Jealousy: The Emotion Monster Everyone Told You to Get Rid Of

3 min read3 days ago


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Jealousy is often seen as a negative emotion, one that affects our lives in harmful ways. Negative emotions are unpleasant and disruptive, making us feel sad, miserable, or dislike ourselves or others. Common examples include anger and fear. But today, I want to challenge this view and share my thoughts on the potential positive aspects of jealousy.

First, let’s consider when we generally feel jealous. Here are a few scenarios:

Your friend or colleague gets better grades or a promotion than you.

Your best friend is the life of the party, and everyone loves them, while you are drinking juice alone in the corner.

Your partner receives a lot of attention from people of the opposite gender.

By focusing on these examples, I realised that jealousy mostly arises from insecurity, fear of losing something, and comparison. There is nothing inherently wrong with having these feelings.

I’m not here to tell you how to avoid jealousy because I think it’s impossible. It’s like asking you never to feel sad again; you can’t know happiness if you don’t experience sadness. Instead, I want to discuss the positive aspects this “negative” emotion brings and how you can tackle it.

1. Valuing Relationships: Most of the time, you only get jealous of your close ones — your partner, friend, colleague, or sibling. I’ve never been jealous of Elon Musk, even though he has achieved so much. Experiencing jealousy can make you realise how much you value a relationship. This recognition can lead to increased efforts to nurture and maintain the bond.

2. A Wake-Up Call: Jealousy can motivate you to improve yourself. For example, feeling jealous of a colleague’s success might inspire you to work harder, acquire new skills, or seek additional training. It helps in developing healthy competition among peers. Consider the story of Sarah, who felt jealous of her colleague’s promotion. Instead of letting it consume her, she used it as motivation to enhance her skills, leading to her own promotion a year later.

3. Self-Reflection: Jealousy encourages introspection, helping you understand your fears, insecurities, and desires. This self-awareness is essential for personal development. When John felt jealous of his friend’s social life, he reflected on his own needs and started engaging in activities that brought him joy, ultimately building his own social circle.

Practical Tips for Managing Jealousy:

Acknowledge Your Feelings: Accept that jealousy is a natural emotion and don’t be too hard on yourself for feeling it.

Communicate: Talk about your feelings with someone you trust; it can help to get an outside perspective.

Focus on Self-Improvement: Use jealousy as a motivator to set personal goals and work towards them.

Practice Gratitude: Remind yourself of the things you appreciate in your life to counterbalance feelings of jealousy.

In conclusion, jealousy can bring positive changes in your life if you handle this feeling correctly and don’t use it to bring others down. Embrace it as a tool for self-improvement and deeper understanding of your relationships. I would love to hear your thoughts as well in the comments.