JEALOUSY: The green-eyed monster which destroys your Happiness

The purpose of this article is to enlighten readers on the downside of jealousy/envy and how you can overcome this harmful emotion to lead a better,( happier) life.

Jealousy is defined in the English dictionary as:

“A feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages”.

It is a feeling that most of us have experienced at least once in our lives. Jealousy in its subtle form, may not be noticeable outwardly, except when it reaches beyond a level which one cannot conceal without giving into its outward manifestations. This is the point at which all hell breaks loose.

The root cause of jealousy is the  belief/feeling that another person has MORE in life than you have.

Causes of Jealousy

When you feel:

  1. that someone whom you love, loves another person more than he/she loves you.
  2. another person in your organization gets more increments, promotions and praise than you, despite you doing all the hard work, simply because of connections in high places or his/her physical appearance.
  3. Another person who exerts less effort and is lazy by nature is seemingly better-off in life than you are.
  4. Someone  whom you see regularly, looks better in appearance than you are.
  5. Another person has more self-confidence than you.
  6. You do not know what you need/want but you want to have things which others have , just for the sake of having them, to keep up appearances.
  7. Another person has inherited all the riches in life despite he/she being a scoundrel.

 

The list is not exhaustive.

Impact/s of jealousy

The impact of jealousy will initially be on the person who harbors the feelings of jealousy. The outcome of jealousy is two-fold:

  1. Internal feelings of discomfort and ill-will which will simmer and smolder in the conscious mind of the person who is jealous. In its subtle forms, he/she will feel that him/herself is inferior to the others. This will result in self-resentment.

2. Outward manifestation. The jealous person will:

  1. waste his/her precious time harboring feelings of resentment against the victim, thus allowing negative emotions to act in a way in which hurts the victim.
  2. Cast negative remarks about everything that the victim/subject of jealousy does. Eg: criticize and condemn the victim even when the latter does something good.
  3. Spread false rumors to disrepute the victim.

 

  1. Try to block/sabotage the progress in life of the victim.
  2. Belittle the victim in the presence of others, sometimes face to face.
  3. Try to camouflage his/her own public image to outsmart the victim and thus end up being the laughing stock of society.
  4. Unknowingly, let the others around notice his/her acts of envy, thus becoming a joke in public.
  5. Be considered as a  despicable, uncouth character and a person to avoid by his/her associates fearing that they will be the next victim.
  6. In its severe forms, try to steal the possessions of the victim to get even with the latter.
  7. Extreme form, will conspire to eliminate the subject/victim when everything else fails.

Jealousy –elaborated

If you go down the annals of history, you will hear many a story about jealous husbands and wives who have ended up in separation or divorce ,simply because they cannot bear to see the progress in life of the other person/spouse or even conspire to kill someone to satisfy their jealousy. Eventually, the perpetrators have languished in jail for the rest of their lives in utter regret.

Story on mild form of jealousy

Once there was a lady who had a very pretty daughter. Soon after the girl found employment, she started wearing fashionable, tastefully designed dresses. Since they were aligned with the culture of the land and not outlandish, the parents,  specially the mother was not able to prevent or discourage her from wearing such clothes. However, the mother could not control her jealousy and hence used to cast negative remarks, such as “ Do you think the men will look at you?” etc. The relationship between the mother and the daughter soured. Eventually, she found a man, married and left home, never to return again .After the father’s demise, the mother had to live the rest of her life all by herself.

A Story on intense form of jealousy

There was a bright boy, who scored straight A’s in many of the subjects which he sat for the examinations in. Throughout his school career he not only maintained academic excellence but also was a stellar performer in sports such as cricket and tennis for which he won college colors. One day a group of boys who were envious about his achievements ,cast negative remarks at him, based on his ethnicity and mixed-parentage, when he was on his way home. Unable to bear the insults any longer   he retaliated and the situation became intense. Four boys got together and beat him up. He ended up in hospital and missed his forthcoming examinations. Yet the next year, he sat the examinations and succeeded. The boys who beat him up were suspended from school and ended up behind bars until their school principal intervened and bailed them out. They were warned  severely, never to resort to such uncanny behavior.

A Story of extreme jealousy that will shock you

We believe that all parents want best for their children. However, the story that I am about to tell you will surprise you. Once a friend of mine had a daughter who was very intelligent and bright. She was an only child and wanted to become a doctor and then qualify as a neuro-surgeon. The parents as usual encouraged her to study during her younger days but as she was planning to sit  the entrance examination to gain admission to the medical faculty, her own biological father started to disturb her when studying, by coming home drunk and creating friction in the home front. He even hid her books and study material and vowed that he will not allow her to become a doctor. When a psychologist delved in to his past, it was revealed that he, the father too had wanted to become a doctor and sat for the entrance examination three times and failed. In his sub conscious mind, he did not want to see his own daughter succeeding in life by achieving what he desired but could not achieve himself. In the end, the mother took a firm stand by moving out of the house with the daughter and kept her in hiding until the examinations were done. However, the daughter did not enter the medical faculty but ended up as an Accountant later on in life and did extremely well financially. The mother and father ended up in divorce after twenty two years of marriage. Later on we came to know that the father was bed-ridden and suffered for a long time, before he passed away. This may be why that all religions in unison believe that what goes around comes around.

How can you overcome jealousy/envy

Realize, understand and accept that life is not always fair and equitable. Sometimes you may have to give more than you take.

1.Believe your eyes but believe your gut more, that there is something more to life than what meets the eye.

When you see someone enjoying things that you wish you had you may feel that he/she is better off than you are. In actual fact, he/she might have what you desire but he/she may not have half the things that you possess. When you look at people from a distance ( telescopic view), you see only a fraction of their lives. But if you take a closer look ( microscopic view) you will see the reality in minute detail. Eg: You may think that your company CEO who earns about five times your salary and drives a BMW  or a Porsche has a superb life, when you see from the outside. Yet if you really know the stress, the pressure and the pain he undergoes, the sleepless nights to ensure that the company runs according to plan, you will never want to trade your place with his/her.

Once again I ask you a question which I did in one of my previous articles. Do you always believe what you see on the outside? .Go to a train track/railway line and look at the far distance. You will see the two lines of the track joining together in the far distance. But in actual fact the two lines never meet each other. It is an optical illusion ,and so are many other things in life.

When I was working for a multinational company ,the global CEO was a young man of 38 years. He used to travel the world ,drive an expensive car and live in a mansion by the sea. One day an e mail circulated in the organization , on its global platform that the CEO’s only child, a ten year old boy ,had died the night before of cancer. Realization a dawned many of us who were pining for the riches which CEO possessed until this one incident changed our perspectives on life instantly and with violent force. We learnt that day to count our blessings and triumphs and not our trials.

2.Do not compare your status in life with that of others. Compare if you must, yourself today with yesterday on your eternal quest   and onward journey to become the best version of yourself.

Do not compare yourself with anyone. Why so, because have you found another human being who has your thumb print or the lines on your palm in the same/identical structure?  For that matter, the five fingers in your hand are not the same in size and appearance. Therefore, how can you be on par with another human being? Although there is a common thread that runs through all humanity, as individuals, we are different and that may be why you are unique. If you really want to compare your progress in life, do compare yourself as to where you are today as opposed to where you were yesterday. If you have learnt something new or have done a good deed today, it means that you have progressed in your life from where you were yesterday.

Do not compare yourself with anyone. Why so, because have you found another human being who has your thumb print or the lines on your palm in the same/identical structure?  For that matter, the five fingers in your hand are not the same in size and appearance. Therefore, how can you be on par with another human being? Although there is a common thread that runs through all humanity, as individuals, we are different and that may be why you are unique. If you really want to compare your progress in life, do compare yourself as to where you are today as opposed to where you were yesterday. If you have learnt something new or have done a good deed today, it means that you have progressed in your life from where you were yesterday.

3.Somethings in life cannot be changed “ Oh lord grant me the power to change what can be changed, accept what cannot be changed and the wisdom to know the difference between the two”- prayer of acceptance.

If you are a Buddhist,by now you know that a part of your life ( not everything) is guided by your karmic path. If you are a Christian or a Muslim, you know that some of the things and (not all things) happen according to god’s plan .Besides, you also know through experience that each one has talents which are unique to himself/herself. One may be an excellent vocalist and another a surgeon par excellence. They may desire to swap/trade places but the cost of trying to do so, may outweigh the benefits which will accrue. Birds don’t swim ,fish do not fly and pigs do not sing. Like Sir Albert Einstein said, “If you judge a fish by its ability to fly, it will live the rest of its life thinking that it is stupid”. The take away from this scenario is that, you need to find what you are good at/ your calling or in other words, your USP ( Unique selling proposition) coupled with your heartfelt desires and develop that aspect to be your lifeline or at least a sideline. That is the path to success. When you succeed, you will inevitably be happy in your own way,  revel in your achievements and therefore, will not have the time or the inclination to compare and contrast your life with others.

4.Think of the negative impact jealousy can have on your social image.

When your jealousy starts manifesting outwardly, people will withhold information from you. I know of an instance where a friend of mine was not invited for a wedding when all the others were, as he had made a nasty remark against the bride, when he came to know that she has found a rich groom of a high social status. The bride’s parents did not invite him as they felt that his “evil eye” and “evil mouth” will be a bad omen for the newly weds.

5.We have limited time to live. Within that time, do not try to live another person’s life but live yours to the fullest” –Steve Jobs quote.

Today, you are reading my article because you have been blessed with the good fortune to obtain a good education. There are so many people on planet earth who are illiterate and therefore do not have the luxury of reading an article like this.

No matter how rich or educated you are, there will always be someone who has achieved more than you in both these aspects of life. You cannot be the best in everything .Instead of trying to attain the impossible ,count your blessings, but keep your shoulder to the wheel and work for betterment in your own way. Establish your goals in life with reference to what you desire to have,  and strive for excellence . Someday you will realize that you have overtaken all those people who were jealous of you and whom you were jealous of.

“ Jealousy , leads you on the path to resentment, self-destruction and undue strain,

   It will induce people to avoid you  ,causing suffering, rejection  and intense pain.

   Your treasured relationships will sour, isolating you from your   friends just all in vain,

   You will waste your time on earth, gain nothing ,whilst others  put you to shame”.

Three links for you to gain more insights into Jealousy.

Finally, I leave you with this beautiful perennial favorite of mine JEALOUS HEART by Connie Francis.

- Written by Sharanga-

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