My grandmother once told me, “My sister is one of the most jealous people in the world. I know this because I don’t have a jealous bone in my body, but I can see it in people.”
“Okay, Gramma. Of course you’re not the jealous type. Not. At. All.”
I still laugh when I think of that conversation. We hate the things we see in other people that remind us of ourselves. And jealousy and envy are some of the worst qualities in the world, which sucks because I am a jealous and envious person.
[Career envy. Money envy. Running envy. Height envy. Weight envy. Hair envy. Shoe envy. Spouse envy. Dog envy. Baby envy. Location envy. Hotel envy. Eyebrow envy. Zip code envy. Beach house envy. Lifestyle envy. Upgrade envy. Good towel envy. Nice sheets envy. Landscape envy. Paint envy. Furniture envy. Jewelry envy. Socks envy.]
This is tough to admit. My life is great — and I don’t lack for a single thing — but I sometimes wonder how and why people are doing better. Then I find a way to knock it down.
“You work harder than me? You are smarter than me? Well, you know what? Your face is stupid.”
Ugh. So bad. So awful. So human. And your face is fine.
Jealousy and envy are more about insecurity than anything else. We have a void in our lives — one that we probably caused — and we deal with our void by attacking someone else instead of coming to terms with our own personal or professional failures.
Or we don’t have a void and our brains are broken.
So how do you solve the problem of being a jealous or envious of another human being? Heck if I know. I think I am much better, these days, because I am honest about it. I try to remember that I can be happy for someone while struggling with issues in my life.
You like your family? Oh how fabulous for you. Why don’t you go fuck yourself, I mean, go ahead and have a healthy relationship with your parents. That is great. I’ll be over here — not being jealous — figuring my shit out.
Jealousy and envy are unnecessary causes of suffering and anguish in our lives. And those dysfunctional behaviors — even if never publicly expressed — make us stupid, petty and unlikable.
If you catch yourself feeling jealousy or being envious of another person’s success, give yourself a little grace but please try to stop those behaviors ASAP. It’s a waste of time. Wish my Gramma had realized that in her lifetime.