Jealousy is a feeling you get when you want, and believe you deserve, something someone else has; or when you perceive a threat to losing something, you already possess, to someone else. It’s an emotion, and as we’ve discussed in other posts, emotions are not to be ignored. They are indicators, like “check engine lights” on your dashboard. Gone unrecognized, these emotions can brew into much bigger problems. On the other hand, we don’t want to over-react to them either because this can, guaranteed, be disastrous. When it comes to emotions we want to understand their origin, recognize what they’re indicating, and then decipher how to appropriately and intentionally move forward.
What is Jealousy and why am I feeling it?
Jealousy was a survival tactic, hardwired into our DNA and left over from our early ancestors. And like most of these primal tools, is no longer relevant in our more civilized lifestyles of today. Back when resources were scarce and potential mates were few, desire for what others had, fueled our competitiveness and encouraged action. It made sure we got our share, and kept us sharp so what we had didn’t get taken. But now in today’s world, jealousy as a precautionary measure, no longer serves us. Having relatively easy access to all our needs, we are able to focus our attention toward how well we want to live instead of… just if we want to live.
What we’ve learned:
We elevate our living, through giving. We can connect with people more fully thru giving and enjoy living a life with more happiness, health, and purpose than we ever dreamed possible. Think about it… If you embrace someone’s accomplishments wouldn’t they be more likely to share them with you? Or offer you the insight of how they achieved them? Or if nothing else at least celebrate your victories with you? Opposed to you putting them down or even worse, trying to sabotage them by attacking their confidence? It’s simple math. Do good for others and they will be more interested in doing good for you. Give into the universe and the universe responds accordingly.
Re-Purpose your Jealousy
in 3 easy steps
What I’m inviting everyone to do is re-purpose your Jealousy. As I’ve said, you never want to ignore an emotion, but you can decide what meaning you give it and how it can serve others (and you). Jealousy is made up of multiple underlining emotions, love and hate. You love the object but hate the individual who (or who may) receives it. So the way to control any emotion is to bring it to your conscious mind and be intentional about how you process it. Since love is present in jealousy, it’s easy to just focus on that portion of the emotion and recondition your response from a position of insecurity and negativity to an offer of generosity and positivity.
Instead of : "That person doesn't deserve that!!"
Try : "Thank you for proving what's possible. Could you help me do that?"
(Leave some situations in the comments below if you have specific ones you would like addressed.)
Jealousy also is addressed in my Emotions post.
But this solution is specifically on re-purposing it.
Now engage multiple senses to support your effort. Speak the words to the individual “I am happy for you, blah blah blah….”, yes out loud to their face. Touch them while you do it. Hug them; shake their hand (whichever is appropriate). Write this phrase in your journal to reflect on this feeling of happiness toward to individual. The idea here it to hit it from every angle possible. Engaging all of your senses keeps your mind from wandering back into focusing on the less empowering negative side of jealousy (hate). It’s like bringing your friends along with you to help you stay distracted.
Stick with it. You will slip on occasion but don’t give up. Chances are, if you’ve read this far, this is an issue and you’ll have multiple chances to correct it in the near future. You will begin to notice the difference in your happiness and the depth of the relationships with people around you. Once you begin to notice this, build on the momentum and soon enough, this will be your default reaction and jealousy will become your best quality.
What to do about those Jealous of YOU?
There’s one more piece to Jealousy, and that’s those who are jealous of YOU!! They are affectionately referred to as “Haters”. The worst part about these haters is, there is absolutely nothing you can do about them. “Haters gonna hate !!”. You can kill them with kindness, ignore them, engage them, fight them… it really doesn’t matter. The only way a jealous person is happy is when you do not receive the things they don’t want you to have. (Remember, this was you just five minutes ago…) So, then what do we do? The biggest thing we DON’T ever do, is give in to them. Do NOT under ANY circumstance, stop growing or achieving for the pleasure of someone else. Jealousy is their monster to bear, not yours. The best (and only) thing you can do about Haters is appreciate them.
Yup, embrace them for what they are; proof that you’re doing better than them. Think about it. The only reason they are hating you is because you have something. If you didn’t have anything, they wouldn’t pay you any attention. So, stay on your path and hope, maybe someday they will see your effort as motivation to focus on their own lives. Maybe someday they will read this article and begin praising your achievements. So, share this with them, post it on your Facebook and anywhere else you see fit.
And when they do eventually adjust their ways, receive them openly. We all feel jealousy. No individual is better than any other. But we all do have the power to choose how we channel it and what impact it serves in this world.