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9 Ways to Overcome Jealousy

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 PavlinaSelf 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.

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About the author

Tina Su is a mom, a wife, a lover of Apple products and a CHO (Chief Happiness Officer) for our motivational community: Think Simple Now. She is obsessed with encouraging and empowering people to lead conscious and happy lives. Subscribe to new inspiring stories each week. You can also subscribe to Tina on Facebook.

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136 thoughts on 9 Ways to Overcome Jealousy

  1. vaibhavi

    Beautiful and well-organized article. Helped me tremendously in a situation of jealousy I was not able to come out of and did not have an answer to. Thanks!

  2. tony

    Jelousy: can become a habit and that’s all it is so work to reverse it. -arrises with a low energy level, so realize this may be the case and get rested/eat right, know it will pass -is part of the regulary scheduled maintenance we all need to do on our personaliities, without keeping check we get dirty. Learn to be forgiving and patient with others. What! you are resentful of another’s success? Work on your own situation. I sometimes get jelous of my in-laws -lots of money, world travelers etc. She is always quick to show she knows better and more than us on everything so then I say to myself “they may have money but what quality of mind wants to impress and put others down?” ..and that kills the jelousy. I get jelous of people with a higher level of mentality! I work on self improvement.

  3. Sarah

    I really got something out of this article. I am trying to get out of a relationship that is very unhealthy, he is married. It’s been an a roller coaster ride. It has ended….but I see him on a daily bases and I’m jealous seeing him flirt with other women….how sick is that. I went for a long walk one day and felt the jealousy let the emotion take over ride it out. It did subside and I started looking around, at the beauty surrounding me, started feeling happy inside. I also wrote down all my feelings about this person. Seeing it on paper made me realize that I deserve better. The feeling of jealousy paralizes me. I can’t think properly, my body is frozen, my throat tightens, my heart aches. The feeling of insecurity is so unattractive, it’s not the real me, but I went through it, I had to, it was the only way to see it for what it is…to love yourself for all your weaknesses and strengths and thankful to have these experiences. Thank you for this article

  4. LEiLai

    Tonight I was out with some firends, and heard somthing that instantly sent a rush of jealousy through me. I was getting angry. I found this website…As I read it and really thought about the situation I realized I really had no reason to be jealous. And at the end of the day if anything I thought was true Its not the end of the world. Either way great article…read it and really think it will help

  5. Thalia

    Thanks a lot. I will start to put those advises into practice. I really think I’m a very good person. I really didn’t want to be jealous on purpose, it just happened.
    I want to leave it behind and feel comfortable with my body, with the blessings i have and the things I’ve achieved. I was jealous from a friend i love (girl), because she is physically astonishing and my boyfriends can possibly feel attracted to her. I love my boyfriend. I want to marry him. But i was thinking about them getting together some time and that was making me feel crazy.
    Any way i just wish this thought totally disappears and i can be fine with both of them

  6. naomi amoo

    Thanks very much for these 9ways to overcoming jealousy, it has really helped me to stand tall in my relationship, am still using it to help my friends overcome theirs too. I really like yours too RAMARN.

  7. Adesoba Taiwo Peter

    This is inspiring.

  8. Bundy

    This is really helpful. I feel like deep down I already know all of these things, but in the moment all is lost. I guess it will just take practice.

    I often feel embarrassed or ashamed of my actions once things are said and done.

    I think I may need more help with this.

  9. Dez

    I have been hurt in the past. which unfortunately leads to me being jealous. My boyfriend hates it. Which I completely understand. He says it’ll be the end of our relationship. I don’t want to lose what I have he is absolutely amazing, however we seem to look at things differently. He doesn’t get jealous at all which is something I don’t understand. I’ve tried to get better and I think I have but I know that I need to let it go all together. Reading this has helped a great deal and I think I can finally let it go. Thanks so much for the advice. I hope my boyfriend will notice the improvements and will be happy.

  10. Christel

    Thanks a lot. I will start to put those advises into practice.i love everything, am a very jealous person and after reading this article its like the load i was carrying on my shoulders went away and never loooking to return.thank you once again for such an inspiring and motivating article,i’ll surely share it with mylove one cause he himself is very very jealous. thank you!!!!! i will build my self into a more positive person, i really love the part that state;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.
    THANK YOU!!!!!:)

  11. Miya

    This article is nicely written. Many thanks.

    I am suffering from this too and it really hurts when I am there.

    My whole body aches and my eyes wet. I start sometimes trembling and I feel chilly.

    It takes me sometime to overcome this situation and during this time I can be extremely harsh and indifferent of others’ feelings. I could hurt them emotionally even and it takes me time to overcome the huge volumes of anger that haunts my body, heart, and mind.

    After I cool down, I start thinking of what I have done and the stupid reaction that I showed, but many times it is just too late as the way I reacts becomes repulsive.

    Deep down in me I know that all what the article says is true, but I simply cant do anything about it when I am there.

    I need help.

  12. Nerisse

    As stupid as this may sound, but I have tried those techniques several times beforehand, it’s just very difficult for me to control my feelings as it very strong. I tell myself it’s not worth the pain and the time I consume worrying about unnecassary things, pretend and say it doesn’t matter but everytime I see him laugh with another girl, the cover-up isn’t enough to rid of the pain, which only make me hate myself even more for feeling this way in the first place, which only puts a strain in the relationship with him i just wish there was an easier way, but I guess I’ll have to take baby steps in order to overcome this feeling.. Thank you.

  13. luke

    thank you for this post; i am trying to overcome jealousy and finding it to be a very difficult task.

    this has helped me to acknowledge the non-productivity of jealousy, although i haven’t managed to stop the feeling from reoccuring… yet.

  14. Liz

    Hi, I am tackling yealousy hands on. I kept trying on my own, but jealousy is a big thing. I am now seeying a pshycologist to help me work through it. these tips are very helpful. Thank you.

  15. Pari

    I knew that jealously was burning me and because of it my performance was going down. Thanks to those tips and lastly I learned that how to feel good about myself at least I am concerned enough to log on to this site.

  16. Markus Cazes

    Hi Tina!

    You should get an award for this article. Simply superb interpretation of feelings into words. I admire you.

  17. I struggle with jealousy in my relationship, I hate being this way, I am trying very hard but when I am in that feeling I don’t seem to have any power to stop it. I am beginning to realize that it has become an obsession. I am trying very hard to stop these feelings. This article has many good ideas, I will try to implement them as I do not want to ruin this relationship with the first man that is kind to me.

  18. Erica

    Hi. I am only 17, but I suffer daily with my jealousy. Right down to the dumbest things. For instance: I have come to dislike cellphones, facebook, television, and internet in general. I realized that my jealousy (newly discovered) is driving the person I care about away. Once I discovered my problem, i began to try to find solutions. I got a new notebook. Began writing in it. Taking steps which vary depending on the situation. I write the steps out every time i have a jealous moment, or reaction to something he does. Jealousy WILL in fact, drive you mad. I have found that it conflicts even with my trust for him. I’m determined to fix it before i drive him away. It hurts him to have to deal with my issues. The last thing I want is for him to be unhappy, due to how i feel, feelings I’m not certain that I can overcome. Feeling jealous, makes how i feel about myself even worse. I spend nights like tonight, countless hours searching the internet for answers, solutions. Maybe I am trying to speed the process a bit. I am SICK of feeling this way. I am sick of the feeling. Sick of how it makes him feel. The issue is extremely one-sided. And horrible for a relationship I want to keep. I lost my point. I read your page, and I like where you are coming from. I’m going to try this approach. Thanks. A lot.

  19. Agii

    ”Nerrise ” i feel exactly the same, I have tried all these things and im not gonna lie, it has helped hell of alot but every now and again it comes back and when i get jealous i say things i dont mean which hurt those i love and when i do realise that i took it way too far i feel so nasty and horrible that i could of done such a thing over nothing. he loves me i know that yet again i get this voice standing above me telling me to be bad, to say something tto come up with rediculous things that are not even true….. i need help :(

  20. Cierra

    I really want to thank you for making this website. I am a high school girl, constantly around people that I feel are better than me. And i hated them for it. NO one had ever did anything wrong, not hurt me, but yet I was still unhappy. This helped me to realize that they are not the reason that I am mad, I am the reason that I am mad. I’m so distracted on what everyone else has and how well everyone else does in school, that I kind of lost myself. I completely forgot, that I am WONDERFUL! and smart and friendly, and me comparing my self to others only brings me down, and makes people not want to be around me. I feel much better after trying the advice tips, and I’m going to fix things for myself and the others that I may have hurt, while I was in my selfish faze.

  21. roberto

    hi my name is roberto

    im a person that like to love n help other but when it comes to me i cant seen to help my self i strugle to over come my past …i cant see to let go of my past n for get the thing that i did so now that i been in different relationships i think about my past n so i alway break up with my relationships becaouse i cant let go so i get really jealous about my partner so i fight with all my relationship n i get really sad n depress i cant see to move on without thinking about my past ……now im in a relationship with me new girlfriend shes from russia n i met her ove the summer n with both fail in love but now she went back home it really hard for both of us to be togethre so she talks to me about her past n now her past fallows me n makes me really angry all the time knowing the she tells me all about how she had sex with the other guys n that she like it but idk i cant see to let go of that so i would like to know how i cant for get about it n just be happy with her …one other thing that bathers be is that i cant stop thinking about sex i think about it 24/ 7 …i mean my girl love the way we have sex you knopw but evrn after we have sex i mastubate to much n i just can keep goign ..i amek her come like 25 time n i only come 2 time so now idk i cant stop getting joules n mad i nee help …….what should i do …anything would help thank you

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