“Jealousy—Tormenting yourself, for fear you should be tormented by another.” – Paul Chatfield
Jealousy is one of humanity’s biggest torments. Taking deep breaths is not enough to handle this feeling. One needs to put in more effort and understanding. This article will cover the root causes and how to deal with jealousy.
What is jealousy? Definition and meaning
“Jealous” definition, according to Dictionary.com:
“jealous resentment against a rival, a person enjoying success or advantage, etc., or against another’s success or advantage itself. Mental uneasiness from suspicion or fear of rivalry, unfaithfulness, etc., as in love or aims.”
The heavy emotion that is jealousy does not discriminate. It is experienced yall ages and genders. Jealous feelings are negative feelings and can be felt in different ways, from suspicion, fear, shame, and anger. These feelings, revolving around the success of others, around romantic relationships. Jealous thoughts can have a negative impact on our mental health and overall well-being.
What causes jealousy?
To overcome jealousy one must first understand what is the root cause of jealousy. This way we can be aware of our thoughts, words, and actions before we hurt anyone’s feelings. Here is a list of 10 causes of jealousy.
1. Unfulfilled childhood needs
Studies have shown that if you had a need that was not fulfilled as a young child then you will develop feelings of resentment, jealousy and envy.
2. Low self-esteem
The fact that someone might feel they are inadequate is a red flag for jealousy. They will look back on their own life and compare success. If there is someone else better than them at something they will feel threatened by them. This will be
3. Social Media
Social media has had a high impact on jealousy. You are able to see your best friend’s perceived perfect and healthy relationship on your feed every day and this might make you envious because it reminds you of your past relationships.
4. Rivalry between siblings
If one sibling sees their father giving the other more affection, gifts, or whatever the treasure, they will develop feelings of jealousy.
Sometimes two best friends can be just as attractive as each other, but the one will have preconceived ideas of beauty (thank you media). If they do not fit the box in their mind’s eye of what beauty is then they will be jealous of their friend who does.
6. Paranoia over your partner’s infidelity.
If your partner is working late hours every day, and seeming to be elusive when it comes to your questions on their whereabouts it’s undoubtedly going to result in jealousy.
If your colleague at work received the promotion you have been working hard for it will be hard to not feel jealous, after all the work you’ve done to earn what they did.
If you have a history of being left out, left behind, broken up with, or anything along those lines you are more than likely to be envious of people with strong family connections, or someone who is in a happy and healthy relationship.
If you have always dreamed of reaching a certain weight, or body build, and you never manage to achieve this goal, you will be envious of those people who have your perceived dream body.
10. Materialistic gain
Sometimes there are friends of different financial backgrounds. One friend might receive a higher reward from the tooth fairy than the other. This is undoubtedly going to sabotage their self-image, bringing out feelings or resentment for your friend earning more than you.
What are the signs of jealousy? (10 characteristics of an envious person)
Every single person has feelings of jealousy at some point in their lives, it happens to the best of us. Whether it be about a family member, a work colleague, or your best friend, or a current relationship, being aware of the signs and triggers will help you avoid these feelings and even be more aware of others feeling them towards us.
1. Devaluing someone’s success.
Have you ever won a game of pool and your opponent plays it down as a fluke? This is because a jealous person can not stand to lose in the first place in the fear of being insufficient, therefore they will make it as if your success was not about your skill but luck.
2. Over-the-top, or passive-aggressive compliments.
New friends, or old, will never want to accept the fact that they are jealous of you. Sometimes the jealous person has not even realized it yet. This will come across in overly positive praise of your accomplishments, or undeniably passive-aggressive remarks leaving you unsure if they are feeling proud or resentful of you.
3.Purposefully misguiding you.
As if they were not jealous enough? A jealous person couldn’t stand it if your success grew even more so they will try to hinder your efforts with wrong information or advice to take action in a way they know will ensure your failure.
4. Speak badly of you when you’re not there.
People whom you perceive to be your loved ones will give you praise when you’re around to hear it. But as soon as they are behind closed doors they let loose on a rampage of gossip, spilling all their negative thoughts about you, parading any bad thing they might perceive within you.
5. Love to burst your bubble.
If you won a ticket to the festival of your dreams or the trip of a lifetime, your jealous friends and colleagues are more than likely going to state that the queues are going to be really long, or that you’re traveling in the rainy season. They will feel the need to remark on any possible negative aspect rather than be happy for you.
6. Infamous copy-cats.
Sometimes this is an unconscious action. Jealous people have like to boost their self-esteem by imitating your fashion style, accent, or follow with the same endeavors as someone they are envious of.
There is constructive criticism from your peers whose mission is to help you. And then there is just downright criticism. Jealous people will point out your mistakes as if their lives depend on them, and they revel in the idea of your humiliation.
When you are really good at a certain sports game, you might find you have a personal rival, possibly even in your own team. They will constantly try to outrun you or score more points, in the hopes that they will be the player of the match, or star of the show, not you.
9. Boast about their success to drown out yours.
Whenever a jealous person achieves something, they will boast about it, glorify it, and often exaggerate their level of success in an attempt to make other people’s achievements seem less important.
10. Dislike you for no apparent reason.
If someone is unable to own up to their feelings of jealousy or try to overcome them it can lead to their dislike, or even hatred, of you.
How to deal with jealousy
Now that we have covered all the possible instigators for jealousy, we need to understand how to manage those feelings within ourselves as well as with others who front us with their own envy.
How to deal with jealous people
1. Lead by example.
Instead of following the footsteps of the jealous person and giving some jealous remarks in return for theirs, give a compliment instead. They will probably be quite taken back at your blatant disregard for their negative comments and have nothing to say.
2. Do not continue the perceived competition.
One of the most efficient ways to diminish a jealous retort is one of those very well-known phrases: “It’s not a competition”. This will make the jealous person realize their overbearing attitude.
3. Dish out the compliments.
If you have been criticized endlessly by a jealous person, a practical way to deal with them, non-aggressively, is to either thank them for their criticism as if it were constructive or simply give them a compliment about the work they have done. In contrast to their negative comments, they will see their jealousy for themselves.
4. Don’t react to their bashing.
If you do not react to their berating of your mistakes, it makes it all seem pointless and less enjoyable. If you do not feed the fire, it will go out.
5. Let go.
If someone is jealous of you, they could actually begin o hate you for no apparent reason at all. Sometimes the best thing is to know when to let go of those relationships.
How to stop being jealous of yourself
Jealous is felt in every single human being. It is a normal part of our development. Here are a few pointers to understand how to get over jealousy within ourselves.
1. Don’t compare
We are all unique beings, living different lives, following different paths. There is no healthy way to compare our lives, therefore, in order to prevent envy over what we do not have, avoid comparing your success with others.
2. Establish the cause
Being jealous is often caused by something unconscious. If we can identify the cause then we can work through it.
Family therapists and couple’s therapists alike are there for our benefit. They will help resurface any traumas which are dredging up unwanted behaviors and feelings like jealousy.
4. Being mindful
Being mindful of how certain people or situations make you feel might help you to realize feelings of jealousy before you take action with them and possibly offending your friend. Mindfulness is key.
5. Practice gratitude
Reminding yourself of every amazing aspect of your life, all your past achievements, your great support system, and more can help prevent feelings of jealousy. Be grateful for everything you have.
Key takeaways on dealing with jealousy
Awareness is the best way to deal with anything in humanity’s hearts and minds. Any unconscious behavior is bound to have a negative impact on your reactions. Now that we have discussed the possible causes of jealousy, as well as provided some insight on how to deal with those feelings, you can work on your personal progress, without the hindrance of other’s success being perceived better than yours.
Why am I jealous so easily?
You probably have low self-esteem. Try not to compare yourself to others because your journey is your own.
What does jealousy feel like?
Resentment, doubt, suspicion, anxiousness, fear, or anger.
Why am I so jealous in my relationship?
Maybe you believe yourself to not be pretty or that your partner is not attracted to you enough. You need to work on your positive affirmations because you are good enough!