Image: Marie Vonow
From time to time everybody feels jealous of someone else. It may be about their success, good luck or material possessions. Some people let their jealousy get out of control, leading to nasty comments or even malicious actions. Others acknowledge their feeling of jealousy and try to get it into perspective without dwelling on it too much.
Some people want others to feel jealous of them because it bolsters their feeling of being ‘successful’. Some use social media to brag about their holidays, friends, new car and so on and throw in some exaggeration along the way. Advertisements can encourage us to buy the latest gadgets to make our friends and neighbours jealous. This isn’t a healthy attitude.
There will always be people who own a bigger house in a more prestigious suburb and drive a fancier car. There will always be those who earn more money than us. Being jealous is a waste of time and self destructive.
Here are six ways to handle feelings of jealousy-
• Instead of being competitive about material possessions it is healthier to think about what truly makes you happy and contented. Many of the things others have won’t make you happy anyway because they are not a priority or don’t fit in with your life style. Anyway, it would take ages each week to keep that big house clean and tidy.
• Think about the things you have achieved and be happy about them. Remember something you have achieved may be a bigger deal for you than for the next person because of personal challenges you had to overcome. These challenges could be lack of financial resources, lack of time, competing responsibilities, fear, lack of support or some type of disability. Concentrate on your own achievements and be happy about them rather than being jealous of the sport’s star or someone who has gained great academic standing.
• Appreciate the person you are. Many things cannot be measured but are appreciated by the people you come into contact every day. You may forget the friendly conversation you initiated with someone in a shop yesterday but you may have made that person’s day.
• Keep any jealousy in perspective so it doesn’t magnify your insecurities. When someone else is successful that does not make you a failure. You have different strengths.
• Try not to feel guilty about being jealous. Jealousy is a human emotion. Yes, it is negative but if you keep berating yourself as a horrible person for having jealous feelings, you will make yourself feel worse. You will be concentrating on the jealous feeling and not get the situation into perspective.
• Sometimes a bit of jealousy can
be used in a positive way. You may be able to use it to spur yourself on to achieve one of your personal goals. However, be careful not to get things out of perspective.
Look around and be grateful for the good things in your life instead of being jealous others. Acknowledge your successes each day and appreciate yourself. Remember to pat yourself on the back for all the things you get done each day, no matter how small.
# Negative Feelings