Why do we get jealous?
It’s inevitable, really.
Because for a time, in one way or another, we all feel it.
She’s so much skinnier than me. *pout*
He has a summer house he never even uses. *scowl*
They pop out a kid every other year. *eye roll*
Why, Dear Reader, can’t we simply be happy for other people?
Why does the success of others always spark an evaluation–and often an unfair comparison–of our own lives?
In all honesty, there are many things I want:
copper-red hair; to be a stay-at-home mom; a farmhouse; a New York City apartment; to teach high school again; an Anthropologie-exclusive wardrobe; to be published; all of the Burt’s Bees products ever made.
The list goes on.
So when we see someone’s Instagram Story–one of adventure, beauty, and wine on the beach–it’s a reminder of what we want, but do not yet have.
And sometimes, that hurts.
Because there are only so many hours in the day, love.
So when will our glory days arrive?
The only answer I have to this existential question is a short and simple one:
Take a goddamn chance.
Seize every moment.
And while our goal may yet be out of reach, let’s enjoy the small stuff.
For surely we all have something to celebrate:
dozens of books on the shelf; a clean bill of health; summer vacation plans.
And when we see other people happy?
Let’s remember that they’re on a journey all their own. They’ve had hard days, and heartbreak, and pain.
So let’s vow to wish them well.
Let’s vow to live simply, gratefully, and with compassion.
For better days are ahead.
. . .
What are your thoughts on jealousy, Dear Reader? What makes you jealous? And how do you turn jealousy into productivity?
. . .
SnapDragon is an irreverent artist who just wants to live her best life, yo. (And possibly move to Finland.) Follow her Two-Bit Musings and more on snippetsofsnapdagon.com
37 thoughts on “SnapDragon Speaks: On Jealousy.”
A friend said once, “keep your eyes on your own plate” regarding judging others lives. I thought that was a great idea. I try to stay focused on what “I” should be doing. I haven’t always done that. Way too much comparing and self judgment. Good post!
That’s so true! The only person we can control is ourselves. Thanks for your comment, friend. 🕊
Great thoughts! 😉☺️😉
Thanks, friend! 🕊
To be Jealous is like a moth it eats into you …. If you let it sink its invisible teeths in you. It comes really it does come because from the Instagram to your friend, neighbour and TV and also the films we watch we want everything the others have that we think we do not have. So you are right take a goddamm chance but only if you are contented with what you have at the moment. Then you can go for what you want and then be satified . nice Post
Thanks for your comment, friend. You’re right: there are so many reminders of what we don’t have. So it can be hard to resist feeling jealous. May we fight the good fight! 🕊
Dreams of lives impossible to us. It’s frustrating when you feel something that isn’t yours as your own. Open Instagram and live somebody’s best moment in time. Continue scrolling and it’s the same thing over and over. Posts are crafted to invoke jealousy in others. The jelly-inclined of us fall for it, failing to realize there is more to the picture, caption, or friends commenting below.
Anecdote: A friend of mine is a suburban instagram model (3000 followers<). She has a barbie look, with a desirably thin frame. She barely eats. She does not/can not work out. Through instagram, her life is perfect. She is incredibly difficult to know (ex-gf's sister) and has few friends her own age. She is a great person, but her life is not all roses and is filled with her own problems.
Those of us who struggle with jealousy are poisoning ourselves every time we open the app and allow these negative emotions to control us. We have to remember that these snapshots are from 'perfect' moments in time.
You’re absolutely right! The highlight reel on social media makes everyone look glamorous. But each and every one of us have hardships. That’s what makes us human. Thanks for reading, and for your comment, friend! 🕊
We know very well that social media show us a small picture of reality, that people tend to pretend to live a perfect life, that they’re not necessarily happy with all they have got. Nevertheless, we still feel a bit of jealousy and bitterness that our life is “barely decent”.
We should remember that living ” a perfect life” often requires plenty of sacrifices which are not always worth their price. I like the saying that we should make our life from what we’ve got. If you want something else, you need to abandon what you”ve got and search for a new material to build.
Absolutely! I think self-reflection is a healthy practice and will assist us in living the life we want. Thanks so much for your comment, friend! 🕊
If your comparing yourself your not fulfilling your fullest self! Get past comparison, and start taking the steps you need to be that best self
Well said! Thanks for reading and for your comment. 🕊
Once we value simplicity over things that lack, we will be happy.
Well said, Betul! Thanks for your comment. 🕊
However lovely someone else’s life may look, we never know the whole story, therefore we’re jealous of some strange partial truth. Even on my worst day, I’d rather be me than anyone else. I sometimes wonder if we’re jealous because we don’t actually know what we want, we see all the other things and maybe it’s a grass is greener sort of situation.
As you say, take a chance. But to that I’d like to add, know thyself. If you know who you are and what you want or need, you’re not only more inclined to take that chance, you’re more capable.
Thanks for a wonderfully thought provoking post!
So true! Knowing ourselves and our wants and needs is crucial. Thanks for your comment, friend! 🕊
How true. Love your view
Thanks so much! And thanks for reading. 🕊
I like your advice to take a goddamn chance. And seize every moment. You do that and there will not be anything to be jealous about. Good post.
Thanks for your comment, friend! 🕊
I think jealousy is something that arises when we doubt our own selves…it’s like seeing what you want in other people and then telling yourself you’re incapable of getting to that level. A very tedious thing to get over but we keep trying everyday. Thank you for writing this.
Yes! We have to remember that we’re all human. We all have the same 24 hours. We are ALL capable of great things. Thank you for reading, and for your comment! 🕊
I tend to get jealous when it comes to relationship matters only so far, especially considering I am an average joe and my the-boyfriend had many admirers. A reassurance from him was the thing that helped me to tone down my jealousy. Then, making an Instagram account seems to be my worst mistake for me because it’s like a competition of flaunting whose lives are better. I especially jealous when I see another Indonesian who somehow gets to live abroad.
These days, I try to shut myself from social influence and decide to keep things to myself, though a part of me still often jealous to those who live a better life than mine. I try to channel those jealousy into an attempt to pursue my own dreams, though
Exactly! Instead of just being jealous, we can use those feelings as fuel toward achieving our goals. Thanks for your comment, friend! 🕊
This is so apt and timely. Speak louder for those at the back so they can hear 👂. Comparison steals joy. Envy springs forth roots of bitterness in the heart. Even the Bible says “Godliness with contentment is great gain”.
We’d be so much happier if we learn and understand this…
Thank you, friend! I appreciate your comment. 🕊
I saw a meme today ‘stop being jealous of people in their winning season. You don’t know what they lost in their losing season.’ Great post
I love that! Thanks for your comment, Gee Jen. 🕊
thanks for the cute reminder
My pleasure! Thanks for reading. 🕊
Hi. Denmark is my destination of choice. My favorite line in your piece: “Let’s vow to live simply, gratefully, and with compassion.” If Americans could get to this spot, there’d be a real evolution in thinking that would change the nation. Countries where the majority of people think this way score very high on all happiness studies. Why can’t Americans learn this simple lesson? What holds more of them back from changing? Great piece! Thanks.
Thanks, Troy! It is frustrating. American society tends to mimic American economics, in that it’s “a dog-eat-dog world.” When will we realize that when one person wins, we all lose? 🕊
I keep waiting for a larger share of the American public to have some sort of epiphany or to acquire the ability to think a bit more outside the box. Many researchers and smart people have shown that countries that have huge wealth disparities end up being the most unstable. Like you said, our only hope to survive and thrive is to realize that we are all in this together and that we all need to develop a greater sense of the common good. Of course, I’m a Democratic Socialist in my heart of hearts.
Troy! I knew we were birds of a feather. Keep fighting the good fight, my friend. 🕊
‘Let’s remember that they’re on a journey all their own. They’ve had hard days, and heartbreak, and pain.’ YES YES YES! No one has a completely perfect life.
Nope! We’re all human. Thanks for your comment, friend! 🙂