Monthly Archives: December 2013

Jealous versus Zealous

Jealousy is an emotion everyone feels at one point or another in his or her life. Some people are jealous all the time of various people, others have that one person who sparks their jealousy, and then others go in and out of feeling jealous throughout their lifetime. If we all feel this emotion why doesn’t anybody want to own the feeling? Jealousy is labeled as a negative emotion but it is actually a very easy feeling to conjure up. It is easier to see what we don’t have rather than what we do have. The grass is always greener on the other side is a saying that exists for a reason. Often we have to remind other people or ourselves that the opposite is true. We instantly believe the grass is greener on the other side because we only see what that other person wants us to see and not all the other things they keep hidden to themselves. The coworker who got a promotion and a huge pay raise might seem to have it easier but maybe they secretly hate their career and wish they could follow their dreams to do something else. Maybe that married couple your friends with look extremely happy in pictures but are working through problems and contemplating divorce. It’s important to try to remember that people tend to keep their unhappiness, troubles, and concerns to themselves.

Let’s also look at the alternative reality, the one where your coworker’s promotion is their dream job and the married couple your friends with are as madly in love with each other as they seem to be. Since jealousy is a natural emotion can it be okay to be jealous of other people who have things we want? What would happen if you allowed yourself to be jealous? I think problems occur when people are jealous but work on ignoring the emotion rather than letting themselves look at what it means. Jealousy can turn into anger that gets directed out onto others or jealousy can be kept internal and turn into bitterness. Of course anger and bitterness are not emotions people want to feel anymore than they want to feel jealous. If you let yourself acknowledge your jealous feelings it will help you avoid being angry and/or bitter. You can learn from your jealousy once you recognize that it’s there. Once you acknowledge these feelings of jealousy, think about what is causing you to feel this way. What do you want that the other person may have or which problems do you wish they didn’t have? Carefully look at the deep roots behind your jealous feeling and use it to your advantage. Once you know what you’re jealous of you can work towards achieving it yourself.

You can be ecstatic for your friend getting married but jealous of him or her at the same time. You do not have to wish that your friend didn’t find love just because you want that for yourself too. You’re jealous because you want what your friend has and you can use that feeling positively once you get in touch with it. This could be the perfect opportunity for you to be honest with yourself. Do you really want to be getting married right now or are you caught up in the special moment your friend is experiencing and that is what is making you feel jealous? Break it down and then decide your next move to work towards getting whatever it is you are jealous of. If you want a partner start thinking about what could help you meet someone. While it is not easy to meet that special someone maybe giving more thought to what you want will help. If you find you’re caught up in your friend’s special moment then decide how you want to create your own party that celebrates who you are as an individual.

Sometimes people find they are jealous of the problems that people around them don’t have to deal with and they wish life were simpler for themselves in that way. Maybe you are jealous of the colleague that you know who doesn’t have to worry about money. Some people had to take out student loans to go to college while others were fortunate enough to have other help. Now that you understand why you’re jealous you can put this knowledge to good use as you work towards tackling your money issues. Since this problem is on your mind you may stop and think a little bit longer before buying a new nonessential item. Again this will not be easy but it is a start.

Feeling jealous does not have to be a negative emotion but rather it can be what inspires you to do more or helps you realize you have a lot to be grateful for too. Did you know that both jealous and zealous come from the same Latin word, zelus? Being zealous indicates an eagerness and passionate interest in pursuing something. Jealous has a negative connotation while zealous has a positive implication yet they are clearly related to one another. When someone feels jealous they are longing for what someone else has while being zealous means being eager and going after what you want. If you break down the root of your jealousy you can use it to your advantage and go after what you want zealously.