December 31, 2017:
Listen, your girl had just got her praise on with the Lord and everybody else in New Life Baptist Church. You see, instead of bringing in my New Year at the club, I decided to chant the New Year’s countdown in the fellowship of my son, my mom, and Sister Tammy and them. Needless to say, the Pastor did his THANG and the spirit of hope rained down on everybody. I left the church feeling like “I’m the one again.” *Drake voice* No, seriously. I had, had enough of 2017’s shenanigans. Church had me feeling on top of the world and ready for day 1 of 2018.
The end, right? - - Ehh.
January 1, 2018:
It’s game time BAY-BE! Still fired up from church, I was ready to get up and start my “new year new me” routine… but you know I had to read the modern day newspaper first.
That’s right: Instagram. Anyway, I’m scrolling and BOOM, I see that a friend from college got engaged. Go off baby! At this point, I’m lit. Let me like and comment real quick. I continue scrolling and what do you know? You guessed it. Yet another friend was cheesing like Chester the Cheetah with her proud new fiancée beside her. He put a whole boulder on her finger. Yassss! Get into these commitments. There were engagements galore! While I love LOVE, as I continued seeing similar posts, I felt something happening inside.
Something I didn’t like.
Something that was unfamiliar.
Wow… not Ms. ALWAYS happy for everyone. Was I…Was I getting…jealous?
It’s not that I didn’t want to be happy for others. In fact, I was genuinely happy for every single person. However, with every engagement picture, my finger began to feel more and more bare. I’d never even felt so pressed about marriage but here I was, (technically) single as a dollar bill…in my feelings. Where was my Prince Charming of a husband and yellow canary diamond ring? Where was my lit pic? I wanted to be happy. I truly did. Even though I said limitless congratulations, I was burning up inside. Maybe I wanted a marriage and family unit more than I ever realized.
Did these feelings make me a bad person?
What’s the REAL Issue Here?
Many won’t admit it, but the truth of the matter is, natural jealousy can sneak up on anyone. Now if you’re constantly belittling your friends, refusing to celebrate their success because it takes away from your shine, and secretly praying on their downfall then this post is not for you. You, my friend, might be a Grade A hater and for that, I’ll have to create a Level 2 version of this blog post (will require you to do some intense soul searching).
However, if you’re a person that is (or truly wants to be) genuinely happy for someone but for some reason these uneasy, unwarranted feelings of jealousy creep up on you then read on. You are not necessarily the big bad wolf. We are human and even the wealthiest of celebrities are not immune from having insecurities and wants. Maybe you crave a relationship, but you’ve been single for so long that you internalize relationship failures and begin to think you’re the problem. Maybe you want that dream career, but you’ve applied and applied only to read that dreaded line “We appreciate your interest in working for our company but…,” so you’re left feel unqualified. Maybe you are a woman that wants to have children, but you haven’t been able to conceive so you’re left feeling broken. Perhaps you want to be body goals, finally have a nice car, close on a new home, or even have that clothing line.
Whatever the case may be, sometimes when we see friends accomplishing or achieving the things we want it only magnifies our own insecurities. What’s wrong with me? Am I doing something wrong? If you ever become a prisoner of these jealous thoughts, SimplyMei wants you to take heed to the following advices:
1. Your friend isn’t the problem…it’s you: I hate to be so blunt, but I said what I said. It may be that you need to check yourself. Why is someone else’s happiness affecting your spirit so bad? Furthermore, what are YOU doing to achieve what you want to achieve. Could it be that you have failed relationships because you are settling for the wrong people? Could it be that you are not your “body goals” because you still are not eating healthier or working out like you should? Could it be that you want that dream career but you are not putting in the work to make yourself qualified for it? Everything is not in our control, true. However, there ARE some things that we have control over which leads me to word.. accountability. Work to change your situation. Let me let you in on a secret I learned a long time ago: Sometimes the only person that is blocking you is… you. Your friend’s success isn’t the problem. How you feel about yourself is the real issue. Take responsibility and take ownership over your life. Truth be told, some of you don’t know how much your friend had to work behind the scenes to get to where he/she is. He/She should never have to hesitate telling you about an accomplishment just because they fear you may get offended or show little support.
2. Apologize: Your friend can pick up on negative vibes, bad energy, the half-way congratulations, the lack of visible support, and so forth. (you're not low) Hopefully you haven’t been so overtly jealous that you have damaged your friendship to the point of no return. For those of you with hidden jealousy, I’m sorry to bust your bubble but - - even the blind can see. If you know that you haven’t been as supportive as should be as a friend, then you owe your friend an apology - - especially if that friend has been nothing but loyal to and supportive of you. We are big girls and boys. Create a conversation. “I love you and support you 100%. Perhaps I haven’t been showing it because I’m not secure with myself but I’d hate to lose a friendship over my own battles. Maybe you can give me advice on how to be successful with…/Maybe you can forgive me for…” As your friend, I’d rather you tell me something like that than living life with you secretly envying me - - or worse, stabbing me in the back.
3. Practice Role Reversal: Imagine if it was you that just got engaged, closed on a home, or even had your first child. Would you not want people to be excited for you in your moment? Alright then. Even those of you that “don’t do it for the clout.” Maybe you aren’t driven by recognition. In fact, I believe that people can have an internal drive that operates out of pure, genuine passion. Yet, I would go on record to say that even the “I don’t do it for the likes” people still enjoy hearing a “good job” or “congratulations” from time to time. It just feels good. The bottom line is, no one wants to be friends with someone that is one-sided. It’s draining. Have you ever had a friend that was only excited when it was about him or her? Don’t be that guy or girl. We all have heard this before: “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. Similar to that quote is the friend code, “support your friends the way you want to be supported.”
4. Trust your timing: Everyone’s journey is different. Envy’s ugly cousin is comparison. If you want to rid those jealous thoughts, you have to learn to trust YOUR OWN timing. Things may happen a little later for you. Even I had to check myself at the front door. So what Meisha? You don’t have that ring right now. Maybe you’re still on a journey because you’re not ready to be a wife yet. Maybe other things require your attention right now. Maybe your husband is still being molded. Want to know what I realized? I’d rather wait on a good marriage than to rush into a “settlement commitment” (that’s another blog post”) any day. I say to you readers, just relax. God has probably gotten a chuckle out of half the plans we plan for ourselves. Besides, if everything always worked according to our plans, it wouldn’t be life.
Wrapping Up With SimplyMei
There’s no doubt about it. Envy is an ugly trait. Friendship is about having a reciprocal relationship with someone you trust and care for. If you can’t celebrate your friend’s accomplishments or they can’t do the same for you, it’s time to put some things in check. While acknowledging jealousy c