How do you feel when something happens to someone around you that you would like to happen to you? Are you glad, are you able to authentically rejoice in it, or are you sorry that you are trying not to show it, or does it depend on the person and his “gain”, or are both feelings possible? Can you say for yourself that you have never envied anyone? And do you often envy others?
We talk about the emotion of envy when another person achieves or possesses something that we would like or think we want. It is an unpleasant emotion that involves a relationship with another person, a group of people, and what they possess. We can envy others for some material good, trait, success, achievement, social ties, love relationship – almost anything that others have. People usually do not like to admit to themselves or others that they envy someone, but we should know that not every envy is the same or bad.
Let’s go in order…
Delimitation of terms
We must first distinguish between envy, dependence, and jealousy. A person is envious when he envies someone, and addicted when he “depends” on something – a substance or another person. The former is emotional, and the latter is a physiological and/or mental state associated with other emotions, but not envy. Also, jealousy and envy are used as synonyms in the Serbian language and everyday life, and it is actually about different emotions. We talk about jealousy when a third person appears in a relationship of love for another person, which we perceive as threatening the relationship of love. Envy does not involve a relationship of love, but the possession of another person – something she has, and we want (but we don’t even necessarily want to). In everyday speech, we talk about envy when we say that someone is “guilty” that someone is successful, has something similar.
We usually envy people with whom we equate in some way, who are from the same social or professional environment and/or who we perceive as competition in some way. It can also be our friends, colleagues, neighbors, relatives, heirs. We, in principle, do not agree with that and believe that the essence is whether it is healthy (constructive) envy or unhealthy (destructive) envy. The difference between these types of envy is in the beliefs we have about ourselves, the world, and others, as well as in the results we achieve guided by these beliefs and their consequent emotions.
People may or may not be aware of their envy.
It depends on how much that feeling was forbidden to them in early childhood by their parents and how much the immediate environment considers that emotion (in) adequate.
Envy is another person who can be recognized by the tendency to devalue another’s success and/or the person who achieves it, to disqualify and belittle him (the success or the person himself). This defense mechanism is known in psychology as “sour grapes”. It was named after a fable about a fox who wanted to eat grapes that were too high, so after unsuccessful attempts to reach him, she decided to comfort herself by believing that she didn’t even need those grapes because they must be sour and make her teeth grind. . In a similar way, an envious person diminishes the importance of someone else’s success by disqualifying him, and most of all in that way he diminishes the experience of his own failure and inferiority. Those persons who perceive someone else’s success as their own failure are inclined to this defense mechanism, even though it is not connected to each other.
It is about the fact that people who suffer from this kind of envy actually have a very unstable image of themselves, that is, unstable self-confidence and self-acceptance. They measure their personal value by comparing themselves with other people, and if they do not achieve certain standards, they perceive themselves as inferior (more or less consciously). Every success of others, therefore, poses a threat to one’s own self-confidence.
This kind of envy is unhealthy, that is, destructive because it does not motivate a person to take useful action in the domain of his own life, but to devalue another person and take away the meaning of his success. A person does nothing to achieve something that is a success for him but is preoccupied with disqualifying the person he envies. In more extreme cases, a person who experiences unhealthy envy also takes concrete actions to harm another person. We talk about unhealthy envy even when we don’t need to belittle another person and their success, but because of someone else’s success we devalue and feel sorry for ourselves (usually, as a person who is not lucky enough), and we do nothing to change our situation (except relying on happiness).
When a person realizes that he has this problem (which is not always the case), the therapeutic goal in working with him is to change this unhealthy (destructive) envy into healthy (constructive) envy.
We talk about healthy or constructive envy when someone else’s success, happy event, achievement, motivates us to do something ourselves in order to achieve something in life that we want and that will bring us pleasure. In this case, the quality of envy is such that we do not perceive someone else’s success as a threat, but as an incentive for progress.
A person who experiences healthy envy may at the same time be sad that someone else’s success reminds him of something that he does not have, and he would like to achieve, but also to accept and/or respect someone else’s success. Healthy envy, therefore, does not disqualify another person or his achievement, nor his own personality. The psychological cause of this is a healthy state of self-acceptance in which a person does not question his human value and separates it from the evaluation of his own individual actions and characteristics. The consequence of this type of envy is usually planning and taking concrete action in the direction of desired life changes.
In addition to all the above, there is a group of people who do not possess this type of emotion – to envy others!
These are people who have reached a high level of development of their consciousness.
It means that someone is envious of you
Jealous, envious and evil people are present all around us. There were some in the distant past, and they will not disappear in the future. It is not always easy to recognize them. They can hide behind 1000 different masks, pretend to be love, friendship, often extremely sweet-spoken, charming, and at first sight kind.
If we notice that another person wants something that we have, for example, the same car, it does not always mean that it is jealousy. Jealousy and desire are two different things and we need to know how to distinguish them. Desires are an integral part of our lives and without them, nothing would make sense. Everyone has the right to them, although the wishes of others may be the same or similar to ours, which have already come true.
Jealousy begins when we notice that another person hates us or does things that hurt us, for no apparent reason.
These are signals by which you can recognize that someone is envious of you and what you are doing. Instead of feeling bad and desperate, once you realize that the cause of your dissatisfaction lies in your belief in those who don’t think well of you at all, you can be proud of yourself.
In front of you are indicators that someone is not thinking well of you at all:
No matter how much we run away, we cannot escape from such people. With their false and often immoral stories, they will try to diminish our value or destroy happiness.
He will hate for no reason.
We met someone, we didn’t do anything bad to him, our life has almost nothing to do with his, and he hates us. There is no reason to think and analyze why, we simply have something he does not have.
They exclude us from the group.
These are people we are close to. Colleagues, relatives, or someone we consider friends will try to exclude us from any group activity. If it is a matter of going on a group vacation or a celebration, we will be the only one who is not invited, for no reason and with some meaningless excuse. For example, they will justify themselves by saying that they just lost or accidentally deleted our phone number!
They make fun of us.
Jealous people will find our slightest flaw, exaggerate it and present it to society as such. A joke on one’s own and someone else’s account is always welcome, but this is not a joke, although they will present everything to you as a joke. Indirectly, insulting and humiliating is a sure sign of envy.
Our success is NOTHING for them!
Whether we have successfully made a chocolate cake or received a promotion at a job we have been dreaming of for years, envious people will do their best to spoil our mood as much as possible and minimize our success.
For them, someone else is always better.
If you just deserved the captain’s place in the team you play for, they will say that it is because another player was injured. If you won the Miss Universe pageant, according to jealous people, the first runner-up is prettier.
He was overjoyed to see us.
It is quite normal for a smile to appear on our face every time we see someone we love. However, excessive enthusiasm, so much so that it becomes uncomfortable for us, is a sign of jealousy.
They have no reaction when they see us.
If you notice that someone you have known for a long time barely said “Hello”, and you have never quarreled, insulted or anything like that, the reason maybe jealousy.
They tell us how we should become different.
True friends will support us if we want to change something ourselves or they will love us as we are. Jealous people will tell us that even though we are satisfied with ourselves and do not want to change, we still have to change something. The way you dress, make-up, hairstyle, work, partner… will simply suggest changes that we do not want. He will pack it all into well-meaning advice, but there is nothing well-intentioned here. Most often, such persons are already well-coordinated manipulators, to whom we are not the first victims.
Envious people emphasize our mistakes from the past.
For example, we can be a long-time cocktail master, one of the best in our business, and they can remember how we broke two glasses at the beginning of our career. Of course, he will tell everyone about those broken glasses.
It will emphasize something we don’t have.
No one is perfect, we all have wishes that have not yet come true. If we have a successful career, they will “feel sorry” for us, because we have not yet achieved it as a parent. If we have a family and have a successful marriage, “they will be sorry” that we do not have a career. However, if we have both, our merits will be attributed to others, such as grandparents who look after our children or people who run our business.
They will start moving away from us.
This is the only good and positive thing when dealing with envious people. They will not be able to bear our presence in their lives for long and they will move away. Open the door for them and wish them a happy journey.
Jealous people deliberately give bad advice.
Because they don’t want you to add more to your achievement hall, they deliberately sabotage your attempts, give you bad advice, or simply discourage you from even trying. Remember, what they want in life is to fail.
They are very competitive with you.
The nature of envy is to surpass you in every way to steal the glory they think you don’t deserve. As a result, they are very competitive, especially if a jealous person finds himself in the workplace. They will go the long way to surpass your efforts even if it is unnecessary to just show that they are better.
They celebrate your failures!
Of course, they will not fall into a victory dance when your boss reprimands you for a mistake, but you are counting on it, deep down celebrating your failures.
First, after the failure, they will be in an unusually good mood, and then they will have the courage to be in a friendly mood and strive for false consolation just to enjoy their “victory” over you.
They will humiliate you in front of others.
Envious people take every opportunity to diminish your achievements or criticize you. One of the ways in which both are combined is to humiliate you in front of others.
What do they get out of it? First, they strengthen their position as superiors, and second, they reduce your credibility by doing so in front of others. It is a win-win situation for them.
One of the interesting things is, for example, that a person who is prone to envy can be recognized by the fact that he usually interprets other people’s behavior as envy, is chronic thinks that other people envy him (for different things and in different circumstances). These people often deliberately want to provoke envy in others, because in that way they feel “more valuable”. This person, among other things, uses a defense mechanism called projection, which is characterized by the fact that he sees in the causes of other people’s behavior his negative qualities that he does not admit to himself.
These are signs that betray a person who envies others!
If you know of another that is not listed in this text, please share it with us!
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