I have an issue with jealousy. The stupid, non-logical kind that is petty and mean-spirited. Like the time I was jealous of someone’s car that I didn’t even want. Or the times I’ve been jealous that someone I want to be friends with is friends with someone else.
The problem with jealousy is that it’s not logical. I know it doesn’t make sense. Just because someone has something I want doesn’t mean I can’t also have it (or something similar). I could buy a new car if I wanted to, but in reality, I have other priorities (like being completely debt free, feels good!). Someone else having a good time doesn’t mean that I CAN’T have a good time. Someone else getting pregnant doesn’t prevent ME from getting pregnant. You see how illogical jealousy is?
I could scold myself for having such thoughts and get grumpy at why I’m such a jealous person. But instead, I’ve started to redo my reaction.
Take the friends situation for example. I saw a picture on Facebook of people I’d like to become friends with hang out with each other…without inviting me. My first thought is jealous and mean: “Ugh. But I was going to be friends with her. Why didn’t she invite me? Did nobody think to invite me?” I knew I was being jealous and was going to just move on and try to get over it, but deep down, I felt not wanted, inconsequential, and bitter. I didn’t want to feel this way towards people I’d like to be friends with. So, I looked at the picture for the second time and redid my reaction. “Oh look, it’s such and such. I know them! It looks like they had a lot of fun. I’m so happy for them.”
And you know what? Magic. I instantly felt the bitterness disappear and be replaced with love and warmth. These are people I care about, and I do want them to be happy, regardless of if that involves me. Just because they hung out together once does not bar me hanging out with them forever.
I encourage you to try it. If you find yourself having negative feelings that you aren’t proud of, try to revisit the situation in your mind and develop a different response. The results may surprise you. And once you do, tell me about it! I’d love to hear your thoughts and experience.