“Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change. ” – Gretchen Rubin
Jealousy is a normal emotion that everyone feels. It it rooted deep inside us, and at times, it comes out in the most horrible ways. Sometimes, we don’t eve notice when it’s there, such as: when a friend gets married, gets a promotion, or receives something we don’t have. Jealousy can be tricky, but there is another emotion that is just as prevalent that I like to call, “comparison envy.”
Jealousy and envy are two powerful emotions, and they are often confused with each other. While society tends to think of them as sisters, they are much like cousins. They are born out of the same negative feelings, but they are vastly different, belonging to different homes.
So, what is comparison envy?
There are so many examples of it in our daily lives. It comes when we see our friends get promotions that we wanted. It comes in the form of our classmates get married, or travel to a place we’ve always wanted to go. It can come in the form of random strangers flaunting their life in social media. Therefore, in a nutshell, envy is the harsh feeling of envy brought on by comparing ourself to others.
How does is comparison envy different from regular envy?
According to the dictionary, envy is the, “feeling of discontent covetnous with regard to another’s advantages, success, possessions, etc.” Compared, comparison envy does possess the same qualities as regular envy. The difference lies in the lack of the possession. Many people can have success in their own way, but because of the comparison aspect, cannot accept it, therefore are envious of others.
It is a very complicated emotion, and sometimes, it’s hard to explain. But, we know that it’s there, and there are ways to help get rid of it, or become at peace with yourself.
How do we get rid of comparison envy?
Such strong emotions doesn’t ever really go away, and there are going to be times when the green-eyed monster rears its ugly head. But, when it comes about, there are steps you can take.
Solution #1: Be honest with yourself.
Many people say that honesty is the best policy. While as cringe as it sounds, it’s very true. In order to be at peace with yourself, you must be honest with what is there. Sometimes, that takes a while, but it’s not wrong to do that. Being honest opens doors into a positive mindset. It gives you the courage to face yourself and make lemonade out of lemons.
Yes, there will be times when you won’t have life together. There will be times when you are down on your luck. But, unless you accept your current situation, you will still be struggling to maintain a lifestyle that you may or may not need to have.
Solution #2: Stop comparing yourself to others.
Comparing yourself to others is easy to do. But, when it comes to social media, that feeling is intensified. Social media is full of people who paint the picture that is pleasing to the eye. It is fairly easy to think, My family is not as great as other families, she makes more money than me, or his vacation looks better than mine.
Drawing comparisons between yourself and others is like comparing apples and oranges. While they are both fruits, they are incredibly different. Your life is yours alone, and no one can match to your own journey. It’s important to honor your own individuality.
Solution #3: Be kind to yourself
Comparison envy is not a one stop emotion. There are so many other emotions that come with it, such as jealousy, anger, hate, and so many others. If we don’t allow ourselves room to grow, make mistakes and learn, we will constantly be in a depressive cycle that never ends.
Solution #4: Create your own definition of success.
Success is subjective. if we were to go throughout life basing our success on someone else’s standards, then we would never succeed. Success is defined by what you think is successful. It doesn’t matter what others think of you. What matters is what you think of yourself.
Solution #5: Don’t judge others.
There are times in life where life gets us down, and it’s natural to want to judge others. It affects how we treat others and how we treat ourselves. Most of us would like to believe that we are fair judges. But who are we to judge? Life gives chances to the saint and the sinner. It would look different if we took steps to be careful in the way that we judge things or people in our everyday life. Life doesn’t discriminate against anyone. No one is perfect, and life isn’t perfect. But, as we move forward, the best we can do is to not judge others for something we have no control over.