So far, it’s seeming like 2019 is the turnaround year for everybody! Job offers,
pay rises, leaving the parent’s nest into our own space (shout out to The
Slumflower), healthy and successful pregnancies, skin popping, mental state
flourishing! So it’s all good, right?
Sometimes, looking around, it can feel like everyone’s got their stuff together, but
you. Social media is bad enough, as people only post what they want you to see.
So naturally, online, people are going to present themselves in the best light they
can. But what about when it feels like your own friends are speeding miles ahead
of you? It’s like being torn between feeling happy for their success, which you
know they deserve, and feeling, daresay….jealous.
Jealousy tends to be portrayed in an ugly fashion. But actually, it’s a very valid
emotion that deserves acknowledgement just like the rest of them: anxiety,
happiness, sadness, euphoria, lust, rage, and so on. People tend to want to
disassociate themselves with this trait altogether, there’s something distasteful
about jealousy when it’s apparent and being played out in social situations,
especially between friends. When your people are winning, you’re supposed to
be cheering them on, over the moon for their achievements and right there
beside them to encourage them to go further. But sometimes, the unspoken
reality is, that this can serve as a painful reminder as to what you haven’t been
able to do yet. Sometimes, and ideally, this can serve as a motivator to push
ourselves to be better, so that we too can enjoy the feeling of achievement and
success. But sometimes, it can leave us questioning and doubting, whether we
are even capable of this level of happiness.
I think, personally, jealousy should be talked about more openly. It’s not a crime
to want what someone else has – sharing this experience and checking yourself
might actually be more helpful in directing that energy towards bettering
yourself, as there’s nothing wrong with being fuelled by competition. Allowing
jealousy to grow and fester without exploring the core reasons, might allow a
little more room for the other kinds of emotions that compliment jealousy and
bring out the worst in you to develop – shame, resentment and maybe even
hatred. Our real friends deserve to win and deserve the right to be supported by
people who have their best interests at heart. But we are allowed to want more
for ourselves. We just need to be more open to checking ourselves. Sometimes,
your friends may just have worked harder than you. Sometimes they may just
have access to things you may have to work twice as hard for. This can be a bitter
pill to swallow, and something you’d rather not think about. Sisterhood and
friendships certainly comes with their fair share of tests, and watching your girls’
blossom while you’re still figuring things out is certainly one of them. When it
comes to emotions, we know that we don’t have control over them all of the time.
Maybe we need to ask ourselves how can we learn to focus on finding the
balance between being a supportive friend, and remembering that we are all on
our own very personal and individual journeys, with different goal posts and
challenges. Emotions are inevitable. How we deal with them, is a choice.
Speak on it, write it down, pray about it…and start thinking about how you can
be the best you, and friend, that you can be. We don’t have to be so hard on
ourselves. We can learn to find happiness in our sisters’ success, and choose to
use their experience as a tool of encouragement for our own progression, so that
we all win in our own chosen time. Our turn is coming, and we’re going to want
our friends to be there for us too.
Follow Mel on Twitter: @radiomels