Have you ever felt jealous of another student’s GPA? There’s no need.
In a logic class lecture hall that contained nearly 500 students, the prof handed back exams. After he handed out the papers, he announced, “Two people cried when they got back their exams: the person with the lowest grade and the person with the highest but not perfect grade.”
We all went into an uproar. Jealously. We scathed the blubbering snob, that is until I looked down at my .5 deduction from an otherwise perfect paper?and realized he was referring to me.
No-one needs to feel jealous about my perfectionism. Later on, due to that perfectionism, the mental blocks of anxiety hit me daily. If in a room of kindergarteners tasked with tying their shoes, I would have gotten the lowest grade.
And no-one needs to ever feel jealous anyway. Not whether you get a fail while everyone else gets an A+. Not whether your husband elopes with the nanny. Not whether you sleep, hungry, under the Peace Bridge while your estranged celebrity ex strums guitar to a full-house in the Saddledome. Not ever.
Why? Because your feelings of jealousy always harm you. Jealousy never benefits you?and never protects you.
Sofia Price in her book Jealousy: How to Overcome Jealousy, Insecurity, and Trust Issues prompts you to drop all jealous feelings forever. Price gives the following tips on why jealousy destroys, and why abandoning jealousy builds:
– Instead of feeling jealous toward other people’s accomplishments, revel in their successes. The more you admire someone’s good fortune, good looks, or great character, the closer you come to modeling those traits for yourself.
– When you express jealousy over someone else, you are expressing your own feelings of inferiority. In other words, jealousy makes you look smaller than the other person?and makes the other person look even better. But you have no need to feel small. So, let go of jealousy when it tugs.
– Even if you discover your husband cheated on you, don’t feel jealous. Jealousy does nothing but impair your ability to think and react. Without jealousy, you can handle the situation with a clearer mind. (Do express boundaries at the start of a relationship, though.)
– Jealousy makes for volatile relationships. And no-one wants to spend time with an angry partner. If you fill your love-life with jealousy, you’re likely to send your partner packing. Instead, give your partner more and more freedom. Loosen the leash.
– Perhaps you discover your husband is having an affair with another woman. By befriending the other woman, you have a better chance of understanding and handling the aftermath.
I hope you discovered, as I did, that jealousy never mends, but always destroys.
As a final piece of advice, I’ve learned to never feel jealousy toward family. Always embrace their successes, their strengths, and their reputations. Boast about them. Never tarnish them. After all, whether we like it or not, our families reflect on us.
Similarly, when in teams at school or work, let go of any jealousy. Let each person’s strengths and achievements reflect on the group?and on you?like starbursts of sunlight.
After all, green-eyed monsters are more prone to cataracts.