Your best friend scores higher in exams than you, you congratulate them but inside you’re burning up. Learn to fight this jealousy and be truly happy.
Do you remember the dialogue from “3 Idiots”- “It feels bad when a friend fail but it feels worse when the friend tops the exams?” Didn’t the dialogue writer capture the true feelings of a student in this situation? When our friend scores better grades than us, we should be celebrating their success; instead, we get busy in hunting for reasons to explain they didn’t deserve it. Natural but sad!
Jealousy is an ugly emotion. Students especially experience this during results time. A study published in the journal Science showed that envy actually activates a region of the brain involved in processing physical pain. No wonder people go to such lengths to ignore or deny the emotion. Yet it's nearly impossible to dodge because envy is an inevitable consequence of the comparisons we seem programmed to make.
You may worry and fear that if you don’t get over this feeling you might lose a very good friend. What you don’t realize and fear is that you might lose yourself and become a bitter, resentful person.
It can take quite some effort to finally come out of the situation without ruining your friendship or letting it poison your soul. Here are some of the things you may do to not feel jealous when your friend gets better marks than you.
Accept that You are Feeling Jealous
Sounds contradictory? Well, it is not. Acceptance is the first and major step toward letting go of a malicious feeling or a negative thought. You may try to brush off the feeling under the carpet but you are fooling no one except yourself. Others can easily see your actions and facial expressions, which gives away the charade. It's a destructive and ignoble emotion and nothing good can come of it, so recognition of its occurrence is your number one self-defence.
Recognize the Reasons for Feeling Jealous
A high level of insecurity, anger towards yourself and fear of abandonment or vulnerability are some of the reasons of jealousy. When you realize the actual cause, you should try to overcome them – this is an essential part of staying objective about the green-eyed monster. When you're honest with yourself, you will realize that the feeling of jealousy can be abandoned.
Check How Your Envy Affects Others
When you feel envious, you suddenly decide that your friend is incapable of scoring higher than you, you ward off their advances. This puts them in an uncomfortable position of both having to reassure you at the same time as realizing your lack of trust in them. This could lead to a feud in your friendship.
Tackle Your Feelings
Question the existence of your jealousy every time you feel it. Ask yourself if you are feeling it because you are afraid or angry. Questioning yourself will enable you to take positive steps towards managing the feelings constructively. The cloud of negative emotions that accompany jealousy should be tackled on instant basis.
Confess Your Feelings to Your Friend
If you feel up to it, you can confess your envy, as you congratulate them that you can't help but feel jealous of their accomplishments. Trust us, being honest about your feelings with those who make you jealous will actually warm them up to you, rather than make them feel negative about you.
Feel Happy and Proud
Not about your jealousy, but about your own accomplishments. The idea is to act in a way that you would have acted had you not felt jealous, but instead, had felt happy and proud. Findings show that we often infer our values, attitudes and opinions by observing our own behaviour, which is why we feel happier when we force ourselves to smile or when we force ourselves to be benevolent even if we don't feel so.
Trust begins at home, with you. If you learn to trust yourself, you can radiate this trust onto others. Begin by making a list of all your good points. Stick this list up somewhere that you can see it regularly, to remind yourself that you're fully equipped with great talent, skills and features already.
Remind yourself that while you really can’t stop feeling a sense of envy every now and then when your friends or classmates score better than you, you can choose to deal with your jealousy and be a better person.
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