08 Aug Jealousy doesn’t have to be a bad thing
We’ve all experienced it. Like most negative emotions (anger, resentment, cynicism) it is generally a waste of time and emotional energy to be jealous, but it is unavoidable nonetheless. After all, we are just human.
Jealousy is never purely a negative emotion. Everybody gets jealous. That is human nature – but how you use that emotion of jealousy to turn the game in your favor (or against it), is what really matters.
First of all, I’d like to say I’m not referring to envy in a romantic relationship. I think that is almost always toxic and an entirely different topic.
So is jealousy good or bad?
Depends on how you take it!
It’s important to understand that there are different types of jealousy. Generally speaking, it is either benign or malicious.
Benign jealously is the tendency to look at someone superior to you and wishing you could have what they have. This can be used constructively. If used correctly, it can be used to make you better and help you on your journey of self-discovery and improvement.
If it’s constructive, it makes you a more diligent worker, a good competitor, a better person all around. When it is controlled, jealousy can be harnessed to help us work harder to achieve our goals.
Be careful though. If not controlled, jealousy can make us bitter and hostile. It turns into the second type – malicious.
Malicious jealousy is completely destructive. It’s simply hating another person for having more than you.It can go as far as wishing bad things upon the other person.
You think for some reason they don’t deserve what they have and you destroy yourself and potentially the other person with mischievous thoughts and actions.
There is nothing good to be gained here.
Both types of jealousy are painful, but the key difference is the effects they have.
Benign produces a feeling of wanting to level up and increased motivation. Malicious creates a feeling of leveling down and decreased motivation.
Any emotion or any feeling just flows in the way we harness it. Jealously has the power to either build something up or destroy it. It really all depends on how your mind perceives it.
If I am jealous of someone who has something that I don’t have, I can spend my energy on hating that person and obsessing day and night on how to steal what they have.
I can spend my time discrediting them – or – I can spend my time and resources on encouraging and improving myself to become better.
I can recognize that I too am fully capable of attaining those things for myself. Which one of those options would make me better and help me as a person?
Instead of feeding jealousy and wasting your time sulking over your present situation, set it as a benchmark.
Don’t punish yourself for feelings you can’t control, but realize you are not powerless and what you choose to do with those emotions is fully your choice.
Don’t waste your time worrying about things you can’t control and turn the attention on yourself and on what you can do.
What are you really lacking that is making you feel like you need what someone else has? Is this feeling stemming from somewhere else? True personal improvement begins when you realize that others’ prosperity has nothing to do with you.
From there, focus your attention on all the things you do have and realize how fortunate you really are and recognize how much better it feels to be appreciative. For any negative emotion, gratitude is always the antidote.
Choose to be constructive and happy, friends.