Okay, I’m sure many of you have heard Kelly Rowland’s new song ‘Dirty Laundry’ where she admits she was jealous of her Destiny’s Child band-mate, Beyoncé Knowles Carter. The public has known how Kelly felt for YEARS. She always wore a fake smile when reporters would ask her how she felt about her childhood friend’s success. And she seemed to avoid being around her friend when she was on tour or in the studio. It was weird to see close friends drifting apart especially when we could hear the sadness in Beyoncé’s voice whenever she spoke about Kelly’s absence in her life.
It’s a shame that as thrilled as some women can be to have an inner circle consists of successful, happy women, it’s normal for them to question whether they’re as successful and happy as the most successful one. Women instinctively compare themselves to their friends. When a friend has more of something or does something better—whether it’s looks, a career, a family or money—it’s natural to feel some degree of jealousy. But competition can cause you to be aggressive toward your pal or avoid her completely.
Did you know that jealousy is more intense when someone close to us does well in an area in which we also wanted to succeed? So, if (for example) you and your sibling are into writing, you will feel more jealous when he or she lands a publishing contract before you. Interestingly, the other side of the coin reveals we don't feel jealous if someone close to us does well in a field we’re not that interested in.
For example, if our best friend becomes a well-known broadcaster and we’re not into reporting the news and talking to people, we feel genuinely happy and even bask in the reflected glory of our friend's accomplishments. So, jealousy mainly happens when someone close to you does better than you in a domain that is relevant to your dreams.
Being aware of your envy is a good first step because then you can devise strategies to overcome the negative consequences of that feeling. If you’re not sure how to deal with your competitive streak, remember one thing –act in a way that you would have acted had you not felt jealous.
That’s right, act happy and proud for your friend, colleague or sibling. Research show that we often infer our values, attitudes, and opinions by observing our own behavior, which is why we feel happier when we force ourselves to smile. Likewise, others will assume that we are a more generous, giving person, a compassionate person capable of rising above petty competitiveness, when we force ourselves to congratulate others for their accomplishments when we feel jealous. (Yes, it’s the old adage; ‘Fake it, until you make it’ works well here.)
Taking such action is guaranteed to improve your chances of success. Specifically, if your success depends on how far others will go to remove obstacles from your paths and in helping you achieve your goals. Your chances of getting the next dream job may depend even more critically on the references you get from others than on your qualifications. So, do yourself a huge favor by taking action to overcome jealousy.
And jearn a lesson from Kelly Rowland and put an end to your envy because a close friend, colleague, or relative is waiting for a call from you. If you don’t believe me, just ask Beyoncé.
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