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Green-Eyed Monsters?
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Because I’m well past retirement age, people think that work-related problems don’t affect me. However, I still work as a freelance writer. My work brings me into much interaction with people: editors, interviewees, and other community members, some of which I don’t encounter in person. Yet I know what working elbow-to-elbow is too.

Life as a writer, in particular journalism did not always appear on my resume. I celebrated almost 40 years before I knew a writer lived inside me. Yet in all my working years, writer or otherwise, I’ve never experienced the feeling of a male co-worker treating me as less-than because I’m a female. In fact, men always treated me with commendation and obvious admiration.

Anger doesn’t hold my attention either. However, I knew the wrath of green-eyed monsters in the form of a couple of co-worker women. Believe me, exposure to jealousy is painful stuff. Especially since my friendship bevy is filled-to-overflowing with women, those with whom our relationship is a sisterhood. Jealousy seemed foreign to me.

Fortunately, I understand that jealousy is a by-product of insecurity held by the person, who feels it. Let me tell you how I handled those unpleasant situations. I equated the emotional bruising the way I think about giving a speech.

My Fix

Almost everyone laments about speechmaking. They confess being nervous. Long ago, I decided that it is a silly emotional waste, to get all flustered about talking to others from a podium. My fix goes like this. I decide before I speak that everyone in the audience is a potential friend (if not already a friend). I figure if I smile and use eye contact as I look across the group, that when I flub along the way, I’ll get a sympathetic laugh of understanding.

Most of us know what speaker’s-knees feel like. I decided to apply the same ideas to the green-eyed monsters. I never stopped smiling at them, I looked in their eyes, and when I made goofs, I mentioned my klutziness before they could chastise me. I admitted my frailties. I won their friendship.

Yet what if I hadn’t won them over? What if they’d rejected me totally? People tend to use the expression in such cases as, “Their loss.” Yes, it is, but it would also be mine. However, I remind myself that even my Lord did not win friends and influence everyone. There’s a bunch of self-talk and prayer to get through. I wouldn’t be good at creeping away with my tail between my legs like a beaten dog. Thus, I took the initiative and made friends from seeming enemies.

Is there a green-eyed monster in your life? The best way to turn such a beast into a docile lamb is to practice Romans 12:17-19, “Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. ‘I’ll do the judging,’ says God. ‘I’ll take care of it.’”

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the MESSAGE
©, 2002.

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