Associating with jealous people can be detrimental to your social and emotional health. When your circle is full of people who subtly and constantly tear you down, it can leave you feeling inadequate. However, before you go diagnosing yourself with low self-esteem, make sure that you are not surrounded by females who are secretly out to make you feel less than.
I have to admit, there was a time when I sincerely thought that I had some of the best friends a girl could ask for. In actuality, my thoughts were a little distorted.
And no, I’m not the one who felt like all the young women in my life were out to destroy me but the truth of the matter is, I knew I was going to experience some jealousy at some point in my life.
Because I was aware of this, I knew how to handle the loud mouth and obnoxious jealous girls, BUT I lacked knowledge on how to handle the subtle jealousy that came from people I trusted.
Thank goodness I started to come into my own where I was able to see non-supportive behavior and began taking the necessary action to remove toxic people out of my life. Through my personal experiences I learned several things.
What Jealousy Actually is
Jealousy is presented in a way that shows an envious resentment toward one’s achievements, possessions or perceived advantages. If you’ve ever wondered if your friends are jealous consider this:
- Do your friends throw subtle “shade” about your victories or do they challenge you to go further?
- Do you dread or fear sharing certain things to protect yourself from the constant criticism or negative comments?
- After sharing your accomplishments, goals and dreams with your friends do you have to evaluate how you feel as a result of their remarks?
When people are jealous they often times leave you feeling as if you are a problem. They’ll sometimes insinuate that you boast too much or make you feel like what you are doing is not good enough.
Jealousy in your own back yard
Looking back over my personal encounters with jealousy I have learned that it comes in all different disguises. Often times we expect jealousy to come from outside people and it can, but the most constant and damaging jealous behavior may come from the ladies you break-bread with; childhood best friends, coworkers, sorority sisters, cousins and the list goes on. Sometimes it is hard for us to accept that someone we value, love and respect is jealous of us. Truth is, it happens.
I learned, there is nothing wrong with confronting someone if you feel that they are displaying jealous behavior towards you. It is also okay to ignore the behavior as well. It’s totally a personal choice and I sincerely believe it all depends upon how invested you are in the relationship.
However, if you desire to salvage a relationship, having the uncomfortable “jealousy” conversation could actually strengthen your bond. This is especially true, if the other party is willing to have an open conversation about your concerns. There is also a chance that the conversation will not be well received which may cause the relationship to end. It’s best to go into the conversation being open to however it may turn out. And, in my personal experience it’s always best to express your concerns – you will certainly thank yourself for it.
Expand your relationships
If all your friends are the same age, chances are you are all experiencing the same concerns and struggles. As a result, it’s easy for jealousy to creep into your relationships. I personally found that exposure to different women was a benefit to my self-esteem and experiences. I received a great deal of encouragement from my elders (“Seasoned Women” as I like to call them). A great number of them had already “been there and done that” and they were generally elated to encourage younger women. Also, going away to college, joining a running group, and becoming involved in community events allowed me to experience different people. I realized that I simply had to expand my circle to discover that not all women were desperate to compete with me.
Set yourself free
I have to admit I was in denial about certain relationships. It took me a few bumps and bruise before I gave myself permission to disconnect from toxic people. I had to learn to trust myself. I had to trust that if I was feeling like one was displaying jealously toward me, chances are I was right. What I learned is that you must give yourself permission to remove yourself from anything that brings you harm.
I now know exactly what it is like to go to the movies, shopping dinner and even dancing by myself. By getting out to enjoy life by myself, I was able to meet some amazing women.
I had to acknowledge that it was time to live the nest of comfortability and trust that there would be some amazing women who would embrace me. These women that are now in my life have remained consistent and I’m happy I made the decision to set myself free.
Photo credit: Pexels
Landra is a mother of 1, author and winner of the National Head Start Parent of the Year. You can find more of Landra’s writing on her blog here. Connect with Landra on Instagram here or Twitter here.