Envy is a destructive feeling. Although it is sometimes compared to jealousy in colloquial language, it is worth knowing that envy and jealousy are not the same. What is important to know about envy and, above all, how to deal with it? Keep reading!
What is envy?
Envy appears in a very early stage of development. In practice, this means that envy is a feeling that even an infant can feel. At the beginning of life, the child experiences only very simple emotions. Ordinary pleasure, for example, when the mother hugs or feeds it. The child may also experience simple discomfort and lack of pleasure – when its diaper is full, it is hungry or does not have company, or other interesting stimuli. Over time, however, its emotional development progresses.
What is this feeling associated with?
You already know that children can also feel envy. However, do you realize what it is associated with? The child initially feels envy because it does not understand the world around it, misinterprets events in life, and does not connect them into a logical sequence in which a given effect results from a particular cause. It focuses only on itself and demands satisfaction of its needs.
Over time, however, envy begins to disappear with healthy and proper child development. It is completely natural. It begins to understand the real world better, and its emotions become more complex.Primitive envy disappears and is replaced by sadness, depression, and even guilt and other complex emotions.
However, it happens that there are certain developmental disorders in the child. It feels sadness or depression too often and intensely. Then, its development is slowed down, and the mind returns to the feeling of envy. It is a peculiar defense mechanism of the psyche to defend against unpleasant feelings.
This has a huge impact on the life of an adult. Envy can be directly related to low self-esteem – the worse you think about yourself, the lower your self-esteem, the greater the chance that you will feel envy towards successful people.
Studies have even shown that we more often feel envy towards people similar to us. People who have similar predispositions, who started from the same or very similar positions, and achieved significant success in some area.
How does envy manifest itself?
First and foremost, envy leads to a deterioration in a person’s quality of life. However, what are the observable and hidden manifestations of envy, and above all, what is the trap into which an envious person pulls their mind?
Envious people constantly compare themselves to others. In these comparisons, they come off worse and thus feel envy towards successful people. However, they do not work on themselves, do not try to organize their lives, and do not strive to improve anything. Their energy is directed towards destroying what the other person has achieved.
Various mental problems can arise from envy, including depressive disorders, depression, obsessive-compulsive symptoms, or more frequent occurrence of various types of phobias. Therefore, envy has an impact on a person’s mental health. It can also cause somatic symptoms that have a negative impact on physical health.
Envy also affects interpersonal relationships. An envious person cannot build proper, healthy interpersonal relationships. They cannot do so because envy makes them hostile and wishes the worst for the people around them and even complete strangers.
How to deal with envy?
Envy is not a problem that can be ignored. It is a destructive feeling that negatively affects every aspect of your life. Dealing with envy is very difficult.
And, is there a clear answer to the question of how to deal with envy? Can you get rid of envy? It is important to know that it is a complex problem that goes very deep. There are no medications for it. Each case needs to be assessed very individually. One thing does not change – eradicating envy requires a lot of work. What can you do?
Understanding the mechanisms of envy.Psychotherapy
Understanding the mechanisms of envy is extremely important in order to finally free yourself from it. Envy can be compared to a situation where one person gives something beautiful and valuable to another. However, the envious person cannot enjoy it, seeks bad intentions in it, and maliciously destroys everything.
Envious people often deny that they are jealous. They think everything is fine with them. They do not see their shortcomings and problems. They look for traps, hostility, malicious intentions, and tricks aimed at their destruction and humiliation everywhere.
This approach makes psychotherapy even more challenging. Working on changing attitudes is very difficult and time-consuming, but it is necessary for psychotherapy to start yielding expected results.
Work on yourself
Working on oneself is very important. Envious people often have negative thoughts, negative reactions, and hostility as their first reaction. Changing these habits is very important. It is necessary to start learning to feel gratitude. Valuing one’s life is very important. Start noticing even small, positive things and learn to enjoy them.
Looking at the world from a different perspective is always difficult. However, over time, it becomes a habit. Over time, it will also become apparent that people are not really that bad, and there are even many close, good people around them who are happy to help.
The envious person must work on themselves not only in the therapist’s office. Every day, they must work on themselves to change their attitude and love themselves. Working on self-esteem is also a very important part of psychotherapy that allows you to get rid of envy. If the envious person realizes that they do not have to compare themselves with others and that they too are worthy of attention, they will be liberated from envy.
Work on improving the quality of your life
Work on yourself to improve the quality of your life. Open up to people, socialize, and build new, strong relationships with others. If you’re afraid of earning too little or not developing, try to change that. Expand your qualifications, read books, sign up for a course or workshop.
If there is an area of your life that particularly troubles you, in which you would like to be better than you are and achieve greater success, start making the effort. Remember that you don’t have to become a huge champion right away. After all, every small step that indicates progress and improvement in your achievements is really valuable in this case.