I don’t look good in green
(Who wouldn’t be?…other than the goalie, of course.)
I only have one tangible picture of her teammate congratulating her; you can see Carolyn was quickly embraced with a hug.
After this picture, the cameraman put down his camera to glance over and see if I had seen the shot.
Indeed, I saw the goal but what I saw afterwards inspired this post: genuine happiness for others.
Between the high fives, the bear hugs, the smiles, the cheers – I saw 18 teenage girls happy for another human. It was impressive!
It made me wonder if I am genuinely happy for others’ successes.
I realized I have room for improvement. What about you?
My trouble with this began in childhood. I understand for years, I was unhappy with my brothers and sisters on their birthday because it wasn’t MY birthday. Apparently, I was a big sourpuss – and now am quite the family legend. (I can’t have been the only one…I have seen plenty of toddlers get upset when others get presents or a special treat.)
Sadly, in my 18 years of being an HR professional, I have seen this behavior in adults.
We allow jealousy or envy to be a barrier for sharing in someone’s joy. This barrier creates dysfunction. Teamwork suffers, selfishness increases, bad attitudes take hold, offenses are made, etc. Before long, we’ve got performance, retention and recruitment problems.
Jealousy has no positive benefits!
- It doesn’t benefit us. Resentment is burdensome; it is heavy to carry around and make us feel like crap.
- It doesn’t benefit the relationship. Jealousy and envy hinder open communication, trust, accountability and kindness.
- It doesn’t benefit the other person. Withholding praise and joy for others steals from them basic validation and recognition as humans.
I don’t know what causes jealousy in others but I do know what causes it for myself. That being said, I have outlined my plan for eliminating these causes so I can find a better “generosity of spirit” when it comes to the success of others.
I will commit to:
- Analyzing the “why”
I will try to figure out why I am envious. Is it for praise, is it for money, is it for fun or relief, it for security or acceptance?
- Liking myself
Ok, I know this is cheesy but it’s an issue and I’m being honest about it. I need to quit seeking validation from others and be comfortable with who I am and what I have to offer. This should also help me from feeling threatened…another cause for jealousy.
- Quit comparing
I need to quit ranking myself against others. My competitive spirit often goes beyond healthy. The fact is, I can’t always win or be the best. It’s not practical, reasonable or probable.
- Shifting my focus
I need to see what I can gain in the relationship by being happy for the person. This should help outweigh the need to withhold affirmation from them.
That’s my plan. I think it will be somewhat “easy” for my friends, my family and my colleagues because I care for them. My challenge will be to tackle my envy of total strangers.
Are you green at times? What’s your plan?