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July 24, 2019

"You can only be jealous of someone
who has something you think you ought to have yourself.

- Margaret Atwood

Mujeres y Allies, 

One of the most basic human tendencies is to compare ourselves with others.  We look for where we stand on everything from physical attractiveness, social status, or family life to fashion sense, mannerisms, or interpersonal style.  In extreme forms, it’s the source of envy or jealousy. Unfortunately, Latinas are often stereotyped or portrayed as being hypersensitive to jealousy. The fact is that our Latinidad is a collectivist culture--it means we seek out group consensus and group approval more so than emphasizing our individuality.  Our culture sees jealousy in a variety of ways--- celos or achares (jealousy), envidia (envy) and codiciar (covet).  We have “dichos” that make it part of our folklore: Pican mas los celos que las pulgas (Jealousy itches more than flea bites). Amor sin celos no lo dan los cielos (True love is not real unless there is jealousy).  Let’s be clear it’s found among all cultures and experienced by both men and women.  

Unfortunately, the workplace is ripe for conflict and tension based on jealousy. If you are caught up focusing on the achievements of others or if you are in the middle of conflict inspired by jealousy with a coworker, it can make work-life stressful and undermine your career.  This week’s #3LVCareerHacks is about making sure jealousy doesn’t limit your success.

Tip #1  Get to the Source of All Jealousy

We feel jealous of others when we fear being “less than” them or when we are unhappy with our own life circumstances or both.  If you find yourself focused on your co-worker’s success, their skills, or their relationship with the boss--recognize the time and energy you spend doing so will not bring you any relief or success. Instead, look at the specific skills you have to bring to the situation that can move your own career forward. Spend your energy on filling any skill gaps with a coach or your mentors. Take a realistic view of your own life’s journey--recognize where you started out may be different than others around you and you will need to take different steps--not to be defined as good or bad-- to achieve your goals. Be the best “YOU” you can be.

Tip #2  Compete--Yes, But Mostly With Yourself

Competition is normal and in fact, can be good for you and others in your work environment. When your team sets sales targets or a project schedule, competition can be a healthy way to inspire everyone to work smarter to meet a goal.  The desire to stand out as a leader is normal and the rewards are real. Ultimately, the best way to be competitive is to actually measure your own progress using the standards you set for yourself. Set your own playbook for success and get clear on leveraging your unique skills and strengths.  Success comes to those who develop themselves, adjust course, learn from mistakes and get results.

Tip #3  Don’t Get Hooked Into Jealousy

If someone is jealous of you and you are being drawn into their drama, take steps to establish boundaries and disengage.  The more information that jealous co-worker has about you and your achievements or successes, the more they can be focused on you and actually attack your status to bring you down.  Or they may become overly dependent on you and ask you to help them develop their own skills to match your own. It’s one thing to share an article or help the co-worker with a task--it’s quite another to be asked to do their job. In either scenario, it is essential to set some boundaries on what you will talk about, share or do and not to feed into that person’s need to engage you in their view of themselves or you.    

That’s it. #3LVCareerHacks on responding to jealousy at work. 

Got a comment for us? Give us a shout at @SavvyLatinaInfo @LatinaVIDA360 or on our Facebook Group. We’d love to hear from you! 

Live Your VIDA with Intention! 


Your LV Familia!


P. S. Remember, here are the other LatinaVIDA resources for you:

  • Evernote Notebook of Curated Work-Life Resources, Readings and Tips

  • Join our Private Facebook Group

  • LatinaVIDA360 Podcast Latina Leaders in Conversation and NEW Career Power Hacks

  • Our #Slack Community to Share Experiences with LatinaVIDA Circle Guide

  • Past #3LVCareerHacks Newsletters (please share with friends and family)

  • Latina Cubicle Confidential: A Personal Blog from our Co-Founders


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