How To Deal With Jealousy, Which Attacks Silently

Jealousy

We brush it aside, we try to repudiate this emotion but jealousy is a natural and inborn emotion. Does it stem from comparison or immaturity?

Is it caused by Inferiority complex?

Only self-analysis can reveal the truth about it.

We pick up comparison from our environment. We may not like it but we have to face it all the time during our formative years.

When we are told to take inspiration from our older sibling, who happens to be a genius, there is an instant feeling of hostility that gnaws at us. Our love for that big brother might snub it for a while but it keeps simmering. Our own homes are the seed grounds of jealousy.

When we are constantly reminded that the children of our age behave in a particular manner, when all children are expected to excel, when we are expected to adjust well in a peer group, which assesses our capabilities and skills, we become oversensitive.

Jealousy is actually a combination of hurt and resentment, rage and humiliation…when we are not mature enough to handle them, insecurity and fear creep in to accentuate it.

Sometimes jealousy seems to be “a living thing. Shifting, changing, growing…”, as Katja Millay says.

It grows when you look at your friend’s success and feel… ‘I was always smarter than him.’

Why is jealousy bad?

  • It breeds negative thoughts
  • It harms relationships
  • It makes us suspicious and encourages lack of trust
  • It shakes even our own confidence
  • It can be self-destructive

However, jealousy is a feeble emotion. It is much weaker than all other emotions it promotes and therefore it can be controlled:jealousy

Stop comparing:

If we grow up with comparison, jealousy becomes a habit. When we compare our achievements, material possessions and happiness with our friends or neighbors, we can only see one aspect of their successful life. Grass always seems to be greener in other’s backyard, which could actually be full of weeds. Those pictures of your friend on Facebook could be façade to hide the reality of their marriage. The moment we try to understand the truth of such pretensions, jealousy melts away.

Learn to communicate:

All emotions need a channel of communication, more so when they happen to be negative. When we express and acknowledge jealousy, we expel it out to a greater extent. If you share your fears and disappointments with your friend, if you tell your partner that you feel uncomfortable in the company of his friends or you feel insecure about your relationship with him for whatever reasons, which lead you to jealousy, an understanding spouse could help you dispel those feelings.

Cultivate confidence:

When we move with a halo of confidence around us, we are endowed with immense power to deal with all kinds of emotions and situations. Rage transforms itself into conviction to forge ahead with added zest and resentment becomes the armor. If your partner is being unfair, you can confront him/her with greater poise. If you have been denied that much deserved promotion, you can think of shifting gears to move ahead.

Develop trust:

Trust fosters confidence and cements relationships. Do you keep an eye on who is texting your partner? Do you doubt the intentions of your boss? Do you feel less proficient than your colleagues? If so, you need to train your mind to have faith in your potential. You have to keep reminding yourself that you have been quite successful and therefore the opportunities would come knocking at your door. Jealousy over the promotion of a colleague is quite futile if we know we don’t deserve it.

Know yourself:

It is imperative to know our inner self and work on our fears and weaknesses. Jealousy is the twin sister of insecurity, which emanates from our frailties. Many fears keep lurking around us when we try to convince ourselves that we have controlled them. Learning from the given situations, which lead us to jealousy, self-reflection and watching our thoughts to keep them on positive track is extremely helpful in snubbing jealousy.

Think about your own uniqueness:

Each individual has some distinctive qualities, which can be embellished to shine in a crowd. One of my friends is incredibly kind and would help even those who keep hurting you emotionally. The oft-repeated answer is…‘we shouldn’t we abdicate our goodness even in the face of callousness.’

Nurture gratitude:

Let us be thankful for the blessings we possess – good health, ample food, loving children and a home that we can make happier with our efforts. When we develop the habit of gratitude, we can deal with negative emotions more successfully. Jealousy cannot be completely obliterated but accepting it and talking about it may help us understand it more.

It can be converted into envy to make it worthwhile. Though envy is a feeling of ‘discontent or covetousness with regard to other’s success’ but it keeps our thoughts positive and encourages us to emulate those who are successful or considered to be better than us.

Are you jealous or envious? How do you deal with these emotions? I would love to hear your views.

If you have liked this article, please share it at your favorite social networks.

Thank you for your support. Please add your valuable comments, they are much appreciated.

Balroop Singh.

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36 thoughts on “How To Deal With Jealousy, Which Attacks Silently

  1. A very important topic, Balroop, and I immensely enjoyed reading your thoughts on this. It reminded of the phrase, “Jealously is the root of all evil.” It can be a destructive emotion but also one that can be controlled if we stop comparing ourselves, as you mentioned. I think we all start out comparing ourselves to others because we want to be a better version of ourselves, looking at others as role models – but along the way we forget about what we’re really good at. So jealously and insecurity stems from there.

    Your post comes at an interesting time for me. Over the last few months, I’ve had people tell me things along the lines of, “You should do more with your life.” Clearly that shows they are comparing my life to theirs or others. Often I wonder if they are jealous of mine since when they tend to share many of their life’s frustrations with me, non-stop. In this sense, I don’t think jealously is very clear – perhaps it can manifest subtly and maybe hard to discern.

    1. Hi Mabel,

      Yes, we all want to be better than what we are and we know in our own heart how to accomplish that. Comparison makes us angry and you know anger confuses us, entangles us and we fail to come out of that web of complicated emotions!

      When people tell us what to do with our life, it is a positive signal if it comes from a well-wisher but the decision to make changes rests with us. Sometimes immaturity overpowers us and we may react in a negative manner. You are right, jealousy is all around us in various forms and it is hard to see through the intentions of others. That is why we need each other!

      Thanks for being an awesome friend 🙂

  2. *****Think about your own uniqueness****

    I definitely get jealous of other great writers, bloggers, communicators…

    then I think of the sentence above and I’m okay.

    xx

    1. Yes Kim, we are human and it is natural to have this emotion till we understand it and deal with it in our own unique ways!
      Thanks for picking up the best point!

  3. I quite never understood the purpose of jealousy. Obvisouly if we keep looking at others while thinking we are not worth it, we do end being envious of what others have and we don’t.
    Life always looks much better or easier for others. But that’s not the case, it’s an illusion. And I believe that looking at others all the time disturb us from our own life and what we want to achieve.
    Interesting insight Balroop. Stay well.

    1. Hi Marie,

      We realise our worth sooner or later and looking at others definitely helps. All we have to learn is that life is the same for each one of us…we may think it is easy for others but is just our thinking. We can never be sure of what others are going through. Their problems may be bigger than ours, their battles may be graver than ours and therefore jealousy is tormenting only for us.

      Thanks for adding your perspective to this discussion.

  4. Hi Balroop,

    Wonderful post indeed 🙂

    I think most of us with siblings can relate to all that you wrote! I was nodding my head right through because such things happen, and comparisons are bad that ways, yet if taken in a healthy spirit, they can work well for you. But I guess at that age, when we are young, we don’t realize such things. More so, if parents compare, as they usually do, it can turn have a negative impact on the young minds.

    Loved your wise tips, the best being to stop comparing, it never leads to anything. Thanks for sharing this with us. Have a nice week ahead 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      You have hit the nail at the right place! When we are young, we refuse to see reason and easily get carried away by comparisons, which are so common! We may try to take a healthy view of emulating the person we admire but when we fail in that attempt, that is the most damaging moment. Some of my students shared such fears with me and at that impressionable phase of life, it seems the end of the world for them.

      Thank you for your continued support dear friend 🙂 Stay blessed! You too have a nice week.

  5. Great post. We should be happy for others as we want them to be happy for us. If you grow up learning jealousy perhaps you’re more likely to be that way, but with effort cycles can be broken.

  6. Great topic, Balroop! My feelings of jealousy have decreased with maturity. Now, if I feel it and ask myself why? I analyze it. I’m more likely now to try to learn from someone I’m jealous of instead of focusing on what I’m lacking.

    An example of jealousy that I feel sometimes is when famous people get book deals and lots of attention for stuff they actually don’t even write on their own. Ha. It’s kind of a funny example.

    1. Hi Lisa,

      I agree with you, maturity does mellow us down and we learn to handle many emotions with age and experience. Self-talk and analysis definitely helps.

      Even I wonder at some very ordinary posts, which get a lot of attention, appreciation and traffic! But I have tuned out of jealousy to a large extent and have learnt to accept life as it comes.

      Thank you so much for an honest view!

  7. Clear and precise analysis of the subject, balroop, touching upon its negative aspects and remedies thereof. Your conclusion, however, appears to depict envy with a degree of accommodation, when, in fact, it is another shade of jealousy, characterised by deep discontent and resentment aroused by a superior possession or quality in another person and driven by an urge to covet. Not a healthy sentiment at all. Hence jealousy or, its other dimension, envy, must be countered by cultivating a positive sense of self based on building up confidence in one’s strengths and capabilities.

    1. Hi Raj,

      I am glad I have been able to convey all the aspects of the subject and my conclusion is inspired as much from what was instilled by my teachers and from my own experiences of 30 years of dealing with all kinds of students in various capacities.

      I have learnt that this emotion can be toned down, not eliminated and as a realist I accept this. We are human if we feel jealous. Some people believe that this is healthy till a particular point as it inspires us to do better…the push may be negative!

      I appreciate your exalted reflections and wish more of us could cultivate this ‘positive sense’ but my perspective reflects my interaction with youngsters over the years. Thanks for sharing!

  8. “Jealousy is actually a combination of hurt and resentment, rage and humiliation.” That is a very useful analysis of the emotion Balroop, and it can be very helpful to reduce any emotion to its component parts in order to better understand it. Each emotion is a complex of thought and feeling, with the feeling component having a temporal existence greater than the thought. This of course is why we can become enveloped by emotions such as jealousy, because the physical discomfiture endures beyond the related idea, and awareness becomes subsumed within the feeling – we’ve lost perspective, all but forgotten the cause of our dis-ease, and are temporarily trapped.

    With respect Balroop, I must say that I would agree with Rajagopal’s reservations as to the content of your penultimate paragraph, in which you assert that jealousy “can be converted into envy to make it worthwhile.” I imagine that what you intend to convey is that we may remain emotionally neutral when comparing ourselves to others who may appear to possess qualities we admire, and which we would wish to assimilate within our own character. Envy is not a helpful trait to exhibit in this regard, and is as pernicious as jealousy, it being in effect, the very same phenomenon.

    With gratitude and respect.

    Hariod. ❤

    1. Hi Hariod,

      I appreciate and value your elaboration of emotions I have touched upon in connection with jealousy. Your analysis of how emotions trap us like a ‘dis-ease’ is so logical. However, emotions refuse to be cowed down by logic, they form their own channel and continue to flow like a perennial stream.

      It is quite strange that envy too has been rejected! I have always been taught that it is a positive way of looking at the achievements of others. Do you mean to say that human beings can expel this innate emotion? What time frame would you suggest for that dear friend?

      With reverence, Balroop.

      1. Hi Balroop,

        I of course am not suggesting that emotions of a negative kind can be dissolved by dint of reason or logic Balroop. What I am saying is that awareness – specifically a contemplative awareness – is what brings understanding to the situation and prevents us from perpetuating what is unpleasant and unhealthy. Please do not conflate that with the former, which would be quite erroneous.

        I think you need to clarify for your readers where you see the distinction between ‘jealousy’ and ‘envy’ Balroop, as in common usage they are synonymous, even though their early, archaic usage and etymology may have been distinct. Perhaps you have some particular distinction in mind of which myself, Rajagopal and others are unaware? Once again, I am not suggesting “that human beings can expel this innate emotion”, and that would be again to erroneously conflate two separate issues.

        All best wishes,

        Hariod. ❤

      2. Hariod, I agree with you absolutely… awareness and that too a profoundly contemplative one is essential to rise above the normal emotional sense of feeling less than those whom we think to better than us and there always are such people around us!

        I think I need to write one more post to show a clear distinction, with examples. Thanks for the awakening, dear friend. I appreciate it immensely.

  9. Thank you for the insights into jealousy. I have known jealous people. Personally I don’t see the use in being that way myself as I would rather choose to spend my energy on caring for another person than being angry/hurt/resentful. Another very interesting post here, Balroop! ❤

  10. Loved the article. Vipassana meditation is my way of dealing with all negative emotions. Everyone (including Balroop madam) please spare 10 days of your life and go for a Vipassana camp. It is priceless. Vipassana courses are offered worldwide free of charge with food and accommodation included. More details can be found here: https://www.dhamma.org/en-US/index

    Feel free to contact me if you need any further information.

    1. Hi Sumreet,

      Thanks for liking this article. I am glad that you have found such a nice way of dealing with negative emotions. Thanks for the invitation!
      I hope you have read my article on meditation, which was posted few weeks ago.

  11. Excellent post!. I have to say I am a jealous person… But I learn to deal with it and it is more based on Love than anything…. Anyhow It can be exhausting at times…
    This excerpt is certainly good advice my friend: “When we express and acknowledge jealousy, we expel it out to a greater extent”… You are right as to that point.
    You are such an inspiration… You look like a psychologist. Are you? 😛
    Sending many hugs Aquileana 😀

    1. Thanks Aquileana, I am so happy to read such positive words about my thoughts.

      Yes, jealousy is an exhausting emotion, it keeps on gnawing at our nerves slowly and the worst part is that we keep denying it! So knowing our emotions and how they are affecting us is imperative to become a positive person.

      Thanks for the compliment. I am not a trained psychologist but my power of observation and intuition has taught me many profound lessons of life.
      Sending hugs from this side too 🙂 🙂

      1. Absolutely … I second your statements in many ways… And well Life is the best teacher, I guess 😀 … Wishing you all the best and thanks for your comment back to me! Aquileana 😀

  12. I realized early on that I was a jealous person, so in that respect it was one of my not-so-great personality traits I tackled head on. Simply acknowledging its presence did a lot to squelch it. Like Christy, I try to direct my energy in more positive ways. There’s no worse feeling than putting one’s energy into an emotion so that it can have even power over them when that emotion is a negative one.

    1. Hi Jeri,

      Yes, we have to train our mind to tone down such purposeless emotions, which are so agonising. I could never get an opportunity to be jealous as I had faced it from my older brother who was always shown my neat handwriting, which would often fill him with anger and it was hurled at me…who else! But it was quite a learning experience for me. Isn’t it ironic how negativity teaches us positive lessons?

      Thanks dear friend, your views are immensely valued.

  13. This was well written and I learned some things, too! I feel it does come out of insecurity when someone is jealous. I feel people confuse envy for jealousy. I am sometimes wishing I had a better life, more ‘things’ and this is ‘envy,’ while people who are jealous are so possessive. I have had only one man who was like this, Balroop, he himself was guilty of looking and acting upon his emotions. I found out while he was tormenting me, he was seducing someone else! Maybe too much information. Hope you have a wonderful Easter, or special celebration for Spring. Smiles!

    1. Hi Robin, I am glad you liked my views on this topic. Also thanks for endorsing that the two terms – jealousy and envy are not the same and are often confused.

      I am so sorry you had to deal with this selfish man in your life, dishonesty in relationships is the worst thing and it slowly eats up trust just like termites.

      Thanks for the wishes…they are reciprocated with love and hugs 🙂

  14. Such a great read…it is poison in a relationship, and somehow rears it head whether it is business relationships (company politics) or personal (love). I do think the seven areas you mention to understand this emotion gets to the perhaps the core: immaturity and insecurity.

    1. Yes, jealousy is definitely toxic…its assault is often denied and ignored and therefore it can cloud our reasoning. The only answer is to acknowledge this emotion and then control it.
      I am glad you have liked my thoughts. Thanks for your balanced insight.

  15. Hi Balroop,

    Very nice and detailed coverage of this one destructive emotion as you look at it from all possible angles.

    “…jealousy is a feeble emotion. It is much weaker than all other emotions it promotes and therefore it can be controlled…”

    This is a unique point you mentioned. That jealousy is weaker than all other emotions it promotes. The repercussions are indeed far more negative.

    1. Thanks Alka, I try to explore all aspects of the topic I take up. As I have mentioned earlier in many of my posts, negative emotions are the biggest learning channels if we follow them with interest.
      Thanks for adding your insight to this discussion.

      1. Indeed your way of working is very organized. My writings are random and very impulsive.
        Also, what you say about negative emotions is very true. I’ll read your previous posts as well. Thanks for the insightful article 🙂

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