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She's just jealous...

(19 Posts)
JeremyVile Thu 13-Oct-11 11:52:30

Really gets my goat, this.

Hear it so much in RL (my mother in particular is a keen jealousy accuser). See it on here a lot too.

For example woman A tells woman B that woman C was a bit off with her during a discussion on BFing/family size/schooling issues/winter boots, woman B says "oh she's just jealous"

Now, obviously people can be jealous on occasion but without anything to suggest it other than a difference of opinion why would anyone jump to this conclusion?

Its bizarre and reductive and dismissive and assumes a real lack of depth about the person being accused of it. She might be a right tosser, a bigot, ignorant, vindictive, thick, she might -just possibly- simply have a differing opinion! It strikes me as very lazy to write it off as jealousy.

In my experience this is pretty much something said by women, to women, about women. Why such little faith in the ability of others to have real, solid opinions?

I wonder if its a form of trying to reassure the other person? like 'oh dont worry that she disagrees with your decision/opinion...its only because you are so fab!' but surely no one wants such petty meaningless reassurance? And if it was reassurance you wanted you'd want it about the actual subject you were talking about rather than some vague assumption that dismisses the other persons opinion as irrelevant cos she's 'just jealous' anyway?

toddlerama Thu 13-Oct-11 11:56:24

Totally agree. Never understand why parents tell DCs this when they're being bullied. I saw one little girls patents do this until her ego was the size of a house, other kids still didn't like her and the issue was never jealousy, but her stinking attitude. sad

worraliberty Thu 13-Oct-11 12:00:19

I agree and if a particularly horrible person happens to be rich/beautiful...does that mean anyone who mentions the fact she's horrible has to be jealous of her?

If someone was deemed short, fat, poor and ugly I imagine it would be safe to mention the fact they're a horrible person without being accused of jealousy.

dreamingbohemian Thu 13-Oct-11 12:04:31

Thank you, I am always bewildered at the 'she's just jealous' line, I thought it was just me!

NinkyNonker Thu 13-Oct-11 12:04:32

I agree, it is always spouted on here on SAHM/WOHM threads. I mean, I am a SAHM but I don't assume everyone else wants to be!

perfumedlife Thu 13-Oct-11 12:04:44

YANBU It's such a lazy retort, the last refuge of the empty mind. It's like saying you know the deepest and most private thought processes of another human being and can find no contrast, no contours, just envy . I'd rather say nothing than say that.

limitedperiodonly Thu 13-Oct-11 12:08:55

There are people who are spiteful out of envy, but I agree that many people accuse others of it to avoid having to examine their own poor behaviour.

But it's a waste of time and energy discussing anything with people like that.

Take comfort in the knowledge that deep down they know you're right and it's irritating the tits off them.

duvetdayplease Thu 13-Oct-11 12:12:23

I think it springs from the fact more than a few people can't cope with the idea that someone else lives life in a different way and sees things totally differently.

You see it all the time especially with mum stuff. Mum A says I love bottle feeding it means I don't have to do night feeds cos hubby can. Mum says I love breastfeeding as I love that only I can do night feeding. Mum C's head explodes as these people seem to hold contradictory views. How can I make this right? By dismissing one of the views as being motivated by jealousy/madness/weirdness etc. There, much better. Everyone agrees except the wrong ones. Now I know my way is the one true way and I need not wonder anymore what I want to do because I know what is the right thing to do.

tigermoll Thu 13-Oct-11 12:17:47

I totally agree, - especially that this is an accusation levelled mostly at women (and children) very rarely men.

It goes back to the idea that women are thought to be in continual competition with each other, and incapable of proper friendship, as well as being shallow, insecure creatures. The logic goes like this:

"Obviously, male attention is more worth having than female attention. (This goes for men as well as women, a man's high opinion/praise/admiration is more valuable than a woman's.) Therefore, women are friends with each other only as a sort of second best, to pass the time when there aren't enough men about. But they never forget that they are rivals for male attention, and so are continually judging themselves and each other to see who is the more desirable mate/better mother. When another woman has something they don't, they can't help themselves from feeling jealous and spiteful, as it reminds them that a man would choose their friend over them, thus attacking the very core of their self worth. This is such a large part of a woman's nature that it spills over into every area of their lives, even ones not directly related to sex."

Naturally, this is utter nonsense, but very pervasive nonsense.

malinois Thu 13-Oct-11 12:35:18

Whenever anyone says it, do you correct them and say 'No, she's envious?'

As others have said, accusations of jealousy are the resort of the empty-headed (and illiterate.)

JeremyVile Thu 13-Oct-11 12:38:10

I think you're (sadly) onto something there, Tigermoll. v intersting.

Totally agree with that, perfumed. It definitely makes me think less of the person 'reassuring' me rather than the person im griping about.

Also it feels dismissive, like a pat on the head and a lollipop.

stealthsquiggle Thu 13-Oct-11 12:48:31

I don't really agree it is a gender thing - and sometimes it is true (if simplistic). I agree that the examples cited are not "jealousy" - but how about with DC - For example:

DS (Y5) has a part in a school play which is one of the lead roles but could be construed as "silly" (i.e. he's the comic lead) - his classmates have been teasing him about it ever since. My main line of advice has been to try and appear so completely unbothered that they get bored of teasing (which would win him an Oscar if he pulls it off, because he is bothered), but I have come close to saying "they're just jealous envious" - because on one level, they are - they might not realise that - but they are envious of the big role and the adult attention that goes with it - aren't they?

tigermoll Thu 13-Oct-11 12:52:48

In that particular case, yes Stealth, - the other kids probably are jealous of your DS.

It's the blanket writing-off of emotions as 'just jealousy' that is irritating, - we're not saying that there is no such thing as jealousy ever smile

verlainechasedrimbauds Thu 13-Oct-11 12:59:04

Well, I don't know stealthsquiggle. The truth is likely to be a bit more complicated than that and a bit different for each child doing the teasing. I'm not suggesting that you try to do in depth analysis for each child's behaviour and discuss it with your son grin but it is quite likely that (for example) one is really upset because they really wanted the part; one thinks anyone wanting to do a silly part must be really brave because they'd be scared by it but teasing the successful child is a way of getting past the scared feeling; one wants to be liked by the "witty" kid who is currently making most of the teasing comments so follows suit...

It usually is more complicated than "they're just jealous". I sympathise with your son though, it must be hard to deal with.

stealthsquiggle Thu 13-Oct-11 13:08:38

I am actually largely with you, Tigermoll - firstly because it is simplistic and/or false (particularly when it relates to differing lifestyle choices, since each person believes what they have chosen to be best - so why would they be envious?), but also because it doesn't help.

So I tell my DS "they're just jealous" - how does that help him deal with it? It really doesn't at all - which is one of the reasons I have so far held off and stuck to attempts at more practical help.

I'm still not sure it is a gender thing - possibly said more to/by women, but that is because they discuss such things more (she says, aware of the gender bias inherent in that statement) - I suspect many men dismiss the point of view of other men on the basis that "they're just jealous" as well.

WinterIsComing Thu 13-Oct-11 13:13:45

I used to get, "they're just jealous", from my Mum as a standard response to my being bullied at school. No further comment or action taken <bitter>

whatdoiknowanyway Thu 13-Oct-11 13:16:15

My mum always said this to me and it took me years to work out that actually that might not be the case.

My poor DDs have had years of me saying 'why do you think they might be acting like that' and making them think about it from the other person's perspective. It does seem to have sunk in though.

PetiteRaleuse Thu 13-Oct-11 13:59:47

YANBU - I got that from my mum right through childhood and believe me no-one was jealous of me for anything sad

Jux Thu 13-Oct-11 14:32:29

It's not something I grew up with or use much, but I can see that it has its uses. It's shorthand laziness, of course, but sometimes something isn't really worth time or attention, so you can just dismiss it using the jealousy thing.

It may satisfy someone who is fussing over nothing, so you can move on to more interesting important things. Or it could be that the person you are about to accuse of being 'just jealous' is not really worth discussing in more depth or detail (I know that's a rotten attitude, but you can't spend equal amounts of time and attention on everyone, some people are going to be worth less to you than others, that's just life).

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