How to Deal With Jealous People
Envy is a feeling that we all live with at some point in our lives. It is a desire to possess what the other belongs to, therefore, it is characterized by displeasure in the face of the happiness of others.
Movies, novels, and books have been portraying envy for years through their characters. Some very famous ones are Iago, from Shakespeare’s “Othello the Moor of Venice”, and the witch from Snow White.
What many people confuse are the differences between jealousy and envy. As much as they are linked and one can trigger the other, it is necessary to understand how they differ. Jealousy is motivated by something you own and are afraid of losing, while envy is the feeling of lack, in which you compare yourself to the other and want to possess what he has.
Just think about love. Jealousy exists when you have a boyfriend and you are afraid of losing him/her when you see him/her talking to someone else at a party. Envy, on the other hand, exists when you don’t have a boyfriend and you have the desire to possess your classmate’s boyfriend, for example
Why are we Jealous?
Since childhood we are conditioned to the idea that envy is ugly, however, this does not prevent that feeling from being born within us at times. Why does it happen? Why do we desire what belongs to the other?
Maslow was an American psychologist who developed the theory called the Pyramid of Needs, in which there are five levels. Those at the base of the pyramid are the basics (physiological and safety needs), then there are the social needs of self-esteem and self-actualization. The purpose of the pyramid is to determine the set of conditions necessary for a person to achieve personal or professional satisfaction.
The base of the pyramid deals with the necessities for living, such as food, water, sleep, safety, shelter, security. Maslow believed that without these basic needs satisfied, the individual would not even care about the next levels.
The next level, the social one, involves love relationships, family, friendships, belonging to groups. Then comes esteem, which according to Maslow says that human beings need to feel valued in their relationships, needing the people around them to recognize their value. Therefore, recognition, status, and self-esteem are born here.
Finally, the needs for personal accomplishments are the most complex, and it is necessary to work hard to achieve them both personally and professionally. They are related to your values, independence, creativity, spontaneity, having control over your emotions, and knowing yourself.
When we talk about envy and associate it with Maslow’s pyramid, we quickly think about how everyone at these levels, from the most basic to those that involve many years of work, can influence the level of envy we feel.
The other has a beautiful huge house and I live in an uncomfortable cubicle. My physiological need to conquer something that gives me more comfort can make me feel jealous of others. As for self-esteem, for example, I can envy someone very successful and accepted in social circles that I would like to be a part of.
The topic is complex, but the pyramid is worth understanding because it makes us more clear about how our needs can arouse the feeling of envy.
How to Deal With Envy?
As much as no one likes to admit it, the first step in dealing with envy is accepting it. Of course, there are different levels of envy and some people even commit crimes because of this feeling that takes care of themselves, but the envy that doesn’t hurt, the one we feel fleetingly, can be worked on so that it doesn’t become something bigger.
After the acceptance period, it’s time to understand why you feel jealous of a certain person about something. It is not simple and requires a robust process of self-knowledge.
Finally, try to accept yourself, understanding that you have difficulties, limitations and are not perfect. Focus more on yourself and less on comparing yourself to others. Because if you want to develop and evolve, the chances of getting where you want are much greater when you are focused.
Tip: in many cases, it is advisable to look for a psychologist to help with this whole process, especially when you feel that envy is taking huge proportions and damaging your life. During therapy, you will be able to experience a deep process of self-knowledge that contributes a lot to this discovery.
6 Tips to Deal With Jealous People
And when you need to deal with envious people? What to do? First, you need to identify these individuals, so check out some of the examples of behaviors common to those who are envious below:
- They are competitive and always want to be ahead
- They don’t usually praise others
- take pleasure in criticizing
- They underestimate the achievements of others and exalt their own.
- They don’t show happiness with the success of others
Now check out some tips for dealing with jealous people that can help if you are going through this situation.
1. Try to Talk
Before taking any action, how about trying to talk to the person who is jealous of you? A light and sincere conversation can be the solution if envy is a consequence of low self-esteem, for example. Maybe she feels welcomed and rethinks her attitude when she realizes she has a harmful attitude!
However, if the person is aggressive and shows evil, going out of their way to take what you have, then a conversation may not be the best alternative. In these cases, try to distance yourself and avoid socializing with the individual.
2. Don’t Talk About Your Personal and Professional Life
Envious people usually like to hear about other people’s lives just to have the opportunity to prove themselves superior. They are competitive and don’t admit to falling behind, so avoid talking about your achievements, desires, and accomplishments.
On the other hand, the envious celebrate their failures and difficulties, so also stop talking about your defeats, failures, and fears. They will use this to exalt themselves and make you feel bad.
Overall, avoid deep conversations about your life and don’t allow the envious person access to your plans and dreams. The less she knows, the better.
3. Signal the Situation to Your Managers
If the envious person is in the work environment and you are forced to live with him every day, be careful. If envy is crossing the line, signal your managers maturely and consciously about what is happening.
If possible and in your best interest, ask for an area transfer to avoid too much continuous contact with the person in question. Talking to your superiors about the situation is the most effective way to avoid possible disruptions in the work environment. That way, they will be aware and take the actions they deem necessary without you having to expose yourself too much.
4. Get a Therapy
In some cases, the envy of others bothers so much that it ends up bringing negative energy and causing very bad times for those who suffer from the envious. In these cases, it can be very interesting to go to therapy to expose what you feel and learn to deal even more intelligently with envious people.
5. Don’t Change Who You Are
The envious person is the one who needs to resolve their issues and not the target of envy. If at some point you’ve felt guilt or thought about changing who you are because of the enviousness, free yourself and look for other ways to soften the situation.
A very common behavior of those who suffer from envy is to start rethinking their attitudes to soften the envy of others. Surely this will not solve the problems and will still bring many frustrations.
6. Show the Envious That He/She Also Has Qualities
If the root cause of envy is a feeling of inferiority and the envious person is not doing you any harm, try to praise him. By highlighting his qualities and valuing his positive points, he may realize that he is someone as special as any other.
Creating the habit of giving more praise can be a powerful tool to reduce envy and create a more harmonious environment in which everyone feels valued and grateful.