"Comparison is the Thief of Joy".
One of my most popular posts thus far has been All That Glitters Isn't Gold. Many people have read this post, maybe because they can relate to comparing themselves to others, or feeling like they don't measure up to their own expectations. With this, you may feel anger, and all the intensities within it, irritability to full out anger. Sometimes with anger comes envy. You may feel irritable because really you are envious.
You may be thinking ok I feel angry but I'm not envious. Well... I'll have to disagree. Envy comes from a place where we are looking at what others have, and maybe longing for the same thing. Or thinking, why did that person deserve to get promoted, buy a new house, or find a new love interest? "They don't deserve it", you might say, or "They didn't work as hard as me", "I spent more time at this company than they did". It's amazing the things you may tell yourself to make yourself feel better, "She probably slept her way to the top", "He managed to buy that house with the help of all his relatives, not his own money". The point is, when you are angry you start to rationalize how the other person got to where they are, and that rationalization shows the green monster inside... envy.
When envious, you can be angry. This can present it self in the following ways. You may feel irritable, or mad. You may feel physical reactions like tight muscles. You may have the urge to argue or defend yourself. You may even distance yourself from the person you are envious of. And your thought process may be one where you are interpreting events to be threatening. And here's the key, when you think rules have not been followed, or if you have not been treated fairly. Put all these things together and you just cooked up the recipe for envy.
Have you unknowingly participated in thought processes and behaviours that resulted in envy? Or maybe you know someone who is envious of you? It's natural to feel this way at times. It gets to be a problem when envy is dictating how you live your life, and how you interact with others.
Here are some things you can remember to ease up on envy.
1) Focus on you
It may sound like an obvious thing to do. The more time you spend thinking and talking about the person you are envious of, the more time you take away from working on the things you need to do to improve yourself
2) Value yourself
You need to know your worth. When you value yourself, you will be able to look at other people's successes and feel motivated to achieve in your own life, rather than looking at yourself as less than. What are your positive qualities?
3) Challenge negative thought patterns
Instead of looking at others and thinking you want what they have, start challenging those thoughts with more positive ones. The person who received a promotion at your company, think of the reasons that contributed to their promotion. They had a fresh outlook, and bright ideas. Focusing on the other side of things, the positive side helps you see things from another angle. Taking a positive approach helps you look at other people's accomplishments not as a threat, but instead a motivator to do well in your own life.