How Can I Stop Being Jealous?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said ‘Envy is ignorance’. I can’t agree more. Jealousy, envy and other related negative emotions always stem from the fact that we are short of sufficient information about what other people are going through themselves, no matter how happy, highly placed, privileged, confident, loved and blessed they may be, there’s no basis to become jealous because they have their own limitations and challenges too. Jealousy is an emotion that can cause bitterness, resentment, psychological and emotional stress, even depression too. When you look at your friends in school, colleagues at work, neighbours, age-mates or people surrounding you considering their strengths, poise, outlook, financial power and the likes, you might be tempted to get jealous at why you don’t have the same privilege or even better privileges. If you notice you get jealous often, or there’s a particular person you are always using to measure your success, then you need to really do something about the emotion before it degenerates into bitterness and hatred. Jealousy can make people do some unthinkable things, all because of a kind of  jealous feeling which they allowed to be nursed in them. Below are certain tips to help you out of jealousy.

Don’t Deny it

Not accepting the diagnosis of your problem will affect how serious you take the prescription and treatment. Accepting the fact that you are feeling jealous is very critical to coming out of it. When you or other people notice trace of jealousy in you and they tell you, don’t get too self-defensive or ego-centric that you don’t want to accept that there’s someone you are getting jealous of, or that you have a general issue with jealousy. Acceptance will pave the way for you to begin to think of getting out of it.

What’s Your Jealousy Pointing At?

At the root of your jealousy is a more fundamental issue, beyond just the way you react or what you say and what you feel, there is a more crucial problem. Sometimes it could stem from past experiences. If you have often found yourself in a competitive environment, probably having someone else praised while you are not, or some kind of preference for another child in the home, then your mind can become predisposed to such a situation and you find it difficult to get over that mind-set, even in other situations and different environments. You will need to identify the particular root cause of your jealousy, and deal with it with that knowledge.

Deal with Your Insecurities

Your problem of jealousy may not really be the fault of others as you may think, even if they make you feel so, the fact that you fell for the feeling means there is something you need to work on. If your jealousy stems from the fact that you are insecure in yourself, then you have to deal with it. Negative thoughts about yourself and I’m good for nothing thought pattern is not healthy for you.

Nobody Has it All

Understand the basic things about life, like the fact that no one has everything he/she needs. No one’s life is perfect. That you think what you don’t have that others have is a reason for you to get jealous is sheer ignorance. Take it that everyone has his/her own imperfect situations and challenges. That you can’t see their secret pains and limitations doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

Focus on Becoming Better

Instead of looking at others and what they have that you don’t have, focus on competing with yourself, not necessarily others. When you make your goal to compete with yourself, to be better today than you were yesterday and you determinedly follow that, then your mind will have more positive things to dwell on than on thoughts and feelings of jealousy and envy.

You’ll Always Meet Someone Who is Better

Whatever you do, at some point or the other, you will meet someone who does it better. So getting jealous and insecure whenever you meet someone who seems better at something than yourself is not the right attitude. The right thing is to know there is likely someone who will be better at that thing and the focus should not be to always compete with anyone who seems like a rival, but to focus on improving yourself.

Deal with Narrow-Mindedness

When you can’t see that the world is actually big enough for you to have what others have and even more, when you can’t see that opportunities actually abound for you to grow and become better than whoever your object of jealousy is, then narrow-mindedness might be the problem. Don’t see another person’s success as your own failure, there’s so much space for everyone to achieve their own success.

Feed on Positive Content

Buy books that address jealousy, envy and similar emotions. Listen to tapes and read up articles that can well broaden your mind and give you a better view of the world and life generally. What you consistently feed your mind with, whether positive or negative, will influence your thoughts, words, reactions and responses to situations to a large extent.

Practice Celebrating Others

Be very deliberate about celebrating others. A jealous person will find it hard to celebrate others and  that’s bad enough. You should begin to be happy with others when they are happy. If you realise it’s easier for you to sympathise with others when they are sad, than to celebrate with them when they are blessed, then you should really take it up, work on your mind, stop getting intimidated by other people’s success, see your own success in perspective and celebrate others.

Help Those Who Are Less Privileged

This is a way of shifting your focus to positive things. Instead of focusing too much on competing with people who are way ahead of you (of course you should allow other people’s success to challenge you), you shouldn’t focus on these negatively, you should help those who are not as privileged, knowledgeable or gifted as you are in one area or the other. This will make you feel better about yourself, and you will have a sense of fulfilment which will better improve your self-esteem.

Stop the Comparison

As much as possible, stop comparing yourself with others unnecessarily. Unhealthy comparison will always fuel jealousy. The problem here is that you might end up comparing other people’s strengths with your weaknesses, and you are in a way unfair to yourself, not putting your own strengths into consideration.

Avoid People Who Induce Jealousy

When you notice that there are certain people who usually create an atmosphere of jealousy, people who focus on the wrong things and always love to make others feel less of themselves, people who are too ego-centric always seeking attention and who can’t celebrate others as necessary, then you should avoid them. Rather surround yourself with people who have a healthy self-image and who aren’t too self-focused. Don’t stay too much around those who always like to make life look like a competition.

Ponder the Impact

Considering the negative effects that jealousy has on your life, be it in your relationships or in your personality, will motivate you to work towards overcoming the problem of jealousy.