Apr 4, 2013

3 Reasons To Make Jealousy Your Friend

3 Reasons To Make Jealousy Your Friend

We’re told from a young age by friends, family, and society that certain emotions are “bad” to have. Depending on your culture and upbringing, pride, sexual desire, and jealousy are feelings that often have a bad reputation.

Every emotion is valid and teaches you something about yourself.

I believe that jealousy is one of the best teachers. Remember the one teacher you had in high school that made you believe in yourself and wake up to your potential? Jealousy is that teacher.

Jealous of my sweet costume? Don't hate, you can borrow it any time.

Jealous of my sweet costume? Don’t hate, you can borrow it any time.

What Is Jealousy?

Jealousy is a perceived threat to the continuity of something that you value.

You value your job?  When a new up and comer gets hired and starts killing it in your department, you’ll feel jealous of them. You don’t want them taking your job.

You value your best friend?  When your best friend makes a new friend who is very similar to you, but seemingly better, you feel jealous. You don’t want them taking your friend.

You value your girlfriend or wife?  When you imagine that she looked at that cute bartender for a second too long, you feel jealous. You don’t want him taking her from you.

Jealousy can teach you about your deepest, darkest secrets.

If you listen to it.

Jealous of this epic sunset? These happen every day. There's enough for everyone.

Jealous of this epic sunset? These happen every day. There’s enough for everyone. 

What Jealousy Can Teach You

Here are the top three reasons why you should make friends with your jealousy.

1. It shows what you value most in your life

Everything you are jealous of is a sure sign that you want what they seem to have.

Are you jealous that your friends are in relationships?  Maybe it’s time you started dating again.  Do you resent how ‘together’ that guy’s life seems to be?  That’s because you desire more balance and fullness in your own life.  Do you resent the fact that Joe went on another beach vacation and it’s crowding up your social media feed?  That’s because you’re overdue for a vacation.  You get the drill.

What you are jealous of, you desire.  So, next time, instead of shutting down your jealous thoughts, listen to them.  Wave hello at jealousy, and make friends with it.

2. It shows you your darkness (insecurities, low self-esteem, etc.)

Your jealousy shows you the things that you’re trying to hide from yourself.

If your girlfriend mentions that she thinks another man is attractive, and you feel jealousy, what specifically bothers you about that?  Is it that she might leave you?  Go further down than that.

Maybe she would leave you.  What scares you about that?  Does it re-affirm that you don’t think you’re good enough to have a girlfriend (issues around sense of deserving)?  Are you afraid that you wouldn’t be able to get another girlfriend if this one left you (low self-esteem)?  Do you feel jealousy because that man seems to be really rich or influential (faulty beliefs about attraction)?

In all of these cases, your jealousy says much more about you than it does about your partner.  Listen to the undertones of your thoughts.

If you fear her leaving you, maybe you feel that you don’t deserve her.  Maybe your self-esteem is low and so you assume that she must want to leave you (at least eventually).

If you think highly enough of yourself, your thoughts won’t be “She must want something better”… they would be more along the lines of “I’m awesome, we both know it, and I’m a great boyfriend”.

3. It can motivate you

Once you have let jealousy show you your inner road map, you can follow those paths to greater self-fulfillment.  If you realize your self-esteem is suffering, maybe it’s time to set some small goals and accomplish them.

If you realize that you feel like another guy might treat your girlfriend better, then maybe it’s time that you squashed that belief by treating your girlfriend better.

You’re Awesome

Looking inwards and doing your homework can be more difficult for some than others.  If you need some direction, you know I’m always here to help out.

In the mean time, have some patience with yourself.  The fact that you’re even reading this means that you are driven and self-aware.

Follow your emotions down to their root, listen hard, and I promise you’ll come out stronger on the other side.

I’ll see you there.

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