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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. Ash

    I was feeling a little jealous this morning and happened to stumble upon your article. It really helped me get back to my normal frame of mind! So thankyou. It was in regards to my boyfriend and me finding the number of a girl in his class thats a part of his group. But it is honestly not about him or her (for goodness sakes I don’t even know what she looks like lol) it’s about myself entirely. I’ve always had fluctuating self esteem. And lately especially I havent really liked myself and have been going through a lot of physical issues. But my boyfriend is amazing and treats me like I’ve always wanted to be treated by a male and I’m in love with him… He’s completely trustworthy. Insecurities are a nasty thing! And I need to learn to love myself more :) thanks again!

  2. Miranda

    Hmm, well this helps somewhat. Writing down the things I like about myself and what sets me apart is something I definitely need to do. I can’t say I’ve ever put my sister down much since I grew into adult hood and never for jealous reasons. I can say though that I’ve had a lot of failures in the last 5 years – no career really, putting on 30kg’s and I’ve never had a long term boyfriend because of it. More than anything, I am insecure and the fact that we share so many interests drives me to distraction, I feel like I can’t do anything I love because she does it as well and it’s so stupid because there is no need to compare myself to her. I don’t know but at least I can try writing down some things and setting some goals. It’ll probably go a long way towards helping me get over feeling worthless and like a failure and always comparing myself to her or others. Thanks for the article.

  3. amy

    I experience too much jealousy and it gets me down every single day. But theres a way to deal withit: BE FRIENDS. When I was small I met this girl called Jane. She sat in front of me in class and I couldn’t bear how beautiful and how smart she was. But one day I got bullied by a girl called Mya. She bullied me for about a year and I thought I could stand up for myself. But I couldn’t. So I was thrown out of that friendship group and for about a month I had no friends. Jane came over to me one day and started talking to me. I was petrified talkig to her but she was really sweet and so I told her about Mya and she offered to come and sit with me at lunch. When I got to know her she wasn’t what I thought she was. She was pretty and smart: but she hated the fact she was short and tiny feet and she said her eyes were a sloppy brown colour. I realised that don’t be jealous of someone you haven’t got to know. When your jealous of someone you always look at their positive points and never notice the negative. Treat yourself how you would treat others. Thanks! X

  4. Thanks this tip are going to help me very much because i dont know what got into me ,i use to be a good child but when i reach high school things changed,i become selfish and i wanted everything to be mine even if i knew that was impossible. By lindiwe

  5. Nic

    Great article. But what if your partner gave you a reason to be jealous by organising to see the ex for 2 nights. There was no intention to ever tell me, even though I asked for honesty about that friendship/relationship. Since I found out, my partner has stopped all contact with the ex. But I am still struggling to get over these feelings of not being as attractive, intellegent, fun etc. Why would my partner want to spend time with the ex? In other words I’m jealous of a person I have never met but heard so much about. My partner was dumped by ex so that always makes me think that my partner is not over the ex.
    Any advice would be great. I hate feeling this way and want things to go back to before the lies.

  6. Amsosad

    I have been in a long term relationship. My partner always wanted some alone time, which was most of the day and I was fine with that. Until one day he told me he was spending his time chatting to women and formed emotional relationships with them. He would tell me how he felt and I found it very difficult. Sometimes he even asked me if he could have an affair with them. Since. I cant trust him. As soon as I have my back turned he is chatting to women. Even when sitting next to me he will do this. He says my lack of trust is destroying the relationship and even though he s pretending to seek other women s relationship he has no intention of leaving me but he prefers talking to them than to me. Everyday I am fuming at the fact that instead of trying to make our relationship work, he spends all of his time flirting with these women. He says I am ill and need medical help to overcome my jealousy but I disagree with this. But how can I regain confidence not to be jealous anymore?

  7. Linda

    Hello dear! Do you want some help?
    I’m think you should show him how do you feel.
    Give him a kind of “friendly payback” so he will feel jealous too and will understand you.
    Do this:
    #1 Make some friendship with men too, talk to them the most you can until your partner know.
    #2 Get the numbers of your cellphone contacts and change their names to male names. Eg.: If you have a friend named Brenda change her name to Brendon, Bruce or something like that. Do this with all your cellphone contacts.
    As soon as your patner see the names, he will feel just like you’re feeling now. Soon, you will tell him the same words he told you, but in a different way. If this doesn’t work at least you will have a very good time, I assure you. LOL

  8. Tiffani

    Hey anyone out there who can help me! Okay, so i have this friend (i hate saying this) and we used to be best friends and we did everything together and we could read each other’s minds. we were in-separable. But then this other girl who I absolutely hate comes along and she totally brainwashes my friend and now we barely talk. And when we do, she always tells me how she hates the other girl and how she doesnt like hanging out with her and how she always follows her around, but then she goes chasing down the hall AFTER HER. I am literally falling apart with out her and out of no where I get these really jealous feelings and i could feel like i could just injure the other girl. please help! how do I stop these feelings? I miss my friend :'(

  9. Erica

    So my name is Erica…I am very insecure. Though, I have no real reason to be insecure; but, I just am :P I have really bad jealousy problems when I am with my fiance. When another pretty girl walks in the room my mind just starts freaking out thinking my fiance is going to think she is prettier than I am. Even though, he put a ring on my finger and loves me so much and shows it everyday, and don’t ever have to worry about him cheating on me…Anyways, this site has really helped me get a grasp on how to overcome my jealously. Thanks.

  10. Olivia

    Great article
    I am actually struggling with jealousy and reached a point where I am really upset with how I am trapped with it .. I keep fighting it and because I fail I keep convincing myself there must be more I can do to get red of it because I hate comparing myself to my sister in law who ofcourse is a wpnderful person and completely harmless… Everytime I try talking about it with my mother or sister I don’t get any where with treating the problem from its roots and feel I have done more harm then good. Bringing it up cuz they feel by “trashing her in front of me will make me feel superior and no lOnger jealous. It the truth is it doesn’t save me and help me…. Anyway I totally agree with the article and how we should not compare ourselves with others I wish I can reach that maturity …. I long for that peace and if anyOne know of a blog website I can use to work on these minor issues by writing my thoughts down it would greatly help. Me

  11. Israel

    I’m currently in a long distance relationship, she is the greatest person i ever met and i am deeply in love with her, she saids she is okay with me being jealous, but i’m afraid my jealousy will ruin our future. Her best friend is a guy she had a crush on and kissed before, i don’t have a problem with them being friends, i just don’t like that he gets to spend time with her, and i’m here literally dying to just have her in my arms, and now she has a friend that used to model, i’m afraid this guy might start liking my girl and she’ll far for him since he is there, she saids that wont happen because she only loves me, and i do believe her and trust her, but i just can’t stop feeling jealous, just because i’m not there for her. I tend to get a little violent when i’m jealous, not towards her, i would never hurt her, but towards the person that makes me jealous, i’m not the type of guy that gets jealous and prevents his girl to do anything, i give my girl all the freedom she wants, but by doing this my jealousy takes the best of me and i get sad, sometimes even angry, and i don’t wanna feel like that, cause I love her more than i could love anybody closed to me and i definitely don’t want to lose her.

  12. Hello! I really love your article. It’s good to know that you are helping others to overcome jealousy by informing them with this article.

    I wholly acquiesce with this statement: “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. ”

    NLP has powerful set of techniques to fully eradicate your unwanted thoughts, negative emotions, and jealousy. If you want to know more, you can check out now.

  13. Nurse2be

    Hi Everyone,

    Great article. I have struggled with jealousy my entire life and most recently I have discovered how selfish it has been of me to let such a negative emotion ruin so many opportunities in my life. Not just selfish to the men I have been in relationships with but myself. All of these years I have denied myself the ability to love and be loved freely and in the process I have robbed men who genuinely loved me of the same. It saddens me so deeply but at the same time I am encouraged to pursue a path that may finally allow me to know what it feels like to blindly trust myself and others. All I have been worried about is being a fool and the fear of getting hurt. Why have I cared so much about these things since clearly being jealous has made me a fool and get hurt and hurt others so many times?

    I want to look at it as choosing the better of two options from this point forward….

    Option 1) I love someone blindly and freely without fear and jealousy, we have a better chance at making it through and having a beautiful relationship with trust and unconditional love and great experiences in the process and EVEN IF they hurt me or I hurt them in the end, it will only be the end that hurts and not everything in between and I would not have wasted all of that wonderful energy and would at least be able to salvage mostly good memories.

    Option 2) I don’t allow myself to love someone blindly and freely without fear and jealousy and we struggle and fight the whole way through, then I have been hurt and hurt another person and possibly others several times over in that whole process and will without question receive one last most painful blow as I lose yet another person I love because of this toxic emotion and leave with mostly sad and painful memories that I have to struggle to overcome.

    My life doesn’t have room for option #2 anymore. I can no longer do this to myself and others because I am living in fear and allowing myself to be trapped by a negative way of thinking.

    I wish everyone here the best of luck, I know how hard of an emotion it is to tame. But I have faith that taming it is possible.

  14. Rodney

    I have let the fear of being cheated on ruin my relationship because of my Girlfriends ex trying to come between us . She accepts calls from him and texts from him while we are together and I let this consume me . I cant get passed the fact that they were married for 25 years and I have never been married at the age of 41 . I cant see the future because I focus on the past . If anyone has any advice for me please share . I dont know what to do to move forward with our relationship because her ex wont go away … and it doesnt seem that she wants him to .. I need to get thru this but without proper guidance I may never fully trust her .

  15. Krystina

    I have lost many people i’ve loved due to my extreme jealousy. I have tried so many things but nothing seemed to help. I knew why i felt jealous and where it came from but controlling it is something i still struggle with. I try to tell myself that it’s just my body’s chemical reaction. That we are all just chemicals. When i feel happy it’s a chemical reaction. When i feel sad, same thing. This helped me to realized that it was all in my mind and i needed to re-focus my mind to a more positive state. Jealousy can be harmful and dangerous. So i needed to try and fix the problem immediately. Love is a chemical reaction as well, you might ask yourself what actions has this other person done that makes me feel that love? Is it because they make you laugh or do nice things for you or because you can talk to them about anything? What you have to realize is that anyone can make you laugh and do those things for you, so then love becomes a deeper level of chemical reactions (those warm feelings you get inside) it goes through physical and emotional attraction… again those feelings are trigged by chemicals. Knowing that your jealousy is just a chemical reaction put it in perspective for me knowing that i can overcome it with proper techniique and guidance. People can force themselves to cry and make theselves stop, mostly with training. You can tell yourself everyday that your happy and eventually you will be. Change the behavior and the feelings will follow

  16. David

    I am 21 years old, and im currently in a relationship
    Im noticing that my jealousy is destroying the love and relationship
    I am also insicure and scared to lose her and this is pushing her aaway. I also tend to be controlling, I want to know where she is at
    At and who is she with. I also get angry at little things she
    Does that arent a big deal. And lastly I want all or atleast most of her attention. Often I feel ignored or like she dosent care. We have talked about this and I know I really need help. I dont like veing like this especially to the person I love. Any suggestions are well appreciated. Thank you

  17. Penny

    I been feeling really jealous of everything that my boyfriend does and after reading these steps. I must say I feel a lot better.

  18. Tracey

    So my story is weird and I can already imagine the comments but this is something different in my life. So I’m 21 and am in a relationship with a 34 year old man. I love him and we’ve been together for almost a year and known each other for over 3 years. I knew this before we decided to get together but I wasn’t planning on getting serious then and now I’m strung but he believes in polyamorous relationships (more than one female). And his job consists of him having sex with other women when he auditions them for low budget short films. It’s an audition but it still makes me insanely jealous to think about. For the 9 months we’ve been together he hasn’t done these auditions and hasn’t been with any other women sexually so maybe thats why I got so comfortable. BUT now audition season is here and he’s going to start soon. He’s Also going to start being sexually active with his other girlfriend that he’s been with for 4 years but stopped being sexually active when we started dating so that I could warm up to it all. but I havent been warming up, I’ve been getting used to a monogamous relationship. Everything is about to change but I’m really in love with him and his feelings havent changed for me, he’s still very loving, and takes complete care of me. He only distances himself from me when I get really jealous and start to talk badly about his other girlfriend when he goes to see her. He tells me all I have to do is trust him because his love for me will not go away as long as I behave maturely about everything and keep trusting him. He’s never lied to me yet and informs me of any girl he will become involve with or do anything with. So I just want to know, if he keeps his promise and still gives me time and love and takes care of me and never falters, should I have no reason to be jealous or upset when he does these auditions and gets new girlfriends?? And HOW can I make myself less jealous because he put a marriage offer on the table and told me to decide when I’m 23 whether or not I would want to be in a polygamist marriage with what will eventually be 12 women. No more no less. (he’s not Mormon) So yeah am I crazy for considering this or does what he says make sense? Please try not to be bias because of the American culture (because I am American, always have been) we’re used to in our society about these ideas I want a 100% logical answer if anyone can give one. Feels good to get that off my chest.

  19. Charmika

    I thought this article was great in helping me out i’m usually not a jealous person but like all people i’m only human…i feel better now knowing how I can handle this problem whenever I feel this way

  20. Jealousy has been with me since my childhood. I reckon that I need to lift my self image and feel a little confident about myself to overcome this negative emotion. Great tips! Thanks :)

  21. Lydiaa

    This is such a big help to me, I’m always getting jealous and comparing myself to others thinking that my bf can do better than me. Sometimes I take it too far, can’t control it.. Sometimes It helps when I just think to myself and calm down, but then within a short period of time it will happen again!

    • Marie

      This is exactly how i feel when my bf checks out other woman around me, it sets off this gross jealous feeling inside me that i can’t control and once i calm my self from the situation he’ll see another girl and its just repeats it’s self. Its hurting my internally and i don’t want it to bother me like it does but i can’t help it. It makes me feel like im this ugly person he got stuck with and he has to look at other girls to be satisfied. Its really hurting me emotionally and its hurting my relationship, i ask him not to do it around me but he does anyway and he tells me hes a guy hes always going to di it and if i want to be with him i’ll have to learn to deal with it. Im so lost!

  22. Joshua

    you made me cry. wonderful. thank-you so much. it helps to truly think about why you feel the way you do and the reasons behind it. how it affects the one you love. and how much you truly do love them. thankyou soo much

  23. wang yu

    Thank you very much for such great advice.
    During my reserch job, I work hard but failed at last while may friends achieve a great secuss. I can not help to feel jealous. Now I will face this negative emotion. Thank you again.
    best wishes

  24. Barb

    You deserve better. He is being extremely unreasonable and insensitive…Ask him how he would like it if you made some films with some guys….

  25. Sophie

    The first point reminded me of one of the basic tenets of the Buddhist practice of Vipassana. I try to practice that daily, sometimes I get over-confident! But the practice of Vipassana helps me, because it dissolves any strong, overpowering feeling, and then I realize that all I felt was an emotion, like happiness, fear, anger, nothing more, nothing less. It’s when we suppress our emotions and bottle it up that we have an outburst. Instead, if we were to accept our emotions as a part of ourselves, and engage with them, study them, acknowledge them, it is then that we release them. Strange but true!

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