Today you’re going to learn how to deal with envy. “Envy is ignorance” Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, and that about sums it up. No one would make themselves go through an endless cycle of self-harm if they really knew what they were doing. And what about jealousy? Jealousy is an emotion that’s confused with envy too many times, but they are different.
Envy is that thing you feel when you lack something someone else has while jealousy is how you react to the threat of losing something you love. Envy is beating yourself up because you have not attained what others have and it’s dangerous to you and your mental health. It will eat you up alive, leaving you with no time of your own to actually accomplish something.
Envy is a wasteful emotion that needs to be gotten rid of just as much as jealousy. In fact, Paul Chatfield once defined jealousy as “tormenting yourself for fear you should be tormented by others.” Jealousy is a paranoid behavior and if left unchecked could also be harmful to oneself.
This article is about helping you to get rid of both emotions and regain your personal freedom from the bouts of bitterness they can throw one into. A lot of people every year descend into depression or even commit crimes because of these emotions. They are emotions that can be misleading if not gotten rid of. This is a call to take control of your life again and kick out these emotions from being in charge of your life.
By following the simple steps provided in this post, you can begin to get your personal happiness back and as well begin a new journey of gratitude and personal accomplishment. And it is a journey we all need to be on.
How To Deal With Envy:
1. Identify why you are feeling them in the first place.
Ask yourself why you are envious of your friend’s new job or your neighbor’s new car? Why do you feel jealous of your boyfriend’s bestfriend? Before any of these emotions can be dealt with in the best possible way, you have to figure out why you are feeling it in the first place.
And there’s no way to do this better than to have some moments of introspection. You are the only one who knows why you feel the way you do and so you have to spend time figuring that out. Figuring out why is a step that must be taken before finding a way to deal with it.
Are you envious of your friend’s new job because you want a high paying job just like his or are you envious because of his ability to get that kind of job even though you are just as qualified or perhaps more qualified. Or are you jealous because your boyfriend spends more time watching games with his bestfriend than he does with you?
Now that you’ve figured all this out, your next course of action is to find a journal and write it all out. Writing out your feelings gives you a perspective into your feelings and even provides you the ability to deal with all the negativity you’re feeling.
By reviewing the scenario that brought about the envy and jealousy, you could actually begin to deal with. So don’t hold back when you write to discover what you’re feeling. Don’t feel terrible writing it down, because holding it all in is more dangerous. Writing it down is liberating yourself from all the negativity, so do it in details.
For example, you could write about how you felt when your friend said he got the job. How did the conversation go exactly? Was he gloating or did you feel trapped in your own job that you wished you had been the one who went for the job interview in his place? Whatever the reason, be honest with yourself; find the root of this bitterness, for it is only then that it can be accurately gotten rid of.
2. Accept some reality in order to move on with your life.
You have to accept that you are significantly different from the other person you are being envious of. For instance, you have to accept that you do not make enough money in a year to buy the kind of fancy sport car your neighbor just got. This is not thinking your neighbor is in any way better than you, but this is accepting the reality of things.
Sometimes people feel envious of others because they do not have the accurate information. How many times do you watch a reality show and wish you had just the life they had, and you keep yourself awake at night because you do not live in the kind of mansion they live in.
You wish you had the kind of glamorous life the people in the show have while in reality – the reality behind the scenes, it could be plainer than you thought. They probably worry about the things you worry about or worry about bigger things. So why would you want to be them in the first place?
Instead of allowing the bitterness of what you do not have in comparison to what others have to get you down, it might actually be the time to highlight your own blessings. Now, this is the time to brag to yourself about what you are actually great at. You could look in the mirror and accept that you do not have a sport car but you are also NOT living in debt.
You could accept that you do not have the kind of fancy job your friend just got BUT that has allowed you to spend more time at home with your kids. You can accept that you are a great parent, a great friend, and that you are great at your job, and you are on the path to doing better for yourself. So lay it all down and you would be surprised at how extraordinary you are even in the face of what you perceive as lack.
If what you are feeling is jealousy, you also have to accept your reality. After finding out why you feel jealous of your boyfriend’s friend, you could accept that he might spend time with him more to discuss his work which could be beneficial to you both. And that even though he spends so much time away from you, it does not mean that he does not care. Accept the reality of things while also highlighting the great parts of how the situation is a blessing or a potential one.
3. Feel grateful for what you have.
Optimally the task is to exchange your envy and jealousy for gratitude and it is a great deal if you ask me.
Gratitude gives you back the joy that envy and jealousy take away from you. Gratitude requires you to actively look around your life and be thankful. There is no way there aren’t many things in your life to be grateful for and you don’t even have to look hard to see it. Begin with the simple things; you have food on the table or in the fridge? Be grateful for that. You have clothes on your back? Be grateful for that. Gratitude requires that you focus on yourself and begin to appreciate the little things you have taken for granted for so long.
Another thing is you have to begin to be grateful on behalf of others and how do you do that? By complimenting! So instead of feeling envious of your neighbors car or your friend’s job, turn the negativity into positivity and compliment them instead. Look at whatever they have and compliment them on the good parts.
Complimenting them is rejoicing with them and that is a better and faster way to get rid of envy. Stop seeing yourself as competing against them and be grateful and gracious towards them for whatever they have achieved.
In order to continue to be grateful, you have to realize that it’s hard to be grateful around judgmental people or those who find it hard to be contented. So you have to check your life, do you have friends who seem to turn everything into a competition and can’t seem to shut up about who has the best car or how much they are making at work or how they are wearing the best designer dresses?
Then it’s time you stopped spending so much time with them. They will hurt your gratitude process and rip the little joy you have left. Instead, find generous and grateful people to spend your time with. This will encourage your journey and you will begin to see life in the right perspective.
Another thing to gratitude is generosity. It is time to give to get. You want joy and you want to feel adequate; then give. This is not only in material things, but giving the time you have. Donate to charities if you can or volunteer your time to help a good cause. It is a rewarding and healing process to give and you won’t regret it that you have.
If it’s jealousy you are feeling; instead of feeling threatened that something you love might be slipping away from you, it’s time to look back at how far you have actually come with the thing or person and be grateful for those moments of joy you have been able to have with them. Spend time to appreciate what you’ve got and stay away from people who might make you feel threatened. Dispel the fear that you might be losing it and instead give more of your time to it.
4. Keep busy.
This is basically keeping yourself so busy that you do not have the time or the energy to be jealous or envious. You have to get too busy living that you’re concerned less about how others are living theirs. So how do we get focused? Focus requires that you set a goal for yourself and accomplish it.
Don’t get ahead of yourself while you do this. Remember what we said about accepting reality? So don’t write down a goal of getting the kind of fancy car you neighbor has when you know there is no realistic way of getting one like that in a month or even a year. So start small. You could decide you want the best lawn in the neighborhood. Your neighbor can have the best car, but you can have the best lawn.
Now that is a goal you can accomplish if you set your mind to it. Check out for what that goal requires and begin to work toward it. This will not only occupy your time that you forget to be envious, but will also fill you with so much energy and joy. Envy drains away your joy, but doing something for yourself is a way of getting it back.
So after you’ve achieved your goal and have got the best lawn there is (or whatever your goal may be), you could look at it and be proud. You did it, you achieved this and it is something worth celebrating.
You could also put whatever talent you have to use and don’t say you aren’t talented. We all are, and if you think you don’t, you can fix that by asking your friends what they think you are good at. Whatever thing you are good at, it’s time to begin to hone it and make it work for you.
Spend time developing your talent and be grateful for it each step of the way. Keep a journal if you feel your talent is writing and divert your attention to it, better yet, start a blog. Or start visiting open mic nights, if you feel yours is singing. Whatever your talent is, spend time being great at it.
Be aware that in the course of doing this, you could get carried away and soon begin to compare your talents with somebody else’s. Don’t do this. Always remember that the stage is large enough for everyone and another person’s success does not in any way impede your success. So instead of seeing them as competition, you could begin to see them as colleagues or fellow travelers on the same journey.
And if it’s jealousy you feel, get focused on creating more meaningful memories with your partner or whatever you are afraid might soon be taken away from you. So Instead of being paranoid, focus more on creating better things. Do you feel your job might be taken away by someone else; then get better at it. You cannot control the behavior of others, but you can control yours. Focus and do not let the situations you cannot change rob you of your happiness.