Have you ever spoken ill of people just because you were jealous of their popularity? Do you remember getting into a fight with a loved one because he/she was getting friendly with someone of the opposite sex? Have you ever felt that your brother or sister gets more liberties than you, and that's just not fair? All of these are consequences of jealousy. While most of us have been on the performing side of these activities, a few of us have been on the receiving side too. I remember a few girls in my class trying to "sabotage" my friendship with a guy, simply because they were jealous of me. The sad part was, he was my good friend.
Jealousy is similar to envy, although not the same. Jealousy cardinally means the fear of losing something that you hold dear to you or of someone else having it. As such when you see someone coming close to doing that, you find yourself engulfed in jealousy. So, why is jealousy a bad thing?
Impact of Jealousy
Jealousy has a host of negative impacts and a few positive ones. Yes, positive too. However, when it has positive impacts, it is known as inspiration. But, we will only see the negatives here.
- When jealous we tend to overlook the good values in a person.
- People tend to get irrational and abusive, when faced with jealousy.
- Often, personal performance takes a blow while one is trying to sabotage another's performance out of jealousy.
- People tend to overlook other people's feelings when jealous.
- A jealous partner can lead to an abusive and unsatisfying relationship.
- People tend to dominate others and control their life.
How to Overcome Jealousy
Overcoming jealousy can be as easy as breathing. But, only if you really wish to do it. The nature of jealousy differs for different relationships. So, let's see how to stop being jealous.
Jealousy in a marriage can be of two types. Firstly, it can be of another person who seems to be getting close to your spouse. Often a person tends to jump to conclusion, that the spouse is indulging in emotional cheating. In this case, the simplest way to overcome jealousy is to openly discuss the matter with the spouse. Tell him/her your concerns, and honestly admit the fact that you are jealous of this other person. Knowing human nature, I am sure that the fact you will please your partner a little bit. Just a little bit. But, discussing it with your partner, will surely help the two of you move on, and strengthen the relationship, in order to avoid it from happening again.
Secondly, a person can be jealous of their spouse's success. This mostly happens when both, husband and wife have similar career goals. Seeing someone exceed you in success, especially your spouse, can cause a definite surge of jealousy in a person. In this case , discussing it with your spouse may not be the best option. It will hurt your spouse, that his/her success is unacceptable to you. You will need to explain yourself that your partner deserves that. But it does not mean that you don't deserve that success. It just means that your time hasn't come yet. In fact, if your spouse is successful, it should inspire you to work harder. I am sure that once you achieve success, your better half will be much happier than you!
Believe it or not, jealousy in friendship is common. No kidding. The only difference is that some friends take it in their stride and overcome it, while some let the jealousy claim the friendship and lose it forever. In friendship, jealousy is painful on both sides. If your friend is jealous of you, it hurts. This is because you didn't expect it to be that way. On the other hand, if you are jealous of a friend, it hurts too, because you feel like they have betrayed you. It is painful, as friends are the family we make by choice.
The only way to overcome this is to accept it. Yes, you are jealous. But, you should not be. So, tell yourself to be happy for your friend. After all, that's what true friends do, right? When your friends are happy, you should be happy for them. About your feelings, well, happiness aces sadness, right? The better option is to take joy in someone else's joy, rather than shadow it with your sadness.
At the Workplace
This may bring about lack of motivation at work and lack of professionalism at work. Well, you can't really help it right? With the performance incentives and the "healthy" competition, it is really hard to avoid jealousy.
I say, be jealous. If that is what it takes to drive you to perform better. But, if it comes in the way of your personal life, and if it leads you to sabotage another's performance, then, my suggestion, is STOP. If you can be better than the one you are jealous of, prove it fair and square. If you can't prove it, then just do the best you can. Take contentment and satisfaction in the fact that you are doing your best. Jealousy, is a barrier in productivity, trust me. Instead of scheming ways to make that person look bad in front of the boss, become his/her friend and get inspired. Not only will your performance improve, but you will also get a good friend in the bargain!!
Rather than going into denial about it, accept it. That way, you will look for ways to overcome it, helping you in dealing with it. Denial will only make the jealousy grow. If you really want to take control over it, accept it, and move on.