Jealousy: Something You Develop or Born With?
Jealousy is a feeling that all people have. Have some more than others, but a feeling that os mutual through all people. Jealousy is a feeling created when you envy something or someone because you don’t have or can’t have the same.
The positive aspects of jealousy are that it can create a positive desire in yourself to create change for the better. However, jealousy is often a negative emotion as it causes harm to your mental health as well as effects the way you perceive or treat others around you.
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Managing your emotions, perceptions, and lifestyle as well as the way you interact with others is important in staying on top of your feelings of jealousy and preventing it from manifesting into more serious issues.
Before we can talk about how to manage, avoid or even get rid of feelings of jealousy, we have to understand what causes it, and what its symptoms are. A common question you might here is jealousy something you develop over time or something you are born with. Is it another matter of Nature Vs. Nurture or something more?
Causes of Jealousy
Insecurities due to poor self-image, social and physical perception of yourself can make you paranoid and even jealous of those around you. When you have a poor self-image of yourself in your mind, you will look to others around you who are doing better socially, aesthetically, and any other aspects of life you also wish to succeed in. Having a low and being insecure about yourself will increase the amount of jealousy you feel towards others.
2. Lack of Confidence
Lacking confidence goes hand in hand with a poor self-image. Although you can see and regard yourself highly among others, if you lack confidence, you may feel inept amongst your peers, therefore causing you to feel jealous towards them. Lacking confidence also means you don’t take risks or chances to succeed or put yourself in line to achieving the things you desire.
3. Hatred towards someone
Having a personal hatred or ill-feeling towards another person is one of the main reasons people develop jealousy. Even if you don’t necessarily align your values with the person who you dislike or even hate, everything they achieve or seeing happiness in them can stir up your jealousy. Even the smallest of things that make your perceived opposition happy will cause envy in you.
4. Inability to obtain a desire
Being unable to obtain something you desire will cause you to have negative feelings towards people who have obtained it, or people who have achieved what you have not, or cannot.
For example, wanting to be with a girl or boy that already has another partner or not being able to apply for a certain job because of your qualifications may cause you to become jealous towards the person who can obtain those things you can’t.
This is one of the most common feelings associated with jealousy. The fear of cracking under social pressures. The fear of being rejected. The fear of coming short from achieving things. Fear of getting hurt. These are all reasons why people may become jealous and envy those who have overcome or do not feel the same type of fear that is holding them back.
Negative Effects of Jealousy
1. Mental health issues
Feelings of jealousy can be the first step into manifesting into more serious health conditions such as stress, anxiety, and depression. Jealousy itself can also be a symptom of a mental health disorder.
2. Disheartened and underachieving
Jealousy will make you behave and react in ways you won’t normally. It is often associated with sadness and confusion. When these feelings become apparent, it can demotivate people from even trying to achieve something or making positive changes.
This can cause you to give up on whatever targets you want to achieve as well as underachieving in multiple other aspects of your life.
3. Bad relationships with others
Jealousy can turn healthy relationships sour as well as cause strains between yourself and people you aren’t even jealous of. Jealousy can sometimes turn into a disliking or even hatred towards another person because of their ability to obtain something you cannot or achieve something you haven’t.
This will put you in a negative mindset that you not only feel towards them but also to other relationships in your life,
4. Violent or erratic behaviour
The worst outcome of jealousy is when it turns into aggression and/or violence. When jealousy becomes too much to handle or is left untreated, people will act out there frustration through violent or erratic behaviour.
Extreme jealousy towards another person may motivate you intentionally cause physical harm towards that person. If you ever identify this type of feeling in yourself or others around you, seek support for them through close friends and family to even professional help.
Managing and Avoiding Feelings of Jealousy
1. Be self-aware
This is the first step and most important way of coping with jealousy. Accepting yourself for who you are means you can improve your self-image and perception of yourself as well as not thinking about or giving much thought into what others think of you.
This also means improving your self-esteem and accepting the things that you cannot change about yourself or your circumstances. This will help you to stop comparing yourself against the expectations of others.
2. Identify what you can achieve and how to achieve them
Set goals for yourself. Whether its health, financial or social goals, by envisioning what you want to achieve, you can create a pathway for you to achieve those things. This means you aren’t relying on other people to see what the perfect outcome looks like, and you don’t have to become jealous because you know what you want to achieve.
3. Speak out
If you ever have feelings of jealousy, anger or hatred towards a person, situation or object, try not to keep it to yourself. Speak with someone you can trust, has your best interest in mind.
If you still feel uncomfortable talking with a close friend or family member, you can seek professional help from a psychologist or doctor. They will not only be able to help you with your problems but can stop your jealousy from turning into more serious mental health issues in the future.
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