Jealousy can be a destructive, dark emotion – but one that almost everybody will experience from time to time. Learning how to stop being jealous isn’t just about being kind to others but about learning how to appreciate your own self-worth.
“Comparison is the thief of joy.”
-President Theodore Roosevelt
How to Stop Being Jealous in 10 Practical Ways
Let’s discover ten practical tips to stop being jealous and start living free of self-judgment or criticism.
1. Examine your thoughts to think about why you feel jealous
Do you feel like someone is better looking, more successful, happier than you? When you know why you feel negatively towards them, you can start working on yourself, rather than being jealous when someone achieves what you aspire to.
2. Discover the emotions behind your jealousy
Often, feeling envious masks the real emotion. Perhaps you feel disappointed, let down, or defeated. Rather than acknowledging and addressing those feelings, it is easier to project sour thoughts outwards instead of taking time to work through our own situation.
3. Judge not lest thee be judged
We all know that you can’t judge a book by its cover – and the same goes for people. Someone who looks to have a glittering social life might be struggling with anxiety behind the scenes. Those happy family social media posts? Can disguise a fractured relationship.
Try to be empathetic, rather than casting judgment on someone.
4. Celebrate your own successes
Everybody is on a different chapter of his or her life. Say you’re single, and all your friends are married and having babies. It is simple to create resentment about what others have, and you don’t – but those same friends are very likely envious of your exciting single life!
Work out what you’re good at, what you can be proud of, and find the positives rather than searching for negatives elsewhere.
5. Stop staring
If you focus on somebody, or something, that evokes jealousy and bitterness, you might find yourself spending more and more time thinking about it. This negativity spiral can be deadly, so break your focus, search out more uplifting pastimes, and shake off the jealousy before it takes control.
6. Be honest about why you feel resentful
Jealousy is a toxic quality in a relationship – but also one that happens fairly often. If you’ve been hurt before, feel insecure, or perhaps know that your partner has the propensity to cheat, it is far healthier, to be honest about those insecurities.
Jealousy can morph into a deal-breaker, so voice your feelings and share your concerns to see if you can build a platform of trust and respect.
7. Concentrate on self-confidence
The overarching reason for envy is low self-esteem. After all, if you’re happy with your life, love your body, and are satisfied with the choices you make, you’ll have little time for comparison or jealousy!
Write a physical list of all the things you do well, all the things you are proud of, and decide what goals to set for yourself – however small!
8. Learn how to cope
Learning how to stop being jealous is a mindset pivot. It’s about letting go of resentment, building strong self-worth foundations, and learning empathy for other people.
If you know you tend to be envious and want to do better, find ways to help you manage those thoughts when they crop up. That could be deep breathing, meditation, talking, therapy, journaling – or just going for a brisk walk to shake up your headspace!
9. Get an outside opinion
Do you really have a reason to be jealous? If you do, that needs to be talked through honestly to decide if there is a way to resolve it. However, if you are creating suspicious scenarios in your head, it’s quite another matter.
Chat to a trusted friend, advisor, or counselor, and air your jealous thoughts honestly. They might be able to see through your thought patterns and help you recognize where they don’t stem from reality.
10. Be practical
Your mind is a powerful machine that can grasp hold of a concept or something it perceives as a threat and demonize that idea until it spins out of all proportion.
If you are jealous of another person, your subconscious then recognizes them as a danger and contributes fuel to the fire of envy that can be horribly destructive.
Think or talk it through – what, in particular, are you jealous of?
- Why are you jealous – do they have something you want, or are they better at something than you?
- What are your goals (not theirs, yours!) – write them down, and then create actions and steps you can take to work towards those aspirations.
- Compare your targets and where this person is right now. How long did it take them to get there? Did they start from the same position you are in? Do they have support and resources in place that you don’t?
Sometimes, you can flip jealousy on its head by thinking it through rationally and consciously.
In the best-case scenario, you might discover that you’re jealous of someone who has achieved something you desire for yourself.
With that in mind, they might just be the best possible way to educate yourself, learn from their experiences, and start positively working towards those goals. Ultimately, this is how you learn how to stop being jealous but also how to be a better human being.
Reach out, ask for help, be honest, and perhaps the object of your jealousy will help you achieve your most significant ambitions.