Envy and jealousy are complicated words not only as an emotion but also as its usage in English language. I guess in any language. These words are treated as synonymous but they are not. I am an Indian, I know the difference between envy and jealousy. The Mahabharata, is an ancient Indian epic which highlights the wrong we do to others due to envy and jealousy.
Envy is two dimensional. Envy occurs when we want to possess something but it is possessed by other. It is a reaction of lacking something.
Jealousy, on the other hand, is three dimensional. It is a reaction to the feeling of losing someone.
For example, a women who wants to buy the same big diamond ring as her friend is envious and not jealous. A young man whose girlfriend is giving more attention to his friend, on the other hand, is jealous.
You must be wondering why am I talking about these feelings that erupts off and on. Psychologists see these feelings in the prism of negative emotions. But are they really negative?
Both of these emotions arises when we lack something or when we feel inferior to others. These are the few ways to make your “negative” feelings work for you:
1- Focus on both the sides of the coin
Yes! Believe me when we envy we look the brighter side of other’s possession and forget that we should focus on the other side of the coin. Next time when you are envious of your neighbour’s new sports car think about the amount of hard work he had invested to earn and buy that car. Or think about the loan he took to buy the car or the cash he invested in the luxury.
Envy can be positive only when it is used to analyze a situation but if it is used to make yourself inferior then it is nothing more than a waste. It should motivate you to work harder to possess “thing” that makes you envious or it should make you understand the circumstances revolving around that “thing”.
As Dalai Lama said sometimes not getting what you want is a wonderful stroke of luck.
2- Accept yourself the way you are.
It is important to accept yourself the way you are. If you get jealous or envy of something then accept it and work towards achieving it. It helps us learn what areas we can grow, which people we admire and the area where we can have compassion for ourself for not being perfect.
Unfortunately, envy and jealousy can poison your health and your relationships, paralyze productivity, and kill creativity.One of the big problems with jealousy and envy is how it increases stress levels.
It is easier to get trapped in negative feelings and emotions but a healthy mind is not the one that doesn’t have negativity. Healthy mind is the one that can deal with negative emotions strategically to convert into a fuel for personal growth. Negativity is like a alcohol if you drink a little it’s like a booster but if you drink heavily it makes you lose control of yourself.
Worst thing in life is not failure. It is failure to control your mind.