Envy and jealousy

Envy! Whether it is the nice house of our friend or the great job of the neighbor, sometimes we envy someone else’s success. But there is such a taboo around envy that most people don’t recognize it at first, and if we do recognize it, we don’t talk about it. Everyone sometimes feels envious of someone else, but we don’t often use the word envy or jealousy. At most it is said that we may be a little bit jealous or envious. Yet there is a difference between being jealous and feeling envy.

Jealousy involves three people; the fear of losing a loved one to a third person. Jealousy is mainly about wanting to keep a certain situation and being afraid of losing it.

Envy only takes two people. You compare yourself with someone else and come to the conclusion that the other person has it better than you. Envy is mainly about having what the other person has.

What you can do to reduce feelings of envy

Examine yourself
Try to discover which envious feelings have to do with your self-image. As; I am not good enough, not beautiful enough or not as cheerful as someone else.
You can challenge these types of thoughts by investigating (with someone you trust) what is true and what is not.

Avoid the pedestal.
Because you think that the other person has it better than you, you can become envious, and that we would be happier if you had the same as the person you feel envy for. The question is whether this would really be the case.
You sometimes focus blindly on what someone else has, but that friend with that great circle of friends also has her insecurities and shortcomings.

Understand your desires.
There are two sides to envy. it can lead to hostility and revenge, but it can also be an incentive to creativity. They can put you on the track of what you need or desire. So it can also have a positive effect.

Get in touch.
Try to share your feelings of envy with the person by saying that you are envious. This often helps to make the whole thing less fraught. Consider your feelings carefully before expressing them. In general, you can talk about these kinds of feelings quite well once the initial intensity has worn off.

Count your own blessings.
Try to ask yourself what things you are satisfied with and what things have gone well in your life. And recognize that you cannot make all your dreams come true. Don’t fixate on the things you can’t do or don’t have, but on what you can and do have.

The closer, the worse.

We often envy the people who are close to us and most similar to us. That is why you feel envy with one person and not with the other. The nourishment on which the other person is successful must also be relevant. Anyone who doesn’t care much for expensive clothes will not be jealous if his/her girlfriend has spent hundreds of euros on nice designer clothes.
If, on the other hand, you attach great importance to your child’s school performance, you will feel envious if the boy next door is allowed to go to grammar school and your own child is not.

Survival mechanism.

We often don’t even realize that we are envious because there is such a taboo on envy. There are different types of reactions that indicate hidden envious feelings.

  • you do not respond enthusiastically to something that makes the other person very happy.
  • if someone has a great garden and you only have a windy balcony, you say: pooh, if that maintenance, I don’t envy you.
  • gossip and trying to put the other person down.

Another disguise is to praise someone very effusively, in this way you drown out your envious feelings. By praising the other person so much, she is no longer comparable to you and you no longer have to feel envious.

It is not without reason that we experience this emotion, envious feelings indicate to us that the other person has an advantage that you do not have.

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