A huge part of human conditioning is jealousy, and it’s something we’ve all encountered at some stage in our lives – some more than others. At the very core of jealousy is a lack of self-love, though this answer isn’t enough to solve our problem.
Jealousy can be completely immobilising – not only to those who are being impacted by the effects of it – but more importantly to yourself. It has the power to take over your personality and leave you living a life of unhappiness, and not the joy you’re supposed to feel.
So, I’d like to share with you 7 easy tips that have personally helped me – and still do – to reduce jealousy and create a happier, more blissful life.
1. Accept you feel jealous.
If you’re fighting the feeling of jealousy by trying to ignore it, then you’re effectively in battle with deep rooted conditioned beliefs being expressed through your mind, and there’s only one winner, and it’s not you.
Accept that you suffer from feeling jealous in certain situations, and accept that you’re not a bad person because of it. Tell yourself you’re doing something about it, so give yourself a pat on the back, and at the same time don’t blame anyone else for your jealousy, as it’s something that lies within you, not them.
It takes courage to be honest with ourselves, so with your hands in the air you can tell yourself you’re aware you feel jealous and that you’re going to make a start to change it.
2. Talk openly and honestly.
Being open and honest with who you are jealous of is a good way of feeling better about yourself. So, if it’s your girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife, work colleague, friend, your partners ex etc – tell the person directly, or the one who is associated with who or what your jealousy is over.
Be mindful not to blame them as it isn’t their issue, but sit down and tell them in a calm and compassionate way about how you feel, and specifically what triggers your feelings. Be confident in assuring them you’re aware of the jealousy and you’re committed to doing something about it as you don’t want to feel this way, and you also don’t want to impact their feelings and your relationship with them.
Another key thing is that you don’t want to make the other person change and to stop doing the very thing that triggers your jealousy (unless, of course, it is a vindictive act done on purpose), as it puts them in an uncomfortable position which means they might be walking on eggshells around you. Changing someone in order to run away from what triggers you is nothing more than putting a piece of sticky tape over a heavy water leak – you cover the wound temporarily, but it doesn’t heal it.
If they say they feel on edge since finding out what it is they do that triggers you (they probably already have an idea), then only they are responsible for feeling on edge as you haven’t asked them to change.
Remember: talk open and honest with empathy and compassion – and keep calm.
3. Stop comparing yourself.
Comparing yourself to anyone other than yourself is a guaranteed way of experiencing jealousy.
The very thing you’re jealous of is an illusion and does not exist. It is not someone or something that creates the feeling of jealousy in you; it is the fact that over the years you have taken on a belief that you don’t love yourself and have gathered ‘evidence’ to support this notion, thus making it concrete. Know that comparing yourself to anyone is never going to make the jealousy go away.
You are one of 7.6 BILLION people on planet earth! You are completely unique in your own way and are one of a kind. If someone tried to be like you they’d fail miserably, just as you would trying to be them.
You are imperfectly perfect, as is everyone on this planet. Every single one of us has flaws, and this is completely fine as it makes us who we are. Lastly, ingrain in your brain that comparing yourself is like running a race without a finish line – there’s no end in sight – and that you’re better off focusing your energy elsewhere and putting it into something more productive.
4. List your qualities.
It’s easy to overshadow our qualities by focusing on our flaws, so putting our attention on the things we are proud of ourselves for is a great way of raising our self-esteem.
Grab a pen and paper and start jotting down the things you like about yourself. You don’t have to write them down, but I find it helps as that way it is evidenced and can be referred back to as many times as you like.
So, whether you’re good at singing, listening, tennis, playing an instrument, DIY or dancing – write them down. Also include the physical parts you like about yourself. It might be your eyes, smile or arms; either way, there will be something you like.
You might find it an uncomfortable task, but this is actually a good thing believe it or not. Don’t spend too long overthinking your qualities as you’ll talk your way out of writing them down. Be honest with yourself, and I’d recommend reading your list first thing in the morning before you start your day and last thing at night before bed – that way you’re giving evidence to your subconscious mind to embed these new beliefs of self-love in place of your existing ones.
Be kind to yourself – you have so many great things about you.
5. Identify a trend developing.
The jealous traits you host haven’t appeared overnight; it’s many experiences that have turned into beliefs which have likely accumulated over decades.
A telltale sign of raising your self-awareness and identifying what triggers your jealousy is by casting your mind back to previous relationships with friends, lovers, family, work colleagues etc, and identify if there’s a common theme – there usually is. If needs be, write down some previous situations you were in that set your triggers off and a bigger picture will start to develop.
Some of these questions have helped me, and they may do for you too:
- Where did the situations take place when I was jealous?
- Was I alone or with the person who triggered me?
- Did I see something specific that triggered me?
- Were there any particular words/names that made me feel sick to my stomach?
- Were there any actions that made me feel jealous?
- Were there other people involved that I felt jealous over?
These are a few starter questions you can ask yourself, but you may find more come to the surface naturally as you begin to explore. You’ll identify a common theme and this will help you delve deeper into the reasons why you experience jealousy. At this stage it is only a base-level understanding, as the core reasons will likely stem back to childhood, but for now this will set you on your way.
Once you have identified the trends, you are now in a position where if you’re in the same situation again, you’ll be aware of it and can almost act as though you’re witnessing yourself as it happens, which instantly alleviates the feeling.
This tip requires complete honesty and also may initiate some upset, especially when you’re exploring past scenarios and you realise past behaviour, but it’s healing you which is great, so dig deep and of course, be gentle to yourself.
6. Observe your feelings.
A thing I started to do when I felt jealous was learn to observe it all when it happened. When I say all, I mean everything; my feelings, thoughts and reactions.
Now, this isn’t a quick fix and certainly isn’t the answer to resolving your jealousy, but you’re working with the feeling, not ignoring it, and this is crucial. You’ve probably heard of the term ‘mindfulness’ – well, this is it.
It is a fantastic way to live your life, and can really allow you to realise that you’re not your thoughts and feelings.
When you’re in a situation that triggers you, try not to react to whoever or whatever is causing the trigger, but instead focus on your breathing as that is usually the first thing to change.
Observe your breathing and observe any feelings you experience throughout your body. You may, for example, feel a tightness in the pit of your stomach or a thumping heartbeat; either way, rest your attention on wherever it is that is loudest.
Also observe what thoughts may arise and be aware of any conditioned, instinctual mental reactions, such as anger and blame thoughts.
The more you do this, the more you’ll notice your thoughts and feelings are very conditioned and aren’t actually who you are. It really does take time, but be patient. One thing I did was make a mental note (or even write it down) when I was triggered so I could go over it when I was alone and inquire what triggered me, what I felt, how I handled it etc.
It’s a good way of exploring your thoughts and feelings, but ensure you’re kind to yourself – it isn’t designed as a beating up session – be very non-judgmental and genuinely interested.
Also, it’s worth continuing using mindfulness in everyday life, not just in situations where you are triggered with jealousy. It has honestly changed my and many others lives, and it can yours too.
If you don’t meditate already, I’d strongly recommend starting it. In my opinion, meditation is about the best thing anyone can do who is on the self-development or spiritual path. It isn’t the answer to your problems, but it will increase your awareness and reduce anxiety and stress – these are facts.
I won’t list all the benefits as there’s quite literally hundreds of thousands of articles online about that, but do consider it. It’s a chance to be completely alone, free from anything external that we have to encounter as part of life. It’s the way to experience that silence and observe what is happening within us, as we don’t often hear it due to being distracted by those things outside of us.
After time, your whole aura will change and not only yourself, but those around you will notice it. Even 10 minutes a day can have an impact, so instead of aimlessly browsing social media if you’re bored, try meditating and make it part of your daily routine.
If you enjoyed the article, then please feel free to share it with friends on Facebook, Twitter etc. Also, sign up to my newsletter by entering your email address in the box below and receive the latest information from me.