Photo by Ernie Land
Have you ever felt yourself resenting another person just because of their perceived success? Do you hear yourself justifying their success with some trivial reason so that you can easily dismiss them (and consequently feel good about yourself)? Through my experiences, I have come to learn that this instinctive emotion is merely trying to protect our ego, by burying our inadequacies and insecurities. Our mind is at work protecting us in the comforts of our little cocoon shell. But to what benefit does it serve?
Not only is the feeling of jealousy not conducive for relationship building and effective communication, but it just doesn’t us feel very good. Can you relate? That uncomfortable tightness in your stomach? Why do we put ourselves through it?
In relationships, this emotion is so pervasive and instantaneous that people fail to take time, step back and evaluate it. It breaks communication, compassion and damages relationships. I know that I have been jealous and I am intimately aware of the impact it can have on a relationship. When we are in a state of jealousy, we are operating in a state of instinctual survival mode. We are acting out of scarcity. In this state, we are irrational and the only thing we can think about is ourselves. We fail to consider the feelings and impact of our behavior on other people. But when we operate from a place of abundance, we unleash the human spirit, think compassionately towards others. We can free ourselves from negative emotions.
In a workplace, jealousy can be the fear of disrespect from our peers (“if she is better than me, then I will be replaced.”); thus unloved. In a business, the fear of loss in market-share, sales, customers and bankruptcy; thus unloved.
I learned that my jealousy was very much driven from my ego’s cry for attention. Deep down inside, I was just a little child, arms wrapped around myself, scared and wanting to be loved.
The following are methods to help reduce and eliminate this negative thought pattern:
- Fully Experience the Feeling – By telling yourself not to feel jealous, you will never be able to get out of it. “What we resist persists”. But if we bring awareness into the equation and deeply understand the situation, we’ll start to eliminate the negative emotions. Allow yourself to fully feel the feeling of jealousy. By facing the emotion directly and fully experiencing it, you’ll see that the feeling will start to diminish. I have also found this experience to work with anger towards another, and fear of a situation.
Find a place alone where you won’t be disturbed. Close your eyes, and start to feel the jealousy. Observe where that feeling is coming from? How is it reflecting in your body? Does your throat feel tight? Is it your stomach? Does your heart ache? Become the observer. It’s important to fully allow the feeling to surface. Recognize that it isn’t you, but your ego’s crave for attention in the name of survival. Keep observing, and in a few seconds you’ll see that the feeling will slowly disperse. By practicing this, “you can move beyond the ego’s perspective and see reality from the perspective of a higher consciousness.”
“To overcome jealousy, just see how the jealousy came into your system, just analyze the sequence of thoughts and emotions in your system and then undo it by reasoning out the whole process with your intelligence.”
– Swamiji Nithyananda
- Love Yourself -
“If you don’t fully accept and love yourself as you are, you could be more prone to comparing yourself to others as a way of artificially boosting your feeling of self-worth.” — Steve Pavlina
Self worth comes with self appreciation and love. People who are truly comfortable and secure with themselves, rarely let jealousy get in the way. Look within, spend time with yourself, get to know the real you. Choose to focus on yourself, instead of the person you are jealous of. Use your understanding of desires and your mind to change your perception. Know that you have everything you need to be whole, happy and complete right inside of you. Know that if you feel something is missing that you can have it, you can achieve it.
- Stop Comparing – Nithyananda said, “Comparison is the seed and jealousy is the fruit!”. Comparison leads to jealousy, and both are mind-created states. “Our mind is so caught up in comparison that it misses the actual quality of what it sees. We need to drop the comparing attitude to be able to see things as they are.” (Nithyananda). Start by appreciating the differences. See the benefits of you uniqueness.
It is helpful to be reminded that there is no end to comparison, because there is no end to our expectations. Remember the last time you fulfilled a desired goal? Or received something you wanted? What happened to it 4 weeks later? Did you still appreciate it as much?
“Mind is that Illusion which shows a tiny mustard seed to be a huge mountain until it is attained, and a mountain to be as insignificant as a mustard seed once it has been attained!“
– Raman Maharshi
- Find What’s Threatening You? – Ask yourself and see what is it about yourself that you feel is being threatened? What are you insecure about? What are you afraid to lose? What is it that you believe you deserve? Once you understand what this is, decide to overcome this insecurity with a rough plan. See how you can see the situation from a place of abundance rather than scarcity?
- Write It Out - I’ve always found it helpful to think on paper. By writing down your thoughts, it gives you an opportunity to express yourself, but also lays your options out clearly on paper. It’s like seeing the city from an airplane, you have a clearer vision of the big-picture. Ask yourself “Why do I feel this way?” Write out all your reasons out on paper. Write without editing, jot down anything that comes to mind. You can organize the information later. Once you have all your reasons, write beside each one what you can do about it. Dig deep within yourself, find insight from your uncertainty.
- Be Realistic – Ask yourself,
- Is the person really a threat to you? To your relationship? To your business?
- Is what you are feeling or doing creating any benefits for anyone involved? If it doesn’t feel very good and it’s not helping you, then does it make sense to continue feeling this way?
- Is there a lesson I can learn here? What is the inspiration I can gain from this situation?
- Find Your Strength – Focus on your strengths and unique qualities. Feel gratitude for the gifts you have and abilities that you are blessed with. Once you identify what they are, then shift your focus.
- Shift Your Focus - When we are feeling negative, it is sometimes difficult to think rationally. We are so focused on the negative feeling that we lose the big picture. Change your current emotional state by shifting your attention to something completely different. Like go for a jog, or start doing the dishes. Once you’ve cool down, come back to the situation with a clear and open mind.
- “Is this what we want for ourselves?” – By feeling this way, we are giving this emotion our attention, in the process we are attracting to us like situations and perceptions for us to continue feeling this negative emotion. “What we sew is what we reap”. If you were in their shoes, would you want the same? How do you think the other person feel? Put yourself in their position. When I find someone more successful in my field, I celebrate their success as if it was my own, and I use their case as an example to model after.
How do you handle Jealousy? Share your experiences and insights in the comments.
Other Articles You May Like:
- The Secret to Self Loving
- How to Fight Your Fears
- 6 Ways to be Positive in Any Situation
- Attitude of Gratitude: 5 Tools for Appreciation
- 3 Tips to Calm Anxiety
- 4 Steps for Saying No: Take Control of Your Time
External Resources on Handling Negative Emotions:
- Book: Guaranteed Solutions (addresses jealousy direction)
- Book: Emotional Intelligence
- Steve Pavlina: Overcoming Jealousy
- Steve Olson: How Jealousy & Envy Destroy Happiness
- Neil Sattin: Practical thoughts on jealousy
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