For Women: 5 WAYS TO STOP FEELING JEALOUS AND COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHER WOMEN WHEN YOU ARE OUT IN PUBLIC!
STOP CALLING HIM HONEY AND START HAVING SEX!
Does this ever happen to you? You're feeling really good about yourself. Your hair is just right, your outfit makes you look so (pick whichever look you're going for: cute, hot, sexy, sophisticated, trendy, thin, curvy-in-all-the-right-places). That new lipstick you bought is just the perfect shade of coral pink. You think you look great! Until...
You step outside and start comparing yourself to other women! And suddenly, you're not feeling so confident, any more.
This happened to me the other day when my family took a trip to the Museum of Natural History. If you ever want to put your self-confidence to the test, just go into New York City on a warm weekend and start comparing yourself to the hordes or gorgeous women you will inevitably see out walking around in really short things.
Let's backtrack, though. Before we left: I am wearing a new cute soft pink summer dress I picked up on sale which shows off my curves nicely - without looking trashy or being so short I have to worry about walking up all those stairs I'll be encountering.
My hair is behaving - it looks thick, not frizzy. My make-up is just right - understated, yet not boring. I look like one hot mommy! Or so I think.
I'm really looking forward to this trip! It's going to be so much fun!
Okay, fast forward to the museum. Suddenly, instead of focusing on the interesting artifacts in the Hall of Pacific Peoples, I am focusing on another young mom standing next to me. I have whipped out my mental score-card. Well, she has longer hair than me - but her dress isn't as cute. She has a perfect shape - but her skin is bad.
Why have I suddenly turned into an eighth grader?
As the day goes on, it gets worse. At the Planetarium, I spot a woman ahead of me who is wearing something so short, I don't know how she can possibly get away with it. Her legs are perfect. Her hair is tumbling and cascading down her back. She's laughing!
Wait a minute. Why does she seem happier than me?
In the gem room, I see a girl flirting with her boyfriend. She has a big flower in her hair, and she's wearing a very short white mini-dress. She's giggling and touching his head. They're having so much fun! Meanwhile, my husband is complaining that we're late for the spider exhibit, and my daughter is whining that she's thirsty.
Suddenly, I don't feel like such a hot mommy, any more. Suddenly, my hair feels frizzy, my dress seems too long (why was I so concerned about going upstairs, when clearly, no other woman in this entire city is concerned about this particular thing)?
Why do I feel jealous of this woman who is just starting out in her relationship, and is existing in a cloud of flirty newness?
I feel...deflated. Unhappy. Cranky. Overly married and boring. And hot.
But not the good kind of hot!
My mojo has been completely thrown off. I'm like the emperor losing his groove.
So what happened here? What went wrong? How did my fun family outing turn into a major rush of insecurity and depression?
I'll tell you how. I ruined it myself with my negative thoughts.
But it doesn't have to be this way!
Do you, too, compare yourself to other women every time you go out in public?
Why do so many us women, no matter our age or marital or parental or professional status do it? Why do we have to compare ourselves physically to other women when we are in public? I don't think men do this.
Well partly it's because society - our culture and the media - encourages this sort of destructive behaviour. But mostly because it's become a bad habit. A habit that is sucking positive energy out of all your outings! Luckily, it's a habit you can break, by remembering these 5 important points:
1). YOU ARE MUCH MORE THAN YOUR OUTWARD APPEARANCE. Contrary to what the media would have us believe, we are more than what we look like. We have personality, charm, smarts, special talents - we have people who love us no matter what we look like - our parents, boyfriend, husband, children, cat, dog, hamster, beta fish.....
So why oh why does all this important knowledge about ourselves simply fly out the window when we're standing next to a Jessica Alba look-alike in a micro mini?
Answer: IT DOESN'T HAVE TO! Remind yourself of all the great stuff you have going on. Remind yourself often. Be your own cheerleader!
It's one thing to care about your appearance and look the best you can. You should! However, it's quite another to base all your self worth and sense of identity on how you look. That's just setting yourself up for a fall. It also puts you in "competition mode" every time you step out the door (or invite people over, if they include women)!
2). DON'T EQUATE HAPPINESS TO BEING THE BEST LOOKING WOMEN IN THE ROOM. Are you one of those women who gets depressed when a wildly attractive woman enters the room, and you see men scoping her out? Or when the perfect mom waltzes onto the playground - the perfect mom who's wearing the latest clothes and just seems to have it all together?
Do you suddenly feel...ugly or frumpy - or worse, invisible?
Do you think that getting attention from strange men is all that your worth revolves around?
Do you really think your worth revolves around always having the latest clothes?
Remember - another woman's attractiveness does not cancel you out. You exist separate from her. You have your own life. There's room in this world for everyone! there's enough "attention" to go around. You are unique. No one can compete with you. No one can be you. Life is not a constant beauty pageant or fashion show!
3). and while I'm at it, remember first and foremost, BEAUTY DOES NOT EQUAL HAPPINESS! Do you think really attractive people are always happy? Well, they may or may not be as happy as anyone else, depending on what is going on in their life at that particular moment.
What REALLY makes us happy in life? Someone to laugh with, a good idea, creating something beautiful, viewing a sunset, bonding with your children, petting your cat, writing hubs...I could go on and on!
4). LEARN TO BE GRATEFUL. Okay, this may sound like cheesy inspirational-speaker advice, but it works. When you're grateful for what you have - your family, a job you love, a hobby that fulfills you, most of all,your health...you're less likely to fall prey to petty envy and jealousy (I have to learn to take my own advice)!
Granted, it's hard to drown out that insidious media voice that's always making us feel bad about ourselves. But it's your happiness and your power, so take it back!
And while I'm at it, don't feel jealous of those who are newly in love. Granted that's difficult, if you're subjected to oodles of PDA right in front of your face, while your husband is busy complaining about the price of turkey sandwiches in the museum snack bar.
Remind yourself that your relationship has staying power - which is what everyone in those beginner relationships really wants!
5). So STOP THE NEGATIVE THOUGHT LOOP! Here is the best advice of all. Every time you are out in public and you feel that negative self-talk heating up, CHANGE IT!
For instance, if you see a woman in the bank line with oodles of gorgeous hair, and you start thinking, "Look at her hair! That's so annoying! Who has that much hair....STOPPPPP! and change your thoughts to something positive, such as: "Sure she has great hair. But I like my hair. It suits me!
Or, if you truly don't like your hair, and another women's hair is a constant source of jealousy and irritation, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! Schedule an appointment, buy some extensions to try out, or some cute new hair accessories....so maybe your new thought could be: Her hair looks great! Maybe I can try to copy that look by coloring my hair auburn and trying out some hair extensions and getting a cute new clip.
Or it could be that weight is your issue. If that's the case, you may have a particularly hard time at the beach. Your negative thought loop might go something like this: Everyone looks so fit and toned! Do they all have personal trainer, or what? Try changing your thoughts to: I know I have a ways to go before I get back in shape. But that's okay, I'm working on it! Meanwhile, I really like this bathing-suit I'm wearing. I think it looks cute on me! I love the color!
By substituting negative thoughts with positive ones, you won't have to feel bad about yourself. Instead, you'll be treating yourself with kindness and respect (like you deserve) instead of putting yourself down. You'll be filled with hope for the future - basking in positivity and joy, able to toss out the "mental scorecard" and just be happy living in the moment!
Here's something else to consider: If you always find yourself being jealous of the same thing - for instance, a certain sort of skirt women are currently wearing - it could be that in truth, you really want one of those skirts but have convinced yourself, for whatever reason, you can't have one (you're too heavy,not attractive enough to wear a flirty skirt like that, it's not an appropriate style for moms or married women, etc...).
Well, why not admit to yourself that you really do want one, and geez, just get one! Then, make it work for you! Perhaps you'll wear the skirt with dark tights, or a more tailored top that suits your life-style. Remember;often jealousy is a sign that something is missing from your life.
Which reminds me of the fun and flirty daters in the museum...being jealous of this behaviour could be a sign that a little more fun and flirtiness needs to be interjected into your own relationship. Or, if you're not in a relationship, it could be a sign that a "steady" is what you really crave - even though you've tried to convince yourself you're happy going solo right now.
So listen to yourself - and most importantly, be HONEST with yourself. Realize what you want and need to do to improve yourself and your life, and make plans to do it. Include these plans in your self-talk, so it remains positive. Don't allow yourself to drown in a sea of envy!
Are beautiful and sexy women shoved in your path just to make you feel bad about yourself? NO! Only YOU can make you feel bad about yourself. Nobody else has that power! But you also have the power to make yourself feel GOOD about yourself, so use it!
Now, armed with these tips and advice, you are ready to venture out into the world of "other women" - yes, even cute and pretty "other women" and "hot mommies" - free to laugh and smile and enjoy your friends and family...and maybe even check out those cool exhibits in the Hall of Pacific Peoples!