Jealousy is awful. There are no good sides to it, only negatives. The green-eyed monster can creep up on you without warning when you see someone who has something really nice (home, car, clothes) and you wish you had it.
I used to succumb to jealousy over the above. Rarely did I have the urge to openly congratulate the person, or be happy for them. Instead, I felt jealous and wasted a lot of emotional energy on it. Being on this path towards a simple life has really helped me define what is important to me and turn my back on jealousy.
Jealousy hurts us in many ways.
- It can damage a relationship because you have negative feelings towards the other person.
- The negative feelings cause stress for you and damage your health.
- You may feel you have to buy the same thing, which could stretch your budget or put you in debt.
- You are never satisfied with your own life because you keep comparing it to theirs.
Admittedly, I still have those feelings of jealously, but I can now tame them in under a minute. Here is what I do:
1. Decide if you are willing to pay for the same thing (either outright or by going in debt.) That usually stops it dead for me. I am not willing to pay for it.
2. Decide if it will bring you joy and contentment. Oh, maybe for a few hours or days, but probably not after that. I certainly don't want to clean a bigger home. I definitely don't want to worry about real estate out of the state/country.
3. Ask yourself if their life is that perfect. This isn't their whole life. They have struggles and disappointments just like you and I.
Two recent friends just purchased new homes that are larger than their old ones with desirable features (in-ground pool, river access for their boat.) I went through the above steps and didn't even get past number one before the jealousy went away and I was in a place where I could be genuinely happy for them.
Are you hit with jealousy once in awhile? How do you successfully get past it and maintain not only healthy relationships, but a healthy you?
Need some additional suggestions? Here is another blog on envy.