It has happened to the best of us. You think you’ve finally found a good friend, and then that friend goes off and does fun stuff with someone that isn’t you. Who do they think they are? Everyone feels jealous every now and again, but it’s important to realise that whoever you’re jealous off is not at fault. I believe it is no coincidence that jealousy is associated with the colour green, which on its own is associated with feeling sick. By association, jealousy is similar to being sick.*
First of all, jealousy is not just one set emotion: it generally makes you feel like a complete and utter emotional mess, and that is quite like being ill. It is a very negative emotion, which often brings a strong dislike of some people, a feeling of loneliness or isolation and quite some self-pity along with it. Besides that, when someone feels jealous, it is not unlikely that they will feel constantly sad or angry, because you feel like the person you are jealous of wronged you. Not really a mix of emotions that makes you feel very cheerful, now, is it?**
Secondly, like feeling sick, jealousy consists of lighter and more serious stages. It usually starts off with nothing more than some suspicions. Eventually, you will end up focusing on those suspicions so much, that it will be all you can think about. But jealousy is something inside your head: it is not because you think your friend likes someone else better than you, that means it is necessarily true. The more you focus on the suspicions you have, the more you will end up seeing them as a general truth, the more jealous you will get.***
Last but not least, like an illness often leaves you bed-bound, jealousy limits your freedom. When there is no one to help you get your thoughts back in order, suspicion-based jealousy can turn into a delusional form of jealousy. You become so obsessed with your preliminary suspicions that it ends up being all you think and talk about, without paying any attention to any other aspect of your life. You will eventually turn into a mean and bitter old person who bullies kids, complains about everything and never smiles again.****
Maybe jealousy is not entirely like having a cold or stomach ache, but the similarities to an illness are definitely there. And like every illness, it needs to be treated, or it could have some major consequences on your life. When you feel jealous, try to stay rational and do your best to talk to someone about it. You don’t want to feel sick forever.
This post is very well researched. You can find the very reputable sources here:
** Look at all these jealous people. Do they look cheerful to you?
*** There are several stages of jealousy:
In Shakespeare’s Othello, Othello gets jealous at the mere thought of his wife wanting to kiss someone else, and clearly feels pretty bummed out:
“Damn her, lewd minx! O, damn her!
Come, go with me apart; I will withdraw,
To furnish me with some swift means of death
For the fair devil.”
In Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, Humbert gets jealous after Dr. Quinty took Lolita away from him, and wrote him this lovely poem, which he makes Quinty read aloud:
“because you stole her
from her wax-browed and dignified protector
spitting into his heavy-lidded eye
ripping his flavid toga and at dawn
leaving the hog to roll upon his new discomfort
the awfulness of love and violets
remorse despair while you
took a dull doll to pieces
and threw its head away
because of all you did
because of all I did not
you have to die”
I won’t give any further details because of spoilers, but let’s just say both Othello and Humbert Humbert suffer from a relatively severe case of jealousy. Positively sure you won’t go as far as them when your friends goes out with someone that isn’t you.
- L. Parole