Women and Rivalry: Why We Get Jealous



BY JEN OLENICZAK BROWN

Have you ever experienced jealousy? Maybe it was with someone you worked with because they got a promotion or opportunity before you, or another person because they received something that you wished or hoped to get yourself? It might catch you by surprise because you might be jealous of someone you consider a friend, which feels weird, right? I mean, this person is your FRIEND! You should be proud of her, but for some reason, here you are wondering why her – why not you?

Hold up – jealousy happens. It doesn’t mean that you wish ill on your friend or care for them any less. Jealousy has been defined as “a threat or loss of success in a relationship due to interference from a rival” while envy is “a response to another person who has success, skills or qualities that you desire.” Think about the times you’ve felt jealousy or envy – or experienced it from the other side?

Were you friends with this person?

Were you colleagues?

How do you or did you feel about yourself? Do you think you are (or aren’t) good enough?

Understand that identifying the emotion is the best first step – now it’s time to combat it with digging to the source of it and using it for your next big success:

Find the Root

Where is the jealousy coming from? Did you try to get a promotion and it didn’t happen? Did you ask for a raise and your boss said not now? Are you feeling as though you aren’t good enough? Take a step back to think about where the feelings are coming from beyond the surface feeling.

Say It Out Loud

Find a friend to talk to – maybe it’s the friend you have these feels about, and maybe it’s a safe space! Whatever it is, don’t let the feelings just ferment in your head – they are going to keep growing if you don’t at least voice them.

Spin It

Yes, jealousy isn’t a great emotion. You can spin just about anything – and jealousy is one of those things that you can look at from another angle. Think of jealousy as the difference between what you have and what you want. You can use that to think about what you want to achieve in life and push towards that specific thing – don’t aim it at a person, aim it in motivation to get something done.

Look Inside

Are you holding yourself to an unfair standard? You might be disregarding your successes and achievements and focusing on all of the things you wish you had. The phrase “the grass is always greener” exists for a reason – be sure you’re measuring yourself in the same way that you are measuring other people. Aside from making sure that you’re measuring yourself on the same scale, take time to be excited about what you do have going on. It’s very easy to ignore the things that you’ve accomplished – take time and practice grace with yourself.

Get Motivated

Use this energy to get moving on what you do want to accomplish! You don’t have to sit back and wait for something to happen – you do need to make things happen if you want them. Use the energy you’re spending on jealousy to map out not only what you want, but steps to get there. The more you focus that energy on getting things done versus wishing they would just happen, the more things will start happening with you.

When they do, note them for the next time you feel jealous, and keep repeating the process of motivation and grace.


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