Defeating the Green Eyed Monster in a Healthy Way
Jealousy and envy is a normal part of everyday life. It's completely natural to become jealous of something that is happening in the life of someone else. Humans like to observe other humans because it is in our nature to be curious about the lives of others. Of course, by observing the lives of others we can easily become jealous of them. Some types of jealousy can be healthy, while another can completely ruin your life.
Social media has made observing other peoples' lives very easy. No longer do we have to sit in a mall cafeteria and people watch, we can simply log on to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and know exactly what everyone is up to. This is wonderful if we just want to keep in touch with friends and family. Unfortunately, it can become a problem when we start to compare our lives to other peoples' lives. This becomes especially bothersome when we have faced some setbacks in our lives while the lives of others just keeping going forward at top speed. We start to think 'What's wrong with me that I don't have these things going for me?'
An example I can use from my own life is about a girl I went to high school with. We weren't best friends or anything but I would say hi to her because we had a few classes together and she was a very friendly and outgoing girl. She was a cheerleader and always seemed to be in a happy mood. She always ended up being in my math classes for some reason, and math is not my favorite subject. I was always more into English and Literature rather then math. I can do algebra and geometry just fine but it's certainly not my favorite subject and it does give me a hard time. On the other hand, for her, math must have been her favorite subject because no sooner had the teacher wrote down the problem on the board, her hand would shoot up with the answer. I had barely written the problem down in my notebook, yet she already had the answer. To be honest, I was a little jealous, but mostly irritated. Why did she have to be so openly good at something that I struggled at? It's not like I was dumb or anything, I just needed a longer time to do math. I still ended up getting A's and B's in math but I just had to work that much harder.
I am still friends with this girl on social media so I know what's going on in her life. I did get jealous when everything started happening for her all at once when nothing in my life seemed to be going anywhere. A couple of years ago, all during the course of one year, she graduated college, had a baby, and got married. I couldn't believe this all had happened in the course of a year! Seriously? I was only halfway through college, and I didn't even have a boyfriend so getting married and having a baby was not in the cards for me. To top it all off, she also moved to a new city that year and got a new job and house. It seemed like everything was coming together in her life all at once just like it always did. Everything just seemed so much easier for her then for me.
My breakthrough came when I started to look at jealousy in another way. I thought back to high school and how I was jealous that she was so good at math. Well so what? I was good at English. I had many other things I was good at even if they weren't math. I started to look at my talents rather then my struggles. Suddenly her being good at math only meant she was good at math, I on the other hand, was good at English and no one could take that away. When comparing my life to hers, I also realized I wasn't really jealous of her at all. Did I want to be married at 21? No, I was nowhere near ready for that. Did I want to have a baby at 21? No, thanks I'm 26 and I'm still not ready for that. Graduating college at 21 would have been okay, but not if I was having a baby and getting married all in the same year. That would have been way too much for me to handle. She had also moved away to a new city where she knew no one but her husband. Did I want to do that? Nope, not at all. She also started a job as a nurse. Was I jealous of that? Definitely not. While I consider nursing a very noble and useful profession, I could never do it because of the gross factor. Oh and she had purchased a house with her new husband in the new city. Did this really ensue jealousy in me? I don't think so. I have no desire to live in the middle of nowhere where I know no one. So when I really thought about it, I really wasn't jealous of her life at all. She had nothing I wanted. I had other goals and dreams that I wanted in my life. Maybe it was just the idea that everything was happening for her all at once that caused me to be jealous. It wasn't the actual things I was jealous about, just the fact that they were happening in her life.
Now, whenever I start to feel jealous about the life of someone else I just stop and think about it and ask myself some questions like Do I really want what they have? Do I really have room for that in my life? And is it even a right decision for me and my life? More times then not, the answer is NO to all those questions. I think about all the things I am good at in my life and start to feel grateful for those rather then being jealous of what someone else has. Okay someone went on a shopping spree, well I just went shopping last week and got a bunch of stuff. Jealous? Nope. Okay someone graduated college, well I graduated college last year with honors. Jealous? Nope, good for them! Someone just went to Jamaica for vacation. Jealous? Nope, I never had a desire to vacation there, I'd rather go to Florida. Someone just purchased their first home and they're two years younger then me. Jealous? No, I'm not ready to purchase my own home yet, it's just nothing I want right now because I plan to move to another city soon.
When you start to become jealous or envy what others have, stop and really think about what you're jealous of. Do you really want what they have? Most likely no. Everyone is different and has different hopes and dreams. What is right for one person is not always right for another. You have to think about yourself and what is best for you and your life. Maybe you can make jealousy work for you rather then against you. Whenever you see someone getting something that you want in your life, you know that you need to step up your game and try harder. Instead of jealousy ruining your life, make it become your motivator for accomplishing more. Now, when I do see someone actually getting something that I want, I know I have to push myself harder if I want to accomplish great things too. Remember that it's always good to surround yourself with people who are going to push you to become the best version of you that you can be. If you have friends that are worse off then you, than you have no one to motivate you and push you to become even better. Instead surround yourself with people that are successful and you too will follow their example and become successful yourself.
Start thinking about your life in a different and better way. Yes, some people may be better at some things, but don't forget that you're good at many things too. There are things you do that others don't even dream of doing. We can't all be good at exactly the same thing, that would be really boring and we would all be the same. Instead of being jealous of people, start to admire them and follow their example. Remember to be grateful for the things you already have and it will be hard to be jealous when you're counting your blessings.
Girl Next Door by Saving Jane
© 2015 GreenEyes1607