When jealousy derails professional politesse


Did you know that jealousy is a reality in every professional practice? According to the Psychology Today website, jealousy is a complex emotion that encompasses many different kinds of feelings, ranging from fear of abandonment to rage and humiliation.

The same site confirms that jealousy can strike both men and women when a third-party threat to a valued relationship is perceived.

It can be a problem among siblings competing for parental attention, or envy after a more successful friend or workmate.

In any professional environment, there are always people of different views. Some of these views are shaped by cultural backgrounds, education levels, as well as family values. Once these views are not shaped by the notion of common good, they are carried into the professional environment.

Think about a child who grows up in a family where parents consistently blame their challenges on the success of their neighbour.

In such a home the children may be indoctrinated into thinking that their neighbours are the problem.

These assimilated feelings later manifest in workplaces.

The people who are jealous of others at their workplace are not even difficult to identify.

They are normally restless, running from workmate to workmate spreading propaganda of character assassination.

They always present themselves as victims of prevailing conditions, dragging innocent victims into their reckless mission!

In the process they lose valuable time that should have been dedicated to personal development. The result is slow development and progress in organizational output.

The Bible is not short of tough counsel condemning this vice. Examples include Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”

James 3:14-15, “But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth. This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, and demonic.”

Psalm 37:1-3 “Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.”

James 3:16 “For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.”

Proverbs 14:30 “A tranquil heart gives life to the flesh, but envy makes the bones rot.”

Let us all continue to focus on the common good of society. Jealousy is a social evil, only serving to create conflict and strife. It is a weakness from which we should all desist.

The writer is a lecturer at the Foundations Studies Department

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