5 Ways To Overcome Envy

Dealing with the green-eyed monster.

Relationships 22nd Dec, 2020

When used as motivation to be the very best you can be, envy can be really good for you. How we act on jealousy is the difference between right and wrong. As long as you don’t act, or want to possess something, purely to boast, being envious is not a bad thing. What you need to learn is the difference between the times when you should not act on the envy, as well as the one’s where, perhaps, you can.



Explore Why You Want It:

Where is the desire for this item, or jealousy of this person coming from? Is it possible that you are trying to compensate for a deficiency in some other area of your life? Sometimes we feel that sharp spike of jealousy over a new colleague or laptop/smart watch etc, because of a situation out of our control at work, or family. That shiny new toy looks like it could fix everything. Learn to recognise this feeling and it will be easier to let go of your envy. Perhaps you can then open up to someone about the cause of it, and get some help.

Figure Out How You Can Get It:

If this is something your friend/neighbour/family member has and you love it, can you aspire to have it? Work out why you don’t already have it, or a plan in place to get it, particularly if it’s a want, not need, like a new car/bigger TV. If it’s finance holding you back then break it down: do you really want this item so badly you’ll take the time to save up? If so, and you can save without getting into debt, then go for it.

Perhaps what you need is a more expensive version of something, like a particular brand of trainers for your kids PE kit, so you need to work out if you can afford it. Merely cutting out a takeout coffee a day makes a difference and you only have to do it until you’ve saved your target amount.

Find Out If You Actually Need It:

Did the green eyed monster visit over something you actually need? Have you driven your car into the ground and it took seeing your siblings new (or new to them) car to see it? Talk to the people you trust and get a different perspective. If it’s something you genuinely need, they may even breathe a sigh of relief that you’ve finally said so, even jokingly saying they couldn’t take another journey in your death trap car. If not, they could see the truth, that you are just lusting after something. Listen to their opinion and then make your own mind up.

Turn It Into Ambition:

Seeing someone achieve, or purchase, something you suddenly realise is your genuine heart’s desire, rather than just jealousy sinking its fangs in, can be a great spur to help you do the same. Whether it’s a promotion/new house/desire to change career, then if this is something you truly want and you can make it happen, then give it your best shot. As long as you don’t step on anyone on your way to get it, turning envy into ambition can lead to fantastic results.

Admit You Never Wanted It:

Did you have a knee jerk jealous reaction that led you to blurt out you wanted something, or are going to buy something straight away, resulting in a feeling that you now have to follow through?  If so, explore why, remembering you don’t have to prove anything to anyone other than yourself. Admit you had a momentary visit from the green eyed monster, you don’t actually want whatever it was, and move on with your life.

Overall, envy can be a good thing when used to spur yourself on to greater heights, but it can also lead to foolish behaviour. Learning the difference is important, and you can use the tips above to explore your reasons before acting on, or dismissing, your jealousy. After all, the odds are good that others are just as envious of what your life looks like on the surface, as you are of theirs. The grass always seems greener on the other side! It’s not easy or always possible, but remember that when you learn to enjoy what you have, the happier you may be.

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