Envy is one of several negative emotions. This emotion is like a termite which makes us hollow inside, by removing all positive emotions in us. Envy is responsible for misdirecting our lives. But getting rid of it is not very tough.
Envy is desiring something that another person owns or has that you don’t. It can be ANYTHING.
Robert Greene defines feeling of envy in two types;
Active and Passive.
Passive envy is what we feel everyday, for eg. from an instagram post, from a movie,etc. this type of envy is natural.
Whereas, Active envy leads us to act on something we are envious of. For eg. Some people are soo envious that they comment something bad to a person to make him feel bad. Active envy comes from an uncontrolled mind.
This post will give you brief guide about envy and how can you stop envious feelings.
Difference between jealousy and envy
Jealousy is about something you have, and don’t want to lose. For eg. “ohh noo I have to give that kid my chocolate because he’s crying!! but I don’t want to give!”
Envy is about something you want, that other person has. For eg. “I wish I had big villa like my neighbour”
Envy is characterized by feelings of inferiority, longing, resentment, and disapproval of the emotion. Jealousy is characterized by fear of loss, distrust, anxiety, and anger.
Why do we feel envious?
The main reason for feeling envious is feeling of dissatisfaction. This feeling of dissatisfaction specifically comes from comparing ourselves.
Another reason for feeling envious is lower self-esteem. When we don’t find ourselves worthy. And not appreciate what we have.
It can mostly be experienced on social media. We experience feeling of unfulfilled life when we see someone else is enjoying our desired lifestyle, or material things like cars, mobile phones, travel,etc., that we also want to have.
Positive Part of Envy
The world is not driven by greed, it’s driven by envy. People choose to work harder to get over to another person. We all do it.Charlie Munger
Sometimes we push ourselves to pass over to another person, this action of pushing oneself was supposed to be done by discipline but see envy will do this for us. Envy will help us move forward and grow faster. It has to be used positively to get positive result.
This is how you can use envy to favor you. When you feel envious, notice what I need from that person’s lifestyle? After finding that thing, act and take it. Of course by pushing yourself, not by stealing it!
But the opposite is also true, this envy can depress us if we say we can’t achieve that lifestyle, that house, that car, etc. That would become a negative self-talk then, and it has several disadvantages.
How to get over feeling of envy?
#1Conscious use of social media.
Social media leads to constant comparison and to stop being in that state you have to set this belief, that not everything you see on social media (even your friends) are real.
In fact, most of the things you see come through a filter, maybe we can call that filter “fake it till you make it”. And this should not shift your focus from yourself.
#2Think about the negative side of envy.
When you think more about negative effects of this emotion and how it can harm you. Your chances of pushing it and getting rid of it increases.
The negative side;
- Consumes your time
- Impacts your thoughts
- Ruins your personal and professional relationships
- Degrades your personality
- Creates negativity
#3Write good qualities about that person.
This trick works 90% of the time. Write good qualities of that person and also think good about that person, what can you learn from that person. In some way, practice to appreciate him.
This will change your subconscious behavior toward that person and you will automatically start to feel good about and around that person.
Being satisfied in what you have is great practice to keep negative emotions away from you (not only envy). This is ultimate practice. One solution to many problems.
Sometimes we don’t get word to write what we are grateful for, see you are alive, you have clean water to drink. Looking at people suffering from poverty and hunger will make you realise how much better lifestyle you have. That will help you to feel grateful.
Try positive self-talk. It will help.
#5What is in it for you.
The truth is, you will get nothing out of feeling envious. You have two things to take from it.
No.1 Overthink, suffer, feel sad that you don’t have it.
No.2 Take action to achieve that.
No matter what you will have opportunity to act on any one of both. By default people choose to suffer, so change you default.
#6Do one thing better than him/her.
Doing one thing better than him will ultimately push you to grow, as I wrote above, the positive part of envy. So use it. Get into competition, keep climbing unless the other person quits.
We just spent too much energy on thinking about what everyone else owns instead of being grateful for what we have.
Passive envy is natural, but practicing it for long time will strengthen your Active envy. So instead of thinking “why I don’t have it“, try to appreciate next post you see on social media.
Thanking what you already have is a tool to fight back all negative emotions and to attract positives as well. Gratitude plays a key role in shifting our emotions.