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Is It Normal to Feel Jealous of Your Good Friends? Yes but You Can Reduce It by Learning These

Is It Normal to Feel Jealous of Your Good Friends? Yes but You Can Reduce It by Learning These

I could literally feel my friend’s jealousy seething through my Facebook feed.

After posting a status update of myself sipping from a freshly picked coconut on the beach in Fiji I noted how a few “I *really* hate you now”, casual comments on my wall reflected something much deeper.

Intense jealousy.

I have been on the other side of the fence. Having 4 cents and being $70,000 in debt nearly a decade ago I secretly despised the fact that some good buddies of mine were living their dreams.

Feeling jealous of your close friend’s success is normal but you need to keep it in check before it grows into a raging beast that affects your happiness.

Why Does It Feel Hellishly Difficult Not to Be Jealous of Good Friends?

You grew up together. Same circumstances. Same life in most cases.

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If someone seems to break away from the herd to live their wildest dreams or to simply challenge the status quo you are forced to assess why you haven’t made the same bold, freeing moves in your life.

This type of self-analysis is highly uncomfortable because it requires you to dive into your fears.

Feeling jealous of your friend’s success is simply you resisting your deep, intense fear of breaking free from the herd. Most folks respond to their deep fears with a “It’s totally not fair that they have that and I don’t!” type envy versus taking practical, simple steps to dissolve some of this jealousy to be happier and healthier.

Why You Need to Dial Down Jealousy

If you obsess over feeling terribly jealous of good friends you can never have what they have.

But if you reframe this energy you can replace your envy with inspiration.

Christie Aschwanden of the Huffington Post [1] explains how the concept of benign envy can help you be happi er with your own life.

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Stop being jealous of your buddies’ success. Start living your dream life with these practical tips.

Ponder Things You Don’t Envy about Your Friend’s Lives

You may want to squeeze chop sticks under my fingernails after seeing my beach selfies in Bali but are you also jealous of the fact that I’m brainstorming this post at midnight on a Friday night?

Or that I declared bankruptcy and sold nearly everything I owned at the start of my blogging journey?

You will feel less jealous of your friends when you consider “the rest of the story”.

Every successful person you envy had to work long and hard to become successful. These people had to dive into their deepest fears regularly to live their dreams.

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Before you envy someone’s success think about their failures, struggles and all the hard work they put into living their dreams. You won’t feel as jealous of their wins when you understand what they had to do to reach their goals.

You may even turn your jealousy into genuine admiration.

Build a Gratitude List in the Morning

Speak it. Write it. However you dice it, building a gratitude list moves your attention from what you don’t have to what you do have. This helps you feel more whole and complete. How can you feel jealous of your good friends when you feel content with your blessings?

Thinking of things to be grateful for on waking sets a fabulous energetic tone for your day.

Press the Jealousy Rewind Button

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During my lean years I recall feeling hyper jealous of my successful friends. I vividly remember one episode where I couldn’t chip in to buy a pizza because I had no money in my wallet.

My friends said the pizza was on them. I felt like a charity case, shamelessly scarfing down a piece of pie, feeling like a total loser.

I needed to relive this experience in my imagination to clear deeply held jealous feelings I directed towards friends and family. Like any emotion, jealousy vanishes when you are present with the feeling of being intensely jealous. As the feeling vanishes you become less jealous.

Find a quiet room. Relax your body and mind. Press the jealous rewind button by recalling experiences with friends which brought up feelings of envy. Feel the emotions. Grab a pillow to punch or cry into if strong energies arise.

Clearing jealous feelings from the past helps you frame your friend’s success from a healthier, balanced space.

Reference

More by this author

Ryan Biddulph

Blogger and World Traveler at Blogging From Paradise

jealousy Is It Normal to Feel Jealous of Your Good Friends? Yes but You Can Reduce It by Learning These

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Last Updated on October 14, 2020

Psychologists Say It’s Really Possible To Change Our Personality

Psychologists Say It’s Really Possible To Change Our Personality

Do you feel that you can become a better person, but your personality is hindering you from doing so?

Are you one of those people who is making a conscious effort to change, but no matter how hard you try, you remain a prisoner of your personality traits?

Don’t lose hope – it is indeed possible to change your personality!

Personality Crisis

According to the widely accepted model of personality with over 50 years worth of research and study, there are five dimensions of our personality, known as the “Big Five:”

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  • Extraversion: People with high levels of this personality dimension are much more outgoing and tend to be more comfortable in social situations compared to others.
  • Agreeableness: Your level in this dimension determines whether you are more cooperative with other people or competitive (even to the point of being manipulative) with other people.
  • Conscientiousness: Thoughtful people who have high levels of this trait dimension are much more detail-oriented and driven.
  • Neuroticism: Moodiness and the propensity for sadness are associated with people who possess excessive amounts of this personality dimension.
  • Openness: Imaginative and insightful people are very receptive to change and new experiences, whereas those who are not are much more stubborn and reluctant to try out new things.

These personality dimensions are further shaped by our genetics and our upbringing, the latter of which also involves our living environment and culture. These factors ultimately help shape your personality as you grow up, some of which could lead to personality disorders.

However, your personality is never fully set in stone. In fact, it is not uncommon for adults to tweak their personalities as they prepare themselves for new challenges and life situations. For example, stubborn partners will find themselves making an effort to become more cooperative with their loved ones if they want their relationship to work. While these instances may not necessarily lead to positive results, it is evidence enough that changing your personality is not impossible.

The question that begs to be asked is this:

How Much Effort Are People Willing to Put in to Make That Change?

According to a recent study at the University of Illinois, only 13% of respondents were satisfied with their personalities – most of them wanted to change for the better. However, instead of encouraging these people to get help from experts or take courses, R. Chris Fraley and Nathan Hudson conducted different tests instead to see if the respondents can quantify their personalities to make the necessary changes. The results of the test were published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which you can view here.

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The first experiment involved an introductory psychology class, who were educated about the Big Five personality dimensions and asked to grade their personalities by filling out a rating form. They were then asked if they wanted something to change in their personality over the 16-week period of this study. To do this, they needed to find a way to change their undesirable personality traits using goals and metrics to track their progress.

Among the 135 participants, half joined the “change plan” condition, in which they were given writing assignments over the same period to assess the changes they need to make for their personalities. Every week, they were also required to complete additional writing assignments to evaluate their progress further. The other half were not asked to write – instead, they were placed in a controlled setting and were provided feedback about their development.

The second experiment involved roughly the same number of participants. The only variable that Fraley and Hudson changed is that, instead of focusing on personality traits, they targeted daily behavior related to the traits that defined their personalities.

The result of both experiments demonstrates the capacity for people to make breakthroughs with their personalities. Participants were able to make strides by getting better scores on personality traits that they wanted to improve. However, the comprehensive change plans only had a modest impact on the actual changes in personality. Also, the 16-week period for the study was not enough for the participants to make the drastic changes one might expect.

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Steps to a Better You

Now that you are aware that you can still change your personality, below are some proactive steps that you can take so you can make the change as early as possible.

1. Do not let “labels” define you

You are not a shy and timid person. Nor are you a cold and callous one. You are simply a person full of potential to change and become a better version of yourself every day. You can be anything, as long as you put your mind to it.

2. Do good deeds

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Getting rid of a terrible personality can start with doing something good. A study published in Motivation and Emotion suggests that engaging in acts of kindness allows you to overcome anxiety. Letting the focus from yourself shift to others leads to more opportunities for social engagement.

3. Just wait

If you cannot force change, then let it come to you. According to a study conducted at the University of Manchester and the London School of Economics, change that naturally takes place is not out of the question. The more you undergo transformative experiences in life as you grow older, the more chances that changes in your personality take place.

At the end of the day, change is inevitable. As mentioned above, our personalities are shaped by our experiences in life. By exposing ourselves to positive experiences that we can live by and keeping an open mind for our own identities, there is no doubt that change for the better is indeed possible.

Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/GmoHIZ61eMo via unsplash.com

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