All Articles Tagged "jealousy"
Even the most stable and confident women can get bit by the jealousy monster sometimes. Well, it sort of possesses us more than just bites us. And when it happens, it’s not pretty. Of course, if you do have your two feet planted in reality and aren’t capable of the really crazy things like slashing tires (thank goodness), you might find yourself acting out in strange ways when you’re jealous. Sometimes, all the meditation and affirming texts from our friends just can’t help us shake the suspicion that something is off. And when that happens, we end up doing a little recon work of our own. It’s never very productive, or healthy, but we only find that out once we’ve embarrassed ourselves. Here are some insane things jealousy makes women do.
Wow, Tina looks good in that bikini! you think, strolling through your Facebook feed. She just had the baby last month. How did she do it?
And there’s Nessa and her man in Dubai. The last time you and the hubby had a vaca Bush was President. Wonder who watches the kids?
Ah, look at Lisa’s spa day with the girls. You couldn’t get a sitter…
Switches to Instagram.
Damnit! Why didn’t anyone tell you that Stevie Wonder was playing a concert in Central Park?! Don’t they know how you feel about Stevie? There was that one time you and your mom risked getting cancer staying at the dankest, darkest, mildewy-est hotel room in New Orleans (you booked late) for Essence Fest, just to see him? But, man, it was worth it. You’d fly to the moon to see Stevie. To think that all you had to do was jump on the freakin’ subway train is maddening! And just look at everyone smiling like this could be his last concert on earth. Damn your life and everyone on social media!
It’s like you never get to do anything fun. Most days feel like a constant grind between work and the kids. And it’s not like you don’t enjoy spending time with them, it’s just that you want to be able to do some of the things you used to, like pick up and go!
Yet moms on social media are everywhere doing everything and sometimes you feel like that old newspaper sitting in the corner turning yellow.
It makes your relationship with social media dysfunctional at best. You love it, you hate it but you keep coming back. It’s because of work, you tell yourself, but a part of you knows better. Social media is your lifeline and without it you’d lose sight of everything.
So how do you deal with these feelings of straight-up envy whenever you get on social media?
You’d call your mom for advice, but she’s only on Facebook for Candy Crush. Last checked, she had no friends. Calling your friends is out because they’re the reason your life sucks. Who else could you call…? said while scrolling through your Facebook feed.
Wait, there’s Harriette Cole. The other day you saw a promo for her column, Ask Harriette, and were happy to see her still doing it. Why not ask her? She’s a mom on social media and since she was your boss back in the day, maybe she’ll take your call…
“First of all, stop taking in so much social media!” Hariette scolds. “And also be aware of the triggers that bring you down. Usually, it’s the images.”
She got that right. But it’s impossible to avoid the images.
“Well, if it happens that you see people from your circle at a party that you weren’t invited to, instead of getting down and grudgeful, congratulate them. Tell them that the event looked like a lot of fun and you’d love to be invited the next time. It happens so much with moms because we’re always taking care of our children. People forget. So remind them.”
She’s right. Between the kids, work and the hubby, your time is limited. Invites from even your closest friends get turned down, especially if they aren’t kid friendly.
“But you also have the power to decide what you want,” she adds. When you’re balanced enough to look outside of your nuclear family and work, use social media to start engaging. If it’s motivation to work out that you want, ask some friends on Facebook to join you on a run. If it’s inspiration and inclusion you need, create your own sisterhood.”
It makes so much sense. But when did you become so envious in the first place?
Maybe when you developed mom bod or perhaps when you started wearing the same three pieces from your wardrobe everyday, or maybe just maybe when you stopped remembering the last time you hung out with friends. Your lifestyle and priorities are so different. You ain’t the girl you used to be. And maybe that’s fine because the old you didn’t have kids and all she thought about was herself … and imagine if you couldn’t make the switch? You’re not supposed to be her. Running the streets all day and night. The vision of perfection. Who’s with your kids?
Harriette shared one last tidbit that was helpful. She said that her mom would tell her to count her blessings whenever she was feeling less than. “What are the little things you can be grateful for?” she’d say. “And she’d literally have me count them.”
You’re grateful for this conversation.
Erickka Sy Savané is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in Essence, Uptown, Heart & Soul magazine, xojane.com, and more. She has a column for moms called Pop Mom, and before writing, she was a model/actress/MTV VJ. Read more of her work at ErickkaSySavane.com. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
A little dose of jealousy can be healthy; it means that you’re invested in the relationship, that you’re very attracted to your partner, and that you give a damn what happens to the two of you. Your partner shouldn’t be totally cool with you sharing a bed with one of your male friends–he should raise an eyebrow if not say, “Nope.” If he couldn’t care less about that, he might just not care about the relationship at all.
And you should feel a little blood boiling when your partner gets late-night drinks with a female coworker who you know has a thing for him. That means that you care. But, jealousy can go too far. There is a difference between being concerned and being possessive (and in handcuffs because you stalked his female friend.) So, when it comes to being jealous, where is the line between healthy and unhealthy jealousy?
Don’t think you can just step into a relationship with a bartender the way you would a relationship with any man. Bartenders (particularly cute ones) lead a unique lifestyle. Think about how you met him: you were probably a cute woman flirting with him from across the bar. Do you really think you were the first and last one to do that? No way. You’re just the one he wanted to do that. You’re the one whose phone number he didn’t throw away. I’m reminding you of this because you’ll need it to boost your confidence when the realities of dating a bartender sink in. You may think at first that what goes on at the bar doesn’t bother you. You may even try just avoiding the bar, because what you don’t see can’t hurt you. But eventually, you’ll have to face some tricky parts of being the hot bartender’s girlfriend. Here’s what you need to know.
Are there people in your family who are jealous of you?
Of course, those people would never come right out and say it to your face, but it’s something you notice in the way they talk to you about certain things. Or rather, the way they talk to others about things that have to do with you.
I have a good friend who was telling me about the fact that she hadn’t spoken to her older brother in quite some time. Not because she had any beef with him, but because a new position at her job had left her overwrought with responsibilities and long work hours, making it hard to reach out. She was trying her best to answer calls and Facetime folks back when her schedule allowed, but at a certain point, her brother decided to become distant and stop answering due to her so-called schedule.
She would later find out during a check-in conversation with her mother that her brother had said that as the eldest sibling, my friend needed to do better about contacting him. He basically went in on her.
“I know she likes to pretend like she’s so busy, but family is family,” he said. “People think their jobs really mean something, but she’s not the first person to have had some money. Sh-t, I’ve had money too, but I don’t start turning my back on my people.”
When my friend found out that her brother felt this way, she was hurt. She didn’t feel like she had tried to throw her success in the face of her loved ones. To her, her brother’s opinion was unfair. And in her opinion, she felt it had a lot to do with the fact that he was struggling when it came to holding down a steady job.
He held pretty good positions in sales here and there, but when the companies he was employed by started to struggle, he was let go. That was the case almost a handful of times over the last few years. During those times, while trying to take care of his family, he would ask my friend for a loan now and then. Sometimes she would oblige, other times, she couldn’t. When the latter would happen, he would act as though she was being stingy and would make those same comments about my friend letting her job and her salary get to her head. Her brother went from one position as he watched his sister, my friend, buy Chanel bags and a house. He eventually trained to work in another more lucrative field and found consistent employment earlier this year.
But it’s an animosity he’s held on to for quite some time, enough that he’ll talk about her behind her back to other family members. My friend is sick of it.
And who could blame her? We all expect support from our kinfolk, not to be talked about and hated on. Sadly, it’s all too common.
One of my good friends from college had a cousin who badmouthed her for years after they moved to New York together to make their dreams come true–but only my friend was able to find work. It was something her cousin took to heart all the way back to their hometown, trashing my friend until they finally reconciled earlier this year to keep the peace between the family.
Like my college BFF’s cousin, my childhood friend’s brother is dealing with issues that he won’t confront that he prefers to take out on others. Specifically, insecurities about his employment ups and downs. He’s especially upset with my friend since she can’t be the walking ATM he hoped that she would be during such times. But that’s something that he has to work through on his own, instead of talking crazy about his blood to whoever will listen.
Thankfully, though, my friend hasn’t cut off her brother in the way that some would. She’s aware that he hasn’t had it easy over the last few years, and so she has decided not to take it too personally. She will continue to support him (not financially though), but has decided to do so from a distance. Because who has time for that kind of negativity?
How would you handle things if a family member you thought you were close to held animosity towards you for what you’ve been able to accomplish and they haven’t? Has this ever happened to you?
I grew up with a sister, who is less than two years younger than me, it could have been very easy to view her as my competition. But my parents went out of their way to let us know that we were to support each other; because, at the end of the day, we were all each other had. With my mother, grandmother, aunts, and playing team sports with other girls, I quickly understood that a similar sistership was meant to be extended to all women.
But not every girl turned woman received this same message.
We all have a friend or two who seems to be in secret (not so secret), unspoken competition with us. They’re the type of girl or woman who tries (and often fails) to hide her disdain any time you tell them something good happened in your life but hangs on every syllable as you’re detailing your misfortune. She’ll go out of her way to tell you how many men find her attractive and always seems to find a way to one-up you.
Unfortunately and unnecessarily, competition among women is bred in us from childhood. We’re taught to be attractive and appealing to get the attention of men. And while that type of messaging is problematic on its own, it becomes particularly troublesome when you realize you’re not the only woman vying for the attention of the few men in your social circle.
I noticed this behavior started early on in my friendships, my sister’s and mother’s friendships etc. Every woman I know has a similar story. In the past few days alone, the theme of competition and jealousy has come up quite a few times. In an attempt to address the problem, I’m going to highlight a few of these instances from the experiences of myself, friends and associates and ask you if you’ve experienced something similar; and which of these real life scenarios would cause you to end the friendship.
Our elementary school was a bit experimental for the time. It was a year-round school that focused on innovative teaching methods and didn’t issue letter grades. Instead, there were categories. The academic skills for that particular grade were listed on the left-hand side and five categories were listed on the right. There was Emergent, Developing, Exceptional, Proficient and Fluent. Now, it should be noted that no one I ever knew received fluent marks. To receive fluent, as the name suggests, means that you have mastered the skill, nearly to the point of complete understanding. Fluent, in every category would have likely meant that you were ready to be promoted to the next grade, that very day. So, in fifth grade, when we got our report cards, I called my best friend Patrice to tell her the news and ask if she’d received hers as well. I told her that I had mostly proficients and a few exceptionals. I will never forget her response.
“Girl, when I saw my report card, I cried.”
Assuming the worst, I asked, “Why was it bad?”
“No girl, it was so good! I got all Fluents.”
I knew immediately that she was lying and after giving her a second or two to tell me that she was joking, I simply said,
Funny thing though, when it was my turn to be celebrated for my academic achievements, she didn’t offer the same support. In seventh grade, we had an academic awards ceremony to recognize the students who had excelled throughout the school year. In front of the entire school, my name was called at least five times with awards for attendance, citizenship, honor roll and high honor roll. Truth be told, I was proud of myself but also a bit embarrassed to be standing up in front of the entire school. Even though it was awkward, I knew that the people who knew me would appreciate and celebrate my accomplishments.
But that wasn’t the case.
At the end of the day, a friend came up to me and told me that every time my name was called, Patrice never clapped for me, not once.
I was disappointed to hear that Patrice wasn’t riding for me like I felt she should have been. Still, we had been friends for so long, I just figured that she was too distracted to clap…all five times.
That was still my girl. We were always seen together. In between classes, we’d walk together, chatting about which teacher had gotten on our nerves. We ate lunch together, catching up on the latest gossip and talking about who liked who. We were inseparable. People often said our names like they were one. “PatriceandVeronica.” And while I thought we both liked it that way, Patrice eventually let me know that she didn’t care for the association. One day, at lunch, she was unusually quiet and aloof.
I asked her what was wrong and she suddenly blurted,
“You know I just don’t understand the reason why when we’re walking down the hallways together, people always speak to you first.”
Honestly, it wasn’t something I’d noticed.
“Well, what does it matter if they both speak to us?”
“I just don’t like feeling like your sidekick.”
I shrugged, not exactly sure how I was supposed to change the behavior of other people.
For reasons I still don’t understand today, she and I didn’t hang out with each other for the rest of the week.
On a scale of one to 10, how would you rate your attitude? Are you someone who’s pleasant, or a person people love to avoid?
Life is way too short to be so rude and so nasty. You never truly get a second chance to redo today. Here are some warning signs your attitude needs improvement.
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.