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 development, 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 of your friends.
Here are five tips to avoid being jealous:
1. Acknowledge your jealous feelings
You can’t expect just to 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 anger or sadness, you can also reflect on these feelings. This can be your introduction to 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 see your thoughts as 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 make you feel jealous because you haven’t seen 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 improving your dating life. Ultimately, you need to remember that you have the final say in your life.
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 there is to cherish in your life. 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 eliminate 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. Consider speaking to a therapist if you want strategies to deconstruct your thought patterns. 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.
5. Find distractions
You can reflect on your jealousy for hours and not get anywhere in progress. There’s more to life than dwelling on what others are doing. Look for any sort of distraction that will lead to positive results. If your home is in disarray, take a moment to straighten things out. You can also unwind with a book or some of your favorite music. If you want to blow off steam, consider going for a walk or a bike ride. The jealousy might still exist, but it will be much easier for you to manage.
Being jealous is just an emotion, which isn’t good or bad. It’s what you do with the emotion that’s good or bad. Using these strategies, you can keep your jealousy in check and be happy.