The Maneater

Column: Jealousy is the worst kind of monster

While jealousy can sometimes make us do ridiculous things, there is a simple way that we can fight back.

My friend once reignited a flame with an old thing of hers just to see if things would be different. He played the same game he did the first time: “Baby, I really do like you and I care about you so much. Let’s just do it.”

While this line makes me both laugh and gag, it works for some girls, even though it shouldn’t. After three days of flirty texting and lies, she gave it up to him again just like she did the first time. The next day, she was pouting in my room, staring at her phone, and waiting for him to text back. But of course, he inevitably wouldn’t; he had gotten what he wanted from her and now he was done. Although the guy was totally in the wrong and she shouldn’t have even let him get as far as he did, the real dynamite to any situation like this is the jealousy that follows it.

We sometimes like to wrongly think this campus is bigger than it really is. If you have an ex, or any type of romantic history with someone here in CoMo, you’re bound to run into them at some point. And sometimes, if you’re unlucky, you get to see them with somebody else, in which our favorite green monster pushes all sense of reason out of our heads and proceeds to force us into bad decisions.

We’ve all felt the wrath of this scary monster. What makes this one worse than the ones we pictured under our beds as a kid is simple: this one’s real. And when he comes out, your head pounds, your heart beats faster, your legs shake, your teeth clench, your hands form fists and your throat forms a lump. Next thing you know, you’re doing everything in your power to stop the hot tears from coming down and ruining the makeup you spent at least a good half-hour on.

There are times when, as hard as you try, the monster wins. In this situation, when the pain is too bad to pretend it’s not there, the best thing to do is to go home or somewhere private. Emotions sometimes just need to be let out, and doing so privately is a way to win against the monster’s wrath.

Our greatest weapon against this monster is, believe it or not, ourselves. Everyone can feel a great amount of jealousy in situations like this. The difference between people who are considered “the jealous type” and those who are not is simply their ability to fake it. An ex would almost always expect you to be jealous in a situation like this. So when you appear unbothered, you’re giving him exactly what he doesn’t expect: You don’t care as much as he thinks you do.

The only thing the green monster truly does accomplish is making you look crazy. Whether you make a scene by crying in public, throw a drink in your ex’s face or even send a nasty text, you look crazy. The ironic part of this is it doesn’t make your ex feel guilty at all for making you feel bad. In fact, it only further confirms that he made a good decision by breaking it off with you.

So instead of allowing this green monster to make you look crazy, give him what he doesn’t expect. Smile, act like nothing is wrong and, hell, if you’re really ballsy, go up and introduce yourself to the next one to get screwed by him. Think in the back of your mind how bad you feel for her and how she inevitably will go through just what you did. The last thing you want to do is sit there and wish you were the one he’s charming.

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