Have you ever noticed a feeling of resentment and anger towards someone when they got something better than you? Or have been trying to get something but couldn’t and someone else gets it by chance?
This becomes hard for you to accept, it is almost like you are broken inside while thinking of others having the thing you desired the most. The emotion you feel at that moment is called jealousy. Many of us experience this emotion often, but we rarely accept or recognise it.
Recognising this emotion that is leading you to think something irrational in a normal situation towards someone is the first step to bringing change in your personality. As humans, we go through various phases in life, from happiness to sadness and from ecstatic to being miserable. The expression of all these phases and feelings makes us who we are and tells others about who we are or who they are dealing with.
But some emotions we tend to keep hidden in us, such as hatred, jealousy and fear of failure, which we feel but usually don’t express. We don’t always express them because we know that they are negative and will not have a good impact on others. These are really powerful and painful emotions, having the power of making and breaking humans and their relationships with others. For instance, jealousy, if left untreated, can permanently damage the relationship between you and the person you are having this feeling for.
Jealousy is an inevitable, yet irrational emotion, leading to mental anguish or disasters and needs to be acknowledged immediately. If you are going through it, you must accept it as a first step to getting rid of this feeling.
How? Let’s work out step by step.
Don’t compare yourself with others!
The worst thing someone can do to themselves is to compare themselves and their possessions with others. Everyone has good and bad sides of their personality, have different experiences and things in life. We are all different in terms of looks and level of intelligence. But that does not make anyone superior than any other person.
If you keep relating yourself to others, it may generate the feelings of inferiority, low self-esteem and, in some cases, rivalry and hatred, which will ultimately result in jealousy.
Don’t act out!
As humans, and especially in the younger years of life, our inner voice pushes us to take actions that can hurt us or others in the long run. Once it wraps us into a state of jealousy, it may tell us to give up or stop going after what we want. It may lead us to self-destruction or to take revenge for something our inner self can’t tolerate.
We may hurt and undermine our parents’ and loved ones’ feelings for us.
Remember that no matter how strong you feel, your feelings tend to pass, first they build up and then they subside. So if we take action or react when we are filled with jealousy or resentment, we are likely to take the wrong actions or do things that we may regret later.
It is important that we calm ourselves down before reacting, for example, by taking a walk or a series of deep breaths. We should engage in an activity, such as drawing, gaming, colouring or reading a favourite book, to calm ourselves down and come out of that agitated state.
Sometimes it is better to swap yourself for a little while with someone you feel envious of. Consider not just the good things about that person, but his/her bad situations as well. Ask yourself do you really want someone else’s life to be yours, including their bad side?
For instance, your friend possesses your dream toys or dresses, but at the same time, she/he has a bad nature and swears a lot. Chances are your friend will be missing sincere friends, because others do not want to be around a person who uses bad language. Do you really want to have a lonely life just like that of your friend? Of course not, the life of that kid is miserable that is why he seeks joy in material things.
Everyone is different; some are good in sports but not good in academics, while some are good in arts but not in academics. This is normal.
No matter how envious you feel, you can always find ways to come back to yourself and soften. For this, accept your emotions with compassion and start counting your blessings! Remember jealousy develops from the feelings of inadequacy.
If you think you don’t have enough, think again, and just for a while think about two or three good things about your life that you have not seen in others. Note them. Then embrace yourself wholeheartedly, while believing that you are strong enough to fail or lose and you can handle the emotions that arise.
Generally, the idea of competition is considered negatively, but here we are not talking about the goal of ‘being the best’, but a personal goal of being ‘at your best’. That means feeling like yourself and embracing your qualities that will serve us in pursuing what you want.
If you maintain honesty and pursue your goals without thinking negatively of others, you will win the most important battle of your life because the struggle to realise and become your true self separates you from others.
It’s all in your head!
Lastly, keep in mind that jealousy builds up only in your mind, often based on unfounded irrational thoughts that control your mind. You only need to take control of your brain. Distinguish irrational from rational. You’ll make your life much easier.
Published in Dawn, Young World, September 18th, 2021