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What are ways you constructively cope with jealousy/envy?

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This topic contains 10 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  Mark 2 weeks, 3 days ago.

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  • #301103

    Alexandria
    Participant

    For a good part of my life I have always dealt with jealousy or envy in some way. Sometimes it is with my romantic partners and sometimes it is just personally. I am always comparing myself to this certain type of girl and that in turn makes me jealous or envy them. In the past these girls have always been in my friend groups, and I know these type of people are always going to be around me. Not permanently but I meaning in different ways. You know that saying “There is always going to be someone, prettier, smarter, etc. than you.” I do think this is true, that is why I want to just start learning to deal with these people! Here are there attributes (most the time) that rub me the wrong way.
    -Beautiful (Externally)

    -Carefree

    -Kind of a mess.

    -Everyone likes them or empathizes with them.

    -Have a pretty big friend group.

    -Dishonest.

    -People around them kiss their a**

    I’d like to say I am a put together person, honest, do not have a big social circle and am more of a worrier type. How I’ve dealt with these people are trying to be there friend and be civil with them. But mostly not at all, I have some self esteem issues and confidence as well which I am dealing with going to therapy and such for. I’m going to ask my therapist but does anyone else have suggestions? I’d really like to hear. Male or female as well! I hope this kind of situation can be kind of understandable in other ways as well. Let me know please 🙂

    #301121

    Marie
    Participant

    Whenever I feel jealously or envy I try to use it as an instructive tool to look inward about what exactly is being triggered by this or that person’s behavior or success. I know that sounds like a load of baloney, but… It’s amazing what you can discover about yourself in this way. Oftentimes I’ll subconsciously be burying what I really want, so jealous or envious feelings help me see what I’m really longing for in my heart or where I may be afraid to journey — what I really desire or need to work on.

    I would also say that this quote is very much true — “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Your time on this earth is so brief. Why spend the minutes, hours or days torturing yourself by focusing on what you don’t have? It wastes so much of your time — and time is all we got. What do you really want to be doing with your life? In this present moment?

    It’s so much easier (and lighter) to wish someone well and focus on doing your own thing. To let go of all that doubt and negativity you might be carrying with you. It’s hard to build a life, and focusing too much on jealousy and envy can slow you down. If you really thought about it, I bet you could find so much to be grateful for in your own life. Also, someone might be jealous or envious of you too — so it’s all about perspective. The truth is we never really know what’s going on in someone else’s head, so that beautiful, carefree friend you’re jealous of might have some deep sadness in his or her life you never considered. Life is so beautiful and messy.

    One other thing that I’ve noticed on my own life journey — your friends can probably sense if you’re saying or doing things half-heartedly around them due to jealousy or envy (even if you think you’re hiding it). I know I have sensed when a friend wasn’t being genuine around me and I’ve felt that I’ve acted differently when those feelings have arisen within me. I’m working on it.

    But what I have also noticed is when someone is just doing their own thing and wishing other people well and minding their own business… they tend to attract others to their light too. Maybe that beautiful, carefree, messy, empathetic friend rubs you the wrong way, because she’s triggering a deep longing or desire in yourself you’re afraid to face?
    We’re all figuring this out and we’re all works-in-progress. I’ve definitely been there. Not sure if these thoughts help at all, but I wish you well. This stuff is hard and it’s okay to not have it all figured out today.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Marie.
    #301165

    Kevin
    Participant

    Dear Alexandria,

    Jealousy and envy are constructs created by ego and conditioning. They don’t come from the soul .. so they are not “you”.

    Recently I have been forced to take several journeys into myself looking for the core issues which gave rise to the rather uncomfortable ego I have come to know as myself … More than a few of those inward-looking explorations started from incidents involving jealousy and envy, and I was eventually able to track them back to early childhood and the arrival of my younger sister … Until she arrived I was the only child and had “everything” … anyway … you know the rest of the story … but that only relates to me.

    The big point is that as my body and mind matured over the nexy 65 years or more, those primal influences became honed to razor sharpness and adult strength as ego-attachments .. with an comensurate increase in the level of ego-invented suffering.

    Boiling it down to an emotion rather than a suffering … The primal negative emotion here is fear. Jealousy is fear of loss – of having something/someone taken away from you. Envy is entirely ego-derived and comes from the conditioning inherent in society to always “have the best” … Envy is the ego converting the fear of not being good enough into suffering … Fear, pain etc. will always be there, suffering can be eliminated by training the ego to know it’s true place in your life. You will always have to deal with primal emotions like fear, anger, pain .. but without the ego overlaying them with additional layers of suffering, you will be more able to meditate and “breathe into the emotion”, acknowledge it, let it run its course, and return to your regular beautiful self again without that nagging voice in the back of your head making you suffer …

    “There is always going to be someone, prettier, smarter, etc. than you.” 

    The true answer to that statement above is “bullshit”. Comparisons and judgemental statements are always ego derived… Your natural staate is just to BE, not to be something.

    And as for “better than you” … There is nobody on this entire planet who can be “just as pretty as you” or “just as smart as you” .. because you are unique in every respect. You are perfect exactly as you are, and if you feel you are not, then question yourself deeply with one simple question…

    “Is it ME who is telling me I need to improve, or is it my ego, socretal conventions and standards, marketing images etc. which are making me feel that way”

    If the answer is ME … then it is a fgood thing. Its a sign that your body and soul are getting more into line with each other and telling you they would feel even more like you if you maybe did this or that …

    If the answer is ego, or “the socially acceptable standard” … then flip it the bird, give yourself a huge internal hug, love yourself and carry on being perfect.

    … and the easiest way to identify which of the two you are feeling is to see whether that feeling is based on some sort of an implicit comparison with anything outside yourself … If it is .. It’s ego.

    Always keep one eye on the ego. It’s a slippery little devil 🙂 … It was originally there to help you run your life, NOT to run it for you, and definitely NOT to give you an identity to live inside … but if you allow it, it will become you and you will be identified by your ego.

    Ego is doing, Self is being … Be beautiful ..

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 4 days ago by  Kevin.
    #301241

    Alexandria
    Participant

    Kevin thank you so much, you’re reply is beautifully written from a whole, spiritual standpoint and I truly appreciate that perspective. I like what you said about just “being”  and not “being something” that was very comforting and soothed me. I am constantly trying to be this or that and it is completely exhausting. That is why I appreciated your view of “Is it ME who is telling me I need to improve, or is it my ego, socretal conventions and standards, marketing images etc. which are making me feel that way” sometimes it is hard to differentiate, but I am definitely going to practice this type of thinking to redirect my painful emotions, and will return to this conversation.

    #301245

    Alexandria
    Participant

    Marie, I enjoy this perspective of looking inward when being triggered but I get lost with it bit. Because it is quite obvious I guess why I normally get jealous of these girls, it is because they have a lot of the strengths that I personally am weak in. People in my life also seem to flock to them more, hang out with them more, and I think this just comes from a place where I don’t feel good enough socially. Like I don’t feel fun around them or open, in fact they make me hermit more than I normally am. I constantly struggle to be myself in social situations, because when I am around my good friends and feel good that is when I feel myself. Now I am just starting to think out loud..

    But what I have also noticed is when someone is just doing their own thing and wishing other people well and minding their own business… they tend to attract others to their light too. Maybe that beautiful, carefree, messy, empathetic friend rubs you the wrong way, because she’s triggering a deep longing or desire in yourself you’re afraid to face?

    This is what I try to do whenever I get a jealous or envious thought I try to wish them well in my mind. I try to pray for them. Again I think these types of people in my life are triggering a deep longing within myself I’m really just not sure what it is and it is really confusing when I think about it too long.

    #301249

    Marie
    Participant

    I know. It’s so hard. But I think you reaching out and trying to understand these feelings is an amazing step. It shows you’re looking inward and searching for answers and understanding. I actually really love what Kevin said above.

    ‘There is nobody on this entire planet who can be “just as pretty as you” or “just as smart as you”, because you are unique in every respect. You are perfect exactly as you are.’

    We’ve heard it before… but it’s the TRUTH.

    But that still doesn’t mean that this journey isn’t complicated and tough. Wishing you the best, Alexandria!

    #301253

    Alexandria
    Participant

    Thank you so much lovely! I truly appreciate your tolerance, I struggle with opening up about these things because most the time I get judgement from people about it. Or I get “Oh stop it! You’re beautiful youbhave x,y,z.” But that doesn’t help I constantly feel this hole inside of me that I want gone! It totally prevents me from feeling good about myself.

    #301267

    Peter
    Participant

    Jealousy isn’t something someone does to us, its something we do to ourselves. In some sense we choose such experiences so a path to healing involves taking responsibility and asking yourself why you spend so much time comparing yourself to others…. what value does this experience have for you? Does it allow you to stay stuck?

    All Emotions serve a purpose and I suspect jealousy points to areas in our lives that we need in to integrate. By either letting go or setting goals.

    “Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.”

    “In the hero stories, the call to go on a journey takes the form of a loss, an error, a wound, an unexplainable longing, or a sense of a mission. When any of these happens to us, we are being summoned to make a transition. It will always mean leaving something behind,…The paradox here is that loss is a path to gain.” ― David Richo, How to Be an Adult: A Handbook on Psychological and Spiritual Integration

    Your awareness to the problem of Jealousy is a door to self discovery. It has served its purpose, so you can let it go.  I know easier said then done… or is it….

    A place to start might be a practice of mindfulness. When you become jealous of someone’s beauty, the issue is not their beauty but that you don’t feel beautiful. Begs the question of what is beauty? How do we measure such a thing? As a species we love to measure and label, but the reality is we suck at it. A authentic practice of mindfulness will eventually lead to jumping off this judgment and measuring ‘train’.

    We work for that which no work is required. Accept yourself as you are as you challenge your self to grow, to do better as you learn better, without labels or unnecessary judgment. Who can ask more of themselves or others?

    #301281

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Alexandria:

    Good to read from you again. Regarding the list in your original post, “attributes (most of the time) that rub me the wrong way”, I have a few questions, and please feel free to not answer if you don’t want to go there, it is perfectly fine with me if you choose to not answer and to ignore the following.

    1. Carefree- were you not allowed as a child, if you  remember, to be carefree. Did you feel that you had to be careful, guarded?

    2. “Everyone likes them or empathizes with them”- did you watch your mother, as a child, express how much she likes other people, expressing empathy toward others, while not paying much attention to you?

    3. “Dishonest… People around them kiss their a**”- did you observe, as a child, your mother interacting dishonestly with others and kissing their a**, or maybe you observed the others interacting dishonestly with your mother and so forth, and you  felt angry about it?

    anita

    #301309

    Kevin
    Participant

     I constantly feel this hole inside of me that I want gone! It totally prevents me from feeling good about myself.

    The first step is to start loving yourself a lot more.  Fill that hole with your own love of yourself…

    From the things you have said,  your don’t seem to have a particularly high opinion of yourself and if you’d don’t love yourself, you will tend to radiate those signals to other people, making you less attractive (as in less lovable) Weren’t the most popular kids at school always the ones who were “full of themselves” and looked like they loved themselves… ?

    If I recall,  there are some excellent posts on Tiny Buddha about self-love and self-compassion. It’s not a quick fix.  Like all ego reprogramming exercises,  it will require patience and dedication,  regular practice and the honest desire to change..

    But is worth it if you can stick at it.

    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  Kevin.
    • This reply was modified 2 weeks, 3 days ago by  Kevin.
    #301325

    Mark
    Participant

    Alexandria,

    Comparing ourselves to others is a natural behavior.  Evolutionary/social psychology tells us that is a survival mechanism.

    How to stop doing that?  I see that constantly checking social media aggravates the comparison behavior so stop following others on it.

    Try focusing on gratitude.  Do you keep a daily gratitude journal?  If you are grateful then it diverts your attention from the negative.

    Plus do Loving Kindness Meditation (you can Google what it is)  where you first focus on loving yourself.

    Mark

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