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Envy: how to turn a deadly sin into a springboard for personal growth
Envy: how to turn a deadly sin into a springboard for personal growth

Identify your hidden needs and develop a plan to meet them.

Envy: how to turn a deadly sin into a springboard for personal growth
Envy: how to turn a deadly sin into a springboard for personal growth

What is envy

The Explanatory Dictionary of Envy is interpreted by the Large Explanatory Dictionary of the Russian Language. Ch. ed. S. A. Kuznetsov as a feeling of annoyance caused by the well-being, success of another. It is considered a negative emotion, historically. In one ancient book, Cain killed his brother, Abel, because the smoke from his sacrificial fire rose to the sky, and from Cain's fire it spread along the ground. Since then, it has become the custom: it is bad and shameful to envy. To provoke envy - too, otherwise you can get it on the nose from fate. Hence all the sayings like "Happiness loves silence."

If we move away from philosophical, religious and other layers, envy is an emotion that we experience if we compare ourselves with someone and remain dissatisfied with the result. And what to do with this emotion is up to us.

How you can respond to feelings of envy

Envy is a great indicator of needs that you, for some reason, cannot fulfill. It is unpleasant to understand that you do not have the desired thing (or not the thing) and you cannot get it. But this painful experience can be used in different ways. If the neighbor has greener grass, there are three ways you can go.

1. Hate your neighbor, or even water his lawn with herbicides

This is the logical and simplest reaction. Only, alas, it will not make your life better, and you are happier, even if your neighbor's lawn turns yellow. Moreover, this attitude towards the success of others prevents you from developing. For example, it is precisely this that causes the appearance of negative attitudes that prevent people from becoming richer. You've probably heard them a million times: “Money spoils people”, “You can't make wealth by honest labor”.

2. Hate yourself and think how unlucky you are

People live, grow and develop in unequal conditions. Let's say one person from a wealthy family studied at the best school, then at a cool university, knows several languages and has traveled a lot. Another grew up in a family with an average income, went to a regular school. They start from completely different points, and even a path of the same length will not lead them to the same place. This does not mean that the second person is worse or less worthy of benefits, it just happened that way. You can over and over again procrastinate these thoughts, but they only lead to despondency.

You cannot be reborn in another family or another country. But you can correct the situation taking into account the available input.

And here we come to the third way.

3. Understand what you are jealous of and find a way to get it

Let's go back to the green grass of our neighbor. Maybe he's just taking good care of her. Then all you have to do is take care of your grass too. It is possible that a neighbor found special seeds for the lawn, and then you should ask him what kind of company it is.

It is a constructive path that can improve your life.

How to make envy productive with 3 questions

If you decide to take a constructive path, first, stop scolding yourself for envy. This is a primary emotion, on which secondary ones are superimposed: shame, contempt, sadness. This is how you react to the fact that envy is not the most favored feeling. But you probably already have plenty of reasons for self-flagellation. Just turn the situation to your advantage. To do this, you need to answer a few questions.

1. What exactly are you jealous of?

This is not always obvious. You may simply feel a strong emotion of envy without realizing its causes. But it's important to get to the bottom of what exactly causes it. In other words, what need you have is not closed.

For example, you are jealous of a colleague who travels frequently. And what prevents you from doing this? There are plenty of options: low income, lack of travel companions, lack of language skills, children who limit your mobility. Or maybe you don't like traveling at all and you envy the number of likes under his photos on Instagram.

This approach will help you understand if you really need what you envy and set a goal for yourself.

2. What does the object of envy do to get what they want?

There is no need to think that you will find a ready-made instruction, because the conditions are different for everyone - we have already talked about this. But you can get some ideas for further action. For example, with a traveling colleague, you have the same income and the same marital status. But he plans the budget and saves, and you don't - that's the whole secret.

3. What can you do to get what you want?

You already have a goal, it's time to set tasks to achieve it. You can use the experience of the object of envy or choose your own path. The Lifehacker has universal instructions on how to achieve any goal.