There’s a disease that practically all of us are struggling with, whether we openly admit it or not. It’s something no one talks about in Health class or even over mimosas between close friends at brunch. But it’s real and sometimes completely debilitating. It creeps up when you least expect it. You’ve just been quietly perusing Instagram or get a text from a friend and BAM, it completely washes over you.
It’s seeing a stunning girl on Instagram causally laughing while holding her iced coffee and you think “Why I can’t I look like that?” It’s looking at her tagged stores for her minimalist-chic outfit, mimicking her effortless poses, and deciding that she has a life that is more satisfying than any life will ever live. And the fact of her impeccable filtering skills and apparently having an on hand photographer, doesn’t even cross your mind.
It’s seeing someone from high school post on Facebook about their new promotion at work that they just found out while vacationing in Aruba. It’s clicking through page after page of their life and coming to the conclusion that even though you are not living it, it’s absolutely better than your own life.
It’s seeing people from behind the safety of your laptop screen, or your phone, or on the sides of the buses in your city, and wondering, “Why them? Why not me?” And instead of just saying, “Good for them” and continuing on your commute you let it linger in the back of your mind.
And it’s that feeling, those feelings that are the diseases that we’re all plagued by, and holds us back the most. Jealously doesn’t look good on anyone.
When you see a person and instantly get a little envious, it’s because you’re only seeing the successes. You don’t see the failures. You don’t see the rejected ideas or the promotions they didn’t get. You don’t see the forty photos they discarded because they were self-conscious about their thighs or a wrinkle in their forehead. You don’t see the people that don’t text them back or others that make- the same people you are envious of- question their own self-worth.
Social media doesn’t help these jealous feelings. Facebook/Instagram for my generation seems to be a platform to “show off” all that you’ve done and all the exciting things that are happening in your life. You know it’s true, that the people who use social media as a passive aggressive or crazy way to talk about negative issues become the hot topic in your besties group texts. I’ve had friends not post engagements on social media and people we haven’t seen in 7 years immediately ask why it wasn’t posted to Facebook… 2016 is weird.
You let those nasty, ugly, gross feelings push you, and ultimately motivate you to be the best person you are capable of being. The world is filled with amazing people. If you travel the world, you will find a multitude of gorgeous ones, successful ones, ones with incredible style, others with incredible resources, or some in possession of something that you want and don’t have — even people who seem to have an inexplicable magnetic pull on amazing things without putting in any effort. Everyone has individual preferences and ambitions; a personal dogma. You can’t ever be everything to everyone, and what some people love about you, others might hate. So what’s the point in being jealous of a particular person, if their great quality is just a matter of opinion?
Instead of looking at someone’s selfie and then spending hours in front of the mirror hating your pores, run a mile, go on a hike or even walk around the block and realize how amazing it is that you have a body that can carry you that far. Instead of seeing the news of someone’s promotion and feel stuck in your own professional life, push yourself to make an advancement in your own career path no matter how big or small. Instead of staring at someone and wallowing in your own shitty jealous feelings, recognize that they’re simply human who did something worthwhile with their time and move on.
Jealousy is a weakness, and is only something that makes you unhappy and takes away your glow. No matter how amazing you are, there will always be someone who is better looking than you, smarter than you, more talented than you, more successful than you, and better off than you. By being jealous, you’re only hurting yourself. Be the person in someone’s life that builds others up, is their biggest cheerleader or simply tells you when you look nice that day. If you have a Green Eyed Monster of a friend- think long and hard if the relationship is beneficial in your life.
At the end of the day, we all are affected by negative feelings from time to time. But it’s not those feelings that define us; it’s what we do after. It’s how we channel that energy to be better that says what kind of person we will be. And even if this only helps a little, you should know that you’re probably the person someone else is jealous of from time to time. Whether you choose to see it or not.