Overcoming the Green-Eyed Monster: Jealousy

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I have always struggled with jealousy of other people, whether it was my siblings, acquaintances and friends. The main reason I felt so jealous is that I thought their lives were easier than mine and their lives looked so picture-perfect. I always felt like the ugly duckling, usually feeling out of place, especially since things like fashion didn’t make sense to me. It was so easy for me to compare myself to them and become angry. It was hard to enjoy what I had because I was angry, bitter and envious, focusing on what was difficult for me. Yes, I have to work harder than some people, but I made it even harder and more unpleasant by constantly inwardly competing with other people.

As you can probably tell, I’m a highly competitive person. I’m not sure if I come by this naturally or if my Dad encouraged this trait in me and my siblings, or if it’s a combination of both. I come from a very competitive and achievement-based family. I was especially jealous of one of my siblings because I thought (s)he was better looking, a better athlete, had more friends, and didn’t need help in school. It looked like everything came easily and without much effort to my sibling. Looking back on it, I feel badly that I let me anger and envy affect my sibling bond. We are no longer competing since we have grown up and we are trying to move on in our relationship.

I have found that comparing and contrasting myself to the people I know is a losing game. It makes me unhappy and an unpleasant person to be around. I find that it pushes people away and makes me more lonely.

What are some things that I do to try to decrease my feelings of jealousy? I try to be grateful for all that I have and all the amazing things that I’ve gotten to do in my life. I’m aware of the fact that a lot of these things are just by the luck of the draw and not through my effort alone. It also helps to remember that I’m not the center of the world and there are many people also trying their best every day. I try to reach out to the people that are close to me and genuinely ask them what’s going on in their lives and how they are doing. A lot of times I find out that their lives are more complicated and require more effort than I thought. Nobody that I’ve talked to has an easy or “simple” life. I find these coping strategies help me feel happier and more at peace with myself.

Every day I have a choice, and how I feel, think and react to what’s going on around me. I’m going to continue to embrace more gratitude, happiness, and optimism. I may not always succeed and some days it may be harder than others, but this is an important goal to me.

Out-of-Sync Woman

I was diagnosed at a young age and went through the special education system in public schools. Family is incredibly important to me as I grew up in a large supportive family. I enjoy being outside in nature and arts and crafts.

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