Do you ever catch yourself feeling jealous of another person and then mentally reprimand yourself for feeling jealous? Well, I do all the damn time; when my friends get better grades than me, when they go out and my invite is nowhere to be found, whenever someone has something I would want, I get jealous. And, now you probably think I am an awful person.
Here’s the thing about me, though, while I do get jealous, I don’t act on this feeling. When my friends get better grades than I do, I am also genuinely happy for them and I can admit that I didn’t study enough to get the grade that they got. When they go out and don’t invite me, I don’t even the score by excluding them on my next outing. Instead, I make sure to invite them so that we can bond. And, when someone has something I like and want, I take it as an opportunity to get an honest review on a product I’m saving for. So yes, I do get jealous – often even. But, there’s a duality to my feelings of jealousy. It’s never black or white but always grey.
Don’t get me wrong, I still feel bad when I feel envious. After all, being raised Catholic has left its mark on me. As the tenth commandment states, “You shall not covet your neighbor's house, wife, or property.” Whenever I feel jealousy or envy, I still feel like I’m sinning. But, there’s more to it than that. Feeling envy or jealous also has some positive effects; when I get a lower grade than a friend – I still want to do better so next time I will put in more time and effort to get that higher grade I desire. I don’t think I would be as motivated if I hadn’t felt jealous, to begin with. It seems like being envious helps you to focus on the things you want.
Envy helps you focus on the things you want, but, like everything in this world, too much envy is also not good for you. While it helps you focus on the things you want, it will also allow you to lose focus on other things that are important to you. After all, if you spend all your time focusing on what others have that you don't, you won't spend enough time doing what is needed to get what you want out of life.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blogpost are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official views of Phryme Magazine.