The quote “Stop comparing your insides to other people’s outside.” is a big ah-ha for people. But comparing ourselves is something we do ALL THE TIME. What can be gained from doing that? Can we engage in comparison without beating ourselves up?
Hi, and welcome. You’re listening to the Happiness Hacks podcast, and I’m your host, Nancy Jane Smith. I’m a licensed professional counselor. In this podcast, I share my stories, lessons, and hacks I’ve learned, and I continue to learn, on my quest to be happier. The show notes and the complete transcript can be found at live-happier.com\podcast. This is episode 77, Judgment and Jealousy. They’re not all bad.
Hey everyone. I’m so excited to be back. I think I say that every time, but every time, I’m excited to be back and having these conversations with you about living happier and, specifically, living happier without our inner critic. Today, I want to talk about two topics that are pervasive, and I think something that all of us can have in common, the idea of judgment and jealousy. Judgment and jealousy come from comparing ourselves.
One of my favorite quotes that I’m sure you’ve heard is, “Stop comparing your insides to other people’s outsides.” I love that quote because it is such an a-ha of, “Oh that is what I’m doing. I’m looking at someone’s snapshot of their lives on social media, or I’m listening to a story that’s just one little piece of what’s happening in someone’s life. I’m comparing my whole life; I’m comparing my inner dialogue and everything that’s going on with my life, to the one that little thing that they’re showing me.”
We can get in trouble doing it. It is a toxic practice. The challenge about fabulous quotes like that is then you’re like, “Okay. That’s a great quote, and it’s a great a-ha. Oh my gosh, that’s so amazing, but what do I do next? I keep doing that. I know I need to stop comparing my insides to other people’s outsides, but I’m still doing it.” I want to dive a little deeper today into two of the things that pop up when we’re comparing our insides to other people’s outsides, and it’s judgment and jealousy. Those two themes are what comes out of that comparison. That comparison can get our monger fired up. To protect us, our BFF steps in to be like, “Don’t worry about it. They are this, this and this.”
We come up with all these different judgments on the person that we’re watching. A common way that people do this comparison thing is, especially now, Valentine’s Day is looking at other people’s relationships. I have clients that will come in and maybe they’re struggling in their relationship with their partner. Then, they get on social media, or they go out with another couple, and they’re like, “Oh my God. They have it all figured out. They have it all together. They’re so annoying. They’re all over each other. It’s PDA all the time.” All this judgment and jealousy starts coming up and raising its ugly head.
It’s coming up because our monger is inside of us, telling us, “You should be like them. You should be that loving. You should be that wonderful. You don’t deserve a partner that treats you like that. You don’t deserve that.” Our BFF steps up to protect us and is like, “No, no, no. They’re the ugly ones. They’re the gross ones. It’s ridiculous. No, love like that doesn’t exist. I mean I bet he’s cheating on her. He’s cheating on her.”
Our BFF steps in to ease that negativity that’s coming from our monger. Both of those defensive mechanisms, the monger, and the BFF, aren’t helping matters. We are still stuck feeling like crap. Now, we’re sitting in judgment and jealousy, which doesn’t feel that great either. I want to encourage you to use that judgment and jealousy. Instead of shaming yourself for having judgment and jealousy, to get curious about the judgment and jealousy. To ask yourself, “What is it about that relationship that I’m jealous of? What is it about that relationship that I want more of in my own life?”
Rather than just immediately stepping into judgment of yourself or judgment of the other people, to start getting curious about what is it that they have that I want? There was an interesting article that was written that said, “Envy can help us figure out what’s most important to us.” It was just an interesting spin on the idea that when we are envious of someone when we have judgment and jealousy, we can then be like, “Oh. What is it about that that I need to add to my own life?”
Sometimes when we dig a little deeper, we don’t want what’s required to get what they have. A client was telling me about how they were watching on social media someone who was traveling a lot. She was jealous of how much they were traveling. All these exotic vacations they were going on, how amazing it was. It just looked so fabulous. We started exploring like, “What is it about that you want in your own life? How can we start getting more travel?” Also, she came to the realization of, “But wait a minute. I really like being home. I’m not someone who loves to travel around and go to a variety of places. I like going on my standard vacation of two weeks a year, but I don’t want to be a nomad. I want to have my home base, and I value a home base.”
Once she was able to get past shaming herself for the judgment and jealousy, she could start realizing, “Wait a minute. I don’t want that in my life. That isn’t for me.” Once we can step back from the BFF and the monger fighting, we can recognize it’s not a terrible thing to be a nomad. I don’t have to sit in judgment of that experience. I don’t have to sit in judgment of myself that I’m not seeking out different destinations and being adventurous in my life. Right now, that doesn’t fit into my life, and that’s okay. She decided that when they went on their two-week vacations and their small vacations throughout the year, she wanted to throw in a little bit more adventure. She didn’t want to go to the same spot over and over again.
That’s just a small example of how judgment and jealousy show up. The biggest way I see it is in judging other people’s relationships and being jealous of other people’s relationships. Also, judging people’s careers and how far they’re getting ahead and what they’re doing and how you should be further along with them. That is just a great reminder to be like, “Let me look at this differently.”
Let me look at my judgment and jealousy and say, “Okay. A, do I want what they have? What do I want about what they have?” Like the woman who said, “I want to have more adventure and travel in my life in the two-week vacation slots that I have.” She was able to discern what is it that I want from my jealousy and judgment? What can I pull from their experience into my own life? Then, what is it I don’t want? What is it that they had to do? What are they giving up? What are they sacrificing? What are they willing to struggle with to gain that thing that it looks like I want?
The E-Trade commercials that have been out recently where they show a woman’s waiting in line at Starbucks, and she’s scrolling through her social media. They talk about the person that she’s watching and how she’s doing. This person’s doing all these amazing things and has this amazing life, and #nofilter, and all the sunsets that she watches. The voiceover is like, “You would be happier watching so-and-so on Instagram if you were making more money than her.” You might be more jealous of all these things she has, but the bottom line, you just want to be making more money.
It’s a tongue-in-cheek example of really getting to the heart of where the jealousy and judgment are coming from. That commercial does an awesome job of showcasing that you can be envious of someone, but that doesn’t have to be toxic. It can just be a way to highlight the stuff you want to add to your own life. No, you don’t want to be the person that’s traveling around and doing all these crazy things and putting your life on Instagram. You do want to be making more money. Both are true, and so that’s important when it comes to jealousy and judgment is recognizing what’s underneath that.
Instead of going there and asking ourselves what’s underneath that, we get all caught up in judging ourselves for being jealous and judgemental. We never get to unearth what it’s really about. That is where our monger and our BFF keep us stuck. That’s what I love about the power of the biggest fan. The biggest fan can step in and say, “You’re feeling that. Let’s look a little deeper at what is underneath it.” Where our monger and BFF are constantly trying to be like, “Everything’s okay. Everything’s fine. We’re fine, we’re fine, we’re fine,” and keep things just on the surface.
To be happier, we have to be willing to dive a little deeper and offer some wisdom and discernment to ourselves. I love the term grace because we have to be giving ourselves the grace to recognize there’s some wiggle room here. The all or nothing thinking of the monger and the BFF is not serving us. My challenge to you, as you go through the next week, is to start paying attention to when jealousy and judgment come up. I guarantee you; they come up quite a bit. If you have an inner critic, they are there. I encourage you to take it to the next level, take it a little deeper, and see what happens.
That’s the show. Thanks for listening. If you have any questions, please email me, firstname.lastname@example.org. As always, you can follow me on Instagram. I hope you have a great week. I’ll see you next week. Here’s to living happier.
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