I’m gonna let you in on a little secret.
I am a hater. That’s right. I’ve been sipping on Hater Aide for the longest time. Let me explain.
So, I just graduated from law school. You would think that would be something that I can be proud of, right? I am proud, believe me, but in my own, Katrina-ish, way I’ve found a way to spoil it, by comparing my experience to someone else’s. And I turned into a jealous, hating-ass heifer. And I’m not proud.
It all started my first year of law school. I had all of the wonder of a kindergarten kid on their first day of school mixed with absolute fear. What if I fail? What if I don’t like this? As my mind went through all of the possibilities of failure and misery, I met a classmate, I’ll call her Beth, who didn’t seem to be affected by any of that.
She sat in the first row of every class. She didn’t tremble in fear when she was called on. She was a member of every club on campus and she was the first choice for moot court competitions. And I hated her. I had no reason for it, I just couldn’t stand the fact that she was so awesome. Then I go to know her more, and began to hate her more than before.
Beth was pretty. Beth was rich. Beth had a smoking hot fiancé. Beth had the best grades. Beth was somehow able to do all these things on campus, and travel. Seriously, somewhere between Contracts and Con Law, this girl had managed to squeeze in a Paris vacation. That bitch.
And, to make matters worse, she was nice. Fucking nice! And she wasn’t that fake, nice-to-your-face-but-bitch-behind-your-back nice either, but absolutely, genuinely nice. It wasn’t fair. You can’t be pretty, rich, smart, AND nice. What does that leave for the rest of us?
For the entirety of law school, I continued to let my jealousy get the best of me. I would cut my eyes at her. I chuckled when other people said mean things. I even caught myself basking in her (very few) failures. If she ever found herself caught off guard in class, I smiled. If she didn’t make the grade she thought she deserved, I smiled.
I even found myself taking satisfaction in rumors that that I heard about her. Law school, although prestigious, is akin to high school in terms of social interactions. When we aren’t cramming for a Business Associations final, or crying in the quiet corner of the law library, we get enjoyment from the juiciest of rumors. And, while I like to think that I’ve become too mature for that sort of thing, whenever I heard something pop up about Beth, I was all ears. “She did what? I can’t believe it! She’s supposed to be so perfect.”
It was awful. I continued to indulge. Then, I realized something. Not only was I becoming the worst type of person, but I was hurting myself by rooting for someone else to fail.
The energy that was being wasted on being petty, could have been used to further my own success. Furthermore, I could have taken the time I was spending being an insufferable, envious brat to create a lasting and productive friendship rather than sneering in the corner.
This definitely isn’t the first time that I’ve let jealousy invade my mind. As a flawed individual, I’m bound to feel a little envy from time to time. Over the years, I have become better able to head off these feelings, despite falling into the trap from time to time. With practice, I can head off these feelings.
Jealousy Hurts You More Than It Hurts the Other Person
I was walking down the mall with my sister and I saw this cute girl in shorts. My first thought was about how much I hated her and that I hoped her legs got cold and fell off. Here’s the problem with that thinking: First, it doesn’t get cold enough in Florida for anyone’s body parts to fall off, so that type of thinking is just stupid. Second, what good was it doing me to think that way?
The person you have negative, jealous thoughts about has no clue that you feel that way. Beyoncé doesn’t know that you secretly hate her voice and don’t think she deserves her accolades. Jennifer Lawrence doesn’t know that you think she’s a completely overrated actress. Beth doesn’t know that I hate her for being great. These people don’t know how you feel about them, and they are still living their lives.
The only person who knows your feelings is you. And you’re not impressing anyone with your envious feelings. In fact, the time and energy it takes you to start a rumor about someone you secretly hate, or roll your eyes at that person, could be used getting to know them. Or doing something more productive for yourself. So stop it.
You Don’t Know What’s Really Going On in Someone Else’s Life
In my ranting and raving about Beth, I had failed to consider what may have been going on beneath the surface. You see, we only see what others allow us to see. There’s always something going on in someone’s life that we just don’t know.
If you hate someone because you think they’re life is perfect, you’re probably wrong. I was so jealous of Beth because I just thought she had everything handed to her. But maybe there’s something that I didn’t know. Because I don’t know everything, I need to think twice before I allow myself to fall into the trap of making assumptions about people.
Instead of Focusing On Someone Else, Focus On Yourself
I saw a really cute Vine video where a mother is telling her little girl to put on her seat-belt, and the girl keeps responding with “Worry ‘bout yourself.” Well, before you find yourself going on about someone else, worry ‘bout yourself first.
Not to be so heavy on the clichés, but you can’t move forward if you’re always looking back. And you can’t fix your own life if you’re so focused on someone else’s. Instead of asking yourself why someone else has it so good, ask why you don’t. Maybe another person hasn’t had to work as hard as you and that’s not fair, but if you focus on improving yourself, then that other person won’t matter.
I don’t hate Beth anymore. In fact, I admire her. I think it’s great that she’s been successful. More importantly, I want to focus on finding success for myself. I have many things to be proud of, and I can’t allow any feelings of jealousy to get in the way of that.
I’m pouring my Hater Aide down the drain.