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Green with Travel Envy

When you channel jealousy in the right way, the possibilities are vast.

We’ve all heard it; and, if we’re being honest, we’ve all probably said it, too. Three simple words, expressing so much…and doing so much damage:

“I’m so jealous!”

This, unfortunately, has become the all-too-standard response when someone tells you that they’re going on vacation.

I’d like to declare a “cease and desist” from any of us uttering those words ever again.

They may seem harmless enough. It’s just expressing admiration for someone’s travel plans, right? Actually, no. Because what happens to the recipient of those words? They start to feel guilty … or sorry that you aren’t traveling, too … or shame for sharing their news. “I’m so jealous” diminishes their good fortune and dampens their excitement. It is not, in fact, a very kind thing to say at all.

And it hurts the person who says it, too.

It’s not bad to feel jealous. Jealousy is an incredibly informative emotion: it makes you aware (sometimes acutely so) of an aspect of your life that you’re not happy with. That prickle of envy you feel when a friend announces a trip is your own, unspoken desire to travel.

What matters is how you deal with the emotion. When you vent those jealous feelings toward someone else with the exclamation “I’m so jealous!,” the jealousy starts to lose its juice, and you lose the oomph to channel the emotion toward your own cause. And if you do nothing else about it, you’ll be left feeling worse about your life. So instead of venting, use your jealousy to inform and inspire your decisions and to make changes in your life. Identify what’s lacking or not working, then develop a plan to fix it.

Then the next time someone tells you they’re going on vacation, you’ll be able to say, “I’m so excited for you! I’m planning my next vacation, too.”

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