The green-eyed mon­ster can be a bless­ing in dis­guise

Jeal­ousy a po­ten­tial tool for self-em­pow­er­ment and a more con­fi­dent ap­proach to life, writes John De­mar­tini

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - REFLECTION -

WHETHER you are us­ing Face­book, In­sta­gram, or Snapchat, it only takes a mo­ment to be bom­barded with images of celebri­ties with seem­ingly per­fect lives, or per­fect Euro­pean get­aways, or friends wear­ing de­signer shoes worth more than your car. While it’s re­ally no sur­prise then that feel­ings of envy and jeal­ousy arise, it’s how we use these emo­tions that re­ally counts.

You’re not alone in feel­ing the red hot flashes of anger or nau­se­at­ing un­easi­ness.

These are of­ten signs of envy and jeal­ousy when we see others with things we don’t have and are jeal­ous of what others seem to en­joy more of, whether that’s money, a re­la­tion­ship, or an over­seas hol­i­day. We tend to get caught up in these emo­tions, rather than us­ing them as a tool for greater self-aware­ness.

Rather than just ac­knowl­edg­ing those feel­ings of jeal­ousy, dig a lit­tle deeper and try to un­cover the root cause.

This process of dis­cov­ery is not only the first step to­ward re­solv­ing self-de­pre­ci­a­tion, but can also help to achieve a more em­pow­ered sense of self and a more con­fi­dent ap­proach to life.

It’s also re­ally im­por­tant to dis­tin­guish whether your feel­ings are stem­ming from jeal­ousy or from envy, as this will help you to de­ter­mine the course of ac­tion you should take.

Jeal­ousy is based on the per­cep­tion that we could lose some­thing to a ri­val – the feel­ing that some­body could take some­thing of value away. So, if you are at­tached to, in­fat­u­ated by, ad­dicted to, or de­pen­dent on a par­tic­u­lar trait in some­one that you’re afraid of los­ing, you are vul­ner­a­ble to jeal­ousy.

Envy is some­thing dif­fer­ent en­tirely. It is sim­i­lar to de­sire, where some­body has some­thing that you don’t have but want, like money or suc­cess.

For ex­am­ple, if you were dat­ing some­one whose in­tel­li­gence you en­vied, and an­other woman came in who had a more in­tel­lec­tu­ally stim­u­lat­ing con­ver­sa­tion with your part­ner, you would envy her hav­ing in­tel­li­gence to re­late to your part­ner in a way that you can­not. You’d also pos­si­bly be jeal­ous of her.

While you can envy her abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate with your part­ner, you’d also be jeal­ous of her be­cause of the risk of los­ing your part­ner. And you would covet that dy­namic. Jeal­ousy has a hid­den or re­vealed re­sent­ment at­tached.

You re­sent that per­son for pos­si­bly tak­ing your part­ner away from you and you envy them, be­cause it seems ob­vi­ous they have some­thing that you don’t.

So how do you over­come these feel­ings when they threaten to suck you into a black hole?

1Jeal­ousy is a tool

Con­sider this, if you never felt jeal­ous, you wouldn’t feel the need to grow and ex­pand. So, in­stead of see­ing jeal­ousy as neg­a­tive, ac­cept jeal­ousy as a tool in your emo­tional tool­kit that can help you achieve a greater ver­sion of your­self. By keep­ing you on your toes, these emo­tions can be utilised to cre­ate a greater you. If that means you want to up­skill at work to en­sure you beat your col­leagues for the next round of pro­mo­tions, en­sure that you do what it takes to achieve that goal.

2Master con­scious­ness

When jeal­ousy comes, you’re on a knife-edge. You must de­cide whether you will sim­ply em­brace these feel­ings and use them to help you de­velop, or feel a vi­cious need to let them de­stroy you. In­stead of ob­sess­ing over what others have that you don’t, re­fo­cus that en­ergy into work­ing out how to get there too – or re­alise that there are places where you have got­ten there al­ready in your own unique way.

3 Don’t set­tle

Whether it’s for a job, or a re­la­tion­ship, en­sure that you seek what ful­fils you, and not only what in­fat­u­ates you. If you’re in­fat­u­ated with feel­ings of vul­ner­a­bil­ity and doubt, you’ll pay the price. In­stead, seek re­la­tion­ships and jobs that truly align with your high­est val­ues to feel val­i­dated and ful­filled.

Re­mem­ber, jeal­ousy is partly a by-prod­uct of not em­pow­er­ing your­self. Thus, jeal­ousy should be en­vi­sioned as a gift of self­em­pow­er­ment; not as the curse we may have as­sumed it to be.

For more in­for­ma­tion, visit www.drde­mar­

Be­ing bom­barded on so­cial me­dia with the ‘per­fect lives’ of others can be a source of jeal­ousy, anger or envy.

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