Envy & Friendship: A deadly combination

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I came across an article on Facebook (yes I still use FB) recently about a young lady who dated a guy for 6 years, paid all his fees, had 7 abortions, for him to end up marrying her best friend. Obviously, there were more elements to this story but from what I read, it was clear that feelings of envy were the fuel behind such a betrayal. This article inspired me to gather my thoughts into a new blog post.

I have to admit I often get my wires crossed when it comes to Envy and jealousy. Both appear to be similar but are two very different things. Envy is the desire for others’ traits, status, abilities, and possessions. Whilst Jealousy is a feeling of unhappiness because someone has something or someone that you want. The two can be seen as a natural complex emotion, which goes hand in hand with each other. Although envy appears to be the worst of the two since it is one of the seven deadly sins of the world.

Envy is the one that intrigues me the most only because this is the emotion that I know has the most power and venom. It can be felt by both men and women at any given age.  But don’t be fooled even animals experience envy too, may I remind you it was envy that led Scar to kill Mufasa in the Lion King. It just goes to show if feelings of envy manifest in the wrong way it can push a person to do some of the most unthinkable things. I have been on this earth long enough to see the ways in which feelings of envy can destroy relationships, especially friendships.

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Believe it or not

 I know this might be a tricky thing to get your head around but friendships can sometimes be a breeding ground for feelings of envy. It is usually one-sided but in some cases, the feelings can be mutual. As common as it is, most people do not like to openly talk about or even address those feelings. It is either sugar-coated, downplayed or will go unaddressed. I get it, I really do and if you find yourself in such a situation you have to proceed with caution.

I of all people know how awkward it can be opening up to someone about my suspicions of an envious friend. Accusing a friend of being envious of you is a strong accusation that should be not thrown around lightly. If you do not approach a situation like this correctly people will definitely be looking at you funny. I remember I never ever wanted to come across conceited or worse yet paranoid so I kept my thoughts to myself for ages. But I kid you not if feelings of envy within a friendship are left to its own devices, the consequences could be dire for both parties involved.

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Red Flag

This might come as a shock to you but for some people envy within their friendship circles doesn’t really faze them. In fact, some thrive off it as it keeps them on their toes. These people are the real champs because I couldn’t do it, not today, not tomorrow, and not ever. Only because I have seen first-hand how dangerous this can be. My mum, my brothers and I were left in a life-threatening situation caused by the actions of one of my mum’s so-called friends.

Nobody saw it coming and this made the entire ordeal 10 times worse. I think about that situation from time to time and I still carry the trauma from it with me. I guess this is one of the reasons why I don’t hesitate to cut a friend off if they do something that hurts me. I won’t go into full details but if things went another way you probably would not be reading this blog post. But I give thanks that my family and I serve a God who works harder than our opposition. It was this incident that opened my eyes and made me see that a friend can be envious of you for reasons other than material possessions.

It could be related to things like your personality, physical appearance and self-confidence. Upbringing, job, achievements, lifestyle or just the way others treat you. This is what makes it worse for me because what causes a person to be envious of their friend is extremely hard to pinpoint. Anything could be a trigger, imagine if you have something that your friend wants there is a possibility that you could be a target. This just blows my mind because everyone is not the same and we are all born into different circumstances.

However, where envy in friendship is concerned  I do strongly believe that it has more to do with the person who has those feelings, oppose to the person they are projecting those feelings on. It is rooted in a person unhappiness or lack thereof. Unfortunately, you might just be the friend who ends up with the short end of the stick because of it.

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Not everything is written in black and white

One thing I have learned about envy is that it is not so easily detectable, especially when it is coming from your friend. I can tell you this for free but no one works harder than a friend trying to conceal their feelings of envy towards you. In fact, the lengths that some people are willing to go to try and cover up their antics is mind-boggling. I had someone go as low as point the envy finger at me when it was clearly the other way round lol honestly I can’t make this shit up.

It made perfect sense though and I actually don’t blame that person for trying to pin it on me. Who really wants to be known as the envious friend? I will be damned the day I scroll through Instagram and see someone openly out themselves as an envious person, but I know it will never happen. Most people choose to keep those kinds of feelings tightly under wraps, some might even take it to their grave. However, there are some people who can’t contain those feelings of envy towards their friends and no matter how hard they try, their mask will eventually fall off.

Below are some signs of an envious friend.

  • Passive aggressive backhanded compliments
  • Talks behind your back
  • Constantly competing with you
  • Imitation
  • Attempts to upstage you
  • Always bringing you down
  • Act super fake when you tell them some good news
  • Belittle you
  • Failure to acknowledge your achievements
  • Downplay your accomplishments
  • Never supports you

As obvious as these things are, they will most likely fly right over your head. When we are friends with a person we are often blinded by the things they do or say because we see them as our friends. So we constantly overlook their envious feelings towards us or make excuses for them. I know this to be true because I have been there before. I always used to make excuses for one friend by putting their many attempts of sabotaging me down to it just being a coincidence.

I was so blind sighted by the love and attachment I felt towards this person. My mum was not because called that person out for who they really are. It is funny how are mums can spot our envious friends long before we do.  Aunty Lorna constantly drummed it into me to watch the company that I kept. But despite all of my mum’s attempts to safeguard my brothers and I, each of us had to learn the hard way.

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A rare photo of an envious friend

Say it with your chest vs keep it moving

In my case imitating, competitive behaviour, and talking behind my back were just some of the things I had experienced. The competitiveness and imitating were probably the most draining out of the three. It got so bad to the point where it actually put me off the person. I will never forget when I voiced my concerns, other people would tell me I was overacting, being too sensitive and paranoid. I was even told that this person had no reason to be jealous of me because they come from ‘money’ and I did not. There is a downside to speaking out about your suspicions of an envious friend, there is a chance that others might not believe you.

If they do believe you they will most likely encourage you to not say anything or play it safe by ‘keeping your enemies close’. Maybe it is just me, but in my mind playing it safe with an envious friend will just contaminate the relationship. However, there are special circumstances where things are better left unsaid. If you know how a person is just deal with them accordingly without causing a fuss. Not addressing the issue or playing it safe can sometimes be the best form of action. But whatever path a person decides to take just know that the friendship will never ever be the same.

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For me personally, I am not interested in maintaining any friendship with someone who is envious of me. I have been there before, it is draining and you will never ever be able to trust that person in the same way again. I refuse to be a target of abuse at the hands of an envious friend it is not fair on me. It is a risk that I am not willing to take and trust me when I say you will never ever know where you stand with each other.

When I think of it, maintaining a relationship with an envious friend is kind of problematic. I can’t help but be reminded of that viscous acid attack that took place in the UK a few years ago. Naomi Oni was followed home after work by her friend Mary Konye. Disguised in a veil, Mary drenched Naomi’s face in acid, which resulted in severe facial burns and hair loss. During the trial, it was discovered that it Mary’s feelings of envy towards Naomi influenced her to carry out such a devious crime. Mary even accused Naomi of carrying out the attack on herself for social media fame. Can you imagine? wowu, this incident alone is a clear example of just how deadly envy can be. It is so deadly that it has the power to rip a friendship apart.

“Enemies disguise themselves with their lips, but in their hearts they harbor deceit. Though their speech is charming, do not believe them, for seven abominations fill their hearts. Their malice may be concealed by deception, but their wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.” –Proverbs 26:24-26

Where do we go from here?

I am not trying to turn you into the envious friend police, but I want you to be aware that this is a real thing and it can happen to any one of us. If a friend chooses to be jealous of you for whatever reason there is not much you can do to stop them. It is not our duty to patrol the feelings of our friends. We can not control anyone other than ourselves. Let’s face it as long as the sun rises in the sky every morning there is someone out there who will have feelings of envy towards their friends.

Uncle Bob Marley dropped a gem on us when he said: “Your worst enemy could be your best friend and your best friend your worst enemy”. If you ever find yourself in this position with a friend or a group friends, face the issue head-on,  try to find a solution if all else fail to go your separate ways. Do not allow it to linger in the background if it makes you feel some type of way.

Final words

Everyone in life is on their own journey; we are all operating at different frequencies to one another. it is no secret that all of us have the ability to be great, in our own special way. There is room for all of us to live the life we want and have the things that we desire. We just have to be prepared to put in the work for those things and wait our turn.  There is no need to be jealous of anyone especially your friends because it just causes unnecessary pain. A person who is envious of another has taken their eyes off themselves.

Being envious is not going to get you where you want to be in life any quicker. In fact, harbouring’s feelings of envious towards another person will only slow you down. It does more harm than good.  I am not trying to sound like an Instagram quote but envy truly is a disease and it robs people of fruitful friendships. No one is perfect, maybe you have been an envious friend in the past or you have been the person on the receiving end. No matter what your experience has been, I hope you take something fruitful away from this post.

Stay blessed

Lots of Love

Jenna

xoxo

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Is Sisterhood dying out here in “these streets”?

As a young girl growing up, I watched a multitude of Black American films and Tv shows. Most if not all were centred around female friendships, sisterhood and some good ole Girl Power.

Friendship is a relationship of mutual affection between people. 

Sisterhood is the relationship between sisters

Girl Power is used in reference to an attitude of independence, confidence, and empowerment among young women

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Waiting to exhale, Moesha, Sister-Sister, Girlfriends and Set it off gave me some insight into what female friendships and sisterhood should look like. The good, the bad & sometimes even the ugly. Being that I was the only girl child with two brothers, I really didn’t know much about sisterhood outside of what I had seen on tv. All of my knowledge and understanding really came from what I saw being portrayed on the big screen.

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As if that wasn’t enough, the influx of all female girl groups consumed the music industry in the 90’s and their influence ran right into the new millennium. Shout out to my mum because she allowed us to have ‘The Box’  which was Cable TV for British People lol. The Box gave me direct access to the latest music videos of girl groups across the globe. I knew all the words to most of the songs and I was quick on my feet with them dance moves too.

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I was the additional group member in Destiny’s Child, TLC, SWV and many others. This was a fact and no one at home could tell me otherwise lol. Up until this day, I can still remember the first time I saw the Spice Girls ‘Wannabe’ video. I was in awe. I’m not sure if it was because they were British or because they were girls on a total madness in a music video. It was all new to me and it totally blew my mind because I had never seen anything like it before. All I knew from there on out was that when I was old enough I would have my own squad.

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sticker,375x360-bg,ffffff.u3 This ‘squad‘ would become the sisters that I never had. We were going to be smart, fly, flawless & independent. The talk of the town, the crème de la crème, popular head turners with more than enough charm. We would walk each other through the different stages of life from first jobs to saying “I do”. Our bond would be tight like a knot nothing or no one could ever come between us. In my mind, it was possible to be like the girls in all those films and TV shows. I knew I wanted lifelong friends but as I grew older I realised that sometimes it’s not possible for 20 kids to play together for 20 years.

My experience of Sisterhood so far has not been smooth sailing. More like a profound learning experience that has taught me so much about life, other women and of course myself. My mum always told me that “you have to burn to learn” and she ain’t never lied. Some of the best  life lessons come through the burning process but that is a new blog post for another day lol

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Like many women out there I have been backstabbed, lied on, betrayed and let down by females who I have called my sisters. The friendships that I vowed would last a lifetime didn’t make it past a couple years. Some of my “day ones” have turned out to be agents from Satan who were secretly plotting on my downfall. I’ve had multiple friends screaming “yasss slay sis” in my social media comments but private whats app convos have said otherwise. Women just haven’t been who they portrayed themselves to be. My feelings have been hurt without reason, I’ve been abandoned by sisters who swore that they valued me. Yet I find strength in knowing that I am not the first woman to go through this and I most certainly won’t be the last.  This is the just way life goes.

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Being a woman isn’t easy and being friends with women is even harder. After all the ups and downs that I have had with my female friends, I gave up.  The petty SHIT got played out for me, I was sick of females not saying things with their chest and hiding behind other women. I no longer wanted to be a part of a squad or clique and I even told myself I don’t want any bridesmaids at my wedding LMFAO. I just had no interest in being around females if all it would bring me is drama. I came to the conclusion that sisterhood among women was dead. I was anti females and I vowed never to trust another sister in the same capacity again. It is true what they say one bad apple can really spoil the lot.

My negative experiences made me the question whether sisterhood among women was really alive? How can you call someone your sister but be ready to trample on her to get ahead? For a long time, I used to think that maybe it was a cultural thing. Let’s really keep it 100 here, sometimes within the Black community, we have the tendency to fight against one another for the stupidest things.  Some say its the residue of slavery whilst others will argue that we simply just can’t get along. However, I can admit that it is not a cultural thing because the ladies in Sex in the city and Mean girls showed us issues within sisterhood has nothing to do with race.

Women can be so cruel to one another, especially to the women they know and even worse to the ones they know from a distance. I’m an imperfect sinner who has had fights, gone out of my way to trace out a couple gal, said some horrible things with valid reason and without. I’ve sipped and served many cups of tea (gossip) and thrown plenty shade. There ain’t no woman alive on this earth who has not done the same.I have grown up a lot and I still have lots more growing to do, because I refuse to stay the same person. Every woman has bitchy ways, but it’s their choice whether or not they chose to display them.

I have improved my attitude towards women a great deal. I try my best to go out of my way to support other women. Whether its a Retweet on twitter, attending an event, buying products and services or offering my time. Even small words of encouragement and a compliment can go along way. I now realise that when one woman wins I win too. Whenever I see a woman driving a bad boy car, I’m like yasss sis Fuck it up.The unity of sisterhood isn’t limited to the women that you know, it can be shown to those that you don’t know either.

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Supporting another sister does not take anything away from you or your destiny. In this new age of social media, there is a lot of smoke and mirrors. The world is full of noise and women supporting other women appears to be the “in thing”. Yet what lies beneath the surface is jealousy, competition and fake unity. There are many females walking around in squads full of phoneys. Majority of them don’t really like or support each other and they are waiting for their sis to crash and burn so they can revel in her misery.

It looks good to appear as if you are supporting someone because you don’t want to be called out as a hater. Most people care about how they are perceived by others and this is the fuel behind their behaviour. Sometimes support from your “so-called sister” is really jealousy and hate disguised as a Repost on the socials to save face.  As harsh as this sounds for many women this is a reality. Please don’t shoot the messenger I know my delivery is raw but Aunty Lorna (my mum) didn’t raise me to trample lightly around the truth. If one thing sisterhood has taught me is that people’s actions never match what is really in their heart.

The truth is SISTERHOOD isn’t dead, but it’s in CRITICAL condition. There is so much more that goes into being a sister to another. It requires great compassion, love, patience and understanding. To call yourself SOMEONE’s sister comes with a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly.  A lot of us commit to sisterhood relationships without understanding the depth of the responsibilities that are attached to it. We immaturely launch ourselves in at the deep end and cant deliver when it times to step up to the plate.

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From my own experiences, I have called the wrong individuals my sisters and have left myself open for plenty disappointments. I’ve been naive and put people on pedestals they had no business being on. I used to the think that the strength of sisterhood was due the quantity of a squad.  I soon came to realise that you could walk alongside a large group of people who were really not on your team.

The only way to survive the dark side of sisterhood is to make sure you position people appropriately in your life. When people show you who they are the FIRST time, don’t stick around for part two because you will only have yourself to blame. Seek wisdom regarding friendships and don’t just run into people, learn to be observant of others before you go screaming ‘SIS’. Also be a reflection of the type of friend that you would want others to be to you. You cant be out here screaming everyone is fake when your credentials are a bit sketchy because you’re actually a shit friend. Do better.

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Most importantly let your past experiences be a lesson. Use them as a guide on what to avoid when establishing new relationships. My mum told me that she met some of her lifelong sisters in her late 20’s, so remember that you are never too old to make new relationships. Give Drake a pass when he is out here screaming out ‘no new friends.

It is rare that you get to continue on in life with the people who you started with. You grow up and move on. Break promises of staying friends forever. Walk away with many unanswered questions and pride won’t let you go to go back in time to hash out the past. So take those memories, FORGIVE, keep it moving and pray that the people you need will meet me on the way.

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Despite sisterhood being turbulent for the most part of my life, I must say there have been some blessings to come out of it. I no longer have or feel the need to be a part of a squad. I now have a collection of amazing women in my life who joined me during different stages of my journey. Some have been there since day one and others have come along the way and shown me the real definition of sisterhood.

So today I shoutout to the women who have made an impact in my life and shown me the real definition of Unity. Even though I was an only girl child at home, I was blessed to have a multitude of women around who loved and looked out for me.  Most importantly to the sisters from my past, if I was not a good sister to you I apologise. We may no longer speak but our paths crossed for a reason and many valuable lessons were learned from it. I have peace with you all because I stopped holding malice many moons ago and by forgiving you  I have set my soul free and can have peace of mind.

I now understand that in order to be a better sister I have to become a better woman. Before I can give to others I have to ensure that I give unto myself first. The filling of my own my cup will enable me to serve others from its overflow. Showing love to other women must truly come from the genuine depths of my heart. To experience Sisterhood is a privilege that is to be honoured to the highest degree. I cherish it and I can’t wait to pass these gems onto my daughters, nieces, goddaughters and many other women who shall come after me.

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So In the spirit of sisterhood, I just want to shout out some of the amazing women in my life. To my friends and family members who are mothers, I am deeply inspired by you. As I watch you all nurture your children, I am blown away by the level of strength you display on a daily basis.You are all doing amazing and I can’t wait to see your children grow up to do great and mighty things.

My ladies killing it in the hair, makeup, music, food, social media and creative industry, I see you all. Please check out some of the talented women that I know below!

Hair

  1. Face Of Life
  2. Hermain Hair & Lashes

Makeup

Food

Creative industry

Charitable Sector

Vloggers & Bloggers

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Girl power to the world

Lots of love

❤ Jenna ❤️