I find myself being envious from time to time. Thoughts like “Why does that soap actress with the annoying social media persona get to publish a book?”, “Why does that blog with just advertorials on it have ten times the amount of followers I do” and “Why does she have SUCH good hair” pop into my head. After simmering in my envy for a while I always end up feeling rubbish. Jealousy is just unproductive negativity that doesn’t do anyone any good, after all.
Envy or jealousy has the power to paralyse you. You’re so busy worrying about what other people have and you don’t, while you could have spent all that time working towards your own hopes and dreams. Or, you know, just enjoy life and be the fabulous you you are.
Most of the time those ‘that’s so unfair, he/she doesn’t deserve that’ thoughts are bullshit anyway. The reason why something good is happening to that person is probably the fact that they worked really hard for it. Or maybe they just got lucky. Good on them, no?
I think gossip is a closely related evil. A lot of gossip comes from envy and the fact that you feel the need to compare yourself to others. I do enjoy embarking on a good catching up/gossip session with some of my best friends, but do think there are gradations of evil in gossip. Sharing information (still a euphemism, but you know what I mean) is a lot less bad in my books than actually rejoicing in someone’s misery. That’s just nasty. And I think we should try to stop doing that. After all, there are plenty of other interesting topics to talk about.
There, I’ve established the fact that I don’t like jealousy/envy. A while ago I have made a small pact with myself to just try and stop to be jealous. It is surprisingly simple to do that (in theory). A good start is trying to stop comparing yourself to others. I figured that would give one less opportunities to get frustrated with other’s possessions/achievements/theyjustseemsocoolonfacebook. Pay special attention to not compare yourself to other people’s carefully curated social media persona, that shit ain’t real anyway. The next step is trying to be genuinely happy for other people, even if they have exactly what you want but don’t have (yet). When I did manage to replace that unproductive negativity with positive energy (I’m aware that I sound very New Age-y/ like my hippy mother, but oh well) I’ve found that it actually makes you feel better. See! You don’t even have to ban jealousy out of altruistic motives.
From time to time I still get “urgh, why does that bitch go to the cool parties I wish I knew about”-like thoughts, but then I just give myself a small mental slap and try to get over it. I suggest you give yourself a break too and stop worrying about the colour of other people’s grass.
Excuse me now while I go tend to my own grass.