Nomalanga: I’m Jealous and I’m Not Ashamed to Admit It


jealousBy Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

No one likes to admit that they are jealous or envious of anyone, but I’m going to do it anyway.

Sometimes I feel jealous of other people.

My personal development has led me to a point where I can now own my jealousy. What that feeling typically signals for me is that I have a new goal that has yet to be clarified. If I look deeper into why I feel jealous, I can get clear about what my goal is.

Here is an example: Let’s say I see a gorgeous woman walking by. She looks great. She’s slim and she’s wearing a sassy outfit and she’s rocking some “killer heels”. I notice the green monster creeping up from the pit of my stomach and spreading all over my body, finally landing in my head in the form of some negative thoughts. I feel somewhat angry at this stranger, whom I know absolutely nothing about. I’m jealous. (..or envious, whatever!) Whether it is jealousy or envy, it is not pretty!

Because I don’t know her (the woman I’m jealous of), I also know that the feeling of loathing that I am directing at her has nothing to do with her; it has everything to do with me.

 So, I look deeper…Why exactly am I directing all this venom at this woman? Is it her sassy outfit? No, I have so many clothes that even after giving away half of them, I still have too many. And yes, a lot of them are sassy outfits.Is it her “killer heels”? No, I have so many pairs of shoes that every time I pack to go on a trip the fact that my husband has to carry my heavy shoe suitcase  threatens to destabilize my otherwise relatively stable marriage.

Then it comes to me. She’s a sexy size 6!!! And why is this a problem for me? Well, after enjoying two months of third world bliss in Botswana (along with all my favorite Tswana foods), I have gained a solid 10 pounds…or more-yikes! And there it is…She’s slim and I’m “fat” and I am jealous of her.

And now I know what I have to do. I have to get back on track with my eating and exercise habits. When I get off track with my eating and exercising, not only do I not feel good, I don’t look my best. I don’t feel…gorgeous, which then leads me to feel sour when I see a woman who I perceive as gorgeous.

This isn’t about me and my body or my somewhat shallow preoccupation with my weight. It could have been a woman driving by in a luxury car or me seeing a beautiful home or a couple who look like they are in love or maybe even seeing someone in their graduation robe. Maybe I am jealous of the luxury car or house, which, if I go deeper, will show me that I have not been diligent about managing my finances. Now I’m angry that some woman has a car that I want but can’t afford. (I might even make up some story about how she is probably a gold digger who’s $exing up a “sugar daddy” who pays for that car.)

The graduates could be showing me that it’s time to go back to school. (Just to be clear, I have two undergraduate degrees and a graduate degree and I really don’t see myself going back to school-at least not in the traditional sense). But I think you get my point; it’s not her; it’s ME. It’s not them; it’s YOU.

At the end of the day, if you’re honest with yourself; if you’re brave enough, you will see that, most of the time, when you have negative feelings about what someone else has, it is usually because you want it or some variation of it. So rather than get mad at them, go back to the drawing board. Write a goal down, work on an action plan and get on with it!

Generally, if you’re busy working on your goals, you won’t have time to look at other people and “hate” on them.

 Are you brave enough to admit you are jealous? If so, you have a goal waiting to be accomplished! Go get’em!

Nomalanga helps Black women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , a former College Professor and Mrs. Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter



  1. You make some really good points. I think it is most important to own
    our shortcomings and look deeply at things. I myself am often plagued with jealousy and envy at times. For me it comes from poor self esteem and dissatisfaction with myself. So yes i say use this energy ti springboard you to a better you. Also we must understand jealousy comes from comparing ourselves to other people. There is only one you. Stop the comparisons.

  2. Ms Normalanga,

    I don’t feel this about myself often, but I get the impression that people often are envious of me. You are right, most often it is because people are not doing the work they need to bring about what they want in their lives. It is not fair to be envious and jealous of people if one is not willing to do the work and make the sacrafices that it take to achieve that. For example, my weight has been a big area of contention for me. I have now started to eat healthier and exeercise and feel better. I will be my ideal weight very soon.

  3. I cant relate….I am not a jealous person..why would you be envious because someone else looks different than you do or have more than you do.Be satisfied with yourself and then look in the mirror and try to figure out the game plan to elevate your own game and not be envious that someone did..

  4. You ladies that sit here and say you NEVER have an inkling of jealously are LYING and are not being honest with yourself or others. We’ve all experienced it. Even if it’s a tiny bit. Honesty is the first step in improving yourself.

  5. Let me tell why not to be jealous…people pick and choose ,if you are jealous of someone…Be jealous of that bad time and heartbreak they are going through, you jealous of your neighbors car….Be jealous of that car note and insurance they are paying….I’d rather have admiration for someone than to be jealous, it can be dangerous(jealousy) and get out of control….keep in mind that there may possibly be bad that come along with that good. You never kno.

  6. I’m not an envious or jealous person at all, however, I get where she’s coming from because I’ve been targeted by some who are jealous/envious of me. That’s a BIG puzzle because while I have love for myself and others, I’m just trying to do and be the best. Her points of the “why” made me realize and maybe try to understand envy and jealousy better. I’ve always felt sorry for people who are jealous or envious of anyone because it seems like a wasted emotion. Great article and Bravo to you for admitting it. We all have faults that we might not like but to admit them says a lot about character. WORD!!

  7. Pingback: Don’t Just Stir And Look Away Bitterly, Look And Challenge Yourself | Livelife Nigeria

Leave A Reply