Envy is part of human nature. Everyone feels it and suffers it. What is it? How does it take shape and take root in the soul and in relationships? And above all, is it possible to defeat it and defend itself? Well, the answer is yes!
Feelings are part of human nature. They are born spontaneously and keep them under control is complex. Rather. Most often, the greater the effort to manage them, hide them or even repress them and the more they take strength and try to explode.
Envy is a perfect example of this dynamic. From the Latin in (adversative) and videre (to look bad), it is a state of mind where one feels resentment towards a person for something he has or is. Sometimes to the point of desiring his illness.
Do you recognize yourself in the description? You are not alone: nobody or almost is immune. Envy is good at disguising itself as reasonable excuses and with its great persuasive force it harms not only those who suffer it, but also (above all) those who try it.
But there is good news. You can defeat it. At Junglam we turned to Marina Osnaghi, Business Coach and first Italian Master Certified Coach, to understand how.
How envy is born
Envy can have many targets. Love, beauty, success, money. But where does your emotions come from and how does it take root? Its nature is complex and multifaceted.
As Marina Osnaghi explains, envy takes shape from a deep feeling of lack: others have something that you lack and that you are sure is the key to the happiness you do not have. But also from a deep-rooted victimistic attitude: the world is unfair and cruel to you and does not give you what you deserve.
Together, these two states of mind make you feel dissatisfied and resentful towards those who have or are what you would like to have or be and at the same time persuade you that you cannot do anything to change the situation and justify your resentment.
To put it another way, envy describes your fear to put you on the line, behind which lies a strong sense of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
How envy manifests and what it entails
How many faces does envy have? It can be a devaluing attitude, hostile behavior or a devious and underground war of gossip, whispers and looks. In any case, it is always unpleasant and painful for those who suffer it and can generate a more or less marked sense of loneliness, impotence, injustice, abuse, danger and real anger.
Envy is a feeling that has very good reasons and does not listen to reasons and for this reason it is very difficult to oppose. On the other hand, it does not only harm those who suffer it, but also those who try it.
Marina Osnaghi points out that envy leads to losing sight of one’s goals and desires. If the success and happiness of others become your only thought, you will end up using your time and your energy to feel resentment (sometimes even hatred) towards the person or people who arouse your envy and to sabotage it the.
Instead of using your strength to get what you want (and which might make you happy), take care of yourself and improve yourself, you will consume yourself in a futile and sterile battle.
Likewise, envy can lead to confusing the goals and desires of others with one’s own. Whether you remain motionless to soak in your hatred or put yourself in competition, even in this case you will find yourself dealing with the frustration and the burning awareness of having wasted time and energy (again) for something that instead of bringing you closer to happiness has dismissed.
Generally, envy is recognized as a negative feeling and is therefore judged to be “wrong” and “bad”. However, there is also a “good” envy.
This form of envy is actually a kind of admiration, which arises from the realization that a person possesses something or is in a way that you also really want, deeply possess or be and pushes you to give your best to reach the goal .
As Marina Osnaghi explains, “good” envy is the key to defeating envy, transforming a toxic and destructive feeling into a positive stimulus and in a way to affirm yourself and win happiness.
How to defeat envy
The first step in defeating envy is to recognize that you are experiencing it. Don’t be ashamed and be honest with yourself, this way you can manage it and get rid of its negative value and use it as a propellant for positive change.
In this sense, Marina Osnaghi suggests some questions you can ask yourself to focus your efforts:
- What do I learn from this envy?
- How can I get what I envy?
- How can I use it constructively?
Secondly, clarify what your real goals and desires are. Having full awareness of what you want will help you prevent envy. As a result, you will avoid losing time and energy with things and goals that do not really interest you and you will have many more chances to get what you really want, building your way to happiness and satisfaction.
To make this journey, you must learn to resist the temptation to indulge in victimization and self-pity, make peace with your limits and recognize that only you are the architects of your life.
How to defend yourself from envy
And if you are a victim of envy, how can you defend yourself?
Marina Osnaghi invites you not to be overwhelmed by the emotions caused by feeling like an object of resentment or real hatred. To defeat the sneaky or direct attack of those who have it with you for reasons that … do not depend on you, you must remain lucid. Being objective will allow you to read clearly the strategy of those who pour your negative emotions on you and to put in place the appropriate means to counter it.
Try to keep people envious and choose the path of privacy. Don’t give them material to draw on to feed their resentment towards you and information they could use to hit you.
If you can’t avoid them, try to establish a dialogue. Remember that envy is born of low self-esteem: the people who attack you, maybe they are looking for confirmation from you. Listen to what they have to say, show that you are interested in their opinions and recognize any good ideas and successes. On the other hand, don’t be unnecessarily lenient and criticize in a constructive way what is not good. Above all, don’t get involved in their game.
Try as much as possible to avoid direct confrontation. But if you really can’t, stay calm and don’t lose your lucidity and self-confidence. Faced with composure and reasonableness, the weapons of envy become blunt.