Jealousy is probably one of the most unjustifiable feelings we have, but we have it anyway, despite it being wholly irrational 99% of the time. There are those times when you can maybe get away with some jealousy… if your partner leaves you for someone they like better, if in competition someone else beats you (I’m super competitive, so maybe this isn’t as natural as I think it is), you friend gets Beyonce tickets and you don’t, or basically any scenario in which someone has or takes something you want for yourself.
Despite there being these scenarios where jealousy is understandable, it still doesn’t make jealously PRODUCTIVE, and that’s the key to the toxicity of jealousy. It’s simply unproductive. That being so, jealous feelings can often happen irrationally, and for no apparent reason. For instance: I AM SUDDENLY JEALOUS OF EVERY OTHER PERSON WHO IS NOT ME THAT MY SIGNIFICANT EITHER HAS BEEN WITH IN THE PAST OR COULD POTENTIALLY BE WITH IN THE FUTURE. Don’t pretend you’ve never felt it, not even a little pang. Everyone, whether it’s fleeting and quickly quelched, or overwhelming and tear-jerking, has felt the nag of irrational, stupid, ridiculous jealousy.
Even Beyonce sings about it. She’s jealous. She’s human. Don’t hate her. Don’t judge her. It’s not a great way to be and she knows it, but she ain’t perfect. It can be difficult when you have something you want to hold onto so hard and never let go, whether a person, a job, an apartment, or a dress, that you have irrational emotions when that person flirts with someone else, when that job is given to someone else, when your neighbor’s apartment is bigger and cheaper than yours, when a girl at a party in the same dress as you looks like a model.
These feelings, frivolous as they are, happen. Being ashamed of them, I find, is a self defeating cycle. You feel an unproductive feeling, and then punish yourself for feeling it, which in turn makes you self-pitying, breaks down your self esteem, and causes you to be yet more jealous in unnecessary scenarios. It’s a hideous cycle that can be hard to break, but it’s also a cycle–take it from me–you don’t want to get stuck in.
I don’t think there’s a way for us to prevent ourselves from feeling jealousy. I think it will always sneak up, it will always surprise us, and it will always be something that we carry with us. There is no way to never be jealous. Just like there’s no way not to poop–we have to poop–but we have a way of making it as clean and inconspicuous as possible. And so it should be with irrational feelings, the poop of our brains. When you gotta go, you gotta go–it’s just about finding the most discreet way to do so.
So when you feel crazy jealous, tell your very best friend without fear of reproach, no matter how disgusting your feelings might sound. The best way to deal with jealousy is to speak it aloud, to manifest it in the air before you, and then you can destroy it. Vanquishing the demon is just as simple–get busy doing something you love. Distraction works–go to yoga, garden, craft, whatever it is that gets your mind off things. Do not sit and wallow and worry. The third and final step is perhaps the easiest–look at the things you do have, look at the love in your life, the world you’re building for yourself, and hug all of it with your mind vice. It might not always seem like it, but you already have everything you need and want. It might be scary to think about losing these things, but the fastest way to get rid of your blessings is to preemptively worry that you will.