How do you deal with being jealous of other people? I know it's an awful thing and it just shows I have low self-esteem and lack of confidence, which are two areas I know I need to work on. But I am an introvert and sometimes I feel overlooked by people who are extroverted and that my actions aren't noticed especially in the workplace.
Thanks for listening,
sweet a -
It’s okay that you’re jealous. Can I say that first? I need to say that first because otherwise you’ll kick yourself down for sending this email my way. You’ll degrade yourself by 10AM with all the sadness and guilt you feel for being a jealous person. I know because I’ve participating in that same degradation and it ain’t pretty.
You’re a jealous person. I’m a jealous person. We all deal with jealousy some of the time. It’s natural.
So, if we were in a meeting for Jealous People Anonymous then this would be the time you’d stand up and you’d announce to the room, “My name is _______________ and I am jealous of others.” And we’d all shake our heads in agreement. And you’d tell us your story. And we’d absolutely get it because it’s perfectly human to be jealous.
But the beautiful thing about admitting where you are on the map? When you locate yourself, and you get real with where you are, then there’s the potential to move forward. You can recenter the GPS and you can finally start to step away from these toxic feelings.
Jealousy is normal but it also doesn’t deserve the chance to rule your life and keep you from the joy that exists when you finally learn to cheer for yourself and others.
In the meantime, here’s what I am begging you not to do because it will poison your soul in small increments: Do not fake the celebration. Be a good sport but DO NOT cheer someone on with a comment or a text and then turn around to bash them. That’s toxic and it isn’t genuine and the only person who loses when you choose to be fake is yourself. That’s a nasty habit and I have been in that space before, and it feels like all the feelings of a fraud piling up in your chest and those feelings are ridiculously hard to come out from underneath.
Life is just too hard to be a fake cheerleader. Fear not if you are one those fake cheerleaders who’s commenting “love you” and “you go girl” on the photos of other people before taking out your voodoo version of that individual and shoving pins into their sides. With practice, we can learn to make the signs with glitter markers and stand by the roadside screaming for people and not feel like a fraud in the process.
The keyword is “learn.” Some people are born as natural cheerleaders and they have no problem yelling for others until their lungs get hoarse. And some of us are green-eyed-monsters with a scarcity mentality embedded in the trenches of our souls and we have to “learn” to cheer for other people.
I have no problem admitting I am in that second pile. My go-to mentality is that I am forgotten and God is done with me. It’s the lie I have to fight the hardest with.
I could write a thousand words on the green-eyed monster of jealousy and how to get over the hurdle of it but I really only have two suggestions for you that have made me a better human:
1. Celebrate people for who they’re becoming.
2. Invest in your own becoming.
Celebrate people for who they're becoming
This might require that you stop investing in things that suck the life away from you. To be truly effective in the world today, we have to stop giving into the things that absorb us to the point of exhaustion. If logging onto Instagram makes you sick to your stomach then you likely need better boundaries. If seeing someone’s story makes you seethe and foam at the mouth then yeah, it’s probably time to mute that person’s story.
I had to have a really honest conversation with a friend a few years ago and I had to straight out tell her: I don’t watch your stories anymore. I was honest in telling her they made me jealous and insecure. They made me feel all these awful feelings that I didn’t actually want to feel. They felt foreign to me but they were absolutely, undeniably there. And I confessed it to her. I let her know I was sorry for feeling these sorts of things and that I decided to step back from that area in order to benefit myself and her. She deserved more than a friend who secretly felt anger and envy every time I logged onto social media.
And then that step propelled me towards an even bigger step. I stopped watching the stories of people I knew altogether for a period of time. I decided I didn’t want to watch my friends live their lives when I could decide to live right alongside them and be invested in a real way. Sure, I missed some things. But every time I would log into Instagram, I would take note of the friends who popped up in the story section of the app and I would pray for those people. Or I would send them a card in the mail. Or I’d pick up the phone and call them or send off an encouraging text. I felt fuller in that span of weeks than I felt in a long time.