I remember the first time I felt real jealousy. I was at the bar at dance school and I was standing behind the teacher’s daughter, Virginia. Virginia had such long legs and perfect turn out. I remember standing there and jealousy was eating me up on the inside. It made me feel nasty, really nasty. It beckoned me to do things that were not nice and although I resisted it as much as I could once I gained a bit of maturity, it has been a constant companion through life, seeking to make itself known at various times.
So I want to share a little secret with you that I learned and I talk more about this in my book, Fat Girls Can Dance.
The secret I found to dealing with jealousy is to kill it with kindness.
Yes, that’s right, kindness.
Do you know how hard it is to stay jealous of someone that you are being kind to? It’s almost impossible.
Like anything in life, if we respond in the opposite way, we are able to take the sting out of negative emotions.
In this situation, jealousy would like to make you angry, make you withdraw, make you gossip about the other person or even do something really nasty. It makes you territorial. So the only way to bring it to a head and stamp it out is to work in the opposite way. To choose not to be angry but to be loving. To choose not to withdraw but to actually befriend the person you are jealous of and form a meaningful relationship. To choose not to be nasty, but to be kind. To choose not to be territorial, but to share with the other person.
I am telling you the truth – this REALLY works!
Many times I have applied this principal when I have been jealous, right down to how I developed a relationship with one of my best friends. She was friends with a boy I liked, so I decided I needed her to be my friend so I didn’t feel jealousy when they were together. The result? I scored a bestie for life. She was my bridesmaid at my wedding, attended the births of my babies and continues to be a great friend 20 years on. It works.
So that is the challenge. The green eyed monster would like to ruin your relationships, to sabotage you and isolate you, but you can control it by adopting a proactive attitude.
Another way you can address it is to recognise that you can’t compare an apple with an orange, or yourself with a single, other human being, because you are absolutely 100% unique.
Stop the rot, to quote a famous saying. Kick jealousy out before it can get a foothold in your life and live a much healthier and happier life.
Finally, stay in your own lane. Often jealousy occurs when we try to swim in other people’s lanes, when we are operating outside of our sphere of influence and skill. So avoid damaging yourself and your relationships with others by staying in your own lane.