You can be the moon and still be jealous of the stars. – Gary Allan
We get jealous when we feel threatened in our jobs, positions, relationships, and such stuffs as we deem important to us. Sometimes, we do it unconsciously. The truth is that many people are guilty of jealousy at one point or the other in their life’s journey.
Jealousy is not limited to man/woman relationships, rather, it transcends to sibling rivalry, competition among same sex, parents to children, colleagues, etcetera. Ever witnessed something like this?
It is at a birthday party and this group of sophisticated, charming girls is seated together at a table. Then along came this beautiful damsel looking all gorgeous and confident, waltzes into the room and makes her way through the crowd. A couple of the ladies seated on that table hiss and murmur to each other:
“Who does that one think she is, waltzing in as if she owns the whole place?”
“Who is she by the way, anybody we know?”
“Here she saunters down again. Watch me teach her some lessons on good manners”
said the most beautiful of them as she grabs the glass of wine before her, marches towards the new girl and making sure she bumped directly into the her, emptied her wine glass on her ruining her beautiful gown! Then pretends it was a mistake, while smirking happily, “There, that should teach her a lesson”
These ladies are all beautiful, so why are they jealous of the other girl? They probably believe she is stealing the show.
Men are also known to get jealous of their kids because his wife seems to be devoting so much time to them, vice versa. Colleagues in the office, one starts to feel that the boss is favouring a particular person, in classes, that one student is getting all the scores and all the accolades and attention. This is quite different from envy mind you, but both can turn sweet relationships sour, create enmity. That is why we must not let it fester but try to understand the reasons and fear behind it because there is always a reason – fear, insecurity, anger, etcetera. Rather than let it eat us up and damage our relationships, it should be a tool for self-improvement, a signal to change something.
UNDERSTANDING THE REASON BEHIND YOUR JEALOUSY
In the anecdote above, the ladies became scared that the new girl will take all the attention which is probably not true. This fueled their anger to the point of seeking to harm and humiliate her.
When we realize that the emotion we are feeling is jealousy, the first reaction should not be to retaliate or try to reclaim what we think we are losing. Once you recognize the emotion, try to understand why you are jealous, why you are angry or afraid. It could be that you fear losing the other person to a rival, or losing your position as the best or the most beautiful or you detest sharing the attention and love or even accolade that you hitherto enjoyed alone. Ask yourself what it is that fuels that fear or anger. I remember a friend saying that she used to be jealous of a particular girl in the office, but after a while, she sat down to address the issue because it was taking a toll on her and her relationship with this other girl. She realized that it was as simple as that the girl was new to the office but was very smart and sophisticated. She told herself, “but I am smart and even more beautiful and sophisticated, so why should I be jealous?” That was when it occurred to her that her real fear was that the new girl will become more popular and more sought after by the boss and her other colleagues. She was used to people looking up to her for assistance in solving office problems. Understanding this, she made an effort to befriend the girl and squash the negative emotion and everybody was the better for it.
Jealousy can stem from past experiences, directly or indirectly, losing a loved one, position, and power, to another. The fear of re-occurrence then grows and if unchecked, snowballs and diminishes our level of trust. This breeds insecurity and vulnerability to the victim. Take an objective but not too harsh look at yourself and understand what brings on the emotion. This will help tackle the problem, thus, recognizing its occurrence and understanding the reason behind it is the first step towards overcoming it.
SELF ESTEEM AND SELF CONFIDENCE
More often than not, jealousy arises due to low self-esteem and self-confidence which often results in lack of trust for oneself and for others. Feeling insecure and unsure of oneself creates room for jealousy to thrive. When one feels that others are better than he/she and thus stand better chances of having something or someone, when one believes that the other person is better, inferiority complex comes in and carries along with it jealousy. This forms part of the solution. If you are the jealous type, you need to work on your character, look inside you and find who you are, realize your worth and believe that you are unique, there’s no other like you. Trust in yourself and in your capabilities and gifts which God has deposited in you. Do not compare yourself with anybody except with yourself.
DON’T LET YOUR IMAGINATION RUN AWAY WITH YOU
Some of us always imagine the worst. You imagine that the tall handsome guy will take your woman, that the sassy colleague will take away your position. Where did you get that idea from? Yea, he is cute and she is intelligent and so are you. What’s more, there is something special that those people saw in you that they did not find in others, could be your dedication, sincerity, loyalty, smile, could be anything but what matters is that you possess that rare quality. It may actually be your own viewpoint that is distorting reality and creating problems where none exists.
The jealous are troublesome to others, but a torment to themselves. – William Penn
LEARN FRO YOUR JEALOUSY
This is the whole point of this write up, to learn from past experiences and use it to improve ourselves. Do I get jealous because I’m scared of being left alone, fear of losing my job? Do I listen and believe in other people’s negative opinion and attitude towards me? Find the reason and work on improving that aspect of your life. I have learnt a lot about me since I started identifying these emotions as jealousy.
Sometimes, life thrusts us into situations that bring out our jealous nature or set us up to be experiencing this emotion all too often. Look at kids that are the only child of their parents, naturally, they are mostly self-centered and do not want to share anything with anybody. This sets them up for jealousy because they are scared of losing what they have because they are not used to sharing. That does not mean we will remain stagnant. The only room that always has vacancy is the room for improvement.
Changing and improving oneself is one of the hardest ventures to undertake but most necessary. It should be a gradual process, we fall and rise and keep fighting. Focus on the goal, be positive and we will all meet at the top.
He that is jealous is not in love. – Saint Augustine