Are you the Jealous kind?
Like most of the people I talked to, romantic relationships came to mind first when I asked myself this question. From that standpoint, I’m not usually the jealous type. I can have my moments of insecurity, but it’s rare. As far as jealous control, I’ve never felt the need to know where my partner is at all times. If he’s supposed to be at work, then I assume he’s at work. I don’t need him to prove it. If you’re completely sure of your partner, then what is there to fear? There’s no catalyst for jealousy.
Still, some people don’t seem capable of trusting their partner, even if that partner has never done anything wrong. Is it simply a matter of personality? I know that some develop jealous tendencies because they were cheated on or because they grew up in a home where cheating caused problems. But that too can vary. When my ex-husband cheated on me, I was pissed, not jealous. Of course, by that time I was well past the “madly in love” stage. Actually, I was pretty close to not even liking him anymore. Had it happened when I was deeply in love with him, perhaps that experience would have been much more traumatic, but it’s hard to say.
In any case, I don’t think of myself as the jealous kind. In romantic relationships, anyway. With friendship, praise and approval, though? That’s a whole different ballgame. For example, a couple of blog friends met through my site, and the first time I saw one of them commenting on the other’s blog, I was really excited. I just knew they would like each other! We could all be blog friends together! But wait… What if they like each other more than they like me?
Oh, what have I done?
So, even though I have a fair amount of un-justified and inexplicable confidence in my romantic relationships (perhaps because I haven’t had as much experience with bad romance as with uneven friendships?), I have pretty low self-confidence when it comes to friendships. I’m too often plagued by the idea that everyone else is funnier and smarter and nicer and more interesting and…just better than me. And so that jealousy comes out. I feel possessive, like I need to pull my friend in closer. Heaven forbid they meet all those other people who are so much better than me!
Jealousy is definitely one of the more interesting emotions. It spurs us to do some crazy things. Not that I know that firsthand, mind you. 🙂
Here is what some other people said:
Carine: Yes, I am.
—Michelle: You are? What are you jealous about?
Carine: Relationships – I’m talking about husband/wife relationships. Yes, I am jealous. But as far as being jealous of other people, no. I’m not jealous of what other people have…or who they are.
—Cindy: *cough, cough*
Michelle: We have a dissenting opinion.
Michelle: Are you jealous, Albert?
—Albert: I’m bad.
Jaime: He’s very jealous. I don’t think I’m that way. I mean, sometimes.
—Albert: I don’t consider it as being jealous, though. I consider it being…
—Albert: No, not possessive, just…respectful.
Michelle: That you’re being respectful?
—Albert. Yeah, I mean, I try to treat other people with respect. And, I’m jealous over things, you know. Like, if we’re someplace dancing, I don’t want somebody dancing on my wife. That would definitely cause a problem. And has.
Janet: Never was and never will be.
Donna: I would have to say yes. The jealous that I’m thinking of is if somebody tried to mess with my husband. I’m not jealous of material things or stuff like that. ‘Cause those things don’t matter.
Abena: What kind of jealous are you talking about? In relationships, or what? In terms of relationships, I think that I used to be, but now I’m not so jealous. There are some lines you do not cross. If you’re flirting, that’s not allowed. But I think I’m mature in my relationship and now I’m not (jealous). How about you, Kyle? Are you jealous?
—Kyle: Nope. I just don’t get jealous.
Abena: You never did?
—Kyle: Once I did, but there were extenuating circumstances.
Abena & Michelle (in unison): What?
—Kyle: *pause* I don’t want to discuss it.
Amanda: I guess it would almost be like Abena’s answer. Just because he’s talking to a female doesn’t mean he’s hitting on her. But I mean, I don’t know…body language says a lot about people. I mean gestures.
—Michelle: Are you jealous, Sharon?
Sharon: Yeah, a little bit. Well, if he’s talking about a girl, I’m like…
—Bridget: Who is she?!
Sharon: I didn’t used to be like that until I was cheated on. And now I’m over-paranoid.
—Bridget: Um-hmm. Yeah. I can control it to a certain extent. But my guy works in a bar right now, so he has to talk to girls.
Sharon: Yeah, I don’t get crazy if he mentions a girl…but I want to pull her hair out.
Nadia: Not when it comes to things. I guess when it comes to people, in a way. Not crazy jealous, like crazy boyfriend jealous. But sometimes, if a friend is ditching me all the time for their boyfriend, I kind of get upset, but…not like over things.
Will: Oh… No, actually, I’m not, not at all. I just… I guess I’m… Until you give me a reason, I’m not the jealous kind. I think that’s fair. Cause I don’t want someone up in my business, being jealous of me.
Lenny: I guess I could be, if I thought about it.
Beverly: At one time I was.
—Michelle: You’re not jealous anymore?
Beverly: Because there ain’t nothin’ to be jealous about!
Krystal: I used to be. I think in my old age I’ve learned to trust a bit more. You’d think I’d be more jaded, but in regards to relationships with men I think that I finally realized that jealousy won’t keep someone from cheating. Don’t get me wrong, if someone puts the moves on my husband I’ll probably kill them and if my husband were the flirtatious type I wouldn’t be with him to begin with. We have a deal…there’s no tolerance for messing around. If it happens, we’re done. I feel like after we’ve agreed to that, the only consequence has been laid out in front of us so it’s less complicated. As far as being jealous of friends or coworkers, I’m not. I love my girlfriends so much that I’m sincerely happy for them when they get nice stuff, a great man, a new job, etc. I do have to admit I get jealous when they lose weight. That’s because I’m too uninspired to do that and I don’t see it happening anytime soon.
Marsha: Not really, why?
—Michelle: It’s just one of my questions.
Marsha: Oh. Yeah, I’d have to say I’m not jealous. Unless you give me reason not to trust you… I think I probably trust people too much. I think trust and jealousy – if you don’t trust someone, you’re going to be jealous.
Toni: I used to be jealous, but I feel there’s nothing to be jealous about.
—Jeff: Thanks, honey.
Toni: No…I mean that’s how much I trust you. And that’s the first time in my life I can say that.
—Jeff: I’ve had jealousy, but you know…it’s not worth it.
Toni: I’m occasionally envious of something.
—Jeff: Oh, yeah…shoot, yeah.
Toni: Like when he was laid off. You know, when we couldn’t go out to eat or can’t go to the movies or, “watch how much you spend this week”. That sucks.
—Michelle: Is there a difference between envy and jealousy?
Jeff: Yeah. I think envy deals with material things, jealousy deals with issues of the heart.
—Toni: Well said, Confucius.
Chris: Yes. I will answer that.
—Michelle: In what way; what are you jealous of?
Chris: I’m not really envious of people. I think I’m more of a relationship type jealous person.
Chris: I don’t know. I’m so gorgeous, I don’t know why I should be so jealous…
—Cindy: Cause you’s a dirty dog!
Chris: Mom! Do not put that on the recording.
—Michelle: I only type up the good stuff. 😉
I think certain people and relationships bring out jealous tendencies, and it’s almost always a result of insecurity. I had an extremely jealous boyfriend long ago, and it became an issue when he kept accusing me of “looking” at other men when we went out. At first I was flattered, but then I realized it was a sign of his extreme insecurity. I’ve felt jealous about ex-girlfriends, but again, it was a sign of my own insecurity.
That’s an interesting point you made, that you may be jealous with one person, but not jealous with another. I would think there were different reasons for that, too. My jealous tendencies are all about my insecurities, too, and I’m guess I’ve had enough friends who weren’t great friends to make me more sensitive in that area.
I can’t imagine dealing with a jealous boyfriend – and that’s exactly what you’d have to do, deal with him. My ex-husband had a lot of things like that, not jealousy, but extreme unreasonableness. There were some things that he could only see one way, and everything boiled down to the world being against him. Was the extreme jealousy anything like that? Like he thought he was the reasonable and sane one, when in fact he was acting unrational?
Yes, it was very much like that. He became completely unreasonable about imagining that I was “looking at” other men when we were in public. I knew there was no way I could ever defend myself against his ridiculous accusations. I think extreme jealousy is also a control issue, and can turn to emotional abuse if allowed to continue. It took a long time for me to realize his jealousy wasn’t flattering in any way (as in, he must love me so much if he’s so jealous), but eventually it got to the point where I realized he had the problem, not me, and it was time to walk away.
I’m glad you did! Some people get sucked into those relationships so slowly and methodically that they don’t realize what’s happening to them until it’s too late.
In all honesty, it took years to get over that relationship. Years would pass and we would reconnect, and he did become less jealous, but there was always a lot of drama. We’re occasionally in touch, but I know all his games now and don’t even want to foster a friendship. I could never trust him.
Drama, drama, drama…what an emotional drain is drama. Interesting that we can be so drawn to people, even when we don’t, logically at least, want to be.
When I was younger I thought all the drama was “passion” and that it signaled we were “meant to be.” Now I think all that is BS. Being drawn to someone so strongly doesn’t always make a good relationship. Sometimes we have to learn things the hard way, and it can take years to sort it all out.