Sunday, 15 December 2013
The snare of jealousy
To my mind, jealousy always means begrudging what the other person has and wishing you had it yourself. It means wanting to stop them from having it, by violent means if necessary. It means hating them and hoping they come to a sticky end. It means thinking they don't deserve what they have, that they've somehow got it unfairly. How can all that be healthy?
I'm glad I'm not prone to jealousy. I'm glad I'm able to appreciate other people's talents or possessions or friends or good looks without wanting to destroy them or wish some misfortune on them. On the contrary, I'm pleased for them. I'm pleased that in a brutal and unpredictable world they're lucky enough to have something of value, something positive, something that's a source of joy and well-being.
I remember a workmate of mine many years ago who was always eaten up with jealousy over what she saw as the privileged lifestyle of her bosses. Every day she was seething with resentment and rage, and the other employees would steer clear of her dispiriting rants.
Celebrities seem especially susceptible to jealousy, to people so pissed-off at their success and popularity that they flood the internet with abusive bile aimed at bringing them down from their lofty pedestals. Straying sexual partners can attract similar venom from the person spurned, finding their clothes trashed, their cars vandalised, their laptops sabotaged.
Jealousy is an ugly and corrosive emotion. I can see nothing healthy about it. It sinks a corkscrew into your soul.
* Caprice Bourret - British model and businesswoman.