The green eyed monster. We’ve all been there.
Sometimes I feel I get jealous more than most. Pretty much anything you can think of, I’ve been jealous of it. I want their curly hair, their straight hair, to have their muscles, to be as skinny as them, to live where they live, to be as knowledgeable, clever, funny, confident, humble, kind as them. Sometimes I even get jealous of other people’s problems (I know…ridiculous).
If I were to be all of those things I’d have to be chameleon, constantly changing. No single person can be all those things! And where does that leave me? If I’m constantly jealous of everyone else, what’s that saying about how I feel about myself?
But how about my hair? My body shape? My intellect? My kindness? Sure, I’m not perfect, and I don’t think aiming for self-improvement is a bad thing. But that shouldn’t mean we hate ourselves. We can love and cherish ourselves even though we know we’re not perfect. We can admire other people’s qualities without feeling bad about ourselves. I know I always feel incredibly negative about myself when I’m jealous, and in the past that always led to controlling the one bit of me I knew how…my weight.
Recently my boyfriend started a new job. He was surrounded by these lovely fresh-faced, slim, intelligent, ambitious girls. I compared myself to every single one, and not in an objective way. Whatever I saw I decided it was better than me, and the jealousy was overwhelming. I wanted their fashion sense, their figure. I wanted to think like them and be as intelligent and confident.
I’m not going to lie, I did feel the urge to restrict in an effort to compete with their skinniness. But I didn’t. Instead I forced myself to feel my emotions, deal with them head on, and work to get over my jealousy. Here are my top tips on how to do the same:
1) FEEL YOUR EMOTIONS
On the surface you’re feeling jealous. But underneath, what’s actually fuelling your emotions? Is it sadness due to lack of self-esteem? Is it anger because something in your life didn’t go as well as planned (e.g. you’re jealous of your friend because they got a promotion but your workplace isn’t doing promotions this year)? Is it because you’re scared you’re going to lose something (I know a lot of my jealousy was just masking a fear that my boyfriend would find someone better than me!)
2) GIVE YOURSELF SOME GRACE
Guys, we are so hard on ourselves! All. The. Time. We are our own worst critic and we never give ourselves a break. We beat ourselves up if our hair isn’t quite right or we make a mistake at work. We tell ourselves how bad we are if we eat chocolate (and by the way, there ain’t nothing wrong with grabbing a chocolate bar no and again!). We call ourselves a failure if we don’t get through our impossible to do lists. How about we give ourselves some grace? Rather than looking at what we’ve not done and feeling inadequate, why don’t we look at what we have done and feel proud?! So what if the laundry didn’t get done this weekend. Perhaps instead you spent spend some quality time with your family, which was much more valuable.
3) TURN YOUR JEALOUSY INTO SOMETHING POSITIVE
I don’t know whether it’s just me, but jealousy is not a positive emotion. When I’m jealous of someone I don’t feel positive towards them in any way. But why not turn that jealous energy into something positive by turning your negativity into a compliment and making that person’s day. I bet you and the other person will both feel better!
4) REMEMBER SOMEONE WILL BE JEALOUS OF YOU
Just as we can feel jealous about someone, people will feel jealous of us. If you’re suffering from low self-esteem it may feel hard to believe, but it’s true. If you’ve ever been given a job, I can assure you that the other candidates who failed to get the job will feel jealous of you. Throughout your life someone will be jealous of your smile, your kindness, your care free attitude. Every single person has enviable qualities – remind yourself of what those qualities are and love them!
Question of the week:
Do you struggle with jealousy?