So the other day, everybody's No.1 favorite oh-so-incredibly reputable British tabloid, the Daily Mail, published a story claiming that more than one in four people try to sabotage a friend who's dieting. (Check out the insipid photos used to illustrate the article, too; what in the ever-loving eff?)
Why? The DM explains, as "dieters lose their fun side … more than a quarter (28 per cent) of us deliberately avoid [them] because they become so boring." The article mentions that one in six of us try to tempt our poor, starving friends with delectable treats; seven percent of us try to convince them to outright dump their diets; and 14 percent of us get jealous when we see friends "shedding pounds."
Interesting! A little bit! Though I must admit, I find it utterly unsurprising that, at our core, so many of us are raging dickweeds with no problem at all trying to subtly or not so subtly crush our friends' dreams. Humans are complicated messes, man -- it's just how we do. But the intriguing/relatable part of that inane article, to me, was the bit that felt, well, TRUE -- the part about people getting sabotage-y because they're secretly jealous -- even of their closest friends.
The reason I'm not surprised by this is because friends have done it to me, though not necessarily in the diet realm. Like, I'll never forget how one of my best friends in high school tried to steal my first real, serious boyfriend -- the very same boyfriend she'd SET ME UP WITH IN THE FIRST PLACE -- because she suddenly decided we were "spending too much time together." Uh, right; I'm pretty sure the bitch was just jealous. (I'm allowed to call her a bitch because we're still friends, thx.)
Which I'm sympathetic to, honestly, because I make no bones about the fact that that nasty shit (jealousy) is part of my day-in, day-out, lifelong psychological makeup, and though it pains me to say it, I kind of doubt it's going anywhere anytime soon.
I'm jealous of friends; I'm jealous of boyfriends; I'm jealous of exes; I'm jealous of THEIR exes, I'm jealous of acquaintances I've barely spoken to but have observed from a weirdly heated, slightly obsessive distance via Facebook or Insta; I'm jealous of randoms on the Internet; I'm jealous of fellow writers who have "better" careers than me; I'm jealous of artists who feel a crazy burning "calling;" I'm jealous of pretty much anyone who's lucky enough to have a clue who they are and WTF they're doing with their life; oh and DUHHHHHH I'm jealous of nearly every person I know who's in a happy, healthy romantic relationship, because that shit has been so incredibly elusive for me.
So no judgment -- not now -- when it comes to jealous saboteurs like my good buddy from high school. I'm far from perfect, and though I don't think I've ever actually done anything super-sabotagey, sure, I've fantasized about pulling shady crap on half-assed friends who've disappeared into Crazy-La-La New Boyfriend Land. (I've also done exceptionally shady crap to try to make OTHER people -- namely, dudes I've dated, namely, one dude in particular -- jealous, which heeds its own special blend of psychosis.)
Does this make me a terrible person? Perhaps! Am I going to sit in the corner of a cold dark room and repeatedly club myself over the head about it while sobbing and gnashing my teeth? I will not, because I know, at heart, that any of my direct or indirect, fantasy or legit attempts at "sabotage" weren't fueled by malice. They were fueled by insidious, all-encompassing insecurity, a misguided fear that there's NOT ENOUGH GOOD STUFF TO GO AROUND, and that if my friend scores It -- whatever It is, be it the hot bod or the adorable husband or the glamorous job or the perfect kids -- that it somehow, illogically, equals "whoops, none for me!" If SHE gets it, it says something magical about her (so lovable! so beautiful! so smart!), which, in my twisted mind, translates to "Laura is shitty, unsuccessful, and alone." DOES NOT COMPUTE -- major logic fail. And hi, raging selfishness, too; obviously a friend's happiness or success has nothing to do with me, has no bearing on my life or my future or my own potential for happiness, love, whatever.
It's obviously not OK to go around foiling people's pleasure in a desperate attempt to make oneself feel better. It's even less OK when it's your friends you're trying to thwart. But since I understand the pain of the jealousy that can fuel those sorts of urges in myself, I can usually spot them, pat them on their pathetic little heads, and shoo them away before they do much damage (at least to anyone else).
Have you ever tried -- or just thought about -- sabotaging a friend's diet/relationship/happiness/life? And any tips on conquering jealousy? TELL ME BELOW NOW PLEASE.
I'm on Twitter, if you do that.