Envy doesn’t look good on anyone. Many of us know that being envious of others' success just leads to misery. Yet not being jealous is easier said than done. Sometimes these emotions are hard to turn off, and overcoming envy can seem impossible. It’s not easy to learn how to stop being envious of others. But thankfully, there are easy things you can do to learn how to overcome envy.
So, in this article, we are going to discuss how being envious impacts your life, the characteristics of an envious person, and key tips on how to get rid of envy!
How being envious of others can impact your life
Being envious might not make you turn green, but it can have an impact on your life, including your finances, your mental health, and your emotions. Here are a few ways envy affects your life:
Focusing on others means you're not focusing on yourself. That can mean forgetting to focus on your finances, like setting money aside each month into your investment account.
Being envious can also cause you to spend money on things you can’t afford or don’t need as you try to live a life of keeping up with the Joneses.
Interestingly enough, research has shown that we tend to be more envious of things that haven’t even happened yet. Living in the future and imagining how things could turn out can take an emotional toll.
It can also hurt your relationship with others, as being envious tends to cause us to make things more difficult for others.
Mental health impact
Living with envy can also have an impact on your mental health. Multiple studies have shown that being envious can lead to depression and ill-will towards yourself and others. In other words, the more envious you are, the more your happiness decreases.
Characteristics of an envious person
The first step to learning how to stop being envious of others is to understand when and how you become jealous of others. Recognizing and acknowledging that you are an envious person can help you put in the work to become less concerned about others and live in the moment.
Here are some key characteristics of an envious person:
They get annoyed when others are complimented
Do you get irritated when your close friends are complimented or showered with attention? Maybe you snap at them and otherwise act out of character. Being annoyed when others are getting more attention is one of the first signs that you are an envious person.
They aren’t happy when friends or family are successful
How do you feel when your best friend or partner gets a promotion at work? Do you feel genuinely happy for them, or do you wonder why you haven’t gotten a promotion yet? If you immediately feel unhappy that others are accomplished, that’s a sign of envy.
An envious person feels the need to diminish others
Alternatively, when someone tells you about their success, do you immediately dismiss it as luck or downplay it?
Do you think that if someone is successful, it’s because they’ve had it easy and haven’t had to struggle? All of these are characteristics of someone envious of others.
They are happy when others face setbacks or struggle
Are you secretly happy when your friends are in and out of bad relationships, struggle with a toxic boss at work, or maybe just wear an unflattering outfit? One of the most apparent characteristics of an envious person is getting pleasure in the unhappiness of others.
So do you have a few of these traits? If so, don't worry! Overcoming envy is possible by following our key tips.
How to stop being envious of others: 6 Key tips
Overcoming envy doesn't have to be a daunting task. If you want to learn how to stop being envious of others, here are a few things you can do to try to overcome your envy.
1. Be grateful for what you have
Practicing gratitude is how to get rid of envy with ease. Chances are you have a lot to be grateful for. Others may be jealous of what you’ve accomplished. Think about all the blessings in your life, such as your home, loved ones, and your talents.
There are so many things that you have accomplished in your life. Instead of focusing on what others have, develop an attitude of mindfulness. Set aside a few minutes a day to write three things you're thankful for.
It might seem hard at first but finding three things to be grateful for every day can help you have a positive outlook on life. You can also practice meditation and breathing exercises. And spend some time in the morning to just be aware of your surroundings and the abundance you already possess.
2. Take a social media break
Social media can be devastating for your mental health and can even lead to depression. Plus, it can be an addiction that can fuel your envy of others and make overcoming envy much more difficult. If you want to get rid of your envy, one of the best things you can do is to take a break from social media.
Delete apps on your phone and instead spend the time doing something you love, like reading, a favorite hobby, or going for a walk. The trick is to find something else to replace the time you spend on your phone.
Or maybe you set your phone aside completely. You can also download apps on your computer to block specific websites during set hours, like Facebook and Twitter.
3. Don't compare yourself with others
It can be hard to not compare yourself to others, but if you want to stop being envious of others, you need to stop. Instead of comparing yourself with those around you, or influencers on social media, think about how much you’ve accomplished.
Focusing on yourself instead of others is one way to learn how to overcome envy. Look back at the last five or ten years of your life. Try to focus on how much you’ve grown in that time.
Write down a list of your top ten accomplishments. Maybe you were the first in your family to graduate from college.
Or maybe you moved across the country to start a new job. Then make a list of the things you like about yourself. Maybe you like your smile or how well you listen to others. Put these lists somewhere so you can remind yourself regularly of your strengths.
4. Focus on the things you love
Another great way how to overcome envy is to focus on the things you love to do. Do you love to paint or crochet? Or maybe you love following sports. Whatever it is, whenever you start to have envious thoughts of others, do something else that makes you happy.
That can mean signing up for a class or setting time aside for your hobby. If you're busy with something else, you won't have the time or energy to worry about what others are doing.
5. Celebrate others’ success
When a friend tells you they finally found their dream home or won an award, try to feel genuinely happy for them. If envious thoughts start to creep up, acknowledge them but don’t let them take control. Instead, focus on your friend and stop viewing life as a competition.
When someone gives you good news, tell them how great it is. Take them out for a special celebratory drink or dinner. Listen to them as they tell you about their new goal or accomplishment, and curb the urge to downplay what they tell you.
It might take some effort at first, but it's a key step in learning how to stop being envious of others.
6. Enjoy new experiences to help you stop being envious of others
One cause of envy is boredom. If that’s the case, spice things up! Sign up for a painting class, go to a local meetup for photography amateurs, or watch an online cooking class.
If you're on a budget, find tutorials on YouTube. You can also do something out of the blue, and go for a weekend trip somewhere. Or maybe even just camp in your own backyard!
Doing something fun and spontaneous will keep your brain occupied, so you won’t even have the time to think about being envious.
Learn how to stop being envious of others and enjoy your life
It’s normal to feel envious of others, but it can hurt your life if you find yourself constantly jealous of those around you. If you find yourself always annoyed when others are complimented, or put your friends down, then you should consider learning how to stop being envious of others.
These are the simple steps you can take to learn how to get rid of envy. Get off social media, think about your accomplishments, and do things you love to do. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself no longer envious and instead will be happy for others' success.