3 Ways to Stop Jealousy.

Via on Aug 4, 2013

Jayne Mansfield and Sophia Loren at Romanoff's in Beverly Hills, c. 1958. © 1978 Joe Shere

I’m a Scorpio.

If a title including the word jealousy and a first sentence stating this little factoid mean nothing to you then let me explain further: I’m prone to jealousy.

I’ve thought about writing a blog like this many, many times before, but never have, and for one simple reason—I don’t consider myself to be a jealous person anymore.

Sure, back in my youth, jealousy could have been my middle name.

It first reared its horribly ugly head when I was practically still a little girl and dating the boy who would become the man who would become my husband. I was 14.

I was exceedingly jealous of the other girls who had crushes on him, and, even though he had chosen me to be the gal who he spent his time with, for some reason I still saw these other young ladies as threats.

And jealousy is awful.

It’s awful, both for the one experiencing it and for the person who it’s directed at.

Still, when my jealous tendencies creep up on me now, they’re rarely of a romantic nature. (I squelched that a long time ago using some of the tips that will shortly follow.) Rather, as an adult, envy—another horridly ugly twin emotion of jealousy—can make its way into work situations or even friendships.

So, without further ado, here are three ways to stop being a jealous individual once and for all.

1. Recognize admiration.

I came to understand, after an intense amount of self-study, that the main reason for my jealousy of other women was that I could see in them traits I admire.

I notice the beauty in other people, and while I don’t necessarily feel attracted to them in a romantic sort of way, I can absolutely understand how someone else would be.

I can see those little quirks that actually make someone sexy and wonderfully special and, instead of being jealous of these little things, I began to turn them around into something more positive.

The first step towards seeing other people with loving eyes, not jealous ones, is realizing that you’re envious in the first place because you see something highly valuable within them. Then…

2. Recognize your own admirable qualities too. 

Once you’ve begun to see your jealous nature for what it truly is—the ability to see the good in others—you have to learn to develop the confidence in your own extraordinary attributes, in order for you to appreciate both other people and yourself.

So how do you develop confidence? That’s a damn good question.

My recommendation is this: start by demanding that you talk to yourself with love.

This is something that takes practice—lots of it.

When you look into the mirror, notice what you like about yourself instead of what you don’t. Stop using an inner voice that sounds like an angry Catholic nun, and start talking to yourself like a loving mother trying to soothe an irritable child. In other words, speak gently and kindly—and with patience.

Begin to take this attitude out into other areas of your life where you typically are quite hard on yourself.

Pay attention to the things that you do well throughout your day and mentally give yourself a pat on the back instead of continually picking on where you could have improved.

I’m telling you from personal experience that this attitude shift takes immense effort.

We live in a society that promotes guilt and perfection, and learning to treat yourself with love is sadly not something that’s usually ingrained along with it—but it is one of the first steps to letting go of jealousy.

And, in this case, practice won’t make perfect—it will help you understand that you’re already good enough exactly the way that you are. 

3. Stop comparing.

Okay, so you’ve begun to take into consideration that you’re jealous of others because you actually like and admire them (great place to start).

Then you put into practice your new loving self-talk—awesome.

Now it’s time to stop comparing yourself to others.

You can do this, but it will take vigilance and—wait for it—practice.

If, for example, you find yourself at work thinking, “Why does everyone like her so much? What’s so great about her?” Dig a little bit deeper and be curious.

What do you like about her? Is she good at her job? Is she charismatic? Again, the first thing to do is pay attention to the reality that you’re admiring her too—you’re just being negative with your admiration.

Once you notice this, help to bolster yourself up by remembering that you, too, do your job well, and that others could just as easily be feeling this same level of admiration for you.

Then you need to stop comparing yourself to other people in the first place.

It’s a bad, bad habit to get into—and it is a habit.

Regardless of what area in your life where your jealousy tends to carry you away—work, relationships, Facebook (ha! sorry)—the root of this is comparison.

You’re comparing something about you or your life to something or someone else—and you’re losing. So take out part of this equation (like this initial comparison) and you change the entire situation.

How do you stop comparing yourself to others?

Well, for one, you focus on step #2 (your own pluses) and, for another, you discover that you’re comparing apples and oranges.

Maybe everyone at work likes her because she’s talkative and funny, but they also like you because you’re grounded and a good listener. You’re different from her and, thank God, because that’s what makes our world such a special place—it’s filled with a plethora of personality types.

So, yes, note how you’d love to be able to rattle off a hilariously witty joke at the drop of a hat, but also take care that you’re not trying to cram your feet into someone else’s too-small shoes—because, now that you think about it, your shoes are pretty cool too.

~

I was going to add a few more tips to this list, but I’m thinking that we’ll stop here. (And maybe this will be part one if other readers find this article to be helpful.)

The thing is that, while this might only be a list of three tips, all three take a lot of hard work.

Yet, perhaps the most important consideration above all others—if you want to stop being jealous, that is—is for you to stop viewing yourself as a victim of a runaway emotion.

You are in control and you can stop being jealous, but that’s, unfortunately, exactly what envy does—it undermines you and it undermines how amazing you truly are. And you are amazing.

Now get out there and start practicing love—and use these seemingly small suggestions to begin cultivating a hugely profound change.

 

Like elephant journal on Facebook.

 

Ed: Bryonie Wise

{Photo: Jayne Mansfield and Sophia Loren at Romanoff’s in Beverly Hills, c. 1958. © 1978 Joe Shere}

About Jennifer S. White

Jennifer is a voracious reader, obsessive writer, passionate yoga instructor and drinker of hoppy ales. She's also a devoted mama and wife (a stay-at-home yogi). She considers herself to be one of the funniest people that ever lived and she's also an identical twin. In addition to her work on elephant journal, Jennifer has over 40 articles published on the wellness website MindBodyGreen and her yoga-themed column Your Personal Yogi ran in the newspaper Toledo Free Press. She holds a Bachelor's degree in geology, absolutely no degrees in anything related to literature, and she currently owns a wheel of cheese. If you want to learn more about Jennifer then make sure to check out her writing, as she's finally put her tendencies to over-think and over-share to good use. Jennifer's first book, The Best Day of Your Life, is now available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and on her website.

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27 Responses to “3 Ways to Stop Jealousy.”

  1. Marina says:

    Thank you for this, Jennifer!
    I needed a reminder to be more loving and patient with myself.
    I am a Scorpio and have injured many relationships in the past because of my jealousy issues. Thank goodness I'm now much older (and hopefully, wiser).
    I am a sensitive soul and it has taken me years to finally accept and embrace this fact, rather than resenting the way that I am.
    I enjoy reading everything you write, thank you :) xoxo

    • Thank you beyond words, Marina. Sincerely.

      I think that in a culture and time period like ours that sometimes being sensitive can feel like a burden, but it's truly a blessing in so many ways. Much like jealousy, it's often in how you look at it.

    • Jyoti Wind says:

      Thank you…I agree with everything you said, however I am not a Scorpio but have enough of it to be one…

  2. Tiff says:

    Thank you for this! Please continue with part 2! Love!

    • Thank you, Tiff, I appreciate that feedback because I was sincere in that I have more to share on this subject but wanted to see if it was something that was well received.

  3. Mei says:

    Thank you very much Jennifer. This is exactly what I need to read and to remember.. you made me realize its a natural feeling and i can do something about it. I already feel much lighter now..
    I second Marina and Tiff. You have a way with words that I simply connect to.. and more important stays with me. Thank you so much for all your other articles, please keep writing… Would love to read part 2 too..
    Love and Light.

    • Oh my, Mei, what a blessing your words are to me. Thank you.

      As I shared in my response to Tiff, I was sincere when I stated that I wanted to write more but decided to stop and see how this info was taken in first. So, after your feedback I think I will post part 2 ;)

    • KaiJai says:

      I agree! I've been struggling with this feeling a lot recently and you truly do have a way with words :) thank you!!!

  4. ms.fit1 says:

    Over the course of ten years through my work in the fitness

    Industry and as a hot yoga instructor I find this particular

    vice or trait displayed often. The most beautiful, successful,

    competent individuals are almost paralyzed with jealously

    And are hobbled by insecurity. I appreciated this article very

    much! It may help me help others

  5. Chrissy says:

    Thank you for this post…the "tip" about admiration truly hit home, because I could always feel deep down that the reason I'm jealous is because I admire someone else's qualities ( which often leads me to put words in my boyfriend's mouth…my "jealously" may come from things that I personally admire about someone, but maybe these qualities go unnoticed by him and jealousy is unwarranted anyway..) Jealousy really has been a huge issue for me and the feeling can make me go "bat-shit" crazy…like knives just digging at the inferiority within. But reading articles like this provides rays of hope to overcoming this difficult emotion. Thanks again for your wise words…definitely would love part 2:-)

  6. Dee says:

    This was so helpful and I would also love a Part 2. I am a Scorpio too and so I TOTALLY get that reference, and had a lot of problems with jealousy through my early years. I felt like I had it licked, but come to find out now in a new relationship that it does indeed still live inside of me, although more tame now and I have not acted it out like I used to. Still wish I could turn it into something else, and your article will really help me to do that. Thank you!

  7. Denise Coin says:

    Great post! I have jealousy issues, but you gave me lots to work on..YES..let that next article be posted! Your writing resonates with me!

  8. Ashley says:

    I love this. It is so hard to admit this ugly emotion.. It’s nice to be reminded it’s human and it’s transformable like all energy.

  9. Thank you for posting!

  10. Vylan says:

    I am a jealous psycho! Yes please write more! This article was super helpful!!!!

  11. olivia coleman says:

    Thank you Jennifer! I LOVED this piece :)

  12. Lorie says:

    It's very hard to find the good in yourself, when you've been raised around people (for me, the men in my life) who have told you that you would be pretty if you looked more like…., would be attractive if your body was more like…., you shouldn't smile because your teeth aren't straight and white like….
    I'm 43, and I still have trouble finding anything good about myself. I look in them mirror and want to smash it.
    I'm not really jealous, anymore. I've just given up.

  13. Alex says:

    Wow, I really needed to come across an article like this. Beautifully said. Its the truth. It does take a lot of self love practice to truly be free of envy and jealousy but it can be done. Lately I really have been practicing positive talk to myself and my mind is slowly shifting! Thank you for writing this article and expressing your own personal experience. Love when something is so relatable… I think sometimes we tend to forget that we are not alone. Namaste

  14. Leslie says:

    I am not a Scorpio, however, I do sometimes come down with an awful case of envy, I have ever since I was a kid. While I’ve begun utilizing the methods mentioned here for other related issues (building confidence and self-soothing), I’d not considered how well they will combat jealousy and envy. I will give them a try the next time the green-eyed monster bites.

    I hope this is part one to a series on overcoming jealousy, I’ll stay tuned!

  15. Marrissa says:

    Such a wonderful read. I have been at my wits end with jealousy and am usually a really positive, turn it around gal but jealousy is tricky because of its relationship with admiration. This article did a great job of simplifying how to literally stop yourself from being jealous and loving instead.

  16. Hey, lovelies! Part two is finally here! Comment on it beneath the article and share your thoughts please.
    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2014/01/3-tips-how

  17. emmalord says:

    Tears started rolling down my face at "instead of being jealous of these little things, I began to turn them around into something more positive" and they haven't stopped. This post fills me with all the feels. And you know what? Being emotional and crying easily is something that's special about me, and I like it.

  18. Robin says:

    Please have a part 2 to this article! For years I've compared myself to others & I've been overly critical of myself. I not only drive people away from me, I want to run away from myself! This will be a new start for me.

  19. scorpio says:

    Thanks for the post. I am currently being torn apart by jealosy and obsession over a girl, that isn’t mine, so ots driving me nuts. It takes extraordinary power of the mind and very good self discipline to catch myself doing it.. I play Jackyl and Hyde. I know the problem is within me, so when the destructive thoughts come, I immediately try to obsess with something that is constructive.. learn a new thing or two.. but I sometimes also waste an hour or two refreshing her fb page. It is true that the more I talk woth love to myself, the more I know I’m worth not cheating on, the more I know I’m sich an amazing creature.. why would anyone wanna lose me.. then I get in peace woth myself.. I give her her freedom.. and when she comes back its sweeter than before, as she has learned a thing or two.. same with me. We share experiences and laughs. I hope one day ill be able to master self control over my emotions and thoughts. Only constructive ones, in order to be succsessful. :) cheers!

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