Photo Credit: Niklas
Often we see things that others have and wish that we had the same. Or sometimes, if we see somebody who is very happy, we feel a lack of happiness in our own life and feel jealous of the other person. Jealousy is a very unhealthy, counterproductive feeling that directly results in making us feel discontent and unsatisfied.
As jealousy is an emotional response and almost seems involuntary it feels like it is something that cannot be fought. The biggest problem of a jealous person is that we makes a lot of assumptions and don’t see the clear picture. In order to stop feeling jealous, we need to make an effort to think clearly and rationally. The following are some tips that can help in thinking straight and tempering jealous emotional responses:
1. Count Your Blessings:
In my school life, when I used to see one of my friends with a cool gadget and rant to my mother about wanting the same, I was always told “Look at the people that have less than you.” She would actually take names of specific people that we knew that did not even have the basic necessities of life. This really worked for me because it made me realize the difference between important things and un-important things. She would explain to me that even though I don’t have some of the things I want, I am still more fortunate than the vast majority of the people in this world.
It is the same way when we talk about achievements and success. When we look at somebody’s success, we often forget about the things we have achieved in our life and start feeling sad or negatively. A very good way to overcome this is to take a small piece of paper and start making a list of different things we have achieved/acquired that a lot of other people in this world have not. Even general things that we really take for granted, like having a family, getting an education, having a car, being free, being independent, having a soul-mate, being a cute kid, being grandma’s favorite, having best friends, having a job e.t.c. would make us realize that we indeed have a lot of things in our life that many people miss out on.
This will create a sense of gratification and will help us realize that we have a lot more than we were thinking.
Envy is the art of counting the other fellow’s blessings instead of your own. ~Harold Coffin
Everything comes as part of a package. If somebody has something that you don’t, you also have a few things that they don’t. You will see that people who are very good at maths, would often suck at creative things like painting pictures or playing a violin. We all have some strengths and weaknesses, and the sooner we realize them, the better it would be.
We often fail to recognize that a lot of things can only be achieved by sacrificing other things. You cannot be a movie star without sacrificing your privacy, or be a supermodel without compromising your diet. It is important to think through the things we would have to give up, to get something else.
3. Take Inspiration:
Look around you and make a list of those people who would be genuinely happy when you achieve something. Now, try to think and analyze their rational behind this. Every one of them would have a different relationship to you but everyone would be truly happy for you because they care about you. They understand that sharing your happiness would make both of you happy and strengthen the relationship. Each one of them would be a source of inspiration when you pause and think “how does this person not feel jealous of me.” People like these are everywhere around us and there is no reason why you won’t be able to do the same thing that they do.
4. They Have Worked Hard For It
Another perspective is to realize the fact that they must have worked really hard to get what they have. How would you feel if at the peak of your career, people start feeling jealous of you without realizing that you have spend countless years getting to that position. It is always good to acknowledge others’ hard work and appreciate it so they do the same for you when time comes.
5. This Is Not What You Want
Jealousy often makes us do things that we don’t really want in the first place. We are all individuals with different needs and desires but we often forget this when we feel jealous. For example, you see a friend of yours in a sports car and wish you had one too, not realizing that what your family really needs is a mini van. We often start working towards things out of sheer jealousy, but once we get them, we understand that they are not in line with our goals and we have used our energy unwisely.
If you constantly feel jealous of a person, give them something nice. It can be anything tangible or intangible that would make them really happy. After that, whenever you see them being happy, you’ll realize that you have contributed to their overall happiness and you will start feeling happy for them (and for for yourself).
Envy is a symptom of lack of appreciation of our own uniqueness and self worth. Each of us has something to give that no one else has. ~Elizabeth O’Connor
Jealousy comes very easily, but fortunately is not hard to get rid off if we just stop and think for a few seconds. As soon as we realize what we are doing, we will see that it is not right nor fair to be unhappy for someone who is happy. It is really all about keeping an open mind and a positive attitude about other people, and most importantly about ourselves so we can challenge all these negative feelings in positive, productive emotions.
Tehseen Baweja is a Guest Blogger for PickTheBrain and the founder of RechargeYourMind.
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