It’s no secret that jealousy can put a strain on romantic, friend and familial relationships. Learning how to overcome insecurity and jealousy is about more than just stopping negative thinking; it’s about rewiring your brain to appreciate your own remarkable qualities or experiences independent of others while still respecting another’s individuality. Let’s break down how to recognize jealousy, and begin the process of removing this big, green monster off your back.
Recognize the Signs of Jealousy
Often, jealousy and insecurity go hand-in-hand, and their existence might not always appear in the way you’d assume. While these emotions can manifest in a variety of ways, some behaviors tend to be universal:
- You feel upset when others receive praise, whether for an outfit they’ve worn, their performance at work or otherwise.
- You over-criticize another person’s work or experience, not intending to help but rather to point out flaws.
- You undermine others by discrediting them.
- You romanticize the lives of those around you and assume everyone has better experiences than you.
- You feel the need to copy or replicate in exactness the behaviors, fashion or mannerisms of another individual (while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, individuality is still key).
Each of these could be a potential signal that you’re jealous—and that’s totally okay. It’s very natural to experience frustration when we’re not feeling our best or feel like we’re unworthy. Sometimes you can project those frustrations on others (especially if we perceive that they’re doing better than we are). Before seeking professional help, try out these five tips—and if your jealousy is still interfering with your ability to love yourself, don’t be afraid to connect with a therapist.
Tip #1: Pivot Your Thinking
When a negative thought pops into your head, whether about yourself or someone else, acknowledge how you feel in that moment. Are you overwhelmed? Sad? Frustrated? Could any of these experiences be driving your thinking?
Begin to put your thoughts on trial. Determine if your thinking comes from a legitimate experience or idea, or rather, a separate set of internal frustrations. Then, focus on replacing those thoughts with a sentence grounded in reality.
For example, instead of, “there’s no way that [Name] deserved her new promotion,” consider thinking to yourself, “I’m not feeling appreciated at work, and seeing [Name]’s success made me sad.” If you’re comfortable, begin searching for the resolution to your revised thoughts and move forward.
Tip #2: Stop the Comparisons
Whether you’re trying to measure up to Instagram models, a roommate, family member, friend or colleague, comparisons can rob you of self-confidence. While it’s totally healthy to have role models or look to others for inspiration, their own experience, appearance or achievements should never be your gauge for success.
When it comes to figuring out how to overcome insecurity and jealousy, stoping the comparison game is vital. Think to yourself, am I setting goals to become someone else or become my best self? It’s possible to emulate without envy or loss of identity.
Tip #3: Identify Your Triggers
Are there certain instances that tend to heighten your anxiety or jealousy? Is it when you’re around a specific person or in a specific place? If possible, it’s important to identify these triggers and remove them from your daily routines. For example, if you continuously feel jealous of others’ lives on Instagram, consider a social media break (not for too long, because your friends will definitely miss seeing your face).
Tip #4: Learn to Love You
While it may seem easier said than done, the easiest cure for jealousy is self-love. Whether you find this by participating in hobbies you enjoy or excelling at work, you will be less likely to envy another when you appreciate who you are.
The process of understanding how to overcome insecurity and jealousy and putting it into action isn’t easy, but it will always be worth it. Just remember, you’re remarkable, unique and deserving of love (especially from yourself).