How to Stop Jealousy in its Tracks, and Why we Must

The fact is, we know what jealousy feels like, because we’re human. I know I certainly know the feeling. When I was younger I felt very insecure about myself. Often, my jealousy would emerge when I would see another girl who I felt was prettier than me, had a better body, better clothes, better hair, etc.

Here are the steps in my personal Jealous Thought Process (JTP, if you will) with a common example that many women face:

  1.  Making the observation.
    • “Wow, that woman has a really nice body.”
  2. Comparing them to myself.
    • “I’m bigger than she is.”
  3. Turning the comparison into self-degradation.
    • “I’m fat and ugly.”
  4. Recognizing the self-degrading comment and over-correcting.
    • “She knows she has a nice body, so she flaunts it in front of everybody.” And honestly, though I’m not proud of it, I would generally call her a derogatory name in my head.

Well, that escalated quickly, am I right?

It is this type of thought process, right here, that hurts our ability to connect with others. We end up resenting either ourselves or the other person. Obviously I wouldn’t be writing this article if I didn’t have a way to help. It’s time to replace that JTP with a loving one instead. Sometimes we don’t realize we are doing it until the thought process is nearly complete, and the damage is partially done. That’s okay, it is all part of the learning process.

Here are some methods to stop your JTP in it’s tracks, no matter what step you’ve reached:

  1. So, you’ve made the observation. Instead of continuing onto Step 2, end the thought process here.
    • “Wow, she has a nice body.” If you feel yourself getting ready to compare, look away or remove yourself from the situation.
  2. You couldn’t help it. You are already making the comparison.
    • “I’m bigger than she is.” This may be true, but instead of moving onto Step 3, add to this thought instead. “I’m bigger than she is, but our differences make us beautiful in our way.” A great way to get out of the Jealous Thought Process is to be grateful for what makes you, you.
  3. If you’re self-conscious, then self-degrading tends to be a bit of a habit. I understand that it can be hard to break a habit. Here’s what to do if you reached Step 3:
    • “I’m fat and ugly.” You must forgive this thought. If you can forgive this thought, you can skip on back to the corrected Step 2 above. “I forgive myself for those degrading comments. I may be bigger than she is, but our differences make us beautiful in our own way.”
  4. You reached Step 4. You now hold the other person responsible for making you feel inadequate. You’re talking smack about them in your mind as we speak. So what do you do when you’re on a sinking ship? You jump off! When I reach this point, the best way to turn it around is to distract myself. I know it’s hard to stop once you’re sinking, so I hop off entirely.
    • “She knows she has a nice body, so she flaunts it in front of everybody. Then again, I probably would too if I was more confident about myself. Her confidence is really inspiring, and I bet she worked hard to reach that point. I wonder if she lifts weights or if she is a runner? She probably maintains a healthy lifestyle. I don’t want to eat healthy food all the time. I like to eat pizza. I think I’m going to have pizza for dinner. I’ll preheat the oven when I get home.” and so on. By this time, I don’t even remember the negative feelings that started this thought train, just that I’m really in the mood for pizza.

Don’t get too discouraged if you reach Step 4, because now that you’re aware and working on the change, you will recognize your JTP much sooner next time! Stay positive. If you want to learn more about the benefits of not judging others, read Quit Judgin’.

What do you do to calm your green eyed monster? Share what works for you in the comments below!

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