When I began writing this article I had a plan as to how to help others identify and handle ENVY and JEALOUSY. Yeah well, I`m hoping to still do that but we are taking an alternative route to get there today. Seatbelts on, keep your hands to yourself (unless consent is granted) and for the love of all the Potty Gods PaLease go before we leave the driveway.
Envy and jealousy are 2 different emotions, many use the words interchangably. Of the folks I interviewed on their meanings the results were pretty consistent. Envy is a feeling of Discontent with regard to anothers advantages, success or possessions. Jealousy is Resentment against someone you consider a rival. Rival is seen as someone enjoying success and advantages. But it can also be a mental uneasiness from suspicions or fears of rivaly, unfaithfulness, etc…
They are very close in meaning but here are the differences. Envy denotes a Longing to possess something awarded or achieved by another. Jealousy, on the other hand denotes a feeling of Resentment for what you feel should be yours. It has a much more negative, dark origin to the emotion.
Where did it come from?
So there is your informative part, this is where the research took a turn for me. As I was interviewing, or polling, people from various backgrounds and lifestyles it was clear to see that no matter where you are in life these 2 feelings are common and can be extremely damaging. I believe they are natural human reactions – it is how a person reacts to them that gives them the proper definition. What peaked my curiosity was the question of is it learned behavior or a genetically ingrained reaction? I had multiple people say “all my family are jealous and so therefore so am I.” Or, I had a few say it was a trait of their astrological sign, they could not help it. I even received a response back that stated if someone’s partner did not show jealousy than their partner really did not truly care for them. The answers fascinated me, which then started me on a crap ton of self reflection of my past and present situation.
I began trying to remember my earliest memories of either feeling envy/jealousy or witnessing it manifest. The self reflection brought me back to childhood where I saw my parents always trying to keep up with the Joneses. Had to have better cars, fancier house or portray the happiness they saw in others. To me that is envy, wanting to have what someone else has and trying to obtain it for yourself. You want it yes, but you are not taking the other person’s possession you are just trying to get it for yourself, too. I also remember the jealousy that was passed between them, adultry accusations and purposefully used hurtful words. Seeing these things as a child shaped the person I have become today. I had swore to my younger self I would not tolerate someone treating me that way and I would never compare myself to others. Then I found myself married at the age of 19 to the love of my life. I remember looking at the longevity and changes that occured to my parents and their relationship. Them working through their issues and continuing to support each other…I wanted that. But in hindsight wanting what they had led me to having to go through and learn my own lessons.
I was married to my best friend and soul mate. I vowed to not make the same mistakes I had seen others make. My marriage was a good one, we made 3 extraordinary human beings. People began envying what we had, our love for each other and our ability to sustain it for a quarter of a century. However, what we portrayed to the outside world was only partially accurate. My marriage was riddled with a multitude of painful and damaging moments that I kept hidden behind a smile. A partner’s jealousy and insecurities can really effect a woman’s psyche. I found myself allowing someone to control how I looked at myself physically, but also character wise. I made choices to keep him satisfied and happy, that meant giving up my own happiness and satisfaction. I gave all of myself to my family and in the process lost myself. Do not get me wrong, I would do it all over again because it made me who I have become today. I miss my best friend, but after 25 years of being on the same path our journeys took us in very different directions. I became stronger and am slowly finding that goddess within me that I allowed to go in hiding for so long.
It’s Perfectly Normal
I know I have taken a multitude of left turns in this article, thanks for hanging in there with me. The reason I shared a bit of my life with you is all to show that Envy and Jealousy are natural human emotions, it is what you do with them that gives them their truest meanings.
Envy can be used a character building emotion. Use it as a motivation to obtain what you desire. Or you can do some self reflecting on what you do have in your life and be grateful for the blessings the Universe has helped you already achieve.
Jealousy is a much tougher monster to deal with. Understanding that it is just thoughts and feelings, they are real but do not define oneself. Accepting your present situation as it is, control is in your hands but be humble enough to know you can only control your own emotions and reactions. Each person must have accountability for themselves. Read that one again. Put it on a sticky note if you are a slow learner like myself.
Here are just a few key tips that I, and others who shared with me, hope will help you have a better understanding, as well as coping tools to help battle the monsters.
- Accepting your present situation, reassuring oneself this is your personal journey and what direction you head into is up to you and you alone.
- Your actions dictate the outcome. Trusting yourself – your feelings are valid and important. Keeping them in check, not letting your thoughts control you and the situation. You are your own advocate, it is up to you to love yourself and communicate honestly and openly.
- These 2 feelings can spring from insecurities and selfishness, no matter if they are yours or the others involved. Participate in self care and self preservation. Find ways to build confidence in the people or relationships involved if you are wanting to help fix the issue. Giving or receiving positive affirmations, focusing on positive traits, trying to center your reactions from more of a selflessness. You will need to become comfortable and confident in yourself. How can you expect others to treat you properly or respectfully if you do not treat yourself that way?
Envy, and yes even a bit of jealousy, can be healthy emotions. It is what you do with them that makes the difference. Think before you react, and please remember you are a mere human who is not perfect. Life is a forever Work Zone, do not forget your hard hat. Safety is important.
Thank you so much for coming along on this ride with me…I know there were detours and heavy traffic at times but the company was good, right?