Envy and Jealousy
I find it so easy to become envious of other people. To think their life must be (Fill in the blank: better, happier, uncomplicated, and the like) compared to my life. It’s not difficult to jump to conclusions based on what I observed about their lives. If I learn more about their lives it’s often not quite the way it seems upon first look.
Take for example the pictures I recently saw of my nieces and nephews. They were great pictures of good looking kids looking happy. It’s so easy for me to be envious of my sibling and think about how I wish my life was more like theirs. I have to remind myself pictures are just snapshots of moments in time and not always that accurate. There is usually more going on in the background before or after the picture is taken. I keep reminding myself that my sibling must work hard and long hours to provide for their family. I’m really trying not to compare myself to my siblings because I find it detrimental to my own happiness and leads me to be less sympathetic to their difficulties and problems.
I find that my negative emotions get in the way of connecting to other people. Then I’m less likely to care or willing to help others if I’m in a negative emotional state. I dislike admitting this but I’m less likely to view somebody in a positive light if I’m struggling. On the other hand, I have found that if I can get past these negative emotions and help another person with their problems, it’s easier for me to put my own difficulties in perspective. Another impact of the emotion that I’m describing is how it affects my happiness.
I have found that nothing kills happiness like envy and jealousy. I found that these emotions feed into my difficulties with being “enough.” I struggle with feeling that I’m good enough in the many roles I play, such as aunt, daughter, friend, neighbor, sister, and worker. I compare my difficulties in my areas of weakness to their projected areas of strength and find myself lacking. This often leads me to not want to try or giving up too soon. This feeds into a vicious circle of giving up and feeling like a failure.
I have found the one way to guarantee that you fail is to not even try. I’ve often heard the saying that you miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take. I think that’s very accurate. I enjoy arts and crafts but I know I’m not very good compared to my friends which makes it much less likely for me to attempt something crafty. This negative comparison makes me not want to try any crafts because I feel like my friends will be much better. This attitude takes away the opportunity to try new things. This is a shame because I could be having fun with my friends instead of feeling jealous. Due to all these negative effects, I’m trying to put things in perspective and be more realistic.
I try to remember no matter what I’m feeling, I am not my emotion and that emotions are temporary. Distraction or focusing on something else can be helpful when dealing with emotions. I find that doing that helps me focus on what’s positive or at least get in a better place emotionally speaking. I also remind myself that everybody is projecting their best possible self and that what I’m seeing may not be that realistic. If all else fails I remember all my successes and the times that I achieved something great when it was hard. Very importantly, I try not to compare myself to others; this is not always possible but I do try. I believe that everyone struggles with envy and jealousy, but what we do with the emotion is important to our well-being and our ability to connect to other people. As always, this has been my experience with these emotions. I hope that you found my blog a good starting point to think about how this topic applies to you.