It can be anything from a neighbor’s new car to the colleague being promoted, or just that someone else is perceived as more pleasant and easy-going than one himself. Regardless of why you get jealous, you do your best to grab the feeling and sort it out, especially putting it in a sensible perspective.
Sometimes life is very unfair and it never cuts slack to anyone therefore in this guide we will go through what jealousy is, and how with five simple methods you can process it and hopefully not feel jealous so much. But before we start let’s answer one important question.
What is Envy?
To manage your jealousy, it is important to understand what it actually is. It’s common to mix envy with jealousy, but there is a clear difference between the two.
- Jealousy is something you feel as a response to the worry of losing something you already have.
- Envy is a response to something you feel you lack.
- Jealousy is what you feel when you see your girlfriend flirting with another man
- Envy is what you feel when your friend arrives in a brand new sports car
Now that we know what jealousy is based on, we can go into the different methods you can handle it with.
1. Start from Understanding the Reason for Jealousy
Why do you get jealous? What specific situations are what made you jealous? The first step in being able to manage your emotions is to understand them. In almost all cases, jealousy is based on a feeling of inadequacy. The sensation you feel when your friends buy a new, expensive car is probably a reaction that you wanted to be just as successful.
Since we both know that success does not come by chance, we can conclude that you wish you were more energetic, plugged harder or took chances that you now missed.
As you notice, understanding your feeling gives you much more to work with and remember it is very rare that the person you are jealous of is responsible for having something you don’t have.
Jealousy over your friend’s new car is usually based on nothing more than the feeling of inadequacy.
2. Reflect on How Your Jealousy Is Hurting You
Jealousy can often feel reasonable and justified if you do not stop and reflect on the situation and what you are feeling. That is exactly what is so dangerous about it, you easily get stuck in: “It’s not fair, I should xxx and he shouldn’t xxx“, and so it goes on until you reason with yourself long enough that the reality becomes accepted and part of you.
Once again, it is important to understand what is happening to best change the situation.
The first step in that may be to reflect on how you destroy yourself because of jealousy. If you can understand and see it then it will be easier to try to look at the situation in a different way, and maybe feel appreciation and pride for your friends who succeed, or whatever it is that makes you feel jealous.
Like all negative thoughts, they are very harmful. Here are some examples of how they affect you negatively:
- They take up your time
- They suck energy from you
- They create negativity in you
- They hurt your relationships
With this in mind, it may be easier to see the situation for what it is and to grasp its jealousy and focus on the positive side of life.
3. Talk to a Friend or Therapist
This is universal advice that is a thousand times more effective than you think.
Talking to someone you trust, no matter who it is is a great way to move forward in the context and get the right page on everything from your priorities to the situation and what is the best solution.
To be listened to is good medicine simply. Talking out loud about a problem is usually the best way to find a solution, or at least get some perspective on it.
4. Stop Judging Yourself so Hard
Jealousy is, as I said, a reaction to the feeling of someone else having something you lack. This means that jealousy comes from judging yourself for the lack of something. Don’t do it, try to put the situation in a sensible perspective and see it for what it is. It’s rarely anyone else’s fault that you are missing something.
The dangerous thing about judging yourself is that no one else hears you do it, which means you can do it undisturbed, for as long and as much as you want. It sooner or later leads to a wide range of psychological problems that can take years to recover from.
So see your jealousy as a warning bell because you are probably too high on yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others, but see your situation based on what your life is and has been.
5. Transform Envy into Appreciation
Appreciate what you already have, and what the other person has succeeded with. Most effective of all is to clearly show your appreciation for what the other person has achieved.
It will feel cramped and uncomfortable at first, but once you start talking you will notice that the person in question has no vendetta against you and is not actively trying to sabotage your chances of achieving what you want.
This method is far from simple, it requires you to go through several of the steps above so that you understand what you are feeling, how it affects you and what is a reasonable way of looking at the situation.
Pleasing others is much more constructive than envying, keep that in mind at all times.
As with all emotions, the first step is to understand them. When you understand them you can see them in a much more constructive way, which allows you to find solutions to the problem.
The ideal solution for your current jealous feeling is that you skillfully transform it into appreciation and once the next great thing happens to you too, you will see how all the energy wasted on being jealous was simply not needed in your life.