Envy: How to Turn a Deadly Sin into a Springboard for Personal Growth

What is envy

In the explanatory dictionary envy is interpretedBolshoi explanatory dictionary of the Russian language. Editor-in-Chief S. A. Kuznetsov. A. Kuznetsov as a sense of annoyance caused by the well-being, success of another. It is considered a negative emotion - so historically. In one ancient book Cain killed his brother, Abel, because the smoke from his sacrificial fire rose to the sky, and from the fire of Cain - lay on the ground. That has been the custom ever since: it is wrong and shameful to be jealous. To provoke envy is also a shame, otherwise you can get a punch in the nose from fate. Hence the proverbs like "Happiness loves silence.

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

How you can respond to feelings of envy

Envy is a great indicator of needs that you, for whatever reason, cannot fulfill. It's frustrating to realize that you don't have something you want (or don't want) and can't have it. But this painful experience can be used in different ways. If your neighbor's grass is greener, you can go three ways.


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

This is the logical and easiest response. Only, alas, it will not make your life better and you happier, even if your neighbor's lawn will turn yellow. Moreover, this attitude to the successes of others does not allow you to develop. For example, it is what causes the negative attitudes that prevent people from becoming richer. Surely you have heard them a million times: "Money spoils people," "You cannot get rich by honest work.


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 went to the best school, then to a steep university, knows several languages, and has traveled a lot. The other grew up in a middle-income family, went to an ordinary school. They start from completely different places, and even the same journey will not take them to the same place. That doesn't mean that the second person is worse or less deserving of benefits, it's just the way things are. You can muse over and over about these thoughts, but they only lead to despondency.


3. Understand what you envy and find a way to get it

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


This is a constructive way that can improve your life.

How to make envy productive with 3 questions

If you decide to take the constructive route, first stop berating yourself for envy. It is a primary emotion, on which secondary emotions are superimposed: shame, contempt, sadness. This is how you react to the fact that envy is not the most approved emotion. But you probably have plenty of reasons to beat yourself up without it. 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 isn't always obvious. You may just feel a strong emotion of envy without realizing its reasons. But it is important to get to the bottom of what exactly is causing it. In other words, what need you have that isn't closed.


For example, you envy a colleague who travels a lot. And what prevents you from doing it? Options abound: low income, lack of traveling companions, not knowing the language, children who limit your mobility. Or maybe you do not like traveling at all, and you envy the number of likes under his photos on Instagram.


This approach will help you understand whether you really need what you envy and set a goal.


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

You should not think that you will get a ready-made instruction, because everyone's conditions are different - 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 do not - that's the secret.


3 What can you do to get what you want?

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


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