night. Mary Jane could’ve gotten a pass for her drunkenly insecure tirade about Valerie being kept on a leash by her husband, but it’s the half-a$$ed apology that came a day later when she essentially acted as though Valerie should apologize for having the life she wants that sent me over the edge. Though Valerie stood her ground and told Mary Jane if she wanted something similar she needed to go out and get it for herself, that advice seemed to go in one of MJ’s ears and out the other as just a day later she showed up at Valerie’s home expecting her to be her emotional crutch after dogging her out twice in one week. Where they do that at?
It’s not surprising Valerie’s husband Chris had it up to here with Mary Jane’s antics at that point. While I agree with the Twitter commentary on MJ being obsessed, I’d also add she was being selfish, expecting everyone else to share the burden of her singleness without regard for their own problems or thinking about how she got into this mess with David to begin with –and not even acknowledging the fact that she spent months pining after a married man after they reconnected. Can you say missed opportunity?
And the thing is, anyone with a group of two or more friends would be sympathetic to these things, as I doubt there’s a single woman on the planet who hasn’t wasted more than her fair share of time on the wrong man or even questioned why her and not them when it comes to their romantic life. But when you alienate the very people who can have your back in such a time of desperation as what MJ showed last night, it won’t be long before you find yourself without a man or any friends. Thirty minutes into the show, I personally was exhausted at the thought of tolerating a person like that, let alone calling them a friend and I’m curious whether Valerie is going to eventually hit her breaking point and cut MJ off or nurse her back to sane mental health. What do you think? Could you be friends with Mary Jane if you were in Valerie’s shoes?
PS: If you missed last night’s show, the full episode is below.
Emotions and the actions they spur are often colored by the perception of both the people doing them and those on the receiving end of said behavior. What one person considers romantic, another may consider corny. What one may consider a sweet gesture, the other might consider inappropriate. In a romantic relationship, there’s no clear cut way for any action to be taken, but one thing I’ve always found odd is the notion that jealousy is a viable method of showing someone cares.
Depending on how you view it, jealousy is an emotion and/or action. Some might say when they’re involved with someone in a romantic relationship, jealousy is a natural emotion as it comes from a place of protection. Heavily investing emotions into a person can make the investing party very protective of their situation, so one might feel they’re entitled to this emotion because so much is at stake. Jealousy, then, takes on a weird form where, instead of it simply being an emotion, it becomes an explanation for how a person shows they care. Therefore, any action taken from a standpoint of jealousy goes from something they wouldn’t ordinarily do to “I only act this way because I care so much about you.”
Others, and this is where I fall on the spectrum, feel jealousy is a wasted emotion. If a person is truly secure in their relationship, jealousy is unnecessary as there really isn’t a reason to be jealous. I’m not interested in having discussions about every single woman my girlfriend sees me with. I’m of the mind that I chose to be with her. I made that choice without any form of coercion or false pretenses. If she can’t trust the choice I’ve made to be with her, then we need to have a discussion about how we’re going to move forward. I tend to think jealousy is the result of a lack of or decrease in trust, and if the woman I’m with can’t trust that I’m doing right by her, she needs to find somewhere else to be and somebody else to be with.
In some sense, jealousy probably wouldn’t bother me as much if people didn’t make so many stupid decisions based on that feeling. For example, a man making an overwhelming amount of inquiries about other men talking to their girlfriend or a woman who decides she’s going to search her boyfriend’s phone in order to make sure he’s being faithful. Being in a relationship with someone you can’t trust defeats the purpose and speaking as someone who’s been in a relationship like that, it’s difficult to grow as a couple if you’re constantly being second guessed about every action and every person you’re speaking to. I understand that it’s quite threatening to think your mate might be more interested in someone else than he is in the relationship and, to some degree, I can see how those thoughts might cause folks to do something extreme in order to protect what they believe is theirs. But I’m steadfast in the belief jealousy comes from a place of insecurity and a lack of trust — neither of which make for a healthy relationship. Insecurity is something that can only be remedied by the insecure party and if a couple has trust issues to address, open communication is a far better problem solver than acting out under the guise of jealousy. We all know what truly being cared for looks like. If the behavior your partner displays to you comes across as anything less than that, address the issue head on instead of making nonsensical excuses for it.
When adults act like children, it can be very painful.
Have you ever had a gal-pal who insisted on behaving like a teenage girl with an identity crisis? I know, teenage girls and identity crises are synonymous, but what is the impact of an adult woman playing the same games?
Let’s say you are in a group of friends who go out together every weekend and have a great time. But suddenly, you begin seeing photos on social media of your beloved group without you in it. Why weren’t you invited? Surely, someone noticed you weren’t there, right? You feel hurt, left out, alone, confused and angry. You ask the all-mighty organizer slash head diva and she tells you that you’re not her friend anymore so you’re out of the group. What? This has to be a flashback to grade school or junior high, right? I mean we’re adult women with careers, homes and real issues. Why on earth would anyone intentionally behave in a way that caused so many heartaches and tears growing up? What happened? Why didn’t she tell you if you said or did something that upset her?
Here’s the deal. Women who behave this way are feeling insecure and threatened by other women who seem to have it together. Whether you really do or not doesn’t matter. We see others as a reflection of what are …or are not. Your toxic friend feels powerless, seeing you as a reflection of something she wishes she was or had and is choosing this emotionally and mentally abusive behavior to feel powerful again. Does it work? No, because walking away from the mirror doesn’t change your appearance. Her power-fix is temporary like a drug fix, which is why (like every verbal, mental, emotional or physical attacker) she will keep doing it with you or someone else she feels she can bully.
To read how to handle grown women acting their shoe size instead of their age, visit YourTango.
For some reason, I spent the early part of last week really looking forward to checking out “Little Women of LA”, Lifetime’s new reality show about a group of actual “little women” pursuing their careers, love and friendship in the City of Angels. Admittedly I’m not the biggest fan of reality shows. In fact a few years ago, “Basketball Wives of LA”, “Real Housewives of ATL” and “Love and Hip Hop” all started to look identical to me and I gave up on them completely. But every once in a while I do like to tune into reality TV that explores different lifestyles. I guess I feel in some superficial way I feel like I’m actually learning about something. So whether it’s Amish living in the city or little people trying to raise a family, I get intrigued by the challenge of people changing and lifestyles that are vastly different than my own.
Well, I guess I’ll say “Little Women of LA” wasn’t completely disappointing. I tuned in for the second episode last week and it was interesting to learn about the challenges Terra, Tonya, Elena and friends face particularly because of their stature. But in no time it was clear they had the same problems (exaggerated or not) that all the other 20 or 30-something year old women were playing out on national TV: jealousy, drama and enough shade to hold down the lighting section of Lowe’s.
Episode 2, “Little Women, Big Drama” is all about beef and competition. When Traci reveals that she and her fiancé have set a wedding date, this ignites a race to the altar with friend, Christy, whom although isn’t engaged proceeds to take some of the girls engagement ring shopping for her dream diamond. Traci deservedly feels like Christy is unfairly trying to steal her shine and beat her to Bridezilla status. I’ve written about women being careful to allow their friends to have “their moment” in the past. I feel like many of us feel threatened when witnessing other friends reach milestones like pregnancy and marriage, that instead of being happy for them, our insecurities force us to rush to be able to say we’re right there in the running too. It requires a lot of maturity to fall back and say, “It might not be my time now, but it’s coming. And right now my job is to take care of the pass so my friend can nail this shot.”
But for some reason, Traci annoyed the hell out of me by reminding everyone that she was engaged first and Christy was trying to steal her moment. Milestones work both ways. If you’re the one who’s expecting or just got engaged, just like you expect your friends to be happy for you and let you enjoy your moment in the sun, you have to understand that at some point life goes on and your friends aren’t obligated to make your baby or wedding the center of their universe. I’ll be getting married this fall, and from day one I’ve reminded myself about what’s important: That I’m marrying the man I love and that we enjoy that day and the people who are there have a good time. You won’t catch me bugging out if someone can’t make it or chooses to pay their school loans instead of making a trip for one of the most important events of my life. Because let’s be real: As important it is to you, you can’t expect your wedding or baby to be people’s first priority, nor should it be.
I think you also have to be understanding that these moments can bring out the worst in people. It doesn’t mean they don’t support you or love you, but like I mentioned earlier, for many women witnessing their friends picking out bridesmaid dresses and baby clothes, it can be a sobering reminder that maybe their biggest achievements in life right now are being able to get a that new coupe with no co-signer or finally finishing school although it may have taken a few extra years. Don’t be the diva that gets so caught up in, as Drake would say, “We made it!” that you forget your friends have feelings and their own issues going on. Even if you feel like you’ve won some imaginary race or you’re relieved because you’re one step farther from “cat lady” status or embarrassing speed dating, be sympathetic (but not accommodating) to the fact that friends might be in their feelings and don’t necessarily want to hear about your wedding cake flavors for months. Your moment is just that: a moment. And although it may feel like your whole life, for others it’s only a moment in there’s.
Consider yourself lucky if you have friends that spend their days cruising your Pinterest board for baby furniture or feel like a day of fun is spending their afternoon at Carter’s with you when they really could be at happy hour nursing a margarita. Know when to turn down; no one wants to talk about your pregnancy cravings every single day. Do all women deserve their moment? Yes, as long as they keep in mind that moments are just that moments and good friends know when it’s time to move the hell on so we can talk about something else.
Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a passion for helping young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health. She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.
Being successful is something everyone aspires to do. People spend countless days, nights, minutes and hours working to achieve set goals in order to live a particular lifestyle and prepare for the future. When a man is deemed a success, or has reached certain milestones in his life, he is celebrated by his family, friends and his companion, no matter how big or small the achievement. However, when a woman is considered successful, she is celebrated as well by family and friends, and maybe by her mate. Why is that? Why is it that when a woman is at the top of her game, or she is considered a major movie and shaker, the man in her life seems happy for her, but deep down, is secretly intimated or bothered by her success? The answer is simple… a man’s fragile ego often interferes with him being supportive of a woman who may be just as successful, or more successful than he is.
Now don’t get me wrong, not all men are threatened by a woman who has it together career wise, but the truth of the matter is that there are a lot of men who feel incompetent in being the mate of a power playing woman. Society believes that men should make more money, have better jobs or careers and simply be much better at everything than women. Not only does society believe this, but it has been embedded in the minds of men, and when they come across a woman who is at the head of her career class, he doesn’t quite know how to handle her. And despite the many powerful women there are in the world, many do not view women as dominating figures. While by design, males were created to be the heads of households, breadwinners and leaders by nature, and women were created to take on the helpful and supportive role, that does not mean that women cannot and should not be prosperous in what they seek out to do, nor does it mean that men should be unsupportive…even if she is more successful than him.
In the beginning of new relationships, many women are afraid to tell their love interest or potential mate just how successful they are in their careers for fear of a lack of support or rejection. And many times, women have the tendency to downplay their intelligence, or change their personalities because they don’t want a man they are interested in to lose interest in who they believe they are. Not only is this sad, but it is insane for a woman to feel that she must do this in order to keep someone’s attention. So ladies, how do we handle a man who can’t handle a powerful woman?
First, be mindful of his financial or career situation. We all know a man’s ego can be delicate, and depending on his circumstances, we don’t want to bruise his ego any further by telling him how good things are going for us. This is not to say that you shouldn’t inform your man or potential mate of what’s going on in your life, but it is to say that you should be sensitive to where he is in his life. Also, let him learn more about who you are vs. hearing more about what you do. There are a number of women who spend more time bragging about their careers, degrees, and other accolades to make themselves seem larger than life. Allow a man to see and hear about the person you are…after all, he’s interested in learning about you, not your accomplishments.
When he finds out just how successful you are, remain humble about it. No matter what you do, never throw it in your man’s face…or anyone else’s for that matter. Last but definitely not least, if your love interest can’t handle who you are and what you bring to the table, bow out gracefully and wait patiently for the next man to come along. At the end of the day, there is no need to waist time on someone who would want to diminish your shine.