No matter how hard you try, there is still someone better, so it’s understandable to have a jealous mentality. However, instead of letting anger rule, turn it into a beneficial motivator.
According to Nick Bognar, a cognitive behavioral expert, in California, USA, when you focus on envying others, you are ignoring what is important in your own life. If you focus on what your neighbors or friends have, you will miss the opportunity to develop yourself, miss the opportunity to achieve the same.
Furthermore, according to experts, it’s hard to have a healthy relationship if you’re jealous of someone. “If your partner doesn’t know you’re jealous, you’re not being honest, or if you’re both jealous, it’s constant competition,” says Bognar.
If you find yourself envious and ready to change your mind, it won’t take away your happiness and relationships. Even envy helps you to grow. Here are four steps to bring about those good things.
Reflect on yourself
One of the worst things about envy, says Bognar, is that it takes your focus away from learning and growing. If you find yourself having thoughts of jealousy or comparing yourself to others, pull yourself back.
Kathryn Gates, PhD, a clinical psychologist in Texas, USA, thinks that jealousy helps us know what we want to pursue. So listen to what you want and need to change.
Ask yourself deep inside
Obsessing over what other people have is often a sign that a part of you needs attention, whether it’s false beliefs about yourself or unfulfilled goals. Gates says that sometimes jealousy can signal your values and push you to make more appropriate decisions.
For example, if you find yourself upset when someone’s family goes on vacation, you probably want to have a lot of fun for your family, too. If you’re jealous of someone’s work, you’re probably unhappy with yourself and should consider making a change. Either way, if you dig deep, you might find a new goal or area of growth in envy.
Ask if I’m thinking correctly
When you identify why you are jealous of others, for example, your brother-in-law is successful and you are not, redouble your efforts to achieve that success.
Ask the question, is there any objective evidence that someone is more valuable than you, or are you just imposing your thoughts on an unwarranted basis. When you realize your thoughtless actions were wrong, it will be easier for you to strive.
According to Gates, you should also ask yourself if it’s right to want exactly what others have. For example, maybe your best friend’s wife is more thoughtful than yours. However, she does not know how to share hobbies with her husband like your wife. Yet you are not happy?
Efforts to change
The only way to overcome jealousy is to do something about it. Depending on the root of the jealous emotion, commit to action. If jealousy is related to insecurity, Bognar advises self-worth.
“What you need to hear can be that you are good, lovable, and worthwhile. When you realize that, it’s easy to see that what other people have or don’t have is not relevant to you,” says Bognar.
If jealousy has something to do with something you really want, whether it’s your social life, work, hobby, or something else, work toward achieving it step-by-step. That way, feeling jealous will remind you to follow through on what you value, and to realize that the success of others doesn’t diminish your own.
Either way, taking time to deal with your emotions will only help you grow. “When we take advantage of our feelings of jealousy to focus more on what we really want, we’re motivated to pursue a new, better version,” Gates said.
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