Advertising
Advertising

It’s Okay To Be Envious As Long As You’re Not Jealous

It’s Okay To Be Envious As Long As You’re Not Jealous

Jealousy is often seen as a negative emotion or a bad trait to have. It is usually synonymous with actions such as revenge or bitterness especially when it triggers a certain energy within someone. In romantic scenarios, the idea of someone being jealous of their partner talking to another person is a typical example. Or perhaps you see someone else with something you desperately want but don’t have.

Jealousy can lead some of us to make decisions we later regret or at least cause us to become cold and bitter. But there are also times when experiencing that feeling of envy can flick a switch inside of us. That yearning for something we don’t have can trigger us and fuel that determination to get what we want.

So can we look at jealousy differently? Can it actually be a good thing to feel envious? Could we use envy and jealousy to our advantage?

    The Subtle Difference Between Jealousy and Envy

    Jealousy is a natural emotion yet it’s been condemned by all cultures throughout history. It tends to be perceived with a negative charge with ultimate destructive tendencies either to other people or more likely just to our core selves. But while the negative energy can reside in envy, it can also be the basis for construction and motivation in our focus.

    Advertising

    Small amounts of jealously can actually keep a relationship together or inspire us to be more attentive with our actions.

    So why do we even have the ability to feel these emotions?

    According to David Straker, author of Changing Minds, jealousy is primarily about our reaction to loss. When you are emotionally attached to something and it’s perceived as taken away from you or threatened to be taken away, your reaction is one of hurt and anger.

    Envy is more focused on what you don’t have. You may see someone with something you want and envy that person. The amount of envy you feel is relative to the amount of unfairness you feel about the situation and this negative energy is often aimed proportionally at the person in question. It can then spiral into inferior feelings of unworthiness and so the result is to justify things staying as they are instead of using it as motivation to achieve more.

    Advertising

      When we break it down, envy is rooted in fear. It’s the fear of feeling weak, powerless or less-than. Advertisers all know about this and tap into the envy lurking in our subconscious to get us to compete with others and spend money to essentially keep up with the Jones’.

      There’s an interesting quote from Helmut Schoeck’s book, Envystates: “Envy is a drive which lies at the core of man’s life as a social being, and which occurs as soon as two individuals become capable of mutual comparison.” He also notes, “It is the great regulator in all personal relationships: fear of arousing it curbs and modifies countless actions.”

      Often, if someone shines a spotlight on an accomplishment of ours there’s a need to counteract this by us mentioning some misfortune to balance it out. The negativity around envy is born out of comparisons which only become stronger within a close-knit society and people with similar and comparable backgrounds to us.

      How The ‘Flaw’ of Envy Can Be a Good Thing

      It’s important to perceive envy as an indicator to where your focus is and where it’s guiding you. It’s an opportunity to stand back and re-evaluate your mindset and what you want in life.

      What is this feeling of envy telling you? Is there a certain direction you want to follow? Why are you having these feelings?

      Advertising

      Understand that when you feel envy, it’s not about the other person or circumstance, it’s fundamentally about you. It’s time to question yourself – not in a judgemental way – but rather a means to focus on what needs to change within yourself in order to get what you want.

      Envy is an illusion. It’s not about reality but all about our own perception. Once we understand this, we can use this as fuel for motivation and changing our mindset towards ourselves and our situation.

      How To Use Envy To Your Advantage

      When feelings of envy come up in your life, question yourself.

      1. What can I learn from this person’s success?
      2. What’s been stopping me from thinking bigger with my life and not achieving what they’ve achieved?
      3. Have I set the right standards for my own success? Have I appreciated what I’ve already achieved or have I just dismissed milestones? Am I not getting recognition because I’ve been envious of others rather than recognising their successes positively?

      Embracing our negative emotions is key because they’re there to show us changes we need to make. Envy and jealously opens up doors that we need to acknowledge and walk through.

      Advertising

        When we realise envy is more about us we can understand that it’s really us acknowledging other’s fortunes instead of our own. Jean Vanier stated that, “envy comes from people’s ignorance of, or lack of belief in, their own gifts.”

        Therefore the best cure for envy is prosperity and the best thing about envy is the opportunity for motivation and change in your life. If you’re feeling the emotion of envy strongly, it may be an important indicator to let you know there are perspectives about your own life that you need to re-evaluate. Use it for motivation and positivity rather than the negative and powerless charge we’re led to believe it is.

        Featured photo credit: rawpixel.com via pexels.com

        More by this author

        Anna Chui

        Anna is a communication expert and a life enthusiast. She's the editor of Lifehack and loves to write about love, life, and passion.

        26 Useful Things to Learn Now That Will Change Your Life How Self Doubt Keeps You Stuck (And How to Overcome It) 30 Books Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Lives How to Detect a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing The Desire to Be Liked Will End You up Feeling More Rejected

        Trending in Mental Strength

        1 How to Be Patient and Take Charge of Your Life 2 What Is Self-Actualization? 13 Traits of Self-Actualized People 3 What Is the Purpose of Life and What Should You Live For? 4 15 Simple Ways to Boost Your Emotional Health 5 How to Do What You Love Successfully

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on December 10, 2019

        How to Be Patient and Take Charge of Your Life

        How to Be Patient and Take Charge of Your Life

        When I googled the meaning of patience, it said:

        “the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.”

        I have always struggled to be patient in my life. Even though I know that when I am able to be patient, I always get a better result. Being patient is quite a simple concept to apply but for some reason, it can be so difficult to put into practice.

        Practising patience helps you to better manage the curveballs that life throws at you. Patience also brings calmness, optimism, hope and confidence to your life.

        “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” — John Quincy Adams

        The key message is quite clear – when you practise patience, you are more likely to lead a successful and happy life.

        Advertising

        In this article, you will learn why being patient is good for you, and how to be patient to take better control of your life.

        Why Being Patient Is Good for You

        Patience is a great way to exercise self-control. When you are patient you are more likely to take charge of your life.

        Here are three key benefits (there are many more) that practising the art of patience can bring to your life:

        Better Decision Making

        By learning patience, you will become better at making decisions. Patience gives you breathing space and therefore you are more comfortable with taking the time to assess difficult situations and reflect on how you wish to proceed.

        You also develop more self- confidence and know that if you rush into making a decision it will not end well for you. The chance of making a big mistake is higher if your decision is made in haste.

        A Well Balanced Life

        By becoming more patient, you will greatly reduce the stress in your life.

        Advertising

        Because you are more self-aware, you have a better understanding of what makes you happy and you will tend to focus on doing the things that bring you joy. The result of this is that you become more aware of how to live your life in balance rather than constantly have to fight fires.

        Better Relationships

        By becoming more patient, you are more understanding, open and flexible towards others’ mistakes and shortcomings. As a result, you are able to build stronger and longer-lasting relationships.

        Patience does not come easily to many of us, especially when we live in a world of constant disruption and change. Patience is a mindset and it is not something that comes overnight. If you truly want to be a more patient person, you do have to be prepared to do the work. Embracing patience in your life is part of a life journey and therefor you must be willing to be in it for the long haul.

        If you can accept that you are okay with stepping out of your comfort zone and that developing a patient perspective will not come instantly, then you are ready to embrace patience into your life.

        So what can you do to become more patient and take control of your life?

        How to Be More Patient

        Outlined below are 3 practical techniques you can apply right now into your life that will help you be more patient and take charge of your life.

        Advertising

        1. Understand What Triggers Your Feelings Of Impatience

        The opposite of patience is impatience. Everyone has experienced the feeling of impatience many times in life – in fact, you can’t escape it!

        For you to become more patient, it is important that you understand what triggers your feelings of impatience. What is it that you think about or feel right before you lose it? Once you know what triggers you, then you can work on using calming exercises to help you better manage those feelings of impatience when they start to build up.

        Making yourself wait before you react, and practising deep breathing exercises are great techniques to help you manage those surging feelings of impatience. Counting to 100 under your breath is another technique to help you WAIT before you react.

        2. Stop Doing Things That Are Not Important

        We can get easily distracted and stressed when we are doing things that are not really important and are taking up a huge amount of time. One way of removing stress is to stop doing things that create more stress for you.

        Take a few minutes out at the end of your day and reflect on the tasks you have done. Write these tasks down and then write down the tasks you have to do tomorrow.

        Patience is about having a more positive and reflective perspective in life, so look at each of these tasks and decide which are top priorities for tomorrow and which tasks can wait for a few days. Then go do the important tasks. If you consistently practise this technique, you will slowly take back control over your life.

        Advertising

        3. Work on Changing Your Attitude

        A person who is patient is able to assess situations from a more positive perspective. They tend to accept a difficult situation as it is and will not fight it or avoid it. They will work with it and try to work on a solution that will enable them to move forward.

        Patience is all about perspective and how you look at situations. If you miss your bus or are running late for a meeting and stuck in traffic, you have the choice about how you react. A patient person will work on putting a positive spin to the situation and try to reduce the tension that potentially could potentially build up.

        Having a more impatient perspective on life is not going to serve you well. Impatience will block you from living life where you are in control.

        Techniques that you could use that will help you have a more positive outlook on life are:

        • Visualization. Try to step ahead of the problem. Visualize yourself facing the problem and how you dealt with it and achieved positive outcomes.
        • Get active and choose activities that will help you release the stress and tension you are feeling. There are many things you can do such as yoga, walking, breathing exercises, and meditation etc. Choose activities that bring you peace of mind and commit to doing these activities on a regular basis.

        Final Thoughts

        Practising patience in your life will enable you to have more freedom of choice and as a result, have more control of your life.

        If you commit to the journey of living a patient life, the rewards that you will reap will be unbelievable. Who wouldn’t want to live a flourishing life where you are in charge?

        More to Calm Your Mind

        Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

        Read Next