The Green-Eyed Monster

Jealousy, they say, is the green-eyed monster. Being jealous of other people, especially in your twenties with constant awareness of other people’s success – thank you social media – in their careers, awesome life experiences, and romantic relationships, is almost inevitable.

No one likes to admit to jealousy. But at some point or another, we probably have been, and you know what? It’s not the end of the world. Just remember that for every one wonderful life experience you think your peers are having, there are many problems that they are not informing you about. Because let’s face it – just as so few of us are honest enough to admit our jealousy of others, even fewer admit to life being rough when we fall into rough times. We have all been jealous and at some point, we have probably been the reason for someone’s jealousy too, whether we’ve realized it or not.

But there is jealousy, the “why-are-good-things-never-happening-to-me-so-I-can-inform-Facebook” jealousy, and then there is the jealousy of the green-eyed monster which can cause real pain and insecurity to it’s victims.

Have you ever had the green-eyed monster attack you? Have you ever been the green-eyed monster?

Many times, the green-eyed monster can be someone in our circle of friends; we lovingly refer to them as “frenemies.” Or it can be someone you know from college or that you’ve met in grad school. But such interactions in social circles or educational experiences are often reasonably easy to avoid or navigate just by their very nature. Sure, someone said something to negate your recent success or gave you a backhanded compliment in your social circle. Most of the time, you’ll get over it by choosing to spend less time with them or by changing your circle of friends or if you’re in school, and it’s really bad, there is always graduation to look forward to. Then there’s the workplace. A place where you may meet awesome, helpful and friendly people as well as small-minded, nasty, green-eyed monsters.

The green-eyed monster, depending on their position in your workplace can make being at work a very uncomfortable and tricky situation. It can be someone who is your superior, subordinate or you may both share the same type of positional power in your organizational structure. They may make your life difficult through various forms, included but not limited to treating you disrespectfully in front of others, making you look bad, spreading gossip or lies about you, etc. The situation can get out of control if you just received a promotion or bonus or if a situation arises in which a promotion or the like is up for contention between you and your workplace frenemy.

I write so specifically because recently a friend asked me what to do in such a situation and I must admit, while I have been the target of some petty jealousy, it was nothing like how she described. But having pondered the situation, my advice is simple and straightforward:

Take the high road.

When I say take the high road – let me be clear that this is the road where you stay polite and decent and friendly towards the green-eyed monster. The thing about the green-eyed monster is that stooping to his or her level is exactly what he or she wants. And when you do, you are the ultimate loser. In fact, I would go as far as saying be extra nice to the monster, and showcase his or her good qualities and even go out of your way to help and acknowledge him or her. It’s not going to be easy but it’s going to be worth it because if this person is not the devil’s spawn, metaphorically speaking of course, he or she will probably get a clue and feel terrible, at least enough to just leave you be. If nothing else, well, as my mama would say, “love your enemies because it will drive them crazy.”

So, ladies (and gentlemen) –  do you have any green-eyed monster stories to share? What would you do if you suddenly found yourself the target of a green-eyed monster in a workplace situation or otherwise? 

Kovie Biakolo

Kovie Biakolo is a Drake University Marketing Graduate. Originally thinking she was headed to law school in Chicago or a year in Spain, Kovie found herself in the Windy City in digital writing and marketing for over a year. Currently, Kovie is in graduate school for Multicultural and Organizational Communication and started a blog, Life At Twenty Something to write about the good, the bad and the ugly of the twenty something life.

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