I don’t use quotes too often, but I have a tendency to repeat myself in the presence of certain people. “Respect is earned, not gifted. You get what you pay for. God knows the truth. Lying through omission is still a lie.” I repeat these words and others, because when people aren’t listening, getting to the point swiftly is important. After thirty some years of being a parent, I discover that I need not speak the entire response anymore. This is truth in using my favorite quote:
“Jealousy is a dangerous Pattern. It is unpredictable and uncontrollable, and it is impossible to appease.”
All I need say these days is the first line: Jealousy is a dangerous Pattern. (Pattern refers to emotional response.)
Why does this quote matter? Because it is truth to me. Jealousy IS dangerous: people are hurt or die, personal property is destroyed, feelings get hurt, and some people shut down and allow their lives to slip away. Feeling jealous is an emotional response that is fueled by other emotions. If we attempt to pacify jealousy it will fail as we are only treating the symptoms not the ailment. Jealousy is largely fueled by insecurity, but can also be a result of feeling abandoned or inadequacy. To unravel the pattern of jealousy, we need to discover the source an address that emotion.
What makes it dangerous is that it is unpredictable and uncontrollable at once. Jealousy doesn’t happen slowly, it’s a reaction to something that is, at the time, uncontrolled. We rarely say, I’m jealous, because we view the reaction as a weakness. To act is strong; to react is weak. Jealousy is a bridge to hate and therefore must be acknowledge and dealt with at the starting point. If your Significant Other (SO) is giving another too much attention, left unattended, that jealously might result in you punching the other and possibly doing jail time for assault. Better to acknowledge the reaction and say the words: “I’m jealous; I want attention too.” This could result in the SO hugging you and saying that they love you more than life or it could result in their saying if you want more attention stop being so hateful toward them. Either way, it’s a start. If your neighbor brings home a new car and you are still driving rust on wheels, you may feel a sudden dislike for said neighbor. Unless you acknowledge that you are jealous of his owning what you want, this reaction will go badly for you and possibly for the neighbor. You might start speaking poorly of your otherwise good neighbor or you might aggressive make his new car less attractive. (The law will call it destruction of private property or vandalism.) If you acknowledge the feelings of jealousy, even to yourself, by saying the words, “I’m jealous; I want a new car,” you are already on the road to owning one. You change the reaction to action.
Go ahead, say the words.