Hope you’ve been enjoying all my letters in this series so far. They might seem to sound preachy but they are intended to hopefully help you in your near future. Today I want to write to you about an emotion that we are often exposed to in a toxic way. Whether it is you who is jealous of someone or it is someone who is jealous of you, either ways it isn’t a pleasant situation. But well, lets accept that we all are human with each of us struggling with our shortcomings, yearning for things that we don’t have and wistfully watching others blessed with them.
One of the best way of coping with jealousy is being honest to one’s self without being in denial. Most of us would never wish to acknowledge of being jealous just with the fear of being judged. The easiest way to identify jealousy is when you don’t feel happy about somebody’s else’s happiness, especially if the reason for their happiness does not harm anyone. When you recognise this emotion within yourself, first sit and introspect as to what exactly in the situation is bothering you. Is it someone’s new possession or privilege that’s beyond your reach at this point? Let’s say the neighbor’s swanky new car. Or is it your friend’s hot new girlfriend making you go green? Is it someone close giving your share of time to someone else that you so feel you deserve? Put yourself in the place of the person you feel is getting your share of deal and analyse how you would feel if you had it all. Truly believe that you do have it for yourself. Once you feel the comfort of owning what you wanted, think about how bad it would be if you had to let it go. You’d say real bad. I’d say doable, nevertheless. Sometimes the thought of letting go of things is more difficult to handle than the process of actually letting things go. It is our mind block in such situations that does not allow us to let things go. Once we try to know our mind better, it is easier to feed it with emotions that can help us overcome negative emotions and focusing on our positives. No matter how bad the situation is try not to make it competitive. Competition is beneficial if it is healthy. When competition breeds out of jealousy it leads to many more ego and personality issues in future.
At the risk of sounding narcissistic, I would like to share with you that in my case I have come across more situations where I have found people to be jealous of me than the ones in which I have been jealous. Don’t get me wrong. I do have my own moments of envy but the balance of me being jealous versus people being jealous of me is tilted towards the latter. I say this rather objectively without any illusions about myself or of others after having judged many situations in an unbiased manner. While there are times that it has boosted my ego and self-image, most number of times I feel empathetic towards the person who is jealous, because my intention is never to make someone feel bad about themselves. I constantly strive to be the best version of myself (I know, this seems to be my most quoted line in each letter, 😉 ‘the best version of myself/yourself!’) and if in that process it makes someone feel insecure or jealous, I somehow feel that I am instrumental in making that person feel that way. Owing to this there have been times that I have gently tried raising it with people, especially the close ones, by prodding them on how they feel about it. But well, based on my experiences I can tell you that this kind of confrontation only works with people who are mature and secure in their skin. The ones who are not with always try to deny and defend the fact about how they feel. But subtle signs and their body language gives it away in many ways. Look out for signs when these people do not clap for your victories. They are the ones who rush to you when you’re in the dumps to offer you fake solicitude. But the moment you’re in your elements you don’t see them around.
My suggestion to you in this regards is to confront the person gently only if you feel the confrontation would help ease the situation. The way the confrontation will be received will vary depending on the person’s nature and maturity. If you feel that confrontation would not be a good idea, it is better to distance oneself from the person and situation for the time being. If it is meant to be the person will sort his own feelings and get back to you in his own time. If not then it is best to accept that it’s time to let it go. While empathy and kindness is important, nothing is more important than your own peace of mind.
All I can say is do not let emotions like jealousy make you feel good or bad about yourself. When you see people being jealous of you do not let it go to your head. I’m sure it was triggered due to some qualities you possessed that the other person did not, but at the same time do not forget that the emotion came from a place of distorted thinking and hence should not be used as a parameter of judging one’s self. I say distorted thinking because how is it practically possible that two people can have the same qualities or luck? If a person is unable to accept this universal truth, his thinking is definitely distorted. Same goes for the times when you yourself feel jealous of someone. This emotion can never be a parameter for judging yourself. Each one of us is blessed with our own individual qualities – good and bad. Acknowledge it, accept it, work on it objectively and move forward. There are some emotions that help us evolve as humans. This is one of them.