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Have you ever felt that life was unfair? After all, why X inherited such good / money from such parent, why Y looks so happy with his new companion, and especially why you, you have health / wealth / love / bar them – useless? This feeling is envy.
It is true that some people think that envy is a positive feeling, since it pushes you to accomplish great things in your life, in order to be better than others or to obtain what you have not. However, envy does more harm than good, and it is not a desirable feeling for anyone who wants to live a happy life.
Why should envy not be your friend?
First of all, we often believe that envy motivates us, that it pushes us to improve our life. But nothing is more wrong. Envy drives us to betray others, to try to sabotage their efforts, to spread rumors, or to be hypocritical. Envy gnaws at us from the inside and makes us believe that we have been harmed by others. That we don’t have what we deserve.
Obviously, it is always easier to pull others down than to raise them up.
Then, even if the urge motivates you to accomplish things in your life, it will not be what you want. What makes you want these things is simply because others have them too. It will not make you happier basically.
Think of people who work 80 hours a week, in a job they hate, just to have more money than their entourage or their friends. Of course, they end up having more money than them, but they quickly realize that beyond this fleeting pride, earning more money does not make them happier.
Having more time for them would have been more beneficial. Unfortunately, this is a very frequent and tragic situation in our current society.
Not to mention that even if you surpass a person in one aspect of their life, you will realize that they have surpassed you in another area. You earn more money than they do, but they have a better relationship than you. Alas!
Later, you will even find people who earn more money than you, and your desire will only grow.
Because you will always find people who have something more than you in any field, you will always feel envious. You will spend your whole life feeling frustrated and resentful of others because they have something that you do not have. You understand that this is not really a good way to live your life.
4 Ways to Hunt Your Desire
Now that we’ve seen what the urge is, it’s time to focus on how to get it out. Envy can be an emotion deeply rooted in us, and controlling it, extinguishing it, requires intelligent and adapted strategies.
You probably thought it was enough to tell yourself to stop being envious, but in reality, it is not that simple. Here are 4 tips that will help you get rid of this poison of envy:
1. Stop Learning About What Others Are Doing
In our world today, we are constantly encouraged to keep in touch with all those people we have ever met, and to know their lives in great detail. We connect to others through Facebook, Twitter, and all social networks. So we know what one’s door, what other eats, the parties they go to every day.
But, when we learn something about someone, our brain automatically pushes us to compare ourselves to others. It’s human nature. And when we do, we find a lot of reasons to feel envious. Thus, knowing too much about the lives of others stimulates our desire.
There are current studies that show, for example, that spending a lot of time on Facebook tends to decrease the satisfaction that one feels with one’s life, precisely because of this desire.
In addition, we have a biased view of reality, because on social networks we only show the best of ourselves. You are not showing the world your last family dispute, your water damage, or the dog who vomited on your carpet.
This is why it is good to avoid being too informed about the lives of a large number of people. Of course, stay in touch with your friends and people who matter to you, know things about their lives, but don’t try to know everything about celebrities or vague acquaintances. It’s bad for you.
2. Recognize abundance
One of the reasons why we easily feel envious is because we think we don’t have enough in our life. We think we are in a state of craving all the time, we no longer see what we have but only what others have.
By taking what we have for granted, we miss out on many things that make us happy. Make a list of what’s good in your life now!
On top of that, consciously or not, we feel that there are very few resources in this world and that if others take them, there will not be enough for us.
If others earn a lot of money, there won’t be enough for us. If others are in a relationship with an attractive man or woman, there will be no one left for us. And so on.
But the truth is that although many resources are limited, the limits are very high. We live in a world of abundance and there will always be enough for you, whatever people say, whatever you may be thinking right now.
Training to think like this is a great way to beat the urge. Become grateful for what you have and accept this world of abundance, and don’t let your mind make you think you’re going to be left behind. You will feel much more relaxed as well.
3. Learn to love yourself
Another very common reason why we are envious of others is because we do not have a good opinion of ourselves. So when we find something positive about someone, it reminds us of our own shortcomings.
And when you have low self-esteem, being reminded of your own faults is not good.
By understanding this, it is therefore very important to learn to improve your self-esteem and to appreciate yourself at fair value. Not only will it help you become less envious, but it will also transform your life positively.
Improving self-esteem is a long-term job, but it is well worth it because it is the source of many ailments, and also the best way to feel good in your life.
4. Improve your relationships
You may have noticed that we don’t feel envious when a close friend or family member does something great. This is the case because we are strongly emotionally connected to them, and their success is somehow ours too. So we are happy for them rather than envious.
This is why another way of overcoming envy, although often overlooked, is to build strong relationships with others. Having a lot of knowledge but no real friend doesn’t make your social life better, and it predisposes you to feel a lot of desire.
Having a few close friends and spending the majority of your time with them, rather than just acquaintances, is the best way to go.
Strengthening your relationships with others will depend on your social skills, and above all on a good dose of charisma and self-confidence. Their absence often prevents people from developing deeper relationships with others, rather than superficial relationships to talk about rain and good weather.