Petty Jealousy

Acts of jealousy are unwittingly designed to undermine another person. I say unwittingly, because in most people it rises quickly, is undefined, and is executed without much forethought. A person who functions, with regularity, from this base level knows full well he wants to do harm to his mark. Whether occasionally jealous or the chronic sufferer, most carriers are content with causing discontent, painful feelings, and arguments.

What is the attacker’s reward? “I gotcha!” He derives a feeling of righteousness when he has “exposed” what he believes is that person’s sin. What makes him believe he has any right to interfere in the life of another? Who put him in charge of judging anyone? These are fair questions he never asks himself.

Human nature, being what it is, you have no doubt put someone in your sights and have also been the hunted. The furtive glance, the smirk, the rolled-eyes-to-heaven, the heavy sigh – all mean to convey disapproval of you or what you are doing. These signs are bait, designed to rouse negative emotions in the target and make him feel ill at ease. These are the glove-slaps to the cheek. The loaded weapons are back-biting, spreading unfounded rumors, criticizing. There may be an open challenge complete with the imagined and concocted charges.

Reactions of the target, to the minor and then escalating assaults, vary from surprise, denial, a simple “what’s wrong with him?”, feeling hurt, being confused and asking oneself “Am I reading this correctly?”, to verbally defending oneself to the person – usually with negative results. The instigator can cowardly deny or, unable to any longer conduct his campaign on the sly, openly respond. An argument ensues, and who is the better?

The antagonist is the better. The hunter has roused the victim’s ire. The hunter has been “noticed” and has become the center of attention. That, in itself, is victory to him. He is now the injured one and has “proof” – “See how I was attacked by him? I was just sitting here, minding my own business.”

This counter-challenge of self-defense can result in a devastating “falling out” – with friends, family members, co-workers.

Or, the Jealous One may try a subtle attack by informing you of what great fun they had at a party to which you were not invited. This “slip of the tongue” was intentional, intending to cause pain in the one left out. A jealous person finds affronts on every front. He would be devastated at not being invited and so feels he will surely hurt you by relating this story. If he is not sought after and “popular”, anger and resentment grows inside of him. He will carry it around for a lifetime if there is no intervention to make him a better person – either by his own choice or by wiser people in his life who may lead him to the trough of healing.

What is the answer? How should one react to these displays of petty jealousy? You may think you need to evaluate yourself, justify your actions that brought on the attack, go to others to discuss it, ask questions of bystanders, defend yourself. Or worse, descend to his level and engage in the same tactics against him.

I say do none of the above. Petty and jealous people fall under the weight of their own corruption. They are miserable people and you are not the one to cure them. Don’t make that your job by any approach to them. Do not allow your emotions to interfere with the better response. Go on with your decisions, your life, your path. The jealous are but a ripple in a universe of oceans.

I say have pity on them.

Yes, pity. Evaluate what is underlying their disapproval of you. Why is the person feeling the way they are feeling? It boils down to insecurity. And when a person is insecure they are full of fears. They don’t even realize why they react to a person the way they do. They just say, “I don’t like that guy.” If you ask them the reasons for the dislike, listen closely, the answer is usually an emotional one, with no facts to back it up or fabricated statements that prove later to be untrue. They may lie well and get others to believe them.

This is how “sides” are taken in a dispute. The situation degenerates to arguments and chaos. In a family situation, one person can cause enough disruption to divide blood relatives. You would think the attacker would then be pleased. After all, he was able to raise this ruckus, he was the center of attention – and that is what his insecurity requires. He needs validation that he believes is not being justifiably given to him. So, after the upset, does he feels validated? No, he is still dissatisfied. And why? He will continue his pattern of destruction, to himself and to others because the insecurity is still there.

And face it. Some people won’t be helped. They are obstinate, unmoving, set-in-their-ways, or just plain afraid to change.

The common denominator is we are all human beings. All of us are in pain, in one form or another, every day of our lives. Some of us want to spread relief and joy and encouragement. Others are angry and want to destroy.

YOU must be the one who takes power and control over your own life. Sincerely pity the person who feels he must strike out. Choose happiness for yourself. Move forward, leave them where they wallow, and go about your business with your head held high.

Where you have pity in your heart, you cannot carry anger – or jealousy.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. June Freaking Cleaver
    Aug 10, 2011 @ 14:57:01

    I don’t “do” jealousy, so this entire subject is foreign to me. I’ll have to think about it more.

    I do feel sorry for people who choose to act this way, but I had no inkling of why they do so. Thanks for the info.


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