Sometimes when those close to us reach success in their careers or personal life, we start to get jealous and wonder why weren’t as fortunate. Some people have fundamental difficulties with handling success—in particular, the success of others. We can accept that strangers are successful, but sometimes it bothers us to see our friends, a former classmate, colleague, and sometimes even our own siblings succeed, even though we genuinely care and have love for them.
Success can come in many forms. It might be getting that high paying cool new job, losing a lot of weight, or finding a new mate. However, success among our closest friends is often the most problematic. If you have ever felt a hint of jealousy or perhaps been envious of your friend’s success, it is essential to take the time to dig deep inside yourself to figure out exactly why is it that their success may bother you. Otherwise, your jealousy can result in you losing a friendship.
The foundation of most friendships starts with the perception that you are each other’s equal and that balance is shifted when one party gains higher successes while the other does not. Many successful entrepreneurs often say that the more success they achieve, the fewer friends they feel they have.
Where does jealousy come from?
- It can stem from competition between two people (yourself and the person you are in a competition with)
- Insecurity about your own abilities and where you currently are in life. If a person feels 100% certain about his own abilities and qualities, he/she will never feel jealous.
- Being in need: If someone is in need, he will more often feel jealous when a person close to him experiences significant financial success, while they feel as if they are just “getting by”
Jealousy is a normal emotion that everyone experiences, but if you’re not careful, however, jealousy can grow into resentment and bitterness. Therefore, it’s perfectly normal to feel a little jealous from time to time, so long you are genuinely happy on your friend’s behalf. In fact, a bit of jealousy can be healthy and may motivate you to reach the same achievement as your friend.
However, if you feel envious, you are on the wrong track. Feeling envious can mean that you have low self-esteem and might feel tempted to talk badly about the successful person either face-to-face or, even worse, behind his or her back.
So instead of being envious, take this opportunity to transfer those negative emotions into positive ones by allowing yourself to be inspired by your friend’s success, and finding out what you can learn from them. Be proud of your friends, and don’t try to use their success as an explanation for your personal lack of success, in order words stray away from comparing yourself to them.
Below are a few tips to help you overcome jealously you may have of your friend’s success.
- Stop comparing yourself to your friend. That includes comparing your assets, accomplishments and/or looks with theirs. If you find yourself doing this, then you need to stop doing that immediately because it’s not going to get you anywhere and will only make you more insecure and envious. Instead, learn to be satisfied with your life irrespective of what you have. You don’t know what your friend has went through in order to achieve success. It is important to remember that the grass is not always greener on the other side.
- Recognize that you are becoming jealous. It is important to honest with yourself. Sometimes, we hate to admit that we are indeed jealous of our friends, but in order to solve the problem you must recognize that it exists. And until you accept that you are harboring feelings of jealousy against your friend, nothing can help you to overcome it. So, ask yourself, do I wish to be in their shoes? Or have something that they have?
- Try to focus on the friendship. Sometimes, being envious can ruin a good friendship, try to remember why you choose this person as your friend. Was it their humor, loyalty, or same taste in music? Don’t let your friend’s success get in the way of your friendship. Yes, things may have changed, but deep down inside they are often the same person. So, even though you may be jealous of your friend now, you decided this person would be your friend, so there must be some positive attributes about them that you liked. Think about the qualities that brought you both close, this way you can continue to appreciate the good in them, and keep the negativity out.
- Look deep inside yourself, sometimes jealous and stem from your own insecurities. Tell yourself that you are unique and just as good as the next person. Feel comfortable and confident with yourself and recognize all the great attributes and talents that you have, because unless you learn to appreciate your qualities, nobody else will and you’ll always end up comparing yourself to others.
Most importantly remember, success is not a limited resource that will deplete because other people become successful. There is plenty of success out there for all of us!
Soulaima Gourani is a motivational speaker and philanthropist and a Ted Talk Mentor who does approximately 200 public talks per year around the world. She is an advisor to major companies on customer loyalty, strategic networking, change management, employee motivation and future of business. She has worked as an advisor and speaker for clients such as Samsung, DuPont, LEGO, McKinsey, DELL, Microsoft, Stanford University, BMW, Cisco, and many more.
In March 2012 Soulaima was selected as one of the 192 management leaders in 2012-2017 by the World Economic Forum. In 2016 Soulaima was appointed by TED Talks as a mentor to the speakers.
How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.