Jealousy is a monster that lives within all of us, desperate to claw its way out. The more we try to suppress it, the worse it becomes. When your friends have positive changes in their lives, it can be difficult to keep jealousy at bay. These situations could include professional developments, relationship success, or making other friends.
Feelings of jealousy exist for a reason. One typically fears that something will be taken away from them, such as a friendship. Rather than trying to deny its existence, you can use these strategies to help you avoid feeling jealous with your friends.
Here are 5 tips to avoid being jealous:
1. Acknowledge your feelings
You can’t expect to just put on a smile and tell yourself everything is okay. When jealousy first strikes, the immediate reaction might be to try to shoo it away. The first step is to take no immediate action. Just sit down and tell yourself that you’re jealous. Should this lead to feeling anger or sadness, you can reflect on these feelings as well. This can be your introduction into the concepts of mindfulness and meditation. Your thoughts have less power over you than you realize. Being jealous is something that happens to everyone. The problems arise when people believe that they need to surrender to their negative thoughts. With consistent mindfulness, you can learn to see your thoughts as being entirely separate from who you are.
2. Focus on yourself
Jealousy typically stems not from what your friends are doing but from what you’re not doing. If you’re feeling frustrated about a friend’s success, it’s probably because you’re mainly frustrated with yourself. For instance, a friend getting a promotion at work might have you feeling jealous because you haven’t been seeing much success at work yourself. The solution is not to become overwhelmed with jealousy but to examine what you can do. You might enroll in classes or work on how you can improve your dating life. Ultimately, you need to remember that you have the final say in how your life goes.
3. Count your blessings
When you’re feeling jealous, you can easily forget how much there is to appreciate about your life. Take a moment to think of all that there is to cherish in your life. The fact that you even have friends in the first place is something to treasure. Jealousy can overshadow positivity briefly, but it doesn’t need to be a permanent presence. Write down all your accomplishments and things that make you happy. It might not get rid of your jealousy entirely, but it can help reduce it. Regularly counting your blessings can help you stop feelings of jealousy early on.
4. Talk to someone
Keeping your jealousy bottled up will only make it worse. It might be difficult for you to talk to your friend about it, but you should have at least one other person you can talk to. If you want strategies to deconstruct your thought patterns, consider speaking to a therapist. They can help you understand how your jealousy manifests and what you can do to keep it in check. Eventually, you might want to speak to the friend you’re jealous of. Tell them about how you’ve been feeling without becoming accusatory or saying anything demeaning. This is a brave undertaking and your friend should be willing to listen.