Let’s face it; we’ve all had that moment of being jealous. Jealousy has many faces. It can be envy, resentment, anger.
Definition of Jealous:
(Press, 2014), the Oxford Dictionary defines jealous as: “Feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages” and yes, “Feeling or showing a resentful suspicion that one’s partner is attracted to or involved with someone else”. The latter definition can bring out the monster in all of us!
Jealousy brings up negative emotions; envy, anger and it can also cause a lot of unnecessary resentment. How can we get control over jealousy? Can we stop being jealous?
One author writes that: “Jealousy is Just a Lack of Self-Confidence”. What did he/she have that you didn’t? Jealousy also gives us a sense of insecurity in our own abilities as a person. And sometimes…it hurts…
How to not be jealous:
First, we need to remember “jealousy” can be a normal emotion, as long as, of course, we keep it in perspective. With jealous feelings also comes anger. Unhealthy anger and jealously can lead to self-destruction, irrational actions and cause health problems.
- Do not dwell on those feelings of insecurity or jealousy.
- Gain control and power over your own emotions. This will not happen overnight, but, you can shift your focus from the negative to the positive. Explain to yourself “why you will NOT be jealous”.
- Make a list of your great qualities.
- Communicate your jealousy.
Example of how far communication can assist with jealous emotions: There were two sisters who went many years being “jealous” of each other. They fought constantly and decided to distance themselves from each other once they reached adulthood. It wasn’t until one of the sisters had a massive heart attack that the other one reached out to her.
Regardless of the anger they felt towards each other, neither wanted to lose the other one. That pain, that loss far outweighed the jealousy.
Belinda, the younger sister, always believed Karen, the older sister, was the pretty one. Karen had an olive complexion, blonde hair, green eyes and a quiet demeanor. Karen made the good grades and did what was expected of her, she always seemed to snag the guys.
Belinda, on the other hand was a tomboy. She could care less about school, an average student, with long, curly brown hair and brown eyes. Both sisters had their own traits and characteristics that could be appreciated.
One day, Belinda had a massive heart attack at a really unusual young age. As she lay in intensive care, she thought about her sister, Karen, and how much she wished she could call her and be with her. However, she wasn’t ready or able to let go of her jealousy, not even in the moment or fear of knowing she may not survive this. Words were said which could not be taken back by both sisters. Belinda laid sleeping in her room, alone and she cried…
In the meantime, rumor spread to Karen that her sister had undergone a surgery for her heart and was in intensive care. It wasn’t until Belinda was released from the hospital that Karen was able to find out her location. She knew that Belinda was now on a heart monitor and would have to be watched closely, it was still unknown if she would survive or for how long, there was a lot of damage to the heart. Karen phoned Belinda to check on her and to know if she could come and visit her. She loved her sister dearly.
Because Belinda was not over the jealousy, nor had she realized her anger towards her sister had never been dealt with, she refused to allow Karen to apologize or visit. As a matter of fact, she told her, “Look, the only reason you’re calling is to ease your conscious, you won’t me to accept your apology so that if I die, you won’t feel bad. Well forget it, I’m not giving you that satisfaction”. These were cruel words indeed. The jealously had reached a whole new level. Belinda felt forgiveness was out of the question. Her jealousy had consumed her.
With this Karen begin crying uncontrollably. She wanted to know what she had done that was so wrong that her sister could not forgive her. However, as angry as Belinda thought she was, the heart attack begin to change something in her. All those years spent with jealousy towards her very own sister, her only close living relative, the anger, was ill spent, wasted. The two women had missed out on their children growing up together, family gatherings and much love, time and friendship was lost. Their hard times were dealt with alone, they had no support as their own parents had passed away when they were young. This created even more animosity, because each sister blamed the other.
Finally, Belinda reached out to Karen, after careful thought, she felt the need and desire to call her sister and let her know, she had always been jealous of her. She realized her jealously had gone on for too long. And it no longer made her feel determined to accomplish more than her sister, it simply made her sick, and it made her feel bad inside.
Belinda explained to Karen that throughout their entire childhood, Karen had been the one with the good grades and all of the boys she liked, seemed to like Karen. Mom and Dad seemed to think Karen walked on water. Always doing the right thing. And this hurt her, always made her feel less. “There, it’s out, I was jealous of you for all those years”.
Karen’s reply, had been “What! But, I was jealous of you. You always had friends, all the boys always ask you to play on their football and baseball teams, they wanted you to go skating and swimming with them, not me! They wanted you to be their friend, their pal, like you were their sister, not mine. Mom and Dad bragged about you all the time, you made them laugh! They said how strong you were all the time and how you would be able to handle anything life had to offer, like I couldn’t!”
It was at this moment that both women realized each of them had been jealous of the other one. And for what? They had allowed jealousy to take over their own lives. Their jealousy of each other was unfounded, yet they wasted years believing the other one was more likeable. It was out, both girls, now women, were jealous of the other! Yet, neither of them had recognized the “jealousy”.
Belinda has since been hospitalized for heart related problems and other heart attacks, and at the side of her bed, is her sister, Karen. The jealousy is gone and reality has set in for both of them. Life is precious, it’s all we have and there is no room for jealousy. For either of the women….they speak on a daily basis now, sometimes, two, three or more times a day. And are able to remember the great moments spent together in their childhood.
All they needed to do was to talk about the jealousy, to understand it, what was behind it. Both women had characteristics and personalities loved by all. Yet, they couldn’t get past the jealousy, the anger. There were unspoken feelings, unspoken words.
I fully understand jealousy, as I am Belinda and my sister is Karen. I love her with all my heart and one of my biggest regrets in life, is not sharing how I felt with her or her sharing her feelings with me. We are close now and the lessen we have both learned about jealousy was almost realized too late…nothing good ever comes from it!
Normally, I do not like to speak about my own insecurities, or jealousy, my faults, my failures, however, I know and understand first-hand, how much being jealous can destroy us.
How to Stop being jealous:
Okay, you’re there, and it appears you have lost control. Stop…Divert your attentions elsewhere. Try to find and face whatever it is that is bringing about the insecurities.
- Identify exactly where the jealousy is coming from. Once you do this, you have something to work with.
- Work on building your self-confidence.
- Is it really your self-worth in question here? Do not allow others that power over you.
- Realize your own self-worth.
- Remember, we all have good qualities and we contribute to life in several different ways, it may “appear” as if someone is better than us, they have more to offer….
A very wise woman told me once…”Always remember, no one is better than you, and you…are no better than anyone else. Life is not a competition, know your own strengths and know, jealousy is a wasted emotion.