Green eyed monsters – why do grown women get jealous?

Aug 8 • Featured, Uncategorized • 710 Views • 13 Comments on Green eyed monsters – why do grown women get jealous?

One of my friends has always been quite jealous of other women, and I’m really not sure why. Boyfriends, clothes, jobs, holidays – anything anyone else had, she wanted or was annoyed she didn’t have. It started when we were teenagers, but even when we were 21 I can remember her sulking because another friend had given me a top she wanted or because a few of us had boyfriends and she didn’t.

I thought it was the kind of thing you grew out of as you grew up, but no, even though she’s a married woman now with a beautiful family she’s still the same way. (I’ve learned to ignore it, she’s a good friend, I love her to bits and it’s just one of those things). Recently though I’ve noticed some other women – grown up women, mums – expressing their jealousy.

Well of course it's good to be in touch with your emotions, but jealousy is not something I do at all, so I just find it a very difficult emotion to understand.

Maybe it’s because I grew up in a house where I was always assured of love and never wanted for anything – food or toys. Even when my parents didn’t have any money (my dad worked two jobs for a few years to support his first wife and children), we never went without. I never felt envious of anyone else. Yes of course I could be richer, thinner, a best-selling novelist (that’s my own fault, I know what books I want to write, I just haven’t written them yet).

But I can honestly say I’ve never looked at any of my friends, or colleagues, or fellow bloggers, and thought ‘I want what they have.’ I feel incredibly thankful, lucky, blessed, whatever you want to call it.

You have to enjoy your own life and appreciate what you have rather than looking at what you don’t, surely? What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

written by Liz Jarvis

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13 Responses to Green eyed monsters – why do grown women get jealous?

  1. Linda says:

    No surprises from me but I’m with you Liz. I try and concentrate on what I *do* have and as that includes a partner who survived cancer, nothing else comes close. Material things are just that — things. I’ve seen people tell me they are "jealous" about certain things, I always think they are joking. Nobody’s perfect, live your life and leave others to theirs, that’s what I say! So long as we are healthy and our children loved and healthy then I can’t imagine what anyone would have to get jealous about.

  2. English Mum says:

    Interesting. I’ve also had friends in the past that have expressed jealousy. I just don’t suffer from it at all. I mean, I’ll admire a lovely home or be delighted for someone if they’re going on a fabulous trip and maybe wish I was going, but jealous? Hmm, it only has negative connotations as far as I’m concerned. You’re right, though, maybe it’s an upbringing thing. I’m pretty happy with my lot (or working towards making things right!) xx

  3. moon says:

    hmm, I don’t have an issue with Jealously, in fact, I think it is healthy to a degree. I am talking that pang of jealousy when your wife / husband is chatting to the good looking fella…. all innocent, and always in full trust… just a little jealousy shows you care, shows you still want, desire love that person so much. Now, Jealous in the wrong form can be awful.. destructive and a terrible trait… however, a bit of controlled jealousy makes you feel very wanted. My wife often says she is a little jealous…makes me feel good that she notices me…. but I re-iterate … controlled jealousy is the key… otherwise it will destroy you and any relationship

  4. Rachael (Tales from the Village) says:

    Like Linda, I’m married to someone who survived cancer, so life is pretty blooming great just because of that. And you know what? I like my life – I never feel dissatisfied with my lot. In fact I find it really rather unfair that someone who has such an optimistic and positive outlook on life should be saddled with depression, but never mind. When other people get lovely things, I feel happy for them. If that’s Pollyanna-ish, well, that’s a label I’m happy to have.

  5. surburbanmummyuk says:

    I use to be jealous of people in my teens. I’m not now. I am at a point in life where I know everything I have is a blessing. I’m happy if you have more than me, it’s all irrelevant. I wish more people could see what’s in their lives than seeing what isn’t.

  6. Erica says:

    I’m definitely happy with my lot. Sometimes I’ll say ‘so jealous’ on twitter or on a blog post but I don’t actually mean that I’m jealous it’s more of a ‘good for you’ or ‘that’s a great trip you’re going’. I never want it for myself. I admire certain people and their lives, I’ll pick bits out and work towards those for myself – they are rarely materialistic things though. Jealousy is a waste of energy, if you want it then set about getting it!

  7. Deb says:

    I don’t get jealous but I do have pangs of envy from time to time (always think of jealousy as being the nasty version!). I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. Of course I’m happy with my life and out of most people I know I’m great at counting my blessings. So when I do get hit by envy, I know that emotion is pointing to something that I would like to have in my life (whether that’s a Kitchen Aid mixer or a reason to go to London for the day) I find envy is quite a useful emotion. The Mother magazine blog has a great aricle on jealousy. Really thought provoking. (Sorry if this is a bit messed up, when I get to the end of my comments I can’t see what I’m tyoing! Don’t know how to make your comment box scroll up!).

  8. zooarchaeologist says:

    I think jealousy can actually be a positive thing, it can drive you forward and help you to achieve things. Its when it gets spiteful and nasty towards others that it goes wrong. I often feel jealous of others and will tell people, although I don’t mean it in a vindicative way, I am pleased for those people. I also appreciate it if someone tells me (and then I can try to help). Maybe this is down to me being one of those ultra competitive high achieving personality types – I am a real child of the Thatcher years. I cant help it! Its an interesting emotion, and like all emotions I think it is better expressed than supressed. Often expressing it gets it out of the system anyhow 🙂

  9. Paula says:

    Like Deb I think there’s a huge distinction to be made between envy and jealousy – I think of envy as quite a positive emotion, it’s flattering to be envied and to envy someone is to congratulate them on their achievements IYSWIM. Jealousy is different – it’s a parasitic emotion that takes hold and doesn’t let go, taking everything good down with it. Jealousy feeds off insecurity and I think it’s something that most of us grow out of as we mature and realise that life really is too short…

  10. jayne howarth says:

    It depends on what you mean about jealousy – I often have pangs of envy and "wish" I had something someone else had, but it doesn’t go any further than that (and I don’t mean the posh car; the expensive holidays; the amazing career; the lovely house – actually, yes, I do mean the lovely house). I look at some people’s lifestyles and envy them, but that doesn’t mean to say I’d trade with the Devil for their way of life. Perhaps I’m lucky enough to be able to express envy in a wistful way ("Wow – lucky you, that’s brilliant!") and mean it. Just because I might want to add "Wish that was me, too" doesn’t make me some kind of unreasonable lunatic. As far as I am aware, I’ve never had the green-eyed monster consume me. That would be daft – and too destructive, not to mention exhausting.

  11. Naomi Richards says:

    Jealousy is one of those things that I think should only happen when you are young. I think it can be quite ugly to be jealous when you are older. My reasoning is this – we all have a different path carved out for us and we should accept what we have been given. Yes we can all strive for what others have and we should be happy for them if it is also something we want. But we also have different values. I am jealous of thin women who can eat whatever they want and not put on weight but I see that as harmless jealousy. I count myself lucky that although I don’t have the ‘big’ things in life I do have a husband who is capable of running a house and amazing with the kids and I know some of my friends would kill for that attribute in theirs!

  12. Emily O says:

    I’d find it hard to be jealous of everyone because for every seemingly enviable thing they have in their life there’s probably a difficulty they have to overcome too. When I was 13 I was probably a bit jealous of other girls when I had spots and a mullet haircut and was desperately uncool. But as many people have commented here, it’s something you grow out of. I must admit that when I struggled for 3 years to get pregnant with my first child I was jealous of pregnant women and mums. Then when I managed to become a parent I realised I’d had a warped view of what it would be like! Which goes back to my original point really.

  13. Emily O says:

    I meant to say ‘anyone’ not ‘everyone’ in that first sentence!

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