Jealousy. It’s a human emotion. Like Beyonce’ said: “I’m just human. Don’t judge me.”
Wikipedia tells us that it “refers to the negative thoughts and feelings of insecurity, fear, and anxiety over an anticipated loss of something of great personal value, particularly in reference to a human connection.” We all have felt that pang of insecurity or possessiveness as and when we see someone with something we want. It’s even possible to feel it when we think someone wants something we already have.
Two things come to mind immediately when I think of jealousy: dealing with it in relationships and dealing with it in regards to someone else’s success.
Jealousy in romantic relationships
I have definitely been guilty of this one several times. I feel silly looking back, but I’m not afraid to admit it. There were moments where I felt like I wasn’t getting enough attention from the guy I was dealing with or I’d see him flirting with another chick and I’d get upset. Then I’d go off. Sometimes I made valid points when expressing my feelings, but there were times I should have just been quiet. As time went on, I realized that I had to chill out. I think the Beyonce lyric “Baby girl, you can’t survive like this,” describes that epiphany. (Clearly I can relate to this song.)
What also helped was listening to a guy friend. He would tell me how his girlfriend would act and it made me look at my behavior. I was already working on my jealousy but hearing how others would act REALLY made me stop and think “Is that how I am?! Oh my God. I’ve gotta get it together!” I saw that being so paranoid about losing a guy would push him away and I’d actually lose him.
This is still a work in progress because jealousy happens, but I’m better than I used to be.
Jealousy regarding others’ success
I’ve been jealous of a lot of people lately because they’re getting jobs. I get extra jealous if they have a job lined up before they graduate. I’ve also been jealous of people losing weight since mine is yo-yoing again. These things may fall under envy since it’s about getting what someone else has instead of worrying about losing something I already have. However, since seeing others get something I want can lead to insecurity, I’m going to call it jealousy today.
These two types of jealousy were making me miserable. I know I can’t live like that anymore. Here are some realizations I had and what I did:
I realized that jealousy was ruining my relationships. I learned that there was a difference between expressing concerns and being paranoid. I also learned to pick my battles and talk things out calmly when I actually decided to “go into battle.” Again, I realize I’m human but I have to mindful others’ feelings.
I realized that not being happy for others was blocking my blessings. I stopped doing that and used others’ success to motivate me. I see someone has an interview and I get back to work on my cover letter. I see someone lost 10 pounds and I go back to eating healthy.
I focused on myself. I thought about all the things I’m good at and began working on new things. Now I contribute to this site and another blog and I’ve done some volunteering. I still focus on myself and try to be a better person each day.
Last but not least, I realized the bad times are temporary. I’ll be able to look back on the hard times and realize I can make it through anything. I don’t like to say, “Things could be worse” so I just say these things make me stronger. I also look forward to having the things I see others have.