Why I’m removing the word ‘jealous’ from my vocabulary, and why you should, too
I’ve never liked the word “jealous.” I’ve always felt it conveys a negative message, even when it’s unintended. But lately I’ve been thinking about the prevalence of jealous feelings -- especially among women in our social media-dominated lives -- and I’ve been reflecting on the damage done when we’re jealous rather than supportive and happy for each other’s joys and accomplishments.
We all know that when we see someone’s life through the lens of social media, it’s often a rosy picture that is painted for us. Even though many of us strive to be as authentic as possible in our news feeds, we’re generally not going to post the unflattering photos or family arguments. Instead, we tend to present the best version of ourselves. And that’s okay. As long as you’re being honest, there’s no reason not to put your best foot – or face – forward when you’re posting something for public consumption.
But, unfortunately, this is where jealousy rears its ugly head. Many people see their friends’ vacations, promotions and parties, and write something like, “I’m so jealous.” But why use the word jealous? It would be so much more positive and productive to say, “Good for you,” or, “I’m so happy for you.”
I tend to share a lot about my personal and professional journey. I know that being so visible and transparent on social media is not something everyone is comfortable with, but I’m a storyteller at heart – I always have been – and I see no reason why that wouldn’t apply to my own life as well as my work life. I truly enjoy sharing my experiences and my photos, as well as my Mekky Media journey, with family, friends and colleagues. And I don’t just mean the positive parts of my story. If you follow me, you know that I also write about the many challenges that led to this point in my life, as well as some of the daily struggles that I’m sure many of you can relate to. The bottom line is, I love my company photo shoots after getting the “glam squad” treatment, but I’m also not going to shy away from posting a makeup-free workout photo!
In addition to the fact that I find it fulfilling to share my story, there’s also a business reason behind some of my posts. I’ve recently started working with the talented women at Leo + Laine, a digital marketing agency that is helping me with personal branding. This has already enhanced Mekky Media’s exposure and brought us several new business opportunities.
Which brings me back to the topic of jealousy. Since I’ve been sharing more on social media, several friends have said they’re “jealous,” particularly of trips I’ve taken, like my 50th birthday vacation to Mexico. I know that some people don’t mean this literally. “I’m so jealous” is something that women tend to say to each other, and maybe we think it should sound like a compliment. However, I feel that it often is not a compliment but rather another way that women pass judgment and hold each other back.
Let’s vow to stop doing this! Let’s rejoice for each other instead!
Of course, there will be times that we fall prey to jealousy and negative feelings, especially if we think someone is not being authentic. This happens to me as well. I sometimes find myself wanting what others have, and social media is definitely a trigger for that.
But I still think we can all do better.
We as women encounter enough personal and professional roadblocks – let’s not stand in the way of each other! Instead, I hope you’ll join me in making a real effort to be genuinely happy for and proud of our fellow women when good things happen to them. This elevates all of us. No more jealousy!