How to Combat Envy

behavior comparing control May 18, 2023

Envy is a normal emotion, but it can have detrimental consequences when overwhelming. We often find ourselves drawn into a spiral of envy, constantly comparing our lives to those of our peers and feeling inadequate. If you're struggling with envy, don't worry; there are ways to reign in this emotion and regain control. This blog post will explore how to combat envy and keep it from taking over.

Learn to control yourself when you feel envious.

Envy is one of those negative emotions that many of us feel often. It can trigger when we see someone possess or achieve something we don't have or did. Envy can trigger negative feelings and thoughts, make us feel disappointed with what we have, resent other people for their success and possessions, and binds us by focusing on trying to get or achieve what others have at the cost of wasting time we could have used to do more productive things. An envious person will often feel stressed out due to feelings of inadequacy, which can make them do things they won't normally do to acquire or do something. As such, we must learn to control and overcome envy before it consumes us. We may not wholly eliminate envy, but we can do something about it to make us feel better and be a good person.

1. Practice gratitude

Gratitude is perhaps the best way to counter envy, and turning gratitude into a habit will help you immensely. When you practice gratitude, you learn to appreciate what you have and be grateful that you possess certain things and achievements under your name. As a result, you won't necessarily feel envious every time you see someone have something better or do an achievement unless they are something that matters to your goals and interests. Grateful people also tend to feel more optimistic and happy with their lives, as they don't need to keep acquiring or doing more to feel satisfied. Of course, it can take time and effort before gratitude becomes a core value for yourself, but by being conscious of your actions and thoughts, you can start building up the right mindset to analyze what you feel and change it in the proper direction.

2. Be mindful that you are getting envious

Envy can sometimes feel like it's an automatic response whenever we feel that we lack something, and then we see it in somebody else, making us want to acquire the same thing. As such, if we are not mindful that we are being envious, we will keep having the same feeling every time we see something that we think is better or great than what we have. We can notice our envious acts using mindfulness practices, allowing us to do something about our envy.

3. Avoid comparing yourself too much with others

We like to compare ourselves with other people's lives. This can make us use others as an inspiration to improve so we can attain the same thing as them, or it may go the other way around. We may start to feel envious of people who we think are better than us in terms of possessions, achievements, and traits they possess, such as being intelligent, beautiful, or talented. Too much comparison can make us resent others, even our friends or family. This can be inherently bad, so to avoid reaching this point, it's better not to entertain too much thought of comparison and focus more on what you can do to be better and attain things related to your values and interests.

4. Don't think that life is a competition

Life is a competition for some people, and this mentality can have varying effects. Competition can be a good source of motivation and to become better when done in healthy doses. When it gets overboard, that's when competing can become a toxic mindset and trigger envy. Every other person's success will matter because you may want to always be better and higher in status than others. So whenever someone's success or possessions seem better than you, you will start to feel envy and start doing something better to attain the same or higher as someone. While this may look good for motivating yourself, you may begin viewing others differently and resent them, which is not good. When you notice such a mindset present in you, you may want to start considering life differently. Life doesn't have to be a competition; this mentality can help you deal with envy and do something to improve yourself without antagonizing others.

5. Avoid triggers for envy

Different things can make us feel envious, and by avoiding all the things that can act as triggers for envy, we can position ourselves better to have the right mindset. For example, looking at what others have often and what they do can make us envious of someone else. And then, there's social media, where seeing what others are up to becomes even more common. Advertisements also pop up everywhere in establishments and even on websites we visit. These things can make us feel envious and inadequate for not possessing or doing what is being suggested by seeing these things. So you now know what to do: limit your exposure to such things and focus elsewhere to stop or avoid feeling envious.

6. Be with the right people

Sometimes, it's the people around us that gives us a strong desire to be envious of something. Braggarts and show-offs will like you to know about their latest escapades and possessions, while overly competitive people can make you question your confidence and self-esteem for not achieving the same thing as them. It will be better to have humble, appreciative, and supportive friends. If you can, try to socialize with such people instead of the ones that make you like to compare and feel bad about yourself.

7. Identify what matters to you

There is no need to feel envy when you realize the most essential things in your life. This means you don't need to acquire everything out there or do every activity others do. Every person is different, and what makes them tick can be different than you. Sometimes, you may not even feel happy or content if you acquire the same thing or do the same achievement as another. What matters more is that you focus on things that resonate with your values and interest, as these are the things that can make you fulfilled and give you the energy to keep working on something. So if you don't know yet what matters to you, spend some time thinking about what you like to pursue and value in your life. Once you know these things, you won't need to feel envious of things that don't relate to what matters to you.

Try not to be too much of an envious person.

Envy is something we may not be able to eliminate, but it can be controlled and overcome whenever it triggers. The key is not to distort other people's successes and possessions and compare them to what you lack. Everybody has their interpretation of success, and what we think makes others feel happy and fulfilled may not be the same for us. So we should stop comparing and feeling envious and instead work on what can make us satisfied and comfortable. We can constantly reorient our thinking and use others for inspiration to create goals and pursue interests that work for us.

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