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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How To Overcome Jealousy for a Happier Life

How To Overcome Jealousy for a Happier Life

Knowing how to overcome jealousy is really about knowing how to overcome yourself. You may have ideas about who you should be, often based on very high or unrealistic standards that you see others emulating. When you are jealous of others, it’s not because of how much they have. It’s because of how little you perceive yourself to be.

Now, with social media, getting likes and page views is the new gauge for popularity. Are people flocking to your profile? Are you keeping up with Instagram influencers? Are you marketing yourself properly? Do you have a personal brand? Do you have any following? Do you have all the latest things? Are you like your friends?

Are you happy?

Only one of those questions matter—whether you’re happy or not. When you are jealous, it is difficult to let in positive feelings about yourself and life. You play a constant game of comparison with others, and everything becomes about competition.

That leaves you with an ideal of who you can be, rather than feeling good about who you already are. It’s good to always want to better yourself, but there is a limit. There is a point where you have to look at yourself and think you’re enough. Otherwise, you’ll never really “make it.”

Success will always be this elusive thing that you try to grasp when comparing yourself to others. You run a race that isn’t your own, and you let go of the person you are truly meant to be.

The good news is that you can overcome jealousy for a happier life. You can still meet your goals, and accept yourself along the way. You can stop checking for who is checking you out on social media. You can breathe a little. You can learn to say “no.”

You can value others while not wanting to become them. You can choose happiness that is about self-compassion, fulfillment, and purpose, things that lead you away from jealousy—and you can start now.

Here are 5 ways on how you can overcome jealousy and become happier in life.

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1. It’s Not About Keeping up With the Joneses

Appearances are not everything. You don’t have to follow what’s shiny and new. You don’t have to meet others’ expectations of you.

If you don’t want to do something, say “no.” If you don’t want to be something, say “no.” And if you don’t want to just follow another’s example, say, “no.”

You have the power to control your decisions—your destiny.

If someone has everything perfectly together, they may not be all who you think they are. It may be an image or a facade. Because if you look deeper, everyone has flaws. Everyone has things about themselves that they don’t like.

You never know if someone may be looking to you as an example. You might be the person to lead rather than follow. Rather than seeking inspiration, BE the inspiration. That’s a game-changer.

You may fear rejection when you try to become like others. But what if you were comfortable with yourself to a point that others felt they could be comfortable with you too? What if everyone could let their guards down because of you? Maybe everyone’s waiting to relax and be reassured, too.

Comparing yourself to others may be difficult to pull away from at first. Avoid triggers that cause you to compare yourself to others by not looking at someone’s social media or taking a break to work on yourself—avoiding certain people who put you down or doing something spontaneous rather than just following those around you.[1] You can choose your life. You can find happiness.

2. Finding Satisfaction

On a scale of 1-10, how do you feel about your life?

If you are on the lower end, you are most susceptible to copying others. You don’t have to prove anyone to anything, though. If you find satisfaction with your life, be proud of it.

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As long as you can find some satisfaction, you can center yourself in what is good and right and find some meaning in everything. You can overcome jealousy towards others and let your ambitions be your own. When you find satisfaction, you find a newfound love of life—and that is happiness.

Being satisfied doesn’t come easily. It’s human nature to always want more—more stuff, more time, more achievements, more money, more more more. Instead, gratitude minimizes envy. Be grateful to be here, and you will see what’s worth it.

Are you prioritizing your life right? If you are feeling dissatisfied, you may have to readjust your value system. It’s not about your reputation. It’s about your realness.

Are you being honest with yourself in what you need? If not, start there. Start with what makes you happy, without having to have a reason for it—without wanting more or thinking about what it can get you. Just fall in love with the life you live. Then, you will be satisfied.

3. Look to Yourself, Not to Others

What if everything you’re doing is actually right? What if you are okay as you are? What if you have nothing to fear?

Uncertainty and desperation are what lead people to copy each other. A lack of confidence keeps people from coming back to themselves and overcoming jealousy. You might find out who you really are, or you might find out who someone else is. You can only choose one person to be—choose you.

It’s not your fault that you may be feeling insecure. If you listen to the small voice within, you may find that self-love is what you need, not societal approval. But it’s easy to mistake the two.

When you feel like you have nothing of worth, you look to others thinking they have more. It’s time to look to the person who knows you best- yourself. And only you can represent yourself.

Jealousy can lead you to look to anyone but you. This can harm relationships, cause tension, and cause added stress—but you have some control.

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Recognize when you are becoming jealous and work on mending the relationship you have with the person because jealousy happens to everyone.[2] You just have to know when it’s happening to you.

Rather than pulling together traits, values, priorities, passions, etc. from another person, pull from within. Your happiness depends on it. So, give up following the crowd because they may be going the wrong direction. It’s time to take a step forward as the real you.

4. Being Your Own Cheerleader

One day, you won’t look back and think, “I’m so happy because of all my energy placed into other people.” Instead, you will look back and think, “I’m so happy because I got to be myself and live a full life.”

When you are your own cheerleader, you are also your own advocate. You speak up for what you need, and you take care of yourself. No one can do it for you.

Sometimes, you may wait for others to validate you before you value yourself. Instead, try to stand tall with what you have, and you will go farther.

When you motivate yourself by healthy means, you rely less on jealousy or competition to fuel you, and this allows you to overcome jealousy. When you get up each morning and decide that life is worth it, that decision changes lives. Perhaps, those whom you look to are looking to you as well. You have to decide that your voice matters.

Positive affirmations are a great way to motivate yourself. For example:

  • I Am Enough
  • I Am Whole
  • I Am Worthy
  • I Am Loved
  • I Am…

Keep going. Keep saying “I am.” That will empower you to no longer need to envy others.

5. Realistic Expectations

Everyone wants to be on top. Everyone also wants the easy way to get there. But there’s a better way than just being like everyone. You don’t have to always have the answers to be authentic. You just have to have realistic goals.

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There’s no easy way to anything, and if there is, it most likely costs too much. When you choose the road best for you, it may be a lonely one.

Your road may be the one less traveled. You may not have much other than your vision of who you want to be. But you know what? You have your own road.

Not everyone ends up doing what they want to do in life; sometimes, envy has a say in that. Sometimes, envy and jealousy rip you from reality. You start diverging from the road meant for you, crossing into the paths of others’. You may get lost there, and before you know it, it’s too late to turn back.

There’s hope, though. You can stay the course and be the person you are meant to be. You can let go of jealousy and that anguish to be someone other than yourself.

There is no perfect person. But there is perfect happiness in being who you are. You can find it by letting it all go. That’s when you know you are enough.

Final Thoughts

“A flower never thinks of competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” –Unknown

It’s time to put jealousy behind you. Love yourself, and you will love your life. What do you have to lose?

Find who you are by letting go of others’ expectations. Authentically show up each day and say, “I am here.” Learn how to overcome jealousy, and happiness will come once you do.

More Tips on How to Overcome Jealousy

Featured photo credit: Andrew Le via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Sarah Browne

Sarah is a speaker, writer and activist

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Published on April 7, 2021

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

6 Signs Of A Controlling Person To Be Aware Of

Some of the most manipulative people are so good at what they do that their words and actions can convince you into thinking they truly care about what’s best for you when in reality, it’s quite the opposite. The most common signs of a controlling person are rarely obvious to outside observers. And for someone enmeshed in a controlling relationship or friendship, it can be incredibly challenging to stay away from this toxic person, even if you’re aware of their emotionally abusive tendencies.

While it’s ultimately up to you to decide whether to preserve or leave a lopsided, unfulfilling relationship, it’s nevertheless critical to understand the following six signs of controlling people so you can better advocate for yourself and mitigate the influence of their manipulative tendencies in your own life.

1. They Push Their Own Personal Agenda

Do you know someone who always tries to micromanage the words, behaviors, and attitudes of people around them? Does this person act like they have the right to know anything they want about you, including your location, what you’re doing in a given moment, who you’re talking to online, or any other private information about you? And when planning events and special occasions, does this person dominate conversations, steer plans in their own preferred directions, disparage others’ suggestions, and refuse to collaborate with anyone who might disagree with them?

If you answered “yes” to some of the above questions, then those are clear signs of a controlling person whom you absolutely need to be cautious around. Controlling people are reluctant to even consider alternative ideas, let alone enthusiastically work with people who have differing views. They prefer to be the captain of every ship—regardless of how much or how little an issue personally impacts them—and they have an arsenal of manipulative tactics to deploy if someone stands in the way of them achieving their own personal agendas.

In long-term relationships with controlling people, you may feel constantly pressured to meet their demands, follow their schedule, and focus on whatever they feel is most important. It’s not an exaggeration to say that these people act like the universe revolves around them, which can be exhausting to deal with for their family members, friends, and colleagues.

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2. They Make Everything Transactional

Controlling people aren’t always self-centered, but they’re not too empathetic either. Empathy for them tends to appear in the form of strategic concessions they use as a means to get what they want. They typically view interpersonal relationships as transactional opportunities to extract more value from people surrounding them, which can have a draining effect on those they interact with.

For example, one sign of a controlling person may be their insistence on “keeping score.” This can involve doing nice things for you with the ulterior motive of demanding something from you at a later date in exchange for what you thought was just an act of kindness or a friendly support.

Perhaps they shower you in praise (also known as “love-bombing”) or gifts then blow up at you if you don’t intuitively know they’re expecting something back from you. None of us are mind-readers, but controlling people behave as though everyone else should think and act like they want others to and those who fall out of line are punished for failing to meet their impossible expectations.

A controlling person may also threaten to withhold support if you don’t adhere to their demands, but they do so in such subtle ways that the guilt they impose blinds you from the unreasonable nature of their behaviors.

Some statements to be wary of include:

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  • “I did ___________ for you. What do you mean you can’t do ___________ for me?”
  • “Remember how I helped you with ___________? That took a lot of time and energy from me, but I guess you didn’t appreciate my help.”
  • “I always give you ___________. Don’t you care about my needs too?”
  • “You’re so selfish!” or “You don’t care about me at all!” (gaslighting if you respond with hesitation or politely decline their request for help for perfectly valid reasons, such as not having enough time or resources to assist them)

3. They Criticize Everything

One of the most common telltale signs of a controlling person is their capacity to criticize anything and everything, even small things that seemingly don’t matter. As with many toxic traits in relationships, these problems typically start out so small that you may not even notice. At first, you may even agree with their criticism or at least be able to understand their perspective when they bring up an issue.

However, the criticism tends to get more intense, more constant, and more perplexing for people who maintain relationships with controlling people. You’ll likely notice how they rarely seem to criticize something they do. It’s almost always other-oriented and these types of people are so manipulative that any rationale they offer can seem plausibly legitimate.

Some warning signs of a controlling person who’s overly critical to the point of abusiveness include:

  • Criticizing things about you that you have little to no control over (e.g., appearance, disability, family)
  • Criticizing your personal choices and interests, such as educational pursuits, career, clothing, favorite music, time spent on your hobbies, etc.
  • Punishing you for expressing vulnerability by invalidating thoughts and feelings you share with them
  • Attacking you whenever you express an opinion counter to theirs

4. They Balk When Someone Criticizes Them

We all know the adage, “what goes around, comes around.” But this statement doesn’t apply as much to toxic, controlling people. They’d much prefer to dish out criticism without ever having to take it in return.

For instance, if your friend constantly talks about your appearance with little regard for your emotions but flips out if you make just a single comment about their appearance, there’s a possibility that they could have some hidden controlling tendencies left unchecked. Remember, these people aren’t just controlling in their behaviors towards others. They’re also actively trying to stay in complete control over every aspect of their lives, which includes how others view them.

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This seemingly insatiable desire for control can prompt them to lash out against even the smallest bits of criticism, leaving people around them too weary or scared to speak up again in the future. While it’s possible they may suffer from something called rejection sensitivity dysphoria, this does not excuse them from the consequences of their words and actions. They should seek professional help to better manage their reactions to criticism.

5. They Socially Isolate You

Not all controlling people do this, but for manipulative narcissists, socially isolating victims is a go-to strategy for maintaining control because it’s effective at preventing people from truly understanding how toxic their partner, family member, or friend is treating them. Think of it this way—if you don’t talk to many other people in your life, there’s less of a risk that you’ll damage their reputation by revealing their abusive tendencies.

Socially isolating others also gives the person more control over you and your life as it becomes more difficult to break away from them if you don’t have other healthier channels of communication and interpersonal support to turn to.

This process doesn’t happen overnight, nor is it something you can readily recognize as abusive. At first, it may seem reasonable, such as asking you to stop engaging so often with family members with whom both of you disagree on major social or political issues. As the social isolation progresses, they may suggest cutting people out of your life—especially if they don’t like that person, regardless of how you personally feel—or even conjure up high-stakes problems like “it’s me or them” under the guise of saving you from people in your life whom they don’t like for whatever reason.

In a controlling person’s life narrative, they’re always the protagonist who’s incapable of any wrongdoing. The blame is always redirected at someone else, whether that’s you or other people in your life. The more they isolate you from other supportive people in your life, the more susceptible you’ll be to falsely believing that they’re right and you “don’t need” your other friends and family when you have someone as perfect as this person.

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6. They’re Emotionally Abusive

It’s hard enough to be in control of your own emotions but when someone else is constantly belittling you and your interests or leveraging guilt and shame to manipulate you into saying or doing what they want, this can make it even more challenging to stay in control of your own life and emotional well-being.

Emotional abuse is another sign of a controlling person that is often overlooked in relationships. After all, human personalities vary widely in terms of passivity, and it’s not uncommon for one person in a relationship to be significantly more passive than the other. This becomes an issue when the controlling partner or friend exudes signs of emotional abuse, which can start subtly and become much more pronounced over time.

Concerning signs of emotionally abusive language or behavior to watch out for include:

  • Dismissing your needs and/or belittling your interests in counterproductive ways
  • Privately or publicly shaming or humiliating you
  • Making you feel as though you can never live up to their expectations or do anything right (according to their own vague, subjective standards)
  • Gaslighting you into thinking they said or did something that never actually happened (making you question your own reality)

Final Thoughts

It’s sometimes hard to see the negative things about someone with whom we have a relationship. We may sometimes unconsciously overlook the signs of a controlling person, especially if that person is someone we have known for a long time or are close to us. However, cutting them off your life is the best thing you can do for yourself. Just watch out for these six signs of a controlling person and take immediate action when you spot them.

More Tips on How To Deal With a Controlling Person

Featured photo credit: Külli Kittus via unsplash.com

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