Envy- ‘a feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else’s possessions, qualities, or luck’
With the rise of materialism, it is no wonder there has been an increase in envious people. Life is literally becoming about what we want and not we need. Envious people can be damaging to your self-esteem and being the envious person can be detrimental to your sense of self. Society measures success using how much ‘stuff’ we have and how much money we make. If you do not have the latest trends in your wardrobe and the latest technology on your desktop, then there are a haughty few out there who would just not deal with you. Social media puts us all in a bubble. We forget that we only see flashes of other people’s lives and that many of the pictures posted are heavily photo shopped. Not only does social media destroy our appreciation of natural beauty, it also makes us yearn for a higher standard of living. In the midst of dreaming of an alternative life and being jealous of others, we actually forget to live and spend our time trying to keep up.
Envious people, if consumed by their envy, are always concerned about what a person will do or get next. They are scared that they will not have the same opportunities as others, or that these opportunities may open new doors for the other person, leading to new successes. If you find someone trying to deter you from something that is clearly positive, it is likely they are envious of you. Whatever you say they will find fault with it, or they may just dismiss what you are telling them and start talking about something else. It could even be someone you barely know talking negatively about you to another person. This is a clear sign of envy, as they do not know you to make any judgements…not that we should be judging each other anyway! These are the people that drag us down in life and make us second guess our instincts. They do not have the confidence to find their own life path, so they deter others from theirs.
We also have to think of the generations after us. When I was young we played on the street! It did not matter what we wore, what we had and it did not matter if we did not have any money. As we speak, there are children swinging off legs begging for a tablet, an iPhone or a PS4 because ‘their friend has one’. Surely you want an original minded offspring? But how can you refuse when all their friends have such things and you do not want them to be left out? Nonetheless, if we always give in to what children ‘think’ they ‘need’ because their friends have it, then we are raising a generation absent of self-worth. They will always aim to have what the next person has and thus their life is governed by envy. All we can do is help them find the magic in this world that is not governed by materialism, so they can develop their individuality.
There is no shame in having envious feelings. It is how you deal with them that defines you. If you do feel envious, then you need to take a step back and be honest with yourself. What is it that you really want? Once you can pin point this you can turn your yearning and envy into an action plan. Write down the steps of how to get to your desired destination and follow them. This will naturally instil confidence in you because you are taking control. Remember, even baby steps are progress. Once you achieve your goals, you will feel even better, as you made positive things happen for yourself. Additionally, you will be happy, so you will stop being concerned with what others are doing and what they have! There is always a way to get what you want… you just have to go after it 🙂