The sinking feeling hit me again. My stomach turned. I knew it all too well, and hated it every time I got it. It seems to hit at the worst times.
Over the years I became more and more aware of my feelings. Jealousy turned out to be one of the most painful ones for me.
It comes in many forms. For me, when I see a Sikh or other people doing things that I thought about doing, the familiar grip takes hold of my gut once again.
Let’s go back a few years.
Before I even got into law school, back in 2010, I experienced changes that shaped and shifted who I was forever. I’m not sure what drove it. Part of it had to do with knowing that my social skills sucked. I fell into a similar trap around girls all too often. My friends and I would be hanging out. I paid attention to the girls in the group. I knew what to look for – feet pointing towards me, smiling, giggling, playing with her hair, catching her looking at me randomly. I looked for these signals obsessively when hanging out. I got quite a few signals. In my mind I created a hierarchy of the guys in the group. Like everyone else, I had this beaming, baseless confidence in my sexuality. I imagined that I was on the top of the ladder of guys in the group. I ranked all the guys there. Then I looked for the signals to see which girls were interested in me. I spotted 2 out of the 5 chilling with us. I made jokes with them, flirted with them, then proved myself right as I got even more signals from them.
I made no moves to continue. I had their phone number, but never called. I never texted. I never pushed for more.
With these girls, the signals would be steady over the next few months. But nothing happened.
I saw my friends meet success, while I sat around. I felt jealousy claw at me. I needed to make a change.
During the fall of 2009 into 2010, I studied for the LSAT. Right in the middle of my studying, the New Year hit. I read a few articles (like I always do) about New Year’s resolutions.
One article stuck out in my mind. It hit on the importance of focusing on one thing at a time. At that point, I resolved to make a change and get better around women.
I had read books about dating before. I knew about the signals to look for. Over the years, I learned how to talk to women a little bit more. I learned about telling good stories. I learned about how to make women laugh. I learned about escalating the interaction through touch (first, touch the elbow and shoulder to build comfort. Then, touch her back. Then, maybe the leg and lower back. The ultimate test was touching her hair or face. If she allowed that, IT MEANS SHE’S INTO YOU. DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT).
I knew all this shit. But somehow, still, NOTHING happened. One girl I liked for years and years even went off and got married. Damn. (that one worked out for the better. I love the dude she married, and now me and her are GREAT friends).
That year, I resolved to change.
I opened a google doc. Called it “Daily grind”. Here’s my first entry.
Jan 1 (Friday)
- Number Close-0
- Follow Ups-0
- Kiss Close-0
- F Close-0
- Things done well-I was laid back today, and even though I wasn’t getting IOI’s [indicators of interest for the uninitiated], I adjusted my mentality and tried a few things, and tried to not let it affect me
- Areas of Improvement-I have lost ground with a few girls since I hadn’t kissed closed in the past. I think that I should try out more uncomfortable things each day to help myself gain more confidence and social proof, as well as become comfortable in new adverse situations easily.
- Lessons Learned-Biggest one in the past few weeks is to just sit back, I am the prize and girls, as well as guys, are vying for my attention and approval. Also, it is very important to work hard towards my goals everyday.
Even as I read it now, I remember how I felt that day. Reading it again makes me realize how powerful daily tracking really is. This single post started one of the best years of my life.
As you can see toward the top, I was pretty committed. I started out tracking and quantifying my actions. I realized that I wasn’t going anywhere because I became comfortable simply flirting and collecting IOI’s. So I resolved to change.
Now, the tracking stuff was EXTREMELY helpful. Over time, I dropped that. The most beneficial thing about this whole exercise became the persistence. It was tough to write. It felt unnatural. Some days, I hated the very idea. I missed a lot of days in the beginning. (My record: 22 days through March).
It evolved. What started as a tracking exercise morphed into a self-pump/self-reflection exercise. It turned into my journal.
I missed a lot of days. The most powerful thing though was that this became my online space. Any time I had a hard day, I sat down and wrote about it. I wrote about things I loved. I wrote about things I remembered. I became comfortable journaling online.
Another key thing about this was that I started out doing one thing (tracking and getting better with women), and it turned into something else completely (self-reflection/journaling space).
The improvements came. I saw progress with women. I experienced some pretty low lows and high highs. One girl I had a HUGE crush on for MONTHS made out with one of my best friends on the night of her birthday. I was convinced she liked me.
Anyways, on her birthday, all of us friends (maybe 35 of us) went out to the club they reserved.
The night went on. We chilled. At one point, me, her, and my friend were walking to the bar. Music blasted in the background. In the back of my head I screamed at myself. “DANCE WITH HER, FOOL!” I reached out, then hesitated. I did it again. Then again. I turned around to focus on something else. Facing back around, my heart sunk. MY friend and her were grinding it up. And they both looked like they were REALLY enjoying themselves.
The night went on. Every time I looked their way, they were escalating. Pretty soon, they were making out.
That feeling. That sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. It sucked.
I ended up driving the both of them back. THAT sucked. In the background, I played the Drake CD I had burned her. I kept glancing in the rear view mirror. She laid down with her head on his lap. I listened to them make out for almost 30 minutes (she lived hella far out). The sinking feeling clawed at me. My breath felt shallow. I swallowed my pride. I tried to put on a face. I just wanted out.
That night, I never made it home. I found myself in my fraternity’s house, laying out on the couch in the living room. No one was around. I lay there, alone in the dark, thinking about what I saw.
Fast forward. That jealousy ate at me that night. The next morning, I resolved to do something about it. Since then, I’ve realized that jealousy is only as bad as I allow it to be. I used the shitty feeling to pick myself up. The next day, I spent time with my cousins. I figured after that night, how much worse could things get? Not much, it turns out.
I spent the next day enjoying myself and my friends. That night, I learned that jealousy can be a powerful emotion. I learned that it can actually drive me to do much more positive things in my life.
Since then, I’ve experienced jealousy in many other forms. It’s become my drive, my motivation, and my inspiration. When I see someone achieving much more than I have in my life, I vow to learn from them. I think of that person when I’m working out. I think of that person when spending long nights in the library. I think of that person when it’s time for me to pitch my idea for a business. In the end, I thank the person, and my shortfalls, for my jealousy.