Causes of JealousyWhat causes jealousy? Why does it start and how do we overcome jealousy?
Common Causes of Jealousy:
- Unmet expectations. Many times we place unrealistic expectations on ourselves and the people around us. Often times we feel things should come easier and faster to us. Then if things don't happen when we think they should, we inevitably run into someone who already has what we want. All of a sudden, we feel this surge of ugly, green emotion called jealousy.
- A sense of entitlement. For some reason we have this ingrained attitude that we are entitled to things. Kids leaving the nest for the first time believe their own standard of living should be the same as their parents. They don't consider that their parents have worked for years and years. Many times people with financial problems feel "entitled" to buy things on credit, even though they know it's a bad idea. Having the nicest car and the newest toys seems more important than getting out of debt.
- Insecurity. It is so easy to look at other people and wish we had what they have. And so many times it doesn't stop there. We start berating ourselves for not having what they have. Then we begin to believe negative junk ourselves. The next thing we know, we've developed insecurities in our relationships.
Cure for Jealousy?So what can we do about jealousy?
After reading about all the stuff that can cause feelings of jealousy, we may feel like we're doomed. We may think we'll always come up short in some area of life. But that surely isn't the case.
Overcoming JealousyHere's some good news! There are a few things we can do to stop the jealousy ball from rolling right over us.
How to Overcome Jealousy:
- Stop comparing yourself to other people. You were created as a very unique and special person. God had a plan for you long before you took your first breath. Relish that thought. Love the fact that you're special. What God has in mind for you isn't the same as for someone else. So you don't have to feel bad that you don't have all the qualities, features, money, or anything else that someone else has. Your journey is just that — yours.
- Stop worrying about you all the time. Find a way to be a blessing to someone else. When you change your focus away from yourself, all of a sudden your self-image improves. You get to experience the feeling of satisfaction that only comes when you're a blessing to someone else. Your priorities start changing, and one day you realize that the things that used to make you so jealous and so nuts, don't bother you so much anymore.
- Stop wanting what other people have if you're not willing to go through what they did to get it. When you see a person who is physically fit and looks positively great, it's easy to feel really jealous. But are you willing to work out every day? Are you willing to eat healthy and look for ways to be healthy? If you're not, then there really is no reason to feel jealous, is there?
- Start focusing on all that's positive in your life. God has given you so many wonderful gifts that many other people don't have. Focus on using those gifts to help someone else. Since your mind can only consciously think about one thing at a time, doesn't it make sense to make sure that "one thing" is positive and is moving you toward the really great things in life?
ResolutionBreaking free from jealousy starts with your thoughts. When you change the way you think, you change the way you feel and act. The easiest way to change your focus is to begin by helping others. It will definitely be time well spent. Or better yet, thoughts well spent.
Karen Wolff, a guest writer for About.com, is host to a Christian Web site for women. As founder of Christian-Books-for-Women.com, she wants to provide Christian women with a place to find practical information, tips, and help with a variety of issues they face every day. For more information visit Karen's Bio Page.