Did you know that jealousy and envy are still the cause of most current conflicts both in the professional and personal world? I have to confess, I’m surprised.
It’s 2020, and I have this idea that feeling envy or jealousy is outdated, and that nobody who’s educated feels such primal emotions anymore. Everybody looks so happy and #blessed on Instagram, posting positive quotes about self-love, confidence and how much they love their lives, but maybe not everybody feels so happy. Maybe we can’t help it when it comes to the shitty parts of being human.
According to buddhism, envy and jealousy are forms of attachment — the root of all suffering. And we may know these things in theory, but still, we can’t help but feeling them.
Feeling jealous or envious is bad, not because you’re being a sinner, but because they’re bad for you, physically and mentally, manifesting in anger, resentment and sadness.
I don’t like myself when I’m envious or jealous. It’s like I’m a different person, going against all the values that I live by. I love myself, I’m a grown up person, secure and self-confident, so why am I feeling such bad things?
Now, these two emotions often travel together, and yet are not the same.
Envy happens when we lack a desired attribute possessed by another person. It’s usually a reaction to lacking something. As unpleasant as it can be, envy doesn’t contain a sense of betrayal, resulting in outrage.
Jealousy, on the other hand, happens when something we already possess (a significant other, a friend, a career, a status) is threatened by a third person. It’s a threat of losing something or someone. It doesn’t contain an acute sense of inferiority (if the rival is not enviable).
Why do they make me suffer?
These emotions are natural human instincts and you won’t stop feeling them overnight. However, if you don’t manage how you react, they can become poisonous and corrosive, making you constantly feel miserable, masking deeper feelings like insecurity, shame, and the need to possess. This is not a good way to live.
How do I stop feeling like this?
The first thing you have to do is acknowledge that you’re feeling it. That’s already a great step. Most of us are too proud and too scared to admit that we’re envious or jealous of someone. But it happens more often that you’d think and you’re not the only one.
Secondly, you must understand why you’re feeling that way. Why am I jealous of this particular person? Why does it bother me so much that he/she is doing well? Usually this reveals unresolved issues in your life or your relationship. Most time, unconscious fears you’re scared to face.
The third thing is not to act on the emotion. When you acknowledge it, pause for a moment. Watch it, as if you’re a separate entity and you’re looking at yourself from the outside. Suppress the urge to act, and take some time away from the action.
If you feel guilty, remember: what distinguishes a wise person from an unwise person is that the wise person may feel or thing bad things but won’t act, the unwise person will act badly out of impulse. Learn to calm yourself down through mindfulness and emotional intelligence.
Mostly, focus on yourself. Even if your monsters or fears tease you, try not to lose your cool. If you compete against yourself, you won’t need to compete with others.