A very controversial topic, people are too scared to admit it so they won’t be labelled wicked or evil but it has been part of human nature and something needs to be said instead of burying our heads in the sand and pretending it does not exist and paying lip service to the green eyed monster only when the topic is mentioned. We all suffer from the needle prick of the green eyed monster at some point in our lives if we are really honest with ourselves… at this moment I’m referring to the dreaded word ENVY…
What is ENVY?
It is a feeling of resentment towards someone or people when they have what we want. It centres on feelings of not enough, doubt, scarcity and longing. Typical examples your neighbour just bought a new car you have been saving for months to buy one, you have been trying for a child for years and effortlessly your friend gets pregnant, job promotion, your boss favours your colleagues work over yours, your friend just got engaged when you have just broken up from a long term relationship… the list is endless, but you all know where I am coming from, we have all been there at some point.
It is a secret feeling that hurts inside even though we might be smiling on the outside. It is known in most religions as one of the most deadly sin the funny thing is ENVY can cause so much pain once it is felt unlike anger, lust, laziness where there is little pleasure enjoyed before suffering from the consequences.
They are two types Positive and Negative Envy
Positive envy leads to constructive actions like oppression of the rich and powerful on the poor and needy. Apartheid is a very good example where the white minority oppressed the black majority this led to one of the biggest movement in the world which brought about justice… A lot of these movements in the past have been a result of positive Envy which led to new laws, over throne bad government which ended up changing people’s lives for the better.
EFFECTS OF NEGATIVE ENVY
Don’t underestimate the power of the green eye monster… if you allow it to take root in your life it will only bring you bitterness, isolation and disappointment. It will turn you into a very negative person.
The issue here is” Envy is one of the most potent causes of unhappiness “Bertrand Russell
Why do we Envy?
We want to all be like the proverbial Joneses
It has gone far beyond the Jones living next door… it has now been amplified since the introduction of social networking as we have more access to people’s private lives through twitter, Facebook, instagram, blackberry messenger etc. the list is endless.. People are putting up all the good things happening in their lives, job promotion, lovely kids, and wife everything is perfect and you are thinking, but my life sucks. When all these things are thrown at us we begin to have a low self-esteem and start developing a complex…
Society puts us on a measuring stick
We feel we have to measure up to Joneses this puts us under enormous pressure, the things we long to have become unobtainable we later begin to believe we are not good enough which ends up robbing us of our present happiness.
Some people love to stand out and only be the ones enjoying the spoils, once anyone has more than them in any way they become insecure and feel they no longer look better than others which is a threat to the powerful image they have of themselves
How can we combat Envy?
(1) Count your blessings I say it again shouting from the roof top. Count your blessings! If you keep focusing on other people’s blessings and your own inadequacies you start developing a complex… Want what you have not what you don’t have. Develop a spirit of gratitude.
(2) Use the feeling as a positive emotion… become a better you, improve your life… Get better qualifications, be a go getter…always praise yourself and remember where you have come from look back at your achievements and set better and realistic goals.
(3) Have your own GPS/Map/yard stick: Don’t measure yourself by other people’s yard stick or standard, find your own map walk your path… Remember we are all different and have different roles in the universe to play… We are all unique… stop comparing yourself to other people, stick to your GPS. We all have our crosses and challenges no matter how rich, famous we are or material things we have… we do not know what cross they had to carry or are still carrying to get to where they are or to maintain their status quo… grass is always greener and in every level there is a devil to fight.
(4) Do things you enjoy learn to make yourself happy by doing things you enjoy, going out with friends, volunteering your spare time on some charity project, pampering yourself, using your time wisely instead of focusing on what your neighbour or people have or going through people’s lives on Facebook, go do something constructive.
(5) Don’t get distracted: Don’t let your ego convince you, you are a looser cause someone else is doing better… Comparison is a distraction.
(6) Talk to a friend or therapist/counsellor: if you consistently struggle with envy seek help or talk to a friend and also learn to increase your self-worth and confidence… envy is something we all feel but we seldom admit or talk about it. As a culture we need to find healthy solutions to this issue as we cannot erase what we cannot face.
(7) Spend time helping people to become the best they can be: it’s very rewarding supporting people to become better the benefits are awesome. Remember the more you give the more you receive also the universal law of attraction states that you attract what you give.
We should always remember that our happiness is not only on the big things in life like new car, new house, marriage, etc., it’s also a combination of little things we don’t really pay attention to, a smile from a friend, health, waking up in the morning, being able to breath fresh air, watching the sunset, life etc., so many things to be grateful for.
External or material things do not define our true self we are bigger than those things. Life is a journey of sharing, caring and making the world a better place for everyone. The material things are just an added bonus.