If you’ve ever done something tremendous but got a surprisingly lackluster response from someone you knew casually, you probably wondered what that was all about. Maybe your accomplishment wasn’t that great to them or you were just boring. But the truth is, depending on the person, that odd response may have been borne out of one of the oldest feelings in the book—simple jealousy.
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Now, you’re probably mentally ticking through all the reasons why someone else shouldn’t be jealous of you. Got a great marriage? Sure, but it took some tough times to get there. Financially secure? Now, yes, but as a child, you dealt with poverty. Maybe you have health concerns or other conditions that make life a bit challenging sometimes, and the list goes on.
However, the person who was jealous of you didn’t know all of that, because we almost never know the full story behind the people we’re jealous of. Usually, we’re just comparing an idea we have about someone else to ourselves and feeling worse because of it.
Jealousy doesn’t have to be this way. You can view it for what it is: admiration of something in you and a compliment. And when you’re the one being jealous, you can ask yourself why you are jealous and start taking action to bring that missing thing into your own life. Alongside using jealousy as a fact-finding mission for something that you want for yourself or in your own life, here are some other things you can do to kick that green-eyed monster to the curb.
Make A list
Write down everything you have, from relationships to qualities, possessions and your job, which someone else could be jealous of. Include all the less obvious things people may be jealous of if they knew about them, such as how well you sleep or how great your metabolism is.
Whenever you’re feeling jealous of another person, break out that list and remind yourself that you’ve got more than enough. Add more things to the list over time as you accomplish more and learn new things about yourself.
Manage Your Stress
Remember that jealousy can be a stress response, as noted by Our Everyday Life. If you’re overwhelmed and anxious, you’re far more likely to feel jealousy more intensely than you normally would, if you would at all.
Manage your anxiety with some exercise, better nutrition, yoga or meditation and support from the people closest to you. Once you’ve gotten your anxiety under control and your stress levels back down, you may find that you weren’t really jealous after all. If you find that anxiety is playing far too big a role in your life no matter what you do, speak to your doctor, as you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
Sometimes, jealousy is driven by a self-esteem issue. You keep comparing yourself to someone else and always find yourself coming up short because you believe, deep down, that you’re not a great person or you don’t have any good qualities. To help short-circuit this process, stop pitting yourself against other people and looking for places where you think you’re lacking.
Chances are you’re being far harder on yourself than you would be on anyone else, and because of this perspective, you’re missing some of the best things about you. If you find yourself doing it anyway, take out and read the list you created of all the great things in your life and about you as a person to remind yourself.
Reign In Your Imagination
A destructive use of your imagination could be fueling feelings of jealously further, without you even being consciously aware of it. Your imagination is wonderful when you’re using it for your own benefit, but it’s not so good when you let it play with your mind and wreak unnecessary havoc on your life.
Don’t trust your imagination as if the scenarios playing out in it are fact. For example, if you’re constantly imagining your partner is out with an attractive co-worker you’re jealous of instead of at the game with friends or out with a sibling, eventually, you’ll start to believe that’s exactly what is happening. Don’t let your mind reinforce feelings of jealousy, as that will make it much harder for you to let go of those feelings and can interfere with your life.
Talk It Out
If your feelings of jealousy have somehow bled into your life, such as being the cause of a fight with your partner or a friend, talk to that person about how you’re feeling.
It may be difficult at first to admit you were jealous, but the other person will appreciate the honesty and understand why the altercation happened. Being upfront about your jealousy can help the other person recognize when it’s rearing its ugly head and help you move past those feelings.
Even if you haven’t had a problem with someone close to you because of your jealous feelings, talking to a close friend or family member may help you sort them out. They may have insight on the root cause of your jealousy that you missed, so don’t be afraid to open up to someone you really trust.
Being more grateful for the things in your own life can help you celebrate the accomplishments, great qualities and successes of others. When you first wake up every morning, take a few minutes to rattle off all the blessings in your life. These can be anything from financial successes and work achievements to family members and treasured pets.
While this may seem silly, when you learn to be appreciative of the good things in your life, you’ll be less bothered by what other people have. It’s much harder to be bothered by someone’s work promotion when you realize how lucky you are to love going to your own job every day.
Consider The Past
If your jealousy has ever caused you problems in the past, really think about those times. When you’re able to recognize the issues jealousy has brought to you before, you’ll become less inclined to act on it or respond to it now. Learn from your past mistakes so you don’t go ahead and make the same ones again.
Learn To Not React
You don’t have to take immediate action on your jealous feelings or thoughts. Sometimes, just accepting and acknowledging that you’re feeling jealous without reacting to it goes a long way toward making it ease up.
This is true of many negative emotions, such as anger. There will be times when, in order to move forward, you have to just let your emotions be.
Keep working on your self-image to help ward off feelings of jealousy. By improving your sense of self-worth, you may find that you’re experiencing a more jealous-free life!