A Foolproof System For Overcoming Jealousy
I got an email this week from a reader, who was responding to a Facebook post I wrote about having dinner with Crazy Sexy Diet author Kris Carr at Cafť Gratitude in San Francisco, where sheís visiting on tour for her New York Times bestselling book.
The reader wrote:
“Iím so happy for you that you get to hang out with all these people I admire — Kris Carr, Sheila Kelley, Debbie Rosas, Mama Gena — but every time I read about you doing something with women I wish I could have as my friends, I get so jealous I can hardly stand it. And then I feel shitty about myself, but I feel like that makes me a bad person. I donít want you to stop posting about what you do. I love you, and I want you to keep being ALL YOU, ALL THE TIME. But in the spirit of transparency, I just wanted to share with you how I was feeling and see if you have an suggestions for how I might overcome this.Ē
So this post is dedicated to her — and anyone else out there who feels the same. Thank you, my friend, for speaking your truth and for being the lovely light you are.
The Attack Of The Green-Eyed Monster
Am I the only one whose mother called jealousy ďThe Green-Eyed Monster?Ē As in ďDo I see The Green-Eyed Monster sneaking up?Ē when I tried to snuggle in close to her after my newborn baby brother started getting all the attention.
Those feelings certainly donít go away when we get older. We just learn to sublimate them, which can make us feel even worse and lead to acting out behaviors that get in the way of both our relationships and our dreams.
Weíre all susceptible to these feelings. Sure, I could have even succumbed to them last night when I was having dinner with Kris. After all, I just wrote an awesome book that didnít hit the NY Times Bestseller List. Not even close. In fact, I think she sold more books in a day than I have sold in four months. The Green-Eyed Monster could start spouting off, ďBut wait, my book is just as good. Why didnít everyone buy my book? What does she have that I donít have? I deserve to get on Good Morning America just like she did, but they never called me. And how come sheís so frigginí pretty and skinny on top of it all? And damn, sheís ridiculously sweet too. I wish she was an asshole because at least then I could hate her.Ē (You get the picture.)
Sure, I have these feelings sometimes. But they never get me down. Why? Because Iíve developed a foolproof system for working through these feelings that not only keeps The Green-Eyed Monster at bay, it also helps lift me right up there with my friend.
So what do you do if The Green-Eyed Monster shows up?
7 Ways To Make Jealousy Your Friend
- Feel your feelings. If you feel those feelings, acknowledge them. Notice them. Pay attention to them. Feel them. Donít judge yourself. Youíre allowed to feel your feelings. Feelings are not good or bad- they just ARE. If you shove your feelings away, you may end up acting out in other ways.
- Recognize that this about you, not her. If you donít allow yourself to sit with your feelings and acknowledge them, you may try to make the other person wrong, when really, sheís done nothing worthy of your disdain. On the contrary, sheís achieved something or been naturally blessed with something you wish you had. Not her fault. Itís your issue, not hers. If youíre having trouble with this step, talk to a therapist or a coach.
- Appreciate what your jealousy is telling you. So often, we have no clue what we truly desire in life. But when we notice feelings of envy, those feelings are precious gifts pointing us towards what we truly wish to create in our own lives. If I notice The Green-Eyed Monster showing up when Krisís book hits the New York Times Bestseller List, it helps me clarify that I want to achieve the same thing one day. Getting clear on our desires is the first step towards trying to manifest them.
- Understand that the object of your jealousy is probably your best role model. Stick close! If you desire something someone else has achieved, spend as much time as possible with that person! Rub her head for good luck. Ask her questions. Seek her guidance. Pick her brain for wisdom. Itís tempting to run the other way because her achievement may trigger some ick factors in you. You may feel insecure, unworthy, or like a failure. And those feelings donít feel good. But running away will only make you feel worse. Buck up and stay close if you can do it with love.
- Be honest. I love the fact that this woman wrote to me in an email when she was feeling jealous. Her transparency makes me want to invite her out to dinner with the rest of us because sheís OWNING how sheís feeling. I love her all the more for her willingness to be vulnerable. And then, with her feelings on the table, I can be gentle and mindful with how I approach issues that might trigger her. Will I stop posting on Facebook? No. But Iíll be aware that there might be some people in my audience who feel the same way she does.
- Learn to revel in the success of others. If youíre going to stay close, be gracious. Be genuinely happy for the other person. If you canít manage to do that, keep your distance. Itís only going to make you feel worse if you force yourself to stick close and you keep acting out on your own projections.
- Celebrate whatís awesome about you and donít worry of making other people jealous. Remember that when good things happen to you, youíll want others to share in your triumphs too. Too often, women in particular dim our lights because we fear that shining brightly will make others feel uncomfortable, and we might trigger feelings of jealousy. But then weíre not being unapologetically who we are, and thatís just not authentic. Why should we have to dim our lights? Nope. Not me. One of the reasons I share the good things that happen to me on my blog and in social media is because I want to model this kind of behavior for us all. If I get on Oprah, Iím gonna shout it from the rooftops. And if you do, Iíll be right up there cheering for you. If your triumph triggers someone elseís junk, itís their problem, not yours (see #2). Create in your life a culture of YES, a community of people who lift each other up, and a network of truly awesome people whose success you can celebrate and who can do the same for you.
So what did I do during my dinner with Kris? I hugged her effusively. I rubbed her head for good luck. I share with her my own desire to write a bestselling book. And she introduced me to her agent, offered to share with me her secrets for doing so, and she taught me a TON about the publishing industry that I didnít know.
Itís a win-win for everybody. Plus, we got to nosh on some killer raw foods and do wheat grass shots together.
What about you? Do you experience feelings of jealousy? What do you do when they arise? Do you avoid people who make you feel this way? Or do you snuggle up close and ask the Universe to deliver a big olí helping of whatever sheís having?