We have all been there before, you look on Instagram and a friend of yours is traveling the world. Taking picture-perfect photos in exotic locations, with great clothes, friends, and a really hot man. You can't help it. You feel it slowly start in the pit of your stomach and steadily rise up your body until thoughts swirl in your head. Why not me? What am I doing with my life? How did she get it? Who does she think she is? She wasn't even a nice person! I have to get out of here! What am I doing wrong?
These thoughts go on until you are fully hating your life and can't seem to see straight. One can spend too much time lost in the land of envy and jealousy. And although these feel the same, they are indeed not the same at all.
Envy occurs when we lack a desired attribute enjoyed by another. So your friend who is living the high life on Instagram... you're envious of her.
Jealousy occurs when something we already possess (usually a special relationship) is threatened by a third person. It would be if you had a super-hot boyfriend and feel jealous of every girl who wants him.
So knowing the difference can help you identify which of these are getting the best of you. This allows you to figure out how to turn this emotional ship around until it is effecting you in a positive way. Jealousy and Envy are completely natural. Jealousy is frequently considered as a secondary emotion, triggered in response to primary emotion like fear or anger. It's the feeling that someone is trying to take something you have. Despite jealousy being a natural emotion you can learn to be less prone to it's negative effects. While envy is born from comparison of another’s superior achievements, possessions or skills, if used correctly, it can be used as a form of motivation. So how do we turn these completely horrible feelings around (so that we are not consumed by them)? Well...let me share the benefits of each.
The Benefits of Jealousy
- It can help to remind you of what you already have. Healthy relationships require trust, communication, and love. Having feelings of jealousy can show you where you are at in your emotional state regarding your relationship. Since you are jealous, you already have what you want. It is now up to you to strength the bond between you and your love one. Trust in knowing, that at the end of the day nobody can take a person from you. They choose to leave on their own. By continuing to focus on your relationship, your bond will grow stronger. No matter what happens, you will be confident that you did the best you could to make your relationship work.
- It can help you communicate to your love one. The worst thing to do in a relationship is to not talk. Although we share the same feeling of jealousy with animals, unlike animals we can be completely jealous over imaginary things. When you feel jealousy rear it's ugly head, talk to your love one. You should be able to get a better understanding of how your partner is feeling and where they stand regarding your relationship.
- It highlights your insecurities. Knowing your insecurities is the first step to healing them. You can't conquer what you don't know or acknowledge. Only you can heal feelings of inadequacy. But once you do, your confidence will shine. And confidence is one of the most attractive attributes in someone.
The Benefits of Envy
- It reveals what you desire most. You can't take your next steps to the life you want, if you have no idea what you want. Envy helps to uncover that which you desire the most. It is a good indicator of where you want to be in your life. It can point out what is holding you back, what your emotion is regarding a goal, and force you to acknowledge your aspiration to do something.
- It can open up curiosity. When you are envious of someone, use it to find out about their path. Figuring out how people have achieved their success allows you to discover many different ways to get there. Researching someone's story can help you find even more people who have similarities that you can use toward your own dreams.
- It shows you possibilities. Many people struggle with what they want to do in life. Envy can be used to show you what is possible later down the line. Use it to your advantage to remember all ways you can get what you want. Sometimes there are things you have never thought of before.
- It helps you make connections. If you see someone who has done what you want to do or has what you want try to meet them. Maybe they can help you with your own goals and collaborate with you one day.
- It can help you have more gratitude. When you experience envy, turn it around to remind yourself of all the things you have done and are grateful for. If you have a hard time seeing all that you have accomplished, try to get a trusted friend who will remind you. Abundance comes from gratitude, so if you see something someone else has start with being grateful for what you have.
Remember that jealousy and envy are natural to everyone. What makes it good or bad is how you use it in your own life. Focus on what each trait is showing you about yourself. When we can identify what we need to do to improve and feel empowered to make that improvement, we are more likely to work hard to attain it.