Was someone at the office a little too complimentary about your promotion, or was the barista at the coffee shop a little too obsessed with your new shoes? Watch out - you may have been cursed by the evil eye. But what does it actually mean to say that someone is giving you "the evil eye"? In many cultures, the evil eye indicates jealousy, particularly toward healthy, attractive, wealthy, or otherwise fortunate individuals.
The evil eye as we know it today comes primarily from the ancient Greeks, but the symbol itself is likely around 10,000 years old and is present in numerous cultures around the world. The evil eye has been associated with popes, witches, and even particular animals, and that's not even the most bizarre historic fact about the evil eye. Cultures near and far have traditions aplenty that will help you get rid of the curse, as long as you're willing to suspend reason for a minute. And to get rid of a curse, suspending reason may not be a bad idea.
If you're worried that you've been cursed - or that you've cursed someone - we've got you covered. Better be aware next time someone gives you the side eye.
Smart, pretty, rich, healthy? Any of those things could make you a prime target for being cursed by the evil eye. Out of the 36 percent of the world's population that believes in the evil eye, many of them would likely argue that celebrities are proof that the curse is real.
Many celebrities see massive success and then experience a dramatic downfall (think of someone like Charlie Sheen or Paris Hilton, or the many child stars who ended up in jail or broke). Anyone with too much money or fame is especially susceptible, so it makes sense that celebrities in particular might be vulnerable to the curse. Perhaps that's why so many celebs wear the amulet - Kelly Ripa, Kim Kardashian, and Brad Pitt have all been seen wearing it. Kelly Ripa is happily married to Mark Consuelos (excellent luck; no curse), Kim continues her reign of wealth and popularity while being married to one of the most notable rappers in the world (excellent luck; no curse), and Brad Pitt is...well, Brad Pitt.
The thing about curses is that nearly anything negative can be attributed to them, and this holds true with the evil eye as well. People who are known to have been cursed by the evil eye can experience a decrease in appetite, vomiting, fever, hiccups, and - strangely enough - excessive yawning. They may also have insomnia, exhaustion, depression, or diarrhea.
Since the evil eye can curse both objects and animals, not just people, there are symptoms that extend beyond the physical that can indicate the presence of a curse. A cursed cow may stop producing milk, and a cursed plant or tree may stop bearing fruit. A cursed vehicle could stop working, and a cursed house could suddenly get termites.
Unfortunately, someone could accidentally curse you without meaning to or without even knowing they've done it, and legends tell that people have gone to extreme lengths to prevent doing so. One Polish tale recounts how a man was so prone to cursing others that he cut out his eyes.
Since Hindus believe that women most often give the evil eye, women will go so far as to paint their eyelids black not only to protect themselves, but also prevent themselves from cursing another.
Two popes, Leo XIII and Pius IX, were believed to have been born with the evil eye.
If you suspect you've been cursed by the evil eye while in Mexico, worry not - you just need to grab yourself an egg. A raw egg can allegedly remove the evil eye from your body by being passed over your forehead. Then, the egg is broken and you must look into the shell of the egg to see if the cure has worked. If you see an oval or eye shape inside the egg, then you've been successfully cured.
In Bangladesh, drawing a black dot on the forehead of children or behind the ears of attractive women is said to protect them against the curse. In Greece, Armenia, and Assyria, the cure is even more simple - you just need a quick pinch on the butt.