We’re all taught that jealousy is ugly, but isn't this feeling normal to some degree? I was reflecting on this issue the other day, after grabbing lunch with a friend, when the most breathtakingly beautiful woman sat across our table and we both froze and stared. I realized that we shouldn’t feel guilty for these moments. I believe that guilt should only happen when we can't deal with jealousy in a healthy way. No matter what, jealousy is natural-- it’s in all of us! So instead of feeling guilty about being jealous, here are some things we can learn.
You’re only human
Jealousy comes from insecurity. All humans have insecurities. When you’re not fully happy with yourself, you’re more likely to feel sour about someone's amazing qualities. It comes from the fear of not being good enough. You see other people’s gifts as proof you’re a lesser person.
But this mindset is just your insecurities talking. Focus on nurturing your self-esteem so you can face jealousy without destroying your confidence. Ultimately, you don’t need to be the best at everything, you only need to be the best version of yourself.
Jealousy helps you learn
Which things make you jealous? Is it someone’s talents, clothes or maybe their appearance? Think about what triggers your jealousy.
If it’s about someone’s accomplishments, for example, ask yourself why someone’s success would upset you? Maybe you need to focus on developing your own achievements and feel prouder of yourself. Or if you feel jealous about someone’s popularity, consider why you’re bothered by someone being liked. It may be a sign you need to like yourself more.
Working on recognizing what sparks your jealousy will help you learn a lot about yourself. It’s not easy, but when you’re more aware of your jealousy, you’ll learn what matters to you most. Decide if these goals are actually important in life. You might need to re-evaluate your priorities or try setting different goals that work for you.
Jealousy helps you grow
Sometimes jealousy can be the fuel that helps you grow-- just not in the way that you think! Your motivation to be better shouldn’t be about competing with others, but rather, to pay more attention to your own gifts and nurture them.
Otherwise, you’re just giving in to the ugly side of jealousy. If you envy someone’s accomplishments, talents or looks, and take it as a sign to love yourself less, then you become a victim to jealousy. But if you work on accepting other people’s strengths without downgrading your own self-worth, you are dealing with your jealousy in a positive way.
By accepting that it’s okay to be jealous, you’ll be stronger and most self-aware. These qualities will empower you to grow as a brave, confident person. Work on applying new goals to your life instead of feeling negatively about others who have achieved them.