Thursday, 21 February 2019

Being Jealous

Being Jealous Blog Post


A word I’ve felt haunted by for years. 

I can still recall the time a friend told me she was jealous of me - not in a casual way, more of a it's been affecting our relationship for years kind of way - with intense clarity. The feeling of guilt. The weeks of second-guessing my behaviour. Constantly questioning my intentions behind sharing a new post on Instagram. Exploring my own feelings of jealousy and where these stem from in order to try and understand. But overall, it just felt like a great shame. A word we couldn’t come back from. A feeling that can’t be tamed.

It was a punch in the stomach.

Jealousy can make you feel young, insecure and ridiculous. Whether you’re the one feeling jealous or the one on the receiving end.

It can make you feel crazy. Or do crazy things. Are we imagining a friend’s weird behaviour? Or am I the one being weird?

It encourages us to be participants in the comparison game - a game I thought I’d left behind in my colourful school days where comparing yourself to every girl in class was the norm.

It makes you question your choices. I often find myself second guessing what to say to certain people from fear that it will make them jealous. And make me look (and feel) like a bad person. Essentially I started putting my feelings, accomplishments and goals second. Something I’ve come to realise is now damaging my own self.

But of course, I’m very accustomed to feeling jealous. I’d be a liar to say I wasn’t. I’ve been jealous. I’ve acted off the back of this feeling in the past.  

So, what can we do with this untamed green-eyed monster?

Seek out your own purpose.

Exploring your own identity takes your energy away from focusing on someone else's life and successes. Channel that energy into what you’re good at and what you want to achieve in life. And if you can’t do this, look at what it is that you want to accomplish. What do you feel you are missing? How can you overcome this? What skills do you want to learn? How can you aid your own personal growth? Spending our valuable time on ourselves is something we could all be better at. Putting ourselves first, and focusing on your own journey will help you to value yourself more, and hopefully see your friends’ successes from a different perspective too.

Remember to be a friend.

Friends are meant to be supporting each other. Lifting each other up. Sharing our triumphs (and our shortcomings) together. And if a friend can’t do this, it’s not a reflection on you as a person. You be you. And don’t let anyone else’s thoughts or feelings change that. And if you can’t stand to celebrate your friends’ successes or it makes you feel negative emotions, it’s time to start digging deep...

Sometimes you’ve got to be tough on yourself.

When you feel jealous a lot of the time, it’s time to start asking yourself why. The answers won’t be simple. And it won’t be a walk in the park. But it’ll be a step in the right direction. You’ll come to understand your emotions better. You’ll gain a better sense of why and how. By having a better grasp on jealousy you’ll have a better chance of knowing how to overcome it. All of which will help you with my next point...

Talk about it.

Be honest and open. Understanding why you feel this way, asking yourself these questions, will help you to talk about it with your friend(s). But only do this if you 100 per cent feel ready to listen and be responsive. Try not to get your back up by their reaction or be too defensive. If they’re a true friend they will appreciate your honesty, and will no doubt be there to help you through. Being open about your feelings, and giving a friend the chance to understand, will start to heal any cracks that jealousy has caused in your relationships.

It’s no easy feat. Jealousy is a tough one to confront. And it definitely doesn’t discriminate. Remember we’re all human, and jealousy or not, friends should always be there to lift you up.

I’m looking forward to facing some of these challenges and how to tackle jealousy in my next counselling session. How do you deal with your feelings of jealousy or being on the receiving end of this emotion?


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