Jealousy - Curse or Blessing?

Jealousy - Curse or Blessing?
We should not feel guilty about having a jealous heart. The closer we get to people the more likely we are to feel jealous or become the object of envy. Jealousy and greed are powerful emotions which everyone on earth has experienced because we are competitive creatures, born and bred. Even Mother Theresa and Albert Schweitzer were jealous and greedy people! They were jealous of those who helped others and were greedy to do more good and save more people from harm. So what do we do when jealousy upsets our equilibrium and pushes our anger button? Toss out of our life everybody who is jealous of us or avoid everyone we envy? Our world will become constricted surrounded only by people who massage our egos and are similar to us, how boring. We need to learn and grow. Acute stress is good for us as it wakes us up to be more vigilant and to perform better, the same with jealousy.

If you are a jealous person
On the outside looking in at successful friends (each one of us has a different definition for success) how do you find peace in your heart? After all, you are more deserving because you are:
  • Smarter
  • More talented
  • More beautiful
  • More experienced

Yet, they have the glory, the money or the Hollywood lifestyle. So what are you going to do about it? Pray that they lose it all to make yourself look better? Jealousy can actually propel you to the next level to emulate their achievement. Study the object of your envy and imitate. Obviously, he or she has the secret formula – go out and learn it. Next make this formula fit with your own core value system. Get creative and give it your personal stamp. Ask the person you want to be like to help you out with advice or networking (notice how easily jealousy can be re-conceptualized!) Turn jealousy around to work for you!

If you are the object of envy
Congratulations! Don’t feel inhibited about owning your success. Don’t be afraid to express and delight in what you have accomplished because others will feel contracted in your presence. Most of us have been taught as children never to show off. However, when you don’t let others know what you achieve because you fear their jealous remarks, you suppress your inner light. Instead, observe their jealous response, verbal or body language, objectify it and smile knowingly that it is part of the human condition. If you don’t make a big deal out of it, the other person will smile and recognize that she was just being real. Be mindful of jealousy and don’t fuel it by feeding into the negative aspect and absorbing the negative energy. The more you see it, the more you get accustomed, like aversion therapy. The key is exposure with compassionate understanding. Try making the jealous person feel good. Be generous with a compliment, so that the conversation is not all about you.

As for me
I must confess my jealous heart: I was jealous of friends who wrote books. I was jealous of people who had a radio show. I was jealous of people who created a Monet-type garden in their backyard. Guess what? I worked hard and did it too. Currently, I am jealous of those people who are best-selling authors and have a TV show…
Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Changing Habits: The Caregivers' Total Workout and Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WGBB AM1240 in New York City , produces a weekly wellness newsletter, and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit:

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