It doesn’t matter how the other person is better than you, but that you’ve been a better person today from what you were yesterday, writes Reshma Krishnamurthy Sharma.
Remember a decade old popular tag line of a television brand – ‘Neighbour’s envy, owner’s pride’?
Jealousy is a strong emotion that can get very negative for self and others. If it goes out of control, it can rip your life and tear relationships apart. But being jealous and envious are different. Very often, the two are confused with each other and sometimes one can lead to the other. These emotions are provocative enough to lead to unhappiness, emotional turmoil, rage, resentment and low self-esteem.
Envy is when you want what someone else has. But jealousy is when you feel bad about someone having taken what is yours. Jealousy is something that can affect siblings, break relationships, or even pull down one’s career. It is said that the fear of losing our importance, relationships or a cherished situation can cause jealousy. It happens all the time in many life scenarios. You feel a bout of envy when you find that your neighbour has bought a plush apartment while you are still holed up in a tiny rented home.
It could also be that you get jealous of your cousin who has just announced to you that his daughter is going abroad for studies while your daughter does not think of the world more than mindless hours of surfing and is least academically concerned.
In work environments we find the cloud of jealousy and anger overcoming some of us when a colleague who hardly deserved to go places is promoted. It may be that an extrovert co-worker who uses all the social skills to talk about his achievements is favoured in new projects when you are left behind as you thought your work will speak for itself. You start feeling jealous of the person as the recognition and status, atleast in your mind, belonged to you.
Jealousy is not confined to adults only. Children begin to feel jealous sooner or later when they start to interact in the social environment.
Feelings of jealousy are almost always negative, since the jealous person may continue to build up resentment towards his or her rival and the situation can turn volatile. Sometimes it can happen that you are the target of jealousy for another person. Here the other person may constantly try to create turmoil – some minor to a few huge ones to bring you unhappiness.
Experts say it can work out if you tell the person that you too have troubles and difficulties in life. If the person persists, then either move away from him/her or at least build a mental wall so that you don’t get disturbed about it.
It’s hard, but not impossible to overcome the baggage of anger, frustration, and jealousy. Here are a few ways of dealing with jealousy:
* Learn to accept the situation. Why would you brood over something on which you have no control or cannot do anything about it?
* Look around. You will find that there are amazing people who happily write books without eyes, dance without real feet, and paint without hands! Do you still feel unfortunate?
* Do not turn devious and lose your ethics in your desperation to get ahead. Remember that the feeling of jealousy is more about you than the other person.
* List down what you like about yourself. It is good to make a list in your self-help recovery process on what you want from life and the qualities you admire about yourself. You will feel better and get motivated to achieve, rather than feel jealous and spoil your little world of happiness.
* Eliminate all negative emotions from yourself. The more you are able to control your emotions; the more you will be able to control your life and steer your life in the direction you want.
* It is important to love yourself before you can spread the good vibe to others. You will no longer feel the need to criticize everyone you envy or a person in particular. The unwanted feeling of envy and jealousy will soon turn into something that you just want to throw into the bin.
* Talk to a friend or a counsellor if you are afraid to open up your feelings to a known person. Being aware of your feelings is crucial in deconstructing them and tackling the problem.
* You may unintentionally express your jealousy to your colleague or friend. This can make matters worse between you and them. It is better to take it into confidence and find out other ways to curb this unhealthy feeling.
* Take your mind to something more interesting. Find other distractions. There are lots of things in this world that can keep you occupied.
Don’t wonder how your life would have been different if only… Do something good for yourself where you do not have to bother of others’ progress in life. There will always be someone more intelligent, more lucky, or more wealthy than you. It doesn’t matter as long as you can find happiness with the things in your life.
It’s the way we see the world that can make the difference. Get some perspective. If you are a better person today from what you were yesterday, you are amazing and you are getting ahead in life, and that is all that matters.