Why We Feel Jealous
Do you ever think about jealousy? Or is someone making you jealous? It could be your lifelong nemesis, your dearest friend, or your own sister. We’ve ALL been there some time or another.
Jealousy could be defined as an anxious emotional state that a person suffers from and which is characterised by fear of the possibility of losing what one has, or possesses, or what one believes one should possess such as love, power, professional or social image.
But jealousy has a bad connotation to it, doesn’t it? It’s not really considered a good look. Nobody wants to be thought of as jealous as it implies a lack of confidence and a fixation with somebody else over ourselves. But the more we don’t want to feel it, the tighter it grips us. The more we think about that one person who seems to have it all going for them, or has that one thing – whether material, a skill, or status – that we can’t help but yearn for ourselves, the more the jealousy builds within us and threatens to drive us crazy.
The issue is that once it has consumed us it is very hard to switch off and if your specifically feel jealous of a single person almost everything they say, do or show will set you off.
Why can’t I have that apartment, that salary, that wedding, that promotion…
Well, you ask me. Yes, jealousy can be cruel. It completely takes our attention away from what we have, and all we can see is what we lack. What others have and what we don’t. We know we shouldn’t feel it… but once it sneaks into our thoughts, it’s relentless and hard to fight.
So if fighting it just won’t do, what hope is there? Is there another way to tackle jealousy?
Well, darling, that’s what we’re going to get stuck into today. To answer your question- Yes, there is hope and there is another way of dealing with jealousy. So by the time we’re done, jealousy will be your fuel, and no longer your poison.
How To Deal With Jealousy
Step 1 – Practise Gratitude to beat Jealousy
Okay, you knew this was coming. But this is the crucial first step if you’re ever going to break free from your jealousy! As you may have heard, we’re all about practising gratitude here at Hormona! Try to acknowledge the blessings in your life each day – either in quiet thought when you sip your morning brew or as your head hits the pillow at night – or, more deliberately with a gratitude journal. This simple act of recognising what you can be grateful for – your friends, family, health – the roof over your head and the food in your fridge – is crucial for maintaining a positive mindset, free from the pull of jealousy.
Practising gratitude means that you actively find things that you have in your life to be grateful of which helps take attention away from the things you feel you don’t. As you fill up that list of things to be grateful for you will quickly realise that there’s probably not that many more things to wish for. This puts things into perspective, and wherever you’re at right now, reminds you that you still have a lot to be thankful for.
Step 2 – Analyse your Jealousy Triggers
Gratitude is all well and good as a foundation to a better mindset – but what is it that really gets that green flame burning? Yes, you may feel like you’re only stoking the flames by forcing yourself to face these triggers head-on. But figuring out what sets you spiralling into jealousy is key to addressing your problem at its source, rather than looking externally to try and fix your problems.
Understanding what triggers your jealousy means that you can develop strategies for coping with it and hopefully turn that jealousy into motivation to help you develop in both life and as a person. Is it your best friend’s loved up relationship that sets you off? Maybe your deepest fear is being alone or unloved. Or is it your frenemy’s fancy job that gets you silently seething? Perhaps you have some major doubts about your own career that you need to dive deep and look into. Whatever it is, turn it back on yourself rather than onto the object of your envy. Why do you feel this way? What is hurting you, really? Because it’s not them!
Step 3 – Take Action To Fight Jealousy
Whether it’s your sister’s looks, your co-workers’ mad skills, or the seemingly dazzling lifestyle of someone you follow on Instagram – the key to calming your jealousy isn’t in not letting the bitterness overcome you – it’s in figuring out whether you need to make key changes in your life (because someone else’s blessing only aggravates you if you are unhappy in yourself) or if you simply need an extra helping of self-love and acceptance in order to silence any nasty inner voices that tell you everyone else is better.
Many things can trigger jealousy and so equally there are many ways of taking action to fight it and even better turn it into fuel. So whether it’s a kick to fix your external reality or a wake-up call regarding what lies within – it’s YOU who has to take action!
The Old Saying…
Did you ever hear a wise woman in your life say something along the lines of “the grass is always greener?” Well, those old quirky sayings often turn out to be true. And this one is golden.
The thing is, the only life we can see 100% of is our own. When it comes to that of our acquaintances, friends – even best friends, family members, or partner – there is always something missing from the picture. And that’s not even saying that they are being deceitful or intentionally keeping anything from you! (Even though realistically, we all do that at least a tiny bit!) All it means is that without walking in the shoes of another, you can never be fully aware of their reality – their own insecurities, self-doubts, disappointments, and worries. And everyone has problems or worries at different times in their life, just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean they don’t. You’re not the only one you know! And just because someone else’s grass portion looks a much more lush shade of green from where you’re sitting – it most likely really isn’t. They just have different problems to you – or simply problems that aren’t visible on the outside.
The bottom line? Don’t beat yourself up for feeling a little jealous from time to time. It probably means you’re ambitious. This is good. But instead of letting it consume you like a cloak, wear it like a superhero cape! Let your jealousy spur you on and guide you towards what you need to change in your own life to be happy – even if the only change required is to show yourself some more love and less doubt.
Do you often feel jealous of those around you? Do you find it helps or hinders your ambition? Let us know in the comments!