In the past, when I saw something that made me jealous, I would get upset. I’d close myself off, not allowing myself to feel my emotions. I was always under the impression that jealousy was a negative emotion and that feeling it made me a ‘loser’. But the truth is that jealousy is a perfectly normal emotion and it shouldn’t be treated as something to be avoided. Instead you should see it as something that can help you grow.
Now when I feel jealous, I use it as an indication of where I need to make changes in my life. Jealousy makes me aware of what I want and it helps me identify the steps I need to take to achieve it. For example, last week, after scrolling on LinkedIn, I started feeling jealous of a friend who had got an internship. After wallowing in self-pity for a few minutes, I suddenly realized what my feelings were trying to teach me and what I had to do about it. What I wanted was an internship and what I had to do to achieve that was to buff up my resume, do practice interviews, connect with employees on LinkedIn and so on. What I needed was to become the version of myself, actively working towards my goals and desires.
A post I saw on the Harvard Business Review’s Instagram page taught me a few things about jealousy. The post said that it’s okay to feel jealous, but that you have a choice as to whether or not you feel shame. Just because you don’t yet have what you want, you shouldn’t feel guilty and instead should accept your emotions. This will not only help the bad feelings disappear, but will also make you stronger. It’s a good idea to dig deep and ask yourself why you feel envious. Is it because you truly want this thing in your life? If the answer is yes, then what can you learn from what other people have done? Finally, when a person triggers jealousy in you, you should move towards rather than away from them. Doing this will help you build relationships with like-minded, high-achieving people and assist you in moving closer to your goals.
A funny little habit I’ve picked up from spirituality TikTok is saying thank you to the Universe when I see something that sparks jealousy. The idea behind this is that the Universe is like a catalogue – the things you see are what is available to you. So, when you see something you want and it makes you feel jealous, you should thank the Universe for showing it to you and you should trust that it can happen for you too. The Universe will never show you something or allow you a dream that you don’t have the capacity to make a reality. Therefore there’s no need to be upset if you feel jealous of someone. Simply accept your feelings and acknowledge that what’s possible for another person is possible for you too.
If you take away one thing from this article, it should be that jealousy doesn’t exist to hurt you - it’s there to help you grow and learn. Experiencing such an emotion teaches you more about yourself as a person. By accepting it, feeling it and trying to understand where it comes from, you can use jealousy to heal yourself. Treating jealousy in this way will give you a firm friend for life.