Have you ever achieved something you worked incredibly hard for or had an incredible opportunity put in your path and you get all excited and you look around and no one else is getting excited with you? Or worse yet the haters show up…or lurk behind your back? I think this happens to most people at least every once in a while.
It’s very deflating. It is important to cheer ourselves on (link) and try to find a better support system. But it is a great opportunity to look at our own reactions. How do WE react to someone else’s good fortune?
I have yet to find the perfect person who is always happy for everybody (Don’t even try to lie to me!) Even the best of us wince sometimes… you know… when your not so favorite person… the one upper… who just annoys the crap out of you… starts throwing their incredible new success in your face… as if they think they are better than you. Often this stems from the Green Monster. When someone gets something we wish we had, that monster can rear it’s ugly head. The best way to combat this is to take a minute and analyze why the envy is creeping in.
Sometimes we need to take a look to see if we really want what they have. Maybe they purchased that cool new “thing”- that super fancy schmancy deluxe solar powered bling encrusted waffle maker- and are now in debt up to their eyeballs. Do you want that debt? Maybe they do have that cool new waffle maker but their personal life is in shambles. Do you really want to trade places with them? Most of the time if we really take a minute to look at it we don’t want it after all.
Maybe things are not going according to plan for us and their news just highlights that we haven’t got what we want yet but that isn’t really about them, is it?
Sometimes maybe that monster is howling inside of us because we haven’t done for ourselves what we promised we would. Maybe the person in question built a side gig income and their success only reminds us of that idea we’ve been procrastinating on. Maybe we are ashamed of our own laziness. That brings on guilt. And after all those ugly feelings it turns out that it’s really about us.
There are two truths about Envy:
- Green does not look good on anyone.
- It accomplishes nothing.
There are steps to take to slay the Green Monster
- Concentrate on our own blessings. We need to stop comparing. It’s really easy to pick and choose the things we’d like out of their life but do we want their whole life? Probably not. (If we do, it’ll probably turn into stalker/psychological thriller movie) If you are working toward what makes you happy, someone else’s good fortune will be just that…good fortune.
- Be generous. Kindness is not a finite resource. We can never run out of it. Celebrate with all those around us. Even the ones who get on our nerves. Kindness breeds more kindness. We’ll reap the rewards.
- Require more of ourselves. We are not spoiled children. We are grown adults (I don’t think there are any 10 year olds reading this blog). Let’s control how we react to our surroundings. Lets practice being happy for other people. It will become a habit. It will spread. We can build a supportive community.
This sometimes is harder than it should be. But isn’t the effort worth it?
Have you ever had to beat down the Green Monster? Do you have any suggestions on fighting the envy?
Photo credit: Katherina