By Clara Bonfanti
Jealousy. A complex word. Jealousy in a relationship, at work, or in general…
According to the Collins dictionary, « Jealousy is the feeling of anger or bitterness which someone has when they think that another person is trying to take a lover or friend, or a possession, away from them. » or even « a feeling of unhappiness and anger because someone has something or someone that you want » according to the Cambridge dictionary.
Why am I writing this scab about jealousy? Well, simply because I have almost never been jealous in my life and I am trying to understand what drives jealousy and how it is to be jealous.
A little jealousy in a romantic relationship is undoubtedly natural. Everyone has felt jealousy at some point in a relationship. We feel jealous in those moments because of our sense that a connection we have with another person is threatened, and our fear that a loved one may find someone else to replace us. While most people experience jealousy occasionally, there are others that feel it to a pathological degree. And this is the case of most of my friends in a relationship who easily make jealousy crisis and always speak about how jealous they are. I saw a lot of people being jealous of there co-workers as well, jealous of their success. And I don’t understand how is it possible to be that much jealous.
Jealousy isn’t something we have much control over. It’s described as a natural and instinctive emotion that everyone experiences at one point or another. There are just different scales of jealousy.
But what causes such important reactions?
According to the National Institutes of Health (USA), insecurity is the most common source of jealousy. Because of an « inferiority complex », people tend to feel insecure and to underestimate themselves. They don’t think to be good and valuable enough to keep another person interested in them over time or to be as good at work than their co-worker.
Jealousy can also be provoked by a paranoid personality. Many men and women have some paranoid characteristics, but their paranoia isn’t severe enough to meet the diagnosis of a real paranoid disorder. People with mild or moderate paranoia have great difficulty trusting others, which leads to jealousy. They often feel victimized and persecuted, feeling that others are out to get them. They feel that others are trying to sabotage them, their goals, or even their career.
The third cause is the obsessive thinking. It’s described as the tendency to overthink and to be obsessed with everything. For obsessive persons, the hardest thing in the world to manage is uncertainty, the unknown. They always imagine the worst.
It can really be easy to get jealous of successful persons in our industry, as it’s a very competitive field. To my mind, jealousy is not a good thing, people should just let it be and, on the contrary, admire them for what they achieved. They also should work hard to reach their goals. Remember the adage, hard work beats talent.