Someone I know professionally who whose work requires her to travel to beautiful places recently commented that she wished people would refrain from saying “I’m jealous” when someone shares good news.

She wrote, “Jealousy is not something to be proud of. It is an emotion that we all wrestle with but when the word jealousy is uttered in response to someone’s achievement, it makes the moment very uncomfortable. As if somehow that person is not deserving and what they have should really be yours. Expressing jealousy isn’t a compliment or expression of support.”

Jealousy is a powerful emotion but not a positive one. Its primary definition in my trusty Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “feeling or showing envy of someone or their achievements and advantages.” Jealousy can drive you to say or do something thoughtless, like saying, “I’m jealous” when someone is sharing good news.

The little green monster attacks all of us at some point.

All of us have experienced feelings of envy. You may envy someone for her achievements and spirited life, her exotic traveling, her beautiful family, or how she looks or ages well. Maybe she appears to live her life with what appears to be little stress, or maybe she appears to have it all – and you feel a twinge of “Why can’t that be my life?”

But the reality is, everyone lives a complicated life in some way or another. No one “has it all” without giving something up to try to attain it. Life is give and take. It’s just some people prefer to share their happy occasions and joys in life and keep their trials and frustrations to themselves.

Fit into your own life rather than size yourself up to others.

Rather than feeling envious about how other people live, be appreciative for what you have. If you want more or desire a new direction, write down your goals and really, make a plan and go for it. But don’t size up your life by how others are living theirs. Life, like a diet, is not one-size-fits-all.

Back to “I’m jealous.” Hopefully you’re not. Banish this statement from your vocabulary. Be sensitive to both your feelings and to others and how you express yourself.  Words can be interpreted in many ways. Instead, when someone shares good news or photos of where they’ve been or where they’re going, say something like, “How wonderful for you!” or “I’m happy for you” or “Enjoy!”

Being green is a good thing when it comes to protecting the earth and eating your vegetables. Being green with envy is not your best color.


Focus on having a greener life instead. Weed your emotional garden. Plant Green Envy flowers instead -Green-Envy-Echinacea.©-Sagegardenherbs-Dreamstime