The Green Eyed Monster

As I sat alone one night, thinking about life, the universe and everything, I began thinking about my past.  One of the things that stuck out was jealousy.  We have all heard of the phrase, ‘Green eyed monster’ to describe envy or jealousy.  I have always thought it meant jealousy but have known about the expression ‘green with envy’.  Either way, they are two similar emotions and both can be extremely destructive, whether it be personal or international.  I am sure we have all been jealous to one degree or another, or envious of something.  It’s human nature.  Or is it?  (You just knew I was going to say that!)

I will admit that when I was a much younger man, I was very jealous several times.  I’m sure it will come as no surprise that it was over a girl!  I can even remember why I was jealous but thinking back, I cannot understand why.  I therefore thought it was due to my own immaturity and insecurity.  Although I was an extremely good catch (sic), I was insecure in my relationship.  Fortunately for me, I managed to control my emotions, however there have been numerous cases of where jealousy has erupted into a much more violent result.

Research has revealed that jealousy is not restricted to the young.  As I mentioned, I put my own jealousy down to my youth, immaturity and insecurity.  I am sure some of those reasons can be used in cases where older people are involved.  Age does not always denote maturity.  Insecurity can follow an adult throughout their lives, so add both together and you have a recipe for disaster.

Another key factor, according to trick-cyclists (psychiatrists), is that if an individual experiences insecurity at home, be it through mistreatment or because the parents have had issues, then that can follow them into adult life.  Meaning that an individual may not be able to control his or her jealousy because of deep seated problems.  I can relate to this finding as my own parents had marital issues when I was a child and it dominated a large part of my childhood.  I managed to get over it, maybe because of the work I did instilled confidence into the individual.  I don’t know, but something happened.

As to the expression ‘Green Eyed Monster’, well, it may come as no surprise that it was William Shakespeare that first coined the phrase in 1604, in the play Othello although it was also mentioned in part during the Merchant of Venice, written in 1596.  I wonder how he managed to think of that phrase?


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