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8 Ways You Can Learn to Deal with Jealousy

8 Ways You Can Learn to Deal with Jealousy

Whether you envy someone because of his high metabolism, corner office, house on the lake, or latest solo travel to an exotic country, jealousy can throw you off your game, squander your energy, and generate angst for yourself.

Below are 8 surefire ways you can deal with jealousy to minimize its draining effects and harness its power:

1. Develop an Abundance Mindset

When you have a mindset of scarcity, it’s hard to appreciate others’ gains. If you believe there are limited pieces of the pie to go around, you’ll obsess over protecting your share and worry over what others have.

But with an abundance mindset, you can freely celebrate another person’s accomplishment and look for ways to make the pie bigger. Acting from a place of abundance heightens your level of satisfaction and adds to others’ sense of fulfillment.

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2. Learn From Those Who Have Made It

If someone else was able to obtain the thing you covet, chances are, so can you. Another person’s success usually means the goal is possible and the dream is attainable.

Study what they did to get where they are. Decide how you can tweak tactics, update strategies, improve the process, and make the journey easier for yourself.

3. Acknowledge That You Have Something Unique to Contribute

Being aware of your personal strengths and gifts encourages you to make your mark, irrespective of what others do and achieve.

No one else has the exact same combination of talents, skills and knowledge that you have. Share your unique ideas and apply your individual experiences to create what you want and optimize what you have.

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4. Stop Comparing Yourself to Others

Act like you have a lot going for you, even if you believe the next person has more. Reflect on your past success and future potential, and stop dwelling on how you stack up against those you envy.

Capitalize on what you already have instead of brood over what you’re missing. Strive to be at the top of your own game, rather than try to out-do others.

5. Get Your Act Together

Jealousy can be a reminder of a dream or goal that you placed on the back-burner, but still desire. If this is why you feel envy, start getting your act together.

Acknowledge that most people worked diligently toward what they have. Take small, doable steps to achieve what you want. Let go of what’s not working.

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6. Determine if What the Other Person Has is What You Really Want

Are you feeling jealous of others due to peer pressure, societal expectations or family obligations? Do you really need the big house, luxury car, fancy corner office, or rich and famous friends to have a fulfilling and purposeful life?

What seems to make one person happy might not have the same effects for you. Success doesn’t have to mean fitting in with the mainstream, standing out from the crowd, acquiring material possessions, or having external accomplishments.

7. Realize That Another Person’s Success Doesn’t Make You a Failure

Individuals make progress at different paces and reach milestones on their own time. Just because one person reached the finish line before you did in one race doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t win the next race.

Starting the race or crossing the finish line is an accomplishment in and of itself. Don’t make someone else’s success devalue your sense of personal progress and individual achievement.

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8. Understand That Jealousy is a Normal, Universal Emotion

People get jealous for all sorts of reasons, including fear and insecurity, the need to protect core interests, and the desire for a more joyful life.

Once you accept that jealousy is a natural emotion, you can consciously choose how to act on it. You don’t have to pout, stomp around, slam doors, throw a pity party, or withdraw from the world. Jealousy gets the better of you only if you let it.

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Last Updated on January 15, 2021

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

7 Ways To Have More Confident Body Language

The popular idiomatic saying that “actions speak louder than words” has been around for centuries, but even to this day, most people struggle with at least one area of nonverbal communication. Consequently, many of us aspire to have more confident body language but don’t have the knowledge and tools necessary to change what are largely unconscious behaviors.

Given that others’ perceptions of our competence and confidence are predominantly influenced by what we do with our faces and bodies, it’s important to develop greater self-awareness and consciously practice better posture, stance, eye contact, facial expressions, hand movements, and other aspects of body language.

Posture

First things first: how is your posture? Let’s start with a quick self-assessment of your body.

  • Are your shoulders slumped over or rolled back in an upright posture?
  • When you stand up, do you evenly distribute your weight or lean excessively to one side?
  • Does your natural stance place your feet relatively shoulder-width apart or are your feet and legs close together in a closed-off position?
  • When you sit, does your lower back protrude out in a slumped position or maintain a straight, spine-friendly posture in your seat?

All of these are important considerations to make when evaluating and improving your posture and stance, which will lead to more confident body language over time. If you routinely struggle with maintaining good posture, consider buying a posture trainer/corrector, consulting a chiropractor or physical therapist, stretching daily, and strengthening both your core and back muscles.

Facial Expressions

Are you prone to any of the following in personal or professional settings?

  • Bruxism (tight, clenched jaw or grinding teeth)
  • Frowning and/or furrowing brows
  • Avoiding direct eye contact and/or staring at the ground

If you answered “yes” to any of these, then let’s start by examining various ways in which you can project confident body language through your facial expressions.

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1. Understand How Others Perceive Your Facial Expressions

A December 2020 study by UC Berkeley and Google researchers utilized a deep neural network to analyze facial expressions in six million YouTube clips representing people from over 140 countries. The study found that, despite socio-cultural differences, people around the world tended to use about 70% of the same facial expressions in response to different emotional stimuli and situations.[1]

The study’s researchers also published a fascinating interactive map to demonstrate how their machine learning technology assessed various facial expressions and determined subtle differences in emotional responses.

This study highlights the social importance of facial expressions because whether or not we’re consciously aware of them—by gazing into a mirror or your screen on a video conferencing platform—how we present our faces to others can have tremendous impacts on their perceptions of us, our confidence, and our emotional states. This awareness is the essential first step towards

2. Relax Your Face

New research on bruxism and facial tension found the stresses and anxieties of Covid-19 lockdowns led to considerable increases in orofacial pain, jaw-clenching, and teeth grinding, particularly among women.[2]

The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research estimates that more than 10 million Americans alone have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ syndrome), and facial tension can lead to other complications such as insomnia, wrinkles, dry skin, and dark, puffy bags under your eyes.[3])

To avoid these unpleasant outcomes, start practicing progressive muscle relaxation techniques and taking breaks more frequently throughout the day to moderate facial tension.[4] You should also try out some biofeedback techniques to enhance your awareness of involuntary bodily processes like facial tension and achieve more confident body language as a result.[5]

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3. Improve Your Eye Contact

Did you know there’s an entire subfield of kinesic communication research dedicated to eye movements and behaviors called oculesics?[6] It refers to various communication behaviors including direct eye contact, averting one’s gaze, pupil dilation/constriction, and even frequency of blinking. All of these qualities can shape how other people perceive you, which means that eye contact is yet another area of nonverbal body language that we should be more mindful of in social interactions.

The ideal type (direct/indirect) and duration of eye contact depends on a variety of factors, such as cultural setting, differences in power/authority/age between the parties involved, and communication context. Research has shown that differences in the effects of eye contact are particularly prominent when comparing East Asian and Western European/North American cultures.[7]

To improve your eye contact with others, strive to maintain consistent contact for at least 3 to 4 seconds at a time, consciously consider where you’re looking while listening to someone else, and practice eye contact as much as possible (as strange as this may seem in the beginning, it’s the best way to improve).

3. Smile More

There are many benefits to smiling and laughing, and when it comes to working on more confident body language, this is an area that should be fun, low-stakes, and relatively stress-free.

Smiling is associated with the “happiness chemical” dopamine and the mood-stabilizing hormone, serotonin. Many empirical studies have shown that smiling generally leads to positive outcomes for the person smiling, and further research has shown that smiling can influence listeners’ perceptions of our confidence and trustworthiness as well.

4. Hand Gestures

Similar to facial expressions and posture, what you do with your hands while speaking or listening in a conversation can significantly influence others’ perceptions of you in positive or negative ways.

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It’s undoubtedly challenging to consciously account for all of your nonverbal signals while simultaneously trying to stay engaged with the verbal part of the discussion, but putting in the effort to develop more bodily awareness now will make it much easier to unconsciously project more confident body language later on.

5. Enhance Your Handshake

In the article, “An Anthropology of the Handshake,” University of Copenhagen social anthropology professor Bjarke Oxlund assessed the future of handshaking in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic:[8]

“Handshakes not only vary in function and meaning but do so according to social context, situation and scale. . . a public discussion should ensue on the advantages and disadvantages of holding on to the tradition of shaking hands as the conventional gesture of greeting and leave-taking in a variety of circumstances.”

It’s too early to determine some of the ways in which Covid-19 has permanently changed our social norms and professional etiquette standards, but it’s reasonable to assume that handshaking may retain its importance in American society even after this pandemic. To practice more confident body language in the meantime, the video on the science of the perfect handshake below explains what you need to know.

6. Complement Your Verbals With Hand Gestures

As you know by now, confident communication involves so much more than simply smiling more or sounding like you know what you’re talking about. What you do with your hands can be particularly influential in how others perceive you, whether you’re fidgeting with an object, clenching your fists, hiding your hands in your pockets, or calmly gesturing to emphasize important points you’re discussing.

Social psychology researchers have found that “iconic gestures”—hand movements that appear to be meaningfully related to the speaker’s verbal content—can have profound impacts on listeners’ information retention. In other words, people are more likely to engage with you and remember more of what you said when you speak with complementary hand gestures instead of just your voice.[9]

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Further research on hand gestures has shown that even your choice of the left or right hand for gesturing can influence your ability to clearly convey information to listeners, which supports the notion that more confident body language is readily achievable through greater self-awareness and deliberate nonverbal actions.[10]

Final Takeaways

Developing better posture, enhancing your facial expressiveness, and practicing hand gestures can vastly improve your communication with other people. At first, it will be challenging to consciously practice nonverbal behaviors that many of us are accustomed to performing daily without thinking about them.

If you ever feel discouraged, however, remember that there’s no downside to consistently putting in just a little more time and effort to increase your bodily awareness. With the tips and strategies above, you’ll be well on your way to embracing more confident body language and amplifying others’ perceptions of you in no time.

More Tips on How to Develop a Confident Body Language

Featured photo credit: Maria Lupan via unsplash.com

Reference

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