Envy is inevitable, but how you deal with it can be the difference between healthy, positive relationships and petty fights. Although every situation is different, there are a few tactics you can try that may help you get rid of the green monster. Next time you're feeling jealous, follow these five steps to move past it.
- Acknowledge the source. First, you need to be honest with yourself. What exactly has upset you? If your usual tendency is to ignore the problem, then it may be difficult, but you'll need to narrow down the issue so that you're completely clear on what's triggered the envy. It's not enough to say that you're jealous because your friend spends too much time with her boyfriend — instead, realize that it doesn't matter how much time she spends with him; you just want to see her more often.
- Relate it back to your own life. By jealousy's definition, you can only be envious of something you don't have, so think about why you don't have it, why (and whether) you want it, and which steps you'd need to take to achieve it. For instance, if you're jealous of a friend or sibling who's pursuing the career you'd always dreamed of, then ask yourself why you went off course, why you may be missing it, and how you might get back on track.
- Let it fuel your ambition. Envy is one of the greatest motivators, so use it to your advantage. Make a list of the issues that are bothering you most, and then turn each point into an action you can follow through on to help yourself move forward. Jealous that a friend's work project garnered more attention than yours? Take note of how she gained that positive reaction, and find ways to build up your next major effort.
Read on for more tips to stop feeling jealous.
- Talk to the right person. Before you break down and vent to whoever's closest to you, take a moment to evaluate the situation and decide who's best to talk to. If you're jealous of a friend, for instance, then you don't want to rebuff her success with another friend, because you'll seem spiteful. Instead, call a family member who will understand where you're coming from and help you talk through it.
- React with positivity. There's something to be said for taking the high road, so steer clear of any unnecessary negativity. When you're tired of being single, don't give your sister the cold shoulder when she finds love. Directing your hurt toward her will only make things worse, so make a point to offer your congratulations and deal with any negative feelings on your own.