Ask The Therapist: “She is jealous of me. How do I get her off my back?”

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In 2016, the number of people estimated to be suffering from mental health issues like depression and anxiety amounted to roughly 1.1 billion. Since then, numbers have likely continued to rise. Moreover, studies have also shown women especially on average are a) more likely to suffer from mental health issues, and b) less likely to talk about them. The taboo in Pakistan surrounding depression and anxiety disorders only serve to aggravate the individuals suffering even more. For the women who cannot seek out full time therapy, or simply need advice about their problems, we’ve enlisted the help of a trained counsellor. You sent us in your questions – here are the answers!

“I was fat and had a wheat-ish complexion, so my cousin said who would accept you as a wife? Because I look dark and ugly. She said this to my face. After eight years, I got married to a handsome man and she is jealous of me. How do I get her off my back?”

Haya’s Response:

Dear Anonymous,

When people feel inferior or slighted, they often resort to expressing their feelings through jealousy or hate. In almost every situation, it has more to do with them than with you. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that such comments can create uncomfortable situations and make you feel bad for your own successes and happiness.

Dealing with haters and jealous people is not easy, but there are a few different routes you can take. You might even be able to help them overcome their jealousy and cultivate a positive relationship.

Here are some ways to deal with the ‘haters’:

1. Don’t take it personally

Know that when a person is jealous of you, it has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. How they’re reacting is a result of their own internal feelings – not your actions. Therefore, don’t let their reactions rain on your parade.

2. Ignore the jealous and hateful comments

Although it’s hard to do, ignoring mean comments from jealous people tells them you are not going to validate their feelings. Ignoring them takes all the power away from their words. Instead, focus on the people that support you and surround yourself with positivity – it’ll do wonders for your mental health!

3. Address haters in your daily life head on

Sometimes, ignoring someone isn’t always an option. In those situations, call the person out on their behavior while remaining civil. Again, you don’t want to feed into their reaction. Stay calm and politely let them know that you see what they’re doing. It might even make them feel a little guilty about what they’ve been doing.

4. Reduce your negative interactions with the person

It’s as simple as nipping the problem in the bud. If someone is having a really negative impact on you, don’t be around that person. You have to focus on you; do what make you feel good. Surround yourself with your family and friends that have a positive impact on your life.

5. Rise above it

Similar to the ignoring tactic, this approach also takes away all the power from a hater. When you show them that their negativity does not affect you, they’ll rethink their actions. Use their criticism as your fuel – use it to motivate you to do better, be better and prove them wrong. You know what they say – kill them with kindness.

6. Take it as a compliment

As odd as it sounds, the fact that someone is even jealous and envious of you should be a huge compliment. Spin that negativity around into positivity. Take it as validation that you’re on the right path and keep on doing you!

The best response in any situation with haters is to turn the other cheek. You are not defined by what they think, say or do. You are living your life your way and if you’re happy, then nothing else matters! All that matters is you and the people around you who love and support you. There’s nothing else to it!

Good luck!

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