Here is an activity where you can pose this simple question to your students the first few minutes of Health Class. Project this on the board or give your students a copy. Ask your students to consider if they ever think these thoughts or have acted them out. Jealousy is a health issue. It leads to unhappy, depressed and lonely people. This information can lead to a discussion if they see evidence of it at school, at home, in the neighborhood, on TV or in the movies. The answer will be YES. Well, how did the person handle the situation? Was is positive or did it lead to drama?
Jealousy is like stupidity and other character flaws, it’s part of the human condition. It’s one of those character flaws that guarantees we will look really unattractive to others. Jealousy can be a motivator but mostly it becomes all about our feelings which are bent out of shape because someone got what “I deserved or at least wanted really bad”. When you feel it, or see it in yourself, you have got to address the green-eyed monster before you express it. Your first inkling is an attitude or thoughts when you see someone or a name is mentioned. Before you know it, a facial expression, an eye roll and the wind of disgust with give you away. Pay attention to these cues.
You might be jealous if you:
- deny another person’s achievements. You try to persuade others and yourself that there must be an underlying reason behind their success. It can’t possibly be their talent, their demonstrated ability or their record of success. “Often those that criticize others reveal what he himself lacks.” Shannon L. Alder
- hope that someone will fail. They just can’t get that job, that award, that attention, that applause. If they are tooo successful they may leave me behind or when I compare myself to them, they are just better and I don’t feel too good about myself. “Humans are suspicious and jealous creatures. When they see something perfect, they want to find a flaw.” Gosho Aoyama
- constantly criticize. Do you look for a reason to be judgmental or negative? “A real friend wants what is best for you and would do nothing to hurt you. They also won’t let you hurt yourself. Any criticism will come privately and carefully.” James McDonald
- make fun of someone and believe they deserve it. There is something powerful in successfully mocking someone, particularly, in front of a crowd who will go along with the successful putdown. “Moral Indignation is jealousy with a halo”. H.G. Wells
- you are much too busy to celebrate another person’s happiness or achievement. If I celebrate their happiness, it would cause me to focus on where I am in my life and my star is not shining as bright as theirs. “The worst part of success is trying find someone who is happy for you”. Bette Midler
- dislike someone for no reason. You just dislike that person, their work, the way they dress, the way they talk. There is nothing they can do that you are going to like. “There will always be someone willing to hurt you, put you down, gossip about you, belittle your accomplishments and judge your soul. It is a fact that we all must face.” Shannon L. Adler
- if you just have to celebrate or promote your success. When the focus is supposed to be on someone else’s success and you desire other’s attention in your recitation of I, Me or Mine, people will slowly drift away. “You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.” Margaret Atwood
- if you spread gossip, reveal a private conversation or information with the intention of ruining a person’s reputation and/or promoting yourself. People who do the above, have a real anger and hatred problem. The root of that anger/hatred, and meanness is jealousy and the impression that you have lost some kind of power over _________. “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”. Carrie Fisher
When you’re a beautiful person on the inside, nothing in the world can change that about you. Jealousy is the result of one’s lack of self-confidence, self-worth, and self-acceptance. The Lesson: If you can’t “accept yourself, then certainly no one else will.” Sasha Azevedo
Don’t be that jealous person. You know the signs and you’ve seen the quotes. The lesson here is guard your thoughts. I think Bette Midler has the best prevention, be genuinely happy for another person’s success. That will make you unique (The adjective unique means “being the only one of its kind; unlike anything else.”) which is so much better than jealous. Anyone can be jealous. It takes a special kind of person (a happy, grateful person) who can celebrate what they have been given, what life gives other people, and who can be genuinely happy for another who has what you think you deserve.
Be that person!