Why Jealousy Is Preventing You From Living Your Optimal Life

Image via Unsplash/Danka Peter

The act of being jealous is something that is inherent to almost every living creature; it’s simply wanting something that someone else has: a mate, a bigger house, a nicer car, a more lucrative career, even just a better spot in line. Wanting somebody else’s something doesn’t take a lot; it’s like we’re just wired to do it. But at some point being jealous can take over your life whether you realize it or not. Of the many vices in which you can indulge that will get in the way of you growing into a better person, none of them is more poisonous than jealousy. Jealousy is more than just a sentiment; it’s a mindset — a mindset that can and will affect your thoughts, actions and eventually relationships if it isn’t wrangled into control. If you think that being jealous every now and then is something that won’t hurt anyone, you couldn’t be more wrong. Here’s why being a jealous person is undoubtedly preventing you from living the optimal life you want.

You’ll Find Yourself Secretly Wishing Ill Will

Even though none of us gets a real say in what’s rightfully fair and unfair in the outcomes of people’s lives, we all still insist on making the call on what is and isn’t. Does it matter? Of course not. Someone else will always have something you want; it’s one of life’s few certainties. Feeling jilted because of someone else’s seemingly better fortune is start of becoming jealous of that person. The problem is that jealousy isn’t a dormant thought; you can’t just pine for something knowing someone else has it without eventually letting that poisonous feeling seep into your sentiments for that person. Before you know it, that harmless feeling of envy turns into a feeling of ill will — not just for The Fates but also the person whom they have “favored”. Just think to yourself:

How many times have you “hated that bitch” or “found him so annoying” for — what? Having made it in a career they worked really hard for? Being married with kids living a picture-perfect lifestyle that you secretly wished you had? Whatever it is, why the hate? Why the ill will towards someone that deserves none of it just because you are insecure and want something you can’t have? Let it snowball, and jealousy can (and will) turn you into a greedy, petty and unrighteous person that even you’d be disgusted by. And who wants to wish good things for someone like that?

You’ll Never Appreciate What You Have

The grass is always greener on the other side — it’s almost infuriating how true this is for pretty much any situation in life. You’ve heard it a million times but only seem to hear it when you’re preaching it to someone else, right? (Usually the person who’s jealous of you? Go figure.) The more time you spend being jealous of someone else, the less time you’ll enjoy appreciating what you have. More often than not, we are blessed with a plethora of things to be thankful for and to appreciate in our short time on Earth. Understandably, we just get caught up in the reality of life — which is that things are never perfect — and forget that everyone goes through the same thing.

So, while you’re pining for her perfect boyfriend and all the gifts he showers her with, remember that you’re also enjoying the lack of fights, sharing the bathroom and the everyday stresses of a relationship. And while you’re ogling at pictures of your single friends’ weekend escapades and carefree vacays abroad, remember that you have someone to come home to, rub your back after a long day and listen to you bitch about things that no one cares about. Spend too much time being jealous of things you don’t have, and you will literally never enjoy what you do — and that’s not only shameful but also a complete waste of your blessings.

You’ll Never Be Content

When you think about how best to live your optimal life, there’s common theme in all of our fantasies: contentment. Being perfectly happy  — isn’t that just what living your best life is all about? It doesn’t take a lot to be content; rather it probably takes a lot less. Displeasure is obviously the antithesis of contentment, and where you’ll find jealousy you’ll find displeasure. Anyone who is riddled with envious thoughts daily will know what it is to be in a constant state of displeasure: always pining for something else, always feeling restless with the state of your life, always wondering things like, “Why me?” or “Why not me?” (when the question disfavors you, of course), and never just feeling 100 percent content.

If you think that it’s the lack of good things in your life and the surplus of bad that’s keeping you from being content, good luck with finding contentment — ever. Happiness, just like jealousy, is a mindset; its existence doesn’t depend on the physical world. What you have or don’t have in the outside world will never determine whether you’ll find happiness. Contentment, joy, happiness are all things that you find within yourself when there is room for them to grow. And frankly, jealousy might as well be a weed in your garden because there ain’t gonna be any contentment around here until you get out the Weed Wacker.