How to Deal With and Overcome Jealousy of Others

Jealousy generally refers to one or more thoughts or feelings of uncertainty, envy, disgust and insecurity over the relative achievement of others. The most common experience of jealousy revolves around being resentful of the success of others and getting angry about a friend’s achievement. Jealousy is the lethal poison that makes you notice other people’s achievements more than yours.

We often suppress these feelings because they are uncomfortable but the more we suppress them, the more they grow. It takes a certain level of emotional maturity to deal with the many feelings that surround jealousy. You have to be willing to challenge your critical inner voice and all the insecurities it generates. Summon the willpower to step back and resist acting on your impulsive, jealous reactions. By learning how to deal with jealousy, you foster this power in yourself and realize you are a lot stronger than you think.

To deal with and overcome jealousy of others, first acknowledge that you are jealous and you need to deal with it. Talk about it, to yourself and to others. Dig into your past and see what could have birthed the vice. Seek your own sense of security, build your self-esteem and cultivate positivity. Find something competitive where you can channel your energies. You have to realize there is nothing constructive that emerges from being jealous. You only wound your heart and conscience.

Jealousy can either be suspicious or reactive, and it is often reinforced as a series of particularly strong emotions and constructed as a universal human experience. Cultural beliefs and values play an important role in determining what triggers jealousy and what constitutes socially acceptable expressions of jealousy. How can we overcome this mythically moral feeling? What can we do?

7 Ways to Deal with and Overcome Jealousy of Others

Jealously creates an awful environment filled with dislike and unrewarding competitive attitude. It causes you to compare your success to others’ successes without taking into account the price they paid for their achievements.

Here is a simple but effective guide to overcoming jealousy of others.

1.   Acknowledge that you are jealous

Before attempting to find a remedy, acknowledge that you have an issue. This awareness will enable you to accept that your jealousy is most likely unjustified and therefore easier to conquer. It is how you deal with jealousy that dictates how you will continue.

Recognizing your irritation towards normal situations will enable you to control your emotions. If you find yourself having an overreaction or feeling haunted by your feelings of jealousy, here is what you can do.

  • Be aware of what gets triggered

Think about the specific events that cause you to feel stirred up. Are you using the feelings of jealousy to put yourself down? Do they make you feel insignificant, incapable, and unsuccessful?

  • Think about the deeper implications

 Do you feel a certain pressure to achieve a particular thing? Is there something you think you’re supposed to be? What would acquiring it mean to you?

Once you have asked yourself these questions, you can understand how these feelings may have more to do with unresolved issues within you than with your current life or the person your jealousy is directed to. This may help you to have more compassion for yourself and try to suspend judgments that lead you to feel insecure.

2.   Calm down and have a self-talk

Regardless of how jealous you feel, you can find ways to tone down and have self-talk. Whenever you want to get better at managing negative emotions like jealousy, you have to get very familiar with them. This might feel uncomfortable and emotional but this is the essence of it – to think about how you feel, and why.

Assess your feelings. For example, whenever you feel like punching someone or being rude, take a deep breath, pause, and ask yourself these questions. Which emotions are fueling this action? Is it anger? Is it hurt? Is it jealousy? Examining yourself this way will allow you to understand yourself better over time.

3.   Seek counsel

Whenever you feel like jealousy is taking over, don’t hold back and struggle alone. Get a confidant, someone who seeks to see the best version of you or a counselor. Open up and talk about all those fears and pains. Express everything you feel. Talking saves you from getting out of control and sinking deeper into jealousy.

4.   Stay competitive

As long as your eyes are fixated on other people’s success, you will not pursue your success effectively. Focus your personal goals on becoming the best version of yourself. Embrace the qualities that will serve you in pursuing what you want. Keep in mind that you are your own competition, not others.

5.   Seek your own sense of security

Believe in yourself. You have to do the work to conquer your inner critic and believe that you are okay, even on your own. This will mean embracing your life wholeheartedly. Having a strong belief that you’re strong enough to fail or lose. You are certain that no matter the outcome, you can handle the emotions that arise.

6.   Build your Self-Esteem

Loving yourself is the ultimate antidote for jealousy. You will realize that everything external you were looking for can actually be found within you. When you love yourself, you stop feeling so insecure and stop being jealous of other people.

7.   Cultivate positivity

Realize that throughout life, there will always be people who have more than you have. We are all different and each of us has their wins and losses. Embrace yours and be thankful for them. Lose that entitlement attitude and give thanks for what you have as you work towards what you want.

Final Note

Life’s most precious things are like water – they are around you waiting for you to pay attention and appreciate what you have. Jealousy often displays a lack of trust, maybe you lack trust in the process of life, in your friend, or in yourself. This eventually breeds insecurity, which in turn creates jealousy. It’s up to you to avoid being stung and deal with jealousy.

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Am a graduate sociologist and a regular contributor to national publications such as the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Journal of Applied Social Science and the Annual Review of Sociology.

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