How to deal with envy?

How to deal with envy?
How to deal with envy?

It is hardly possible to get rid of envy once and for all. But transforming negativity into momentum…

How to deal with envy?

Get rid of envy by force of will once and for all? It is hardly possible. But it is quite possible to transform negative feelings and turn them into a driving force that will help you develop

Envy is a feeling as old as love or hate, and none of us is immune from it. There is hardly a person in the modern world who has not looked at a colleague or neighbor at least once in his life, wanting to get what he has. Maybe you happened to meet an old friend whom you had not seen for several years, and listen with bated breath to the story of her passionate romance and happy marriage? Or an unkind look at a colleague who returned from vacation tanned and thinner? And it seems that you are very happy to see a friend, and treat your radiant colleague very well. But for some reason you cannot share their joy, and the only thing you think about is: “I also want this! Why don't I have this?!”

And you begin to convince yourself that the fabulous white dress that so wonderfully sets off your friend's tan would not look as good on you. After all, she is 15 years younger than you and much slimmer, and you have never had such a perfectly even tan in your life … But no amount of persuasion helps, and in the end you feel ashamed. In fact, you are an adult and intelligent woman and you perfectly understand that envy does not lead to anything good, which means that you need to get rid of it. It's very easy to say, but much more difficult to do.

The fact is that most adults do not even realize that you can work with your own envy. Everyone knows that it is not good to envy someone's we alth, beauty or luck, but few people understand that you can find a way out of a situation where you are overwhelmed by negative feelings. Unless, of course, you want it. Someone is helped by special technologies developed by professional psychologists, someone relies on recipes gained through their own experience.

Japanese psychologists have found that when a person experiences a feeling of envy, those areas of the brain that work when we feel physical pain are activated. That is, the body itself gives us a signal: “Stop! The feeling you are experiencing now is hurting you.”

You look at an elderly couple, who, touchingly holding hands, walk in the park, and you think: “Will it be the same for me when I turn seventy?” Buddhists call such internal dialogues "comparative mind," and the very name opens up new possibilities for us. It turns out that in order to curb envy, you just need to stop comparing yourself with others.

How does it all start?

Most often, those who constantly envy others have the lowest self-esteem, and this usually comes from childhood. Someone was the youngest child in the family and felt that he was not given enough attention. Someone, on the contrary, was the eldest and, while all the friends walked and went to dances, he always nursed the kids. Due to psychological characteristics, someone is too sensitive to the opinions of others, and someone considers himself not beautiful enough, or successful, or lucky. In addition, in modern society, the prerequisites for competition are very strong. Even preschoolers often get grades in class, and at school this trend only intensifies: who is the best student, who is the strongest, who is the most beautiful, who will be friends with whom … And then it's time to compete for admission to college and finding a job.

Moreover, psychologists say that the tendency to compare yourself and others is not always reprehensible. After all, if we did not pay attention to those who have achieved greater success than ourselves, would we have a desire to develop and strive for the realization of ever new goals? And this means that the ability to compare yourself and others and, most importantly, draw the right conclusions, can become a driving force in life.

If injections of envy are inevitable (and psychologists believe they are), then the way out is to make them work for you, and not be led by negative emotions. First of all, you should admit to yourself that envy is a natural human feeling. Most often, we catch ourselves envying someone, after which we are ashamed or afraid of this feeling. After all, we were taught from childhood that envy is evil, that it is one of the seven deadly sins that lead us straight to death. But there are no ideal people, and a person has no power over his emotions. But we have power over our actions, and it depends only on ourselves what choice we make.

So, if you stop punishing yourself for the emotions you're experiencing, you can take the next step - take a sober look at the situation. For example, you expected to take a vacant position at work, but someone else was chosen to fill this position. Surely there are many other opportunities for career growth and professional development in your company (and outside it). But if you're focusing on being wronged, circumvented, and denied a legitimate promotion, you simply won't see any other opportunity.

The third step is to remind yourself of your worth. You can take a piece of paper and write down on it everything for which others appreciate you. And then it will not hurt to think about how important it is for you that caused a feeling of envy. If you envy those who have more money, ask yourself the question: what is more important to me - a high salary or the opportunity to spend time with children? If a slender girlfriend causes regret, then what do you choose - the opportunity to lose a few kilograms or the opportunity to have a delicious dinner with your husband every evening? Once you have prioritized yourself, you can move on to the next step.

Anna, 36, says: “I worked as a real estate agent for a large company for almost 10 years. We had a whole system of rewards and pen alties, and the more deals a person made, the more they were appreciated. We regularly chose the best employee based on the results of the month, quarter, year. And no matter how I fought, I never could be the best. I made good money and was in good standing, but it gnawed at me that every time someone turned out to be better than me. I brought myself almost to a nervous breakdown, and one evening after another tantrum, my husband sat down next to me and said that this could not continue. We talked half the night with him, and as a result, I realized that I had really reached my limit. I quit my job and started working privately. Now, two years later, I must admit that it was the right decision. I earn almost the same amount, and even during the crisis, I always had orders. But the fact is that, having got rid of the constant race for the leader, I calmed down. Now, first of all, it is important for me that clients are satisfied with my work, then I consider that I have achieved success.”

Step four: try using your feelings of envy as an indicator. Analyze your feelings as honestly as possible. At the same time, do not give them ratings: now it doesn’t matter whether it’s all good or bad. It is important to understand what and whom you most often envy. And then think about what you can do to get what you want.

“When my youngest daughter went to kindergarten, I met her friend's mother,” says Irina. - In the morning I took my daughter and ran as fast as I could to work, and this golden-haired beauty went with her friends to a cafe, or to the pool, or to shopping. Sometimes I would have a few minutes to chat with her, and each time the conversation would throw me off balance for the whole day. But one day I thought: what makes me so upset? Of course, the fact that this woman has so much free time that she spends on her own. But, if I had as much free time, would I spend half a day sitting in a cafe or hanging out shopping? Yes, I would die of boredom! What I really like to do is draw. Previously, I was engaged in drawing, but my work had nothing to do with it, and after the birth of children, I had to abandon my hobby. When I realized this, I had a serious talk with my husband. Now on Saturday he takes the children to his mother for half a day, and I draw during this time.”

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