This is the story of Dushka Japata who is an avid writer on topics like Life Advice on the question answer site, Quora. I stumbled on one of her answers that tried to quench, How can I spot the good people when there are so many jealous, selfish and fake ones? This is exactly what Social Psychology is all about. Gordon Allport defines it as “The scientific study of the way in which individuals’ thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the real or imagined presence of other people.” So here we go with her account.
One day at a party I was sitting on one side of a long couch with Boyfriend. I had my hand resting on his leg and we were talking. From the other side of the couch a woman leans over. “Hey, Dushka’s Boyfriend!” She coos. “I haven’t seen you in so long! You look great! Tell me, why are you sitting all the way over there, when I’m all the way over here?”
Jealousy is one of my inner dragons. I used to suffer from it immensely, and through a lot of work I have effectively reduced it to the point of feeling my view of the world and the way I see relationships has been forever altered. But this was sudden. Where I come from, jealousy is required to “take care of your man.” I definitely wouldn’t want to be careless.
I turn to this woman and have a clear mental image of me flying over the couch in slow motion and pouncing on top of her. Instead I sit there frozen with a smile plastered on my face. I suppose this makes me fake.
Boyfriend has a past, I tell myself. He met many women before he met you, just like you met many men before meeting him. It is incredibly selfish for you to take this like a personal affront.
Pull yourself together.
I sit there poised like a Queen drinking high tea. The woman sashays over. Boyfriend introduces us. I say hello and we resume our conversation. The only person who notices anything out of the ordinary is annoyingly perceptive Boyfriend, who claims my left eyebrow twitched. I can declare with authority that I am one of the good people.
But because I am human the good in me comes mixed with other things, like a frothy cocktail in my soul of doubt, apathy, self-centeredness and ignorance. Whenever I detect something in another that I don’t like, that’s how I know that I carry it in myself. It’s a foolproof way of telling what I need to work on.