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Control that green-eyed monster called jealousy

Jealousy should be acknowledged, not suppressed

Friends must acknowledge and not suppress jealousy lest it ruins their relationship.
Friends must acknowledge and not suppress jealousy lest it ruins their relationship.
Image: Konstantin Postumitenko

Friendships are special connections. When life gets hard, a friend’s love and support make things bearable.

Through the good times, friends are also there to share in the joy, laughter and celebration.

However, as warm and sweet as friendships can be, feelings of jealousy can very quickly turn things cold and sour if not navigated properly.

According to relationship coach Tshego Moholo, jealousy and feelings of envy can destroy even the most blissful of connections if not dealt with in an honest and progressive manner.

“Jealousy, especially if both parties are not mature enough, can really harm a friendship. It also takes away from the joy, happiness and trust in a friendship.”

Tshego Moholo.
Tshego Moholo.
Image: Supplied

Moholo said that while it may not be the kind of feeling many would be proud to admit to, jealousy is a natural feeling that should be acknowledged rather than suppressed.

“Everyone has that natural feeling of envy or jealousy within them. It’s a natural feeling and does not necessarily make you a bad friend. When you find yourself feeling jealous, it’s best to acknowledge it and not be in denial,” she said.

These are sentiments that life coach Fezy Thwala shares.

According to her, jealousy is common in the connections we have throughout our lives and friendships are no exception.

As such, the acknowledgment of jealousy and other negative feelings is best as this allows for the chance to introspect and be honest with yourself.

“Jealousy is primarily caused by insecurities, feelings of not being good enough, unrealistic expectations and even the perception of what happiness should look like for us. Acknowledging our emotions gives us a wake-up call to see our insecurities for what they are in order to do the necessary inner work,” said Thwala.

Furthermore, acknowledging feelings of jealousy enables us to reduce the chance of these feelings spiralling out of control. 

“Jealousy is often followed by feelings of guilt. We find ourselves feeling guilty for feeling jealous. And when we don’t acknowledge that feeling of guilt, we may also pile up other negative emotions too. This does not help the situation in any way,” she said.

Fezy Thwala.
Fezy Thwala.
Image: Supplied

Ultimately, Thwala believes that an understanding of jealousy and the root of it are of utmost importance. Knowing this will enable you to support those you love, deal with your inner wounds and save many of your friendships.

“The truth of the matter is that your friend’s achievement or success is not the problem. It is only a trigger.

“For example, when you’re suddenly feeling jealous because your friend has got engaged, the engagement is only a trigger. It’s not the issue. Rather, you’re feeling jealous because of your own insecurities. It’s not that your friend should not get engaged.

“If you can separate the two, then you can be able to hold space for your negative feelings while also sharing in your friend’s joy,” Thwala said.

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