Jealousy is not necessarily a bad thing. It is human nature. It is natural to feel jealous from time to time. It is no secret that we live in a world that encourages constant competition and comparison. From the moment we can walk and talk, it’s about who is the smartest, fastest, strongest, or funniest. As you grow older, the competition heats up: who will be the first to have a relationship? Who has the best body, the most striking life, the best car? It is exhausting!
Be aware of the explosion of social media and suddenly we are led to believe that everyone else is experiencing it while we are falling behind. The good news is that while jealousy is a normal reaction, it doesn’t have to be permanent. There are ways to control where your head is and learn to feel happy instead of confused when it comes to feeling jealous.
What is jealousy? An explainer to envy
Jealousy is one thing we all have in common, but what makes us feel this way?
When you get there, whether in a relationship, at school, or when you go out with your peers, and you don’t get the answer you expected, you are likely to feel quite bruised. Being rejected leads to feeling bad, and that can start a cycle where you are convinced that you will always end up in the same situation. Why does this always happen to me? It is a question that we have all asked ourselves at some point when we have been struggling.
The blame game
When you are aware of your negative feelings, it is tempting to attribute them to someone else. When the guys around you get together and you don’t have a date, you can feel angry with them, even though they haven’t done anything wrong.
It makes sense: When you feel like you’re falling behind, you want to direct that anger and frustration outward. Guilt is a powerful tool, and one that can offer a little respite at the moment, but it’s a bad long-term idea.
I can’t help but compare
Whether you’re scrolling and rolling your eyes when you see a bunch of amateur guys posting on Instagram about their amazing vacation, or listening to their coworkers brag about their last date, it’s hard not to compare yourself to others.
Add to that, as we age there is an endless culture of comparison. Are you getting the best results at school? Do you have a girlfriend or a boyfriend? How many benches? This culture of comparison can easily lead to feelings of jealousy. Furthermore, social media has made FOMO a real problem, and everyone feels compelled to present the most striking version of their lives.
How to: deal with the green eyed monster
When it comes to overcoming feelings of envy, honest chat is the MVP. Sit down with a family member or friend and try to put into words whatever makes you jealous. Sometimes, simply by giving voice to your frustrations, you can see them for what they are.
Stop following the leader
If the highly-filtered fantasy world of Insta and Snapchat is starting to send you on a spin, we recommend that you start to stop following. You don’t have to get rid of all the famous people you follow, but if Dan Bilzerian’s constant stream of jet skis and parties makes you mad, you might have a break from his posts.
The same goes for your own social circle. It can be difficult to see people you know doing fun things, especially if you feel left out. Most social media platforms allow you to mute people, so you can hide certain feeds for a period of time. You could also try limiting your daily social use.
Sometimes the best way to overcome jealousy is to channel that energy into a fun challenge. Every time you pick up jealous vibes, set yourself a task. Do ten push-ups, watch a funny YouTube clip, text a friend, or listen to your favorite song.
List the best bits
Jealousy is fueled by feelings of doubt, so if you can get used to exalting yourself, it will help you a lot to overcome your resentment. As strange as it may seem (we know that at first it may seem a little strange, but trust us), try to write three things that you like about yourself.
Every time you record a jealous thought, add something else. Not only will you create a solid list of all your best traits, but you’ll also hone the art of distraction. By associating jealousy with a list of good things about you, you can learn to change its impact on you.
The bottom line
Ultimately, dealing with jealousy is about learning how to deal with it, rather than trying to eliminate it entirely. The feelings that lead to jealousy are normal emotions: resentment, anger, or frustration. The important thing is to realize that you already have all the tools you need to control the impact jealousy has on you.