The Big Green-Eyed Monster

My therapist recently mentioned how it’s a normal human emotion to feel jealousy from time to time.  But I couldn’t recall ever being jealous, so I looked the word up on


1. Feeling resentment against someone because of that person’s rivalry, success, or advantages
2. Feeling resentment because of another’s success, advantage, etc. 
3. Characterized by or proceeding from suspicious fears or envious resentment
4. Inclined to or troubled by suspicions or fears of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims
5. Solicitous or vigilant in maintaining or guarding something

And looking over those five definitions, I can honestly say that I haven’t ever felt the first three.  Not once have I ever resented someone for having something that I don’t.  I might think “Wow, that’s cool.  I’d like to have/do that.” but I don’t have any ill feelings toward the person who has what I’m coveting.  Why would I?  I’m smart enough and capable enough to go out and get whatever they have for myself, if I want it badly enough.  I don’t need to take it from someone else.

That’s something I’ve never been able to understand in others: Why be jealous of what your neighbor has, when you can get it, too?  So many movie and book plots are centered around this emotion, and it always seems feeble to me.  In fact, one of my favorite shows, Once Upon a Time recently had a story arc where the Wicked Witch of the West showed up and was tormenting the town of Storybrook, all because she became jealous when she found out that someone else was given an opportunity instead of her.  According to OUaT, that’s why her skin turned green, the jealousy.

Now, I don’t mind the analogy of her green skin being caused by that emotion–we’ve all heard of jealousy being known as the Green-Eyed Monster before–but I thought it was an extremely weak story line.  Maybe it’s my naivety, but I just can’t fathom someone getting so jealous so quickly that they decide to turn to a life of crime and torment others because of it.  Especially, when everything was hunky-dory until that split second of information (at least in the Wicked Witch’s case), then BAM!  Instant villain!



But back to the definitions . . . I’m also positive I’ve never felt the last one, because I don’t think I’ve ever felt the need to possess my . . . well . . . possessions so doggedly.  If someone wants something of mine so badly that they’re going to steal it, then apparently they “needed” it more than I did.  Besides . . . I can always acquire a new one.

Now, the fourth definition–inclined to or troubled by suspicions or fears of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims–yes, I’ve probably felt in previous relationships of mine.  When I was younger, I know I used to be so insecure about myself and whatever relationship I was in that I’ve had fears or suspicions of unfaithfulness from my partner.  I never did anything crazy, prompting a visit to Judge Judy or whatnot, but I know that fear was there. And in one case I found that those fears were justified, but I guess I’d categorize that definition under fear or insecurity, rather than jealousy.  Because, to me, definition number five more accurately fits the jealous tantrums you hear women and men do over their significant other.

And I realize that the previous paragraph is essentially a way of trying to justify my insecurity, or to somehow prove that I’m above such a human emotion, but I honestly feel that I’ve never truly felt the emotion of jealousy.  I’ll admit to many foibles.  I don’t suffer fools. I’m short on patience, especially when it comes to driving down the road.  I swear. A lot.  And I’ve been known to judge someone based on very superficial things, which is something I don’t like being done to me (and yes, I see the hypocrisy).  But jealousy is one of those negative emotions I refuse to cop to.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Bette Golden Lamb
    Jun 06, 2014 @ 12:51:37

    We’d certainly have a better world if more people saw the futility of being jealous. Yet, I do understand that sense of everything in life passing you by while everyone seems to do little, and have everything. Jealousy is certainly at the core of many stories and it is a complicated human emotion.


    • Alyx Morgan
      Jun 06, 2014 @ 13:34:50

      I guess I’ve never felt like life passed me by like you described. Maybe I’m one of those who has to do “little,” I don’t know. But I agree it’s a complicated human emotion.

      Thanks for stopping by, Bette.


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