Reluctant confession of the week: I've been feeling a bit jealous of someone lately---someone I love and think is wonderful. I'm proud of her and happy for her, but at the same time, I've been feeling pangs of jealousy here and there.
It's a really strange feeling to be equally happy for and jealous of someone. And then you feel like a terrible person for being even slightly tempted to write passive aggressive rants on the Internet about how much you hate it when "someone" thinks they're all that and a bag of chips. (Thankfully, I refrained.)
I really do think this person is awesome. I'm happy for her and excited for her. But sometimes I flare up with jealousy when I hear about how exciting and eventful her life is in comparison to mine. Then I feel guilty for feeling jealous. Then I turn into a grumpy, melancholy, self-hating human for the rest of the afternoon.
Perhaps you can relate.
So I decided to be proactive for once and work through these feelings. Because the green-eyed monster doesn't exactly cultivate respect and lasting friendships.
Step 1: Identify which areas of your own life you're dissatisfied with.
Bonus points if it's something the person you're jealous of has and you don't. For example, you may be jealous of someone who is making more money than you because you're dissatisfied with the amount of money you make. Or you may be jealous of someone who travels all the time because you don't have the means or motivation to travel yourself.
Step 2: Ask yourself what little steps you can take to be more satisfied in those areas.
These don't have to be big or overwhelming steps. Think of one little baby step you can take, and then go from there. For example, if you want to travel more, figure out how much it would cost to visit and spend a certain amount of time in a place you've always wanted to travel to. Then you could start setting aside a certain percentage of your income each month until you have enough money saved to fund the trip.
Step 3: Count your own blessings.
Don't be so busy counting someone else's blessings that you forget to count your own. Look around. You always have something to be grateful for. I always feel better about myself and about my life when I take the time to truly notice and appreciate what I have.
Step 4: Remember that the people you're jealous of are not perfect, have their own battles to fight every day, and may even be jealous of you.
Don't be presumptuous enough to assume that the objects of your jealousy have all their shit together. No one ever does. One time I read something online that said something like, "If you threw all your problems in a pile with other people's problems, you'd grab all your problems back." (Something like that. I don't feel like Googling it verbatim.) It is a waste of time to compare your life to someone else's. You never know what is going on behind the scenes.
If you follow these steps, I think your jealousy will be cured. Mine is.