“To cure jealousy is to see it for what it is, a dissatisfaction with self”
— Joan Didion
While people tend to think of jealousy in terms of romantic entanglements, it often takes similar form outside of relationships. I’m talking about the jealousy exuded by those who steer the eye of envy and anger to those deemed undeserving of success. Much like romantic jealousy, the problem never lies with the target of these jealous feelings, but instead with the person sowing their seeds of envy upon others.
We’ve all experienced this type of jealous behavior in our lives. Maybe someone was promoted at work even though they put forth the least amount of effort on their job. Perhaps the unemployed neighbor hit big on a scratch off lottery ticket and was able to buy a brand new car. Do you see the problem with these scenarios? Words and descriptions like lazy and lack of effort aren’t how these people describe themselves, it’s how you describe them—how you judge them because you feel they don’t deserve the good fortune bestowed upon them. This doesn’t address the bigger issue, though. It’s not that you feel like you deserve these good things instead of them; it’s that you WANT these good things to happen to you instead of them. The problem doesn’t reside with their good fortune; it resides with the fact you haven’t done the things needed to be in their position.
No, I’m not advocating you waste your money on lottery tickets, but I am saying you can’t expect to win anything when you’ve never bought a ticket. The same goes for work or anything else involving the acknowledgement of others. It’s easy to judge or dismiss the good fortune of those who are chosen over you, but it’s a much more bitter pill to swallow when you must admit they’ve done things you haven’t to get where they are or attain what they have. Simply put, if you’re mad at someone for succeeding at something you haven’t mustered up the guts to try, you’re jealous—you’re a hater.
Oh yes, a hater. People like to brag online about having haters or not caring about what their haters have to say, but the fact is, if it didn’t bother them they wouldn’t bring it up at all. This is the other side of jealousy; letting the jealousy of other bring you down. Letting others bring you down to their level is something you should never do. A jealous person, or a hater as it were, is somebody who doesn’t like who they are or what they’ve accomplished in life so they lash out at those succeeding where they wish they were. If you’re on the hater side of things, knock that shit out and focus on bettering your life. Don’t worry about what others are doing. If you’re on the worried about haters side, knock that shit out, too. Your energy should be spent on continuing to improve your life and being positive about the blessings you already have. There’s no reason to worry about what anyone else thinks of your success.
You’ll find much more success when you shrug off the small “injustices” like the lazy coworker getting a promotion. Be the bigger person and congratulate them, then use the jealous feelings you have as motivation to score your own promotion. Don’t focus on the “luck” of the lottery winner. Focus on the years and years of money they’ve wasted that you didn’t. Sure, they got a payout in the end, but it’s not like it comes with any feelings of reward from putting in hard work. Chances are they won’t appreciate the money nearly as much as you appreciate the money you’ve EARNED over the years.
This brings me to the final topic of this article: self reward. There’s few things that feel as rewarding as achieving success from your own hard work. Winning something doesn’t compare. Throwing the lazy person under the bus and getting them fired so you can take their position doesn’t compare. The only way to truly feel worthy of your success is by earning it. When you earn something, all jealousy of other people’s success just fades away.
Was this helpful? If so, you might want to check these life articles out as well.