Everyone has experienced this feeling and knows in what situations it appears. We were told multiple times that feeling envy is bad and good people do not feel this way. Did it ever help to stop feeling like this? No. We can’t help it. Let’s try to look deeper and see if it is a bad emotion after all.
What Does It Mean to Envy?
This emotion has power over us; it can make our clear sky cloudy and can turn every attempt to move on into a fail. We treat it as our weakness while in reality it is an irreplaceable helper. It is a map leading to what we really want, and it is unique for each person. Some people have no envy for those who have money, but can’t stay calm when somebody can play the piano beautifully. Some people are indifferent to writer’s success, but can envy a house decorator. Why is this happening? The answer is simple: because we all want different things.
Think that envy is a map
Envy can be represented as a map to our secret desires. If you have always wanted to be able to cook, you might become the harshest food critic, but it won’t save you from envy. At the same time, if you try practicing your cooking skills, you might be surprised by what you are able to do and instead of criticizing you will admire the skills of the chefs. In this case envy will help you to get a new hobby and after will just vanish, leaving a positive emotion instead.
Think that Envy is a Map
Envy can be represented as a map to our secret desires. If you have always wanted to be able to cook, you might become the harshest food critic, but it won’t save you from envy. At the same time, if you try practicing your cooking skills, you might be surprised by what you are able to do, and instead of criticizing you will admire the skills of the chefs. In this case, envy will help you to get a new hobby and will just vanish once, leaving a positive emotion instead.
Envy and Fear Are Best Friends
We are feeling envy when we are afraid to try something. When we are afraid that we are not good enough for something, it may seem that we possess no talent and skills for a certain activity and that there is always someone better than us. Envy is actually a very limited emotion, as it makes us believe that in the whole Universe there will be no place for one more coffee shop owner, artist, photographer. Together envy and fear take away any desire to move forward while the latter is actually a key to never feel like this again.
How Do You Find the Key?
There is an exercise that can help you to deal with envy and use it to help yourself. Think of any person who makes you feel envy and write their names in a column. Write a reason why they make you feel this way. After this think of something you can to do change the situation and free yourself from feeling envy. For example, if you envy your friend for having a cat, you can find a place in your flat and get one as well. If you envy your neighbor, because he travels a lot, you can spend your next salary on a trip, even if it is a nearby city.
Keep on Working
The longest journeys always start from a small step. Keep on discovering what it is that you wish for with your envy helping you, and you will see your life changing for the better.
Can “Friendly Envy” Exist?
Charles Dickens, a great English writer, used the word combination “friendly envy” in the speech of one of his characters in the famous novel “The Posthumous Papers of The Pickwick Club”. So, what can these two words mean when they stand together? Can envy be friendly? Or is it friendship that tolerates envy? Let’s make it out!
At first, we will try to interpret Dickens’s original idea about friendly envy and shed some light on its nature.
- On the one hand, there actually seems to be nothing obvious that could connect friendship and envy. What is more, it is generally believed that true friends can never envy each other. Otherwise, this uncomfortable feeling may just ruin their relationship.
- On the other hand, most of us know that sometimes envy can literally throttle us with its strong clutch though that is definitely a very unhealthy situation. However, in some other cases, we may feel really happy for another person but still we may wish we could be on their place as well. This wish has nothing to do about changing our attitude towards this person, whoever he or she is for us, so we may say that, yes, we envy, but we envy him or her in a friendly way.
Catch a very simple example. Both you and your friend passed the test. No one of you cheated, and you might even prepare to it together. However, your friend got a better grade. Bet, you know this feeling very well: you sincerely consider that your friend’s knowledge and efforts deserve this grade, but you cannot stop thinking that yours deserve it as well.
If in such a case you don’t blame either your friend or your teacher but try to understand what might be wrong with your paper, then there is almost nothing to worry about. Your dissatisfaction with the grade will help you be more patient when getting ready for the next test. However, if you catch yourself supposing that your friend was cheating and didn’t tell you anything or that your teacher likes him/her more than you, then your situation is slightly worse. It is that first type of envy which isn’t friendly anymore. It is that awful feeling that may torment you very badly.
A Piece of Advice for You
When you feel happy about your someone’s success, you become head and shoulders above others. Remember about it and think whether you personally need what this person has. If yes, then again think what he or she has done and what you can do to get it. Your “friendly envy” should turn into the reason for your moving forward but not an excuse for your personal laziness or indecisiveness.