My posts may contain affiliate links, meaning if you buy something through one of these links, I'll earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are my own.
Jealously is often unfairly demonised. It’s portrayed as an ugly emotion for ugly people, and we’re told that we should stay away from jealous people at all costs.
Ever since we were children we’ve been told that bullies are “just jealous”. And often that’s true. But the reality is that jealousy is an extremely raw human emotion, and it’s completely normal. It can also be very distressing and damage our self esteem, so here are four tips to help you deal with jealousy.
Know that it’s normal to feel jealous.
There’s nothing wrong with feeling jealous from time to time. It’s completely normal. Being jealous doesn’t make you a bad person, but it can easily make you an unhappy one.
Know that just because someone is great, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be great too.
I think sometimes we like to forget that even though someone else seems to have everything in life, it doesn’t mean that we can’t either.
Take careers for example. Often we’re jealous of people who are further along in their career than we are, but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to eventually end up where we want to be. They may have worked really hard to get where they are, and equally they may have not. The point is it doesn’t matter because it doesn’t affect where you are.
There’s enough space in the world for everyone to be great. Try and forget what other people are doing and focus solely on being the best person you can be today.
Recognise that social media isn’t real life.
I’ll tell you a story which I think is relevant, because I know a lot of women have been through similar experiences.
When I was 20 I was cheated on for the first time. This experience in itself broke me – realising someone doesn’t love you the way you love them is always heart breaking. A few months later I stumbled upon her Instagram and I’ll tell you this: she looked a lot like me. Except – and I say this with absolutely no jealousy – she was the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.
I beat myself up about it for months. I obsessed over her Instagram feed. I was upset because I thought if I was more like her, then my life would be better.
Experiencing jealousy over social media is so common, but it doesn’t make any sense. Social media isn’t real, especially with filters and photo editing being so prevalent. Everyone posts their best photos from their best days, but no one shows the bad days. It’s easy to work yourself up thinking that someone’s life is perfect, but nobody’s life is perfect.
Transform your jealousy into positive actions.
You need to work out the root of your jealousy. Think about everyone you’ve ever been jealous of and figure out why. Some things we can’t change, like our appearance, which is why working on self acceptance and self love should be the first step in overcoming jealousy.
But some things we can change. Things like grades and success which anyone can achieve with hard work and discipline. Jealousy is a very intense feeling. It can be overwhelming and scary but it doesn’t have to be if you turn those dark emotions into positive actions.
Focus on what you’re feeling right now and channel it towards something you’re passionate about. Perhaps that’s a hobby or perhaps it’s work related. Let jealousy drive you towards taking positive actions and you could end up achieving something you’re really proud of.