Jealousy is resentment toward someone for what they achieved or acquired.
If you scroll for 10 minutes on Facebook, I’m sure you can charge up your jealousy batteries. It’s full of people showing their best lives and best selves. They’ve got it all together, and you have some work ahead of you. Suddenly you are pained with jealousy and feel miserable about your life.
Some months go by, and you go on that holiday, get that new coat, job or whatever else – you post it on Socials, and before you know it, someone else is jealous about your perfect life too!
Maybe your marriage is going well. The girl or guy you dating is the perfect person. Perhaps you deal with conflict well, or someone has met you years after you’ve dealt with some crap and come out the other side. Unfortunately, they see what you have, not what you’ve been through. And rather than being happy for you, it’s clear they are jealous.
Every conversation, they drop comments about how their life is terrible and yours is so good. Then, you hear friends tell you about the snide remarks behind your back.
I once had someone make a snarky comment about my old Audi A4. Never mind that it was 12 years old, had gaffer tape over the intake pipe and was bought in Birmingham down a back alley from a dodgy car dealer (we only realised that after the purchase was complete). It cost less than £800 and used to break down an awful lot.
The guy who commented on all the above didn’t see how cheap and old the car was. Instead, he saw a shiny Audi and made a judgement from a place of jealousy.
Jealousy makes people do weird things. They say things that highlight the insecurity and treat you differently, and it’s tricky to know what to do. I firmly believe in not living small to make other people happy. But, at the same time, I understand that we can quickly become jealous when we see others and feel like we don’t match up. I’m sure it happens to us all from time to time.
Modesty is being unassuming (or not pretentious or arrogant) in estimating one’s abilities or achievements.
Modesty is a lost art. We live in a generation of decadence and visual wealth. That doesn’t necessarily mean everyone is wealthy but more that everyone wants to appear rich, and in our visual age, we can easily manipulate people’s views of our lives. In short, we like to show off.
A part of that wealth display gleans a feeble and superficial sense of self-worth and societal value. It’s not real, but it feels it for a moment. Modesty is best understood as complete confidence and security, so much so that you do not need to show off.
If you want to deal with someone who is jealous, honestly look at your life and ask if you’ve got an over-indulgence in your personal gains and achievements.
Are you showing off?
I’m not saying you need to shrink away or diminish anything good in your life but flashing the cash and over-indulgent displays of what we have can be seen as arrogant.
Don’t be that person.
Be Mindful Of Them.
You don’t need to change to suit their needs; being aware that someone is jealous is more about consideration.
If someone is struggling with something, I’d be careful in front of them about that issue.
If you have a good relationship, try to be kind but firm about what you have achieved. For example, you can explain to them that you’ve worked hard for what you have and that it hasn’t come easy (if that is true). Some people can recognise their jealousy and understand that it might be ill-placed. If there is a well-established relationship, you may want to help them reconcile their feelings toward you. At the same time, it is not your responsibility if they feel a certain way. By all means, be mindful, but do not take ownership of their emotions. The onus is on you to be conscientious, and them deal with their feelings.
Try To Emphaphise.
Placing yourself in their shoes is always a helpful exercise. Trying to understand them and how they see the situation lends perspective to how you carry yourself in the company of others.
You may be missing a crucial piece of information, and trying to imagine how they perceive your actions and behaviours may help you realise something about yourself.
Don’t Restrict Your Growth.
Having spent some time looking at their perspective, you mustn’t restrict your progress.
If you didn’t move forward in life until everyone was happy and free of jealousy, you’d never make any progress.
Some people project their feelings of inadequacy on others. The tall poppy syndrome can kick in when somebody close to them succeeds. We see a tall poppy growing more elevated than the rest. We don’t like it when others stand out and shine because it highlights our shortcomings, so we cut it down to feel superior once again.
Carry Yourself With Confidence.
You can wall with confidence while still being modest. Confidence is the security and certainty of your ability to thrive. We all have success and knockbacks. You can’t spend your life fearing progress because others might get jealous. While trying to be mindful and helpful, their jealousy is not your issue.
Speak well of others and don’t drag them down. Credit others who help you along the way in life and challenge the negative attitudes to take a look at their lives. If they feel the need to envy you, something is probably internally disturbed by what you have or what you are achieving. Sometimes moving forward is more of a help to them because it brings those things to the surface.
So look up, look ahead and move forward despite people’s jealousy. Be kind by trying to help them if they have a relationship with you, but ultimately, it’s not your responsibility to make them feel secure.
Discussion Rules: I’m not into thought policing but big on honour and respect. Opinionated is fine, but if you’re impolite or nasty, expect to see your comments disappear. Please do not put your URL in the comment text, and please use your name or initials and not your business name, as the latter comes off like spam. Have fun, and thanks for adding to the conversation! (All credit to Tim Ferris’ site, which I took this idea).