Ask Us Anything - being jealous doesn't make you a bad person
Part of our goal here at Rumble is to start and continue conversations among women. We want to know what’s important to you, what’s weighing heavy on your mind? What problems can we help each other solve? What questions can we help you answer?
Here's our latest reader question: Why am I not happy for my friend's sudden happiness and good fortune? My life is good, and I am thankful for all I have, but I find myself feeling resentful and angry toward her like she doesn't deserve it. Does it mean I'm a horrible friend or maybe we shouldn't be friends anymore or is there a way to not feel like this anymore?
Amanda Singletary: First, you are not a horrible friend. If you were to lace your happy chum’s pumpkin spice latte with laxatives or add her email to a chain mail newsletter, then you’d be a horrible friend. Secondly, what you’re feeling, whether it’s easy to admit or not, is jealousy. The good news about jealousy is it’s a totally normal feeling to have and it means you’re human. Congratulations, you’re a human being! That said, it’s a very uncomfortable feeling to have and the fact that it’s bothering you, tells me you’re a good person and undoubtedly a good friend. You say your life is good and that you are thankful for what you have, but when was the last time you sat down and really focused on all of the wonderful people, places and things that make you whole? This may sound hokey, but try making a list of all the tangibles and intangibles in your life that bring you joy. Tuck this list away in your wallet, bag, glove box, etc. Put it somewhere you’ll remember and anytime the envy monster rears its ugly head, get your list out and read it. How to get past these feelings takes a bit of work, but you’re worth it so give it a shot. Until we feel grounded and truly appreciative of the wonderful things in our own life, we can’t be appreciative of the success of those around us. You must first pat yourself on the back and celebrate you. Then, pat your friend on the back and celebrate her.
Susanna Shetley: Comparison and envy are core human traits. We all compare ourselves to others. They say that comparison is the thief of joy and while that is true, it’s still hard not to do it. You are not a horrible friend. You are simply being honest with yourself. The universe sends us all down different paths. It’s easy to look at someone’s else’s life and wonder why they have everything so easy when your own life feels like a maze of quicksand. Your friend’s path has taken a positive turn. It doesn’t mean your path won’t do the same. In the meantime, try and think of anything good going on in your life and keep your focus there.
Jessi Stone: Envy is such a complex emotion — one that often feels icky — and we have the urge to get rid of that feeling immediately so we don’t feel the discomfort that comes with it. Unfortunately, our brains like to ruminate on it for hours and it seems like we can’t do anything about it. The good news is we can transform that feeling into something positive. When I think of envy, I think it means to be resentful of someone else having something we don’t have whether we really want that thing or not. So, when I have feelings or jealousy, I ask myself, “Does this person have something I want for myself?” If the answer is no, then there’s no reason for me to be envious and I can move on. If the answer is yes, then I let that person’s accomplishment inspire to reach for the same. If you’re resentful of your friend’s great job, or new relationship or how much money they make, it’s more productive to consider, “How can I get that?” instead of “It’s not fair she has it and I don’t.” Also, it’s important to always remember that everyone’s lives are 50/50. We all have good days and bad days, accomplishments and failures — that’s what makes us human. Rest assured your friend has been envious of you at some point, probably about something you never even thought about.