The Good Side of Jealousy

Just like anything, too much of something is never good. That doesn’t just count for sugar, shopping and alcohol but also for human emotions. Too much anger, or jealousy can be a negative influence in your life to the point it hinders you from living a fulfilled life. Yet a little bit of jealousy, could be a driver for you to take action and enforce a change you need. It can help you reflect about things you may have not before – a mirror that is forced upon you. For example if you do want to finally quit a job that may not be paying you well, or you do want to go to Paris on vacation or even that you want to start dealing with your family issues. It can force a reflection in your life that you may have not been driven to otherwise.

At the same time, a complete lack of jealousy doesn’t sound too good either (just like a lack of sugar, shopping or alcohol in my case). It might perhaps highlight that you are not surrounding yourself with things or people that challenge you and inspire you to do better. We could all use a little nudge to help us live an easier life as life continuously brings challenges, doubts and issues with it. Learning from other people and being driven to improve or change could be a massive aid in figuring life out.

It’s easier to do something when you are forced to do it externally. Hence why people have personal trainers or the tax authority. Jealousy of another person can act as that driver. The general definition I found most interesting online was that jealousy is the feeling evoked when someone seems better off than you. You see something better than what you have – you look for ways to get it. I guess a kind of comparison comes into play, which can be a dangerous field. Often it can lead into a helpless cycle. Try shifting your thoughts, don’t go about it as “Why don’t I have what they have” but rather “Why do I want what they have and why haven’t I worked on getting it?”.

As of now, all I have listed are good things about jealousy – improvement, growth, things turning out for the better. If it’s such a good driver – then why does jealousy have such negative connotations? Why is it so frowned upon? Because a) it’s a negative/ painful feeling and b) it doesn’t often lead to action. That is because we are told it is a negative thing. We are not taught “Oh you feel this way? Do something about it!”. Instead we are told not to feel it. Often even worse, we do not address it, with others or even ourselves. I’ve even heard it being called an ugly emotion. Jealousy makes you ugly. Yet I would argue that there is no good kind or bad kind of jealousy.  Just like there is no good kind of happy or bad kind of happy. It’s just another emotion and does not need to get judged. Perhaps if we learned to navigate or manage this emotion in a sense that it helps us do better and be better, it would indeed be quiet helpful. It could be an asset to get to know yourself from another angle and lead to action about it. Listen to it as if it was someone else’s voice and ask yourself what you are actually trying to tell yourself. Therefore I ask you, just like any emotions that arise, accept jealousy without judging yourself.

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