“Haters’ gonna hate, hate, hate” song lyrics pop into my mind when I think about jealousy. This song takes on jealousy and haters in a light hearted way; to simply shake it off. However, it’s not that easy to shake off haters and jealousy. We all have a tendency to take negative comments to heart, even when we don’t know the person well. Everyone deals with haters and jealous people. Even Mother Theresa had criticism and hatred directed at her. It doesn’t matter who you are or what positive influence you are trying to make it the world; haters will always exist. Nobody is exempt from jealousy and hatred from others, we are all subject to its cruelty during life.
It can hurt even more to have a friend who is jealous, because the actions and emotional expressions of a jealous person are not kind or loving. When it comes from a friend or loved one, we take it more personally. However, you need to understand that their jealousy is caused by their own underlying issues and it is not your fault.
Most jealousy is rooted in feelings of inadequacy.
The person sees something in you or another person that makes them feel that they aren’t as good. It could be real or imagined, but the feelings of inadequacy are projected through negative thoughts or actions. Jealousy emerges as a reaction or solution to those feelings of inadequacy. For example, a woman may be jealous of her friend who makes more money, has a nice car, and designer clothing. Rather than being happy for her friend’s success this woman feels that her income, car, and clothing are inadequate by comparison. She may feel like a failure in life because her success is not even on the same scale as her friend and they graduated at the same time with the same degree.
Instead of dealing with these underlying feelings of inadequacy, the jealousy turns into little digs and insults when they are together. The jealous friend makes comments such as “it must be nice to get a new car every two years” and “wow, that purse must have cost enough to feed a small village for a month”. Those comments that are coming out of jealousy may make the jealous friend feel better momentarily, but they don’t address the underlying feelings of inadequacy and thus the jealousy will continue until the problem is addressed.
Even if the jealous friend begins making more money, or gets a better car and clothing, she will find a new friend to be jealous toward or something else with the existing friend to be jealous about, because the inadequacy is the driving force. Jealousy is a powerful force.
However, there are ways for a person to handle a jealous person that can help disarm a jealous person or prevent oneself from being exposed to jealous comments and actions. There is not a one size fits all solution to dealing with jealousy and hatred. Each situation is unique and needs to be handled accordingly. Below are some tips on how to deal with jealous and hateful people.
Delete, delete, delete
The era of social media has made it increasingly easy for people to hide behind their computer screen to hurl insults and jabs at people they know or even do not know. Much of these insults are coming from the person’s jealousy which is based on their own feelings of inadequacy or dissatisfaction with their own lives. They take to social media and they have a protected platform by which they can insult others.
There is power in the delete button. If someone is saying something negative about you on your personal page or forum then delete their comments. If their behavior persists, then unfriend or block the person. If you don’t have the ability to delete their comments, then block the person, so you don’t have to subject yourself to their comments. They will no longer be able to see you in the online forum, so they will have to turn their jealous comments and hatred toward someone else.
You don’t have to tolerate online bullies. Delete them, to prevent yourself to being further subject to someone else’s jealousy that is based on their own insecurities. This is especially helpful if the person is not related to you or is simply an acquaintance. If it is a person in your life that you feel you cannot block on social media then you need to talk to the person about the issue head on.
Take the Issue head on
There are times when you cannot delete or avoid the comments of a jealous individual. No matter how you try to disarm the person by changing the subject, it doesn’t stop them. In those situations, the best option is to talk with them about what is happening.
Do not approach them at a time when you are angry, such as when an altercation or bout of jealousy has just occurred. Talk to them when you can be completely calm, rational, and you know what you want to say. Have your comments ready before you approach the person, so you know your talking points and have thought about their possible reactions. Talk to them in a way that you would want to be talked to, using kindness and empathy.
For example, if your co-worker is always calling out your mistakes in front of your boss, then approaching your colleague by saying “why the heck are you throwing me under the bus in front of the boss all the time?” may not cause a nice reaction. Approaching the person in such an abrupt and rude way is likely to cause a defensive reaction that will be equally if not more unkind. Instead, chose a kinder approach and you are more likely to get a response that seeks to understand where you are coming from and they are also more likely to recognize how you are feeling. Such a statement you could use in this example would be “I feel bad when you tell the boss things that I do wrong and it is affecting our working relationship, which I want to be a positive relationship”.
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