What Jealousy Is Trying to Tell You (and what you can do about it)

Written by: Jessica Ortner

Jealousy is an emotion that is often misunderstood. Discover what it could mean for you!

There are certain emotions that are so strong that they can make us do things that we normally wouldn’t. Love is one such emotion. Anger is another. And then somewhere in between the two, there is something called Jealousy.

We’ve all been there. We’ve all felt jealousy. We can’t help it, and it feels like we get totally hijacked by it in the moment. And oh, what lengths some people will go to when that green-eyed monster appears and takes over!

But what if jealousy wasn’t a ferocious monster to be slain? What if it was actually an insecure little cub that needed to be nurtured and loved? And what if it could become a powerful ally to befriend?

It turns out that jealousy actually has something really important to teach us. And it has the potential to lead us in a positive direction toward our truest desires – if we choose to listen to it.

The Biggest Mistake When It Comes to Jealousy

The mistake with jealousy

One of the biggest mistakes people make with jealousy is to be mad at themselves for having this feeling and being ashamed of it.

For most of us, when the twinges of jealousy show up, we think, “I can’t believe I’m feeling jealous.” “I shouldn’t feel this jealousy,” or “I should just get over it and be positive.”

We try to force ourselves into not feeling jealous because we judge it as a “bad” emotion that we shouldn’t be having. We can be really hard on ourselves for feeling jealousy, especially if we pride ourselves on being self-aware. This only creates an uphill battle.

If we try to suppress any emotion or judge ourselves for having it, we aren’t able to release the charge of that emotion in our bodies.

And so, we remain hijacked by jealousy and create extra suffering for ourselves when we try to shame ourselves out of it.

Jealousy Isn’t Something to Be Ashamed of – It’s a Universal Emotion

Jealousy is a universal emotion

Here’s what is important to understand – jealousy is a part of the spectrum of normal, human emotions. In fact, I recently read that even dogs get jealous. It is a universal experience to feel jealousy from time to time.

Jealousy is simply a feeling, and all feelings are meant to be felt. Even when we are self-aware, have done a lot of personal development work, and are in touch with our emotions, we can still end up feeling jealous sometimes. It is totally normal, and totally okay.

So when we feel jealous, a great place to start is to simply notice, observe, and honor the feeling. That helps us make room for it so that we can begin to release the charge of the emotion.

Only then can we get to a point where we can slow down, get mindful, and choose a path for moving forward that will best serve us.

Jealousy Offers Us a Choice: Which Path Will You Choose?

Jealousy offers us a choice

When jealousy shows up, we are faced with a choice. In fact, there are a few different directions we can head in when we experience jealousy.

The first (and most common) direction is to fall into feeling like a powerless victim. Let’s call this Path One.

On Path One, we think about how unfair it all is. We wish it were us who had that thing/job/body/amount of money. We move into beliefs of scarcity and lack. We feel bad for ourselves about how unfair it all is, and we become defeated and disempowered.

The second (also very common) direction is to begin to judge the person who has what we want. Let’s call this Path Two.

On Path Two, we attempt to bring the other person down and knock them down a peg, because we want to help ourselves feel better. We look at their success and see all the flaws and ways we can criticize them for having what they have.

My guess is that if you have ever felt jealousy (which let’s face it, we all have), you’ve found yourself going down Path One or Path Two. Or maybe even both!

Neither of these paths end up feeling good, and they don’t do us any good in the long run. Path One takes away our own power and leaves us believing we are the victim of some unfairness. That doesn’t lead us to take charge of our circumstances and create positive change for ourselves.

And Path Two hurts everyone involved. While we are judging and criticizing other people for their successes, we are also programming our subconscious minds to think that if we ever get to that same place or go after those same things, we will also be criticized and judged for it. And so without even realizing it, part of us begins to fear attaining that thing and we hold ourselves back from truly going after it.

As you can see, Path One and Path Two clearly don’t lead to great outcomes. They aren’t supporting us in moving towards what we really want.

But there’s another way – another direction we can choose when we experience the emotion of jealousy that can lead us down a more powerful, beautiful, and fulfilling path.

A Different Path: Choosing to Befriend Your Jealousy

Befriend your jealousy

So let’s talk about the other path we have available to us: Path Three.

This third path starts with what we talked about before – honoring and acknowledging the emotion. This allows us to discharge its strength. And when that happens, it opens up room for us to get closer to the jealousy, so we can get to know it and communicate with it.

Because here is the secret: jealousy is usually communicating a longing for something that you truly desire.

When we stop to befriend our jealousy and ask what it is trying to tell us, it can wake us up to what we are truly longing for.

Let me explain what I mean…

Maybe you’ve felt jealous when seeing pictures of a friend jet-setting on an amazing vacation when you were stuck at home in your mundane daily life. Maybe you’ve felt jealous seeing celebrities or influencers on social media with their glamorous-looking lives and fancy houses, cars, clothes, and so on. Or maybe you’ve felt jealous toward someone with more money than you, or a thinner body than you, or a higher job title.

Oftentimes, we get stuck in thinking it is the “thing” that we really want. The money. The vacation. The body, car, house, job title, etc. But really, it’s not about the money. It’s not about the vacation or job or any of those things.

You don’t really want those things. They are just things. In truth, what you actually want is the feeling you think that those things would give you if you had them.

So the vacation? Maybe your jealousy is telling you that you are truly longing for more fun in your life. And the job title? Maybe you are truly longing to feel more confident. You don’t need the vacation or the job title per se; you are just longing for the feeling you think they would give you.

Jealousy can act as a trigger to help wake us up to our desires. It is an invitation to get clear about what we really long for so that we can become empowered to start creating changes in our lives that move us in that direction.

And that is what this third path is all about. It is about befriending your jealousy, asking it what it has to say, and allowing it to become a source of inspiration and motivation for you to move toward what you truly want more of in your own life.

Bringing It All Together: How to Make Jealousy Your Friend

Make jealousy your friend

I hope you can see by now that we don’t have to be afraid of jealousy as a green-eyed monster to banish. I hope you can see that it can actually be an amazing friend and ally that can support us in leading more powerful, fulfilling, beautiful lives!

Let’s summarize the key takeaways so far:

  1. Jealousy is normal. We don’t need to feel ashamed about it.
  2. It is our choice what we decide to do with the feeling of jealousy. We get to choose how to respond and what path to take. We can choose to feel disempowered or judge others who have what we want, OR we can befriend our jealousy and see it as an ally.
  3. Jealousy is an invitation to wake up to our true desires and longings. It can serve as a trigger to become motivated and inspired to move towards what we really want.

So how do you put this all into practice? How can you learn to nurture and befriend your jealousy so it can become an ally that helps you create a more fulfilling life where you thrive and shine?

When jealousy next comes to visit, you can start by simply saying to yourself, “I’m feeling jealous.” Acknowledging the emotion and honoring it helps to begin to release the charge of the jealousy.

From there you create more space to decide what you want to do with it, and which path you’d like to choose going forward. That simple practice of noticing the jealousy without judgment gives you the chance to get closer to your jealousy and ask it what it has to say. So tune in and ask, “What are you trying to tell me? What do I really need right now?”

And when you get your answer, consider how you can begin to meet that longing in your life – that desire underneath the jealousy – starting right here and now.

How Tapping Can Help

Working with jealousy is a perfect time to lean into the power of Tapping.

Tapping can help you to acknowledge what you are experiencing when jealousy shows up. In your Tapping practice, you can address what might have triggered the jealousy, how it feels in your body, and what thoughts or beliefs are coming up for you.

Tapping will help you to let go of the charge of emotion so that you can get clear on what you are truly longing for. And Tapping can also support you in getting rooted in your own power, motivating you to take positive action to move forward.

It’s like gardening; first, we have to pull out the weeds, and then we can plant the seeds of what we long for. Tapping helps us to do just that!

If you want to explore how to use Tapping for the feeling of jealousy, head on over to The Tapping Solution App and try out my “Releasing Jealousy” Tapping Meditation.

Until next time…

Keep Tapping!

Jessica Ortner

Download The Tapping Solution App today!

Is there something you’ve been jealous about lately? What do you think it’s trying to tell you? Comment below!

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Get Instant Access to our "Releasing Anxiety" and "Sleep Support: Quiet The Racing Mind" Tapping meditations.
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