I was recently asked by a reader if I could recommend any strategies for the pursuit of happiness. Additionally, she mentioned that whenever she feels jealous, she reflects to see what is missing in her life and what is making her feel that particular way. She further went on to say that the way she dealt with jealousy was by joining in on the other person’s joy.
What is jealousy? Webster’s dictionary defines it as the quality or condition of being jealous. However, I am of the opinion that jealousy is the state of being insecure or the lack of self confidence. Others say that jealousy can also be considered a mixture of emotions from anger, fear, grief, abandonment, rage, humiliation and/or feelings of betrayal. I am of the opinion that we possibly learn the act of being jealous as early as our infancy. It has to arise from a basic survival instinct that we may even be born with. If you think about it, as a baby, our mother is our everything and we tend to feel threatened when someone else grabs her attention. The baby’s reaction is to cry until they see that they have mom’s attention again. That could be an example of insecurity, however a baby doesn’t really know any better.
As adults when we experience jealousy, we can easily fall into a state of irrational fear that can render us to others as being needy. I personally don’t consider myself a jealous person, however I can tell you from life experiences that as a married woman, I will get a bit jealous when I perceive a threat to the bond I have with my hubby. I honestly think it’s a natural instinct, although it is probably coupled with a bit of insecurity. As kids we all have certain insecurities, however, through life experiences, it appears to grow into something a bit more complex.
There are other silly ways we can get jealous. For example, if our partner is more outgoing than we are or vise versa, sometimes that can cause friction in the relationship. However, I am of the opinion that we need to feel comfortable with who we are first, rather than trying to be someone we are not in order to fit in. Through my own life experiences I have come to learn that I needed to worry about #1 first. I learned the hard way that by pleasing others I wasn’t being fair to myself or the ones around me. We cannot live our lives trying to make everybody happy, our true happiness comes from within.
Work on building your self confidence and you will begin to feel better about yourself. I am not a professional, however I have learned through certain psychology courses, as well as through life itself, that once you love who you are and are confident with yourself, your relationships will blossom and you will become that ray of sunshine that everyone looks forward to being around.
What are some life experiences you have had with jealousy? Share your story.
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