This little green-eyed-monster of an Inner Imp lives inside all of us. Most of us try and hide him though. We often even lie about his existence. The thing is, we shouldn’t. Jealousy’s envy is nothing to be ashamed of.
Jealousy is an average, run-of-the-mill Inner Imp and it’s normal for your average human to battle with him on occasion. He can’t bear it when someone else achieves at anything that he rates important for “Team You” – whether he’s expressing feelings of envy about someone’s fame, career success, positive attitude, shiny hair, fab figure, good grades, lifestyle or amazing CANDo get-up and go-go attitude.
Having a vociferous Jealousy Imp doesn’t make you a bad person and it’s certainly not worth feeling embarrassed about either. In fact, a little of his influence can actually be a good thing when it comes to prompting us to move our asses in a positive direction.
What turns dealing with your Jealousy Imp into a challenge however, is when he focusses his efforts on one person. When he gets his teeth into the bone of anyone in particular and starts shaking them around in his jaws incessantly, Jealousy’s feelings of envy are probably turning into an obsession.
When Jealousy starts hoofing it along this road, it often feels as though, whatever you do, he continually has you measure yourself against this “enemy” – this one person that Jealousy has become obsessed with; this one person he “perceives” is superior to “Team You”. Ole green-eyes starts whispering in the ears of any of your other Inner Imps that will listen, comparing “Team You” to “Team Enemy”. Despite your best intentions, your Inner Imps jump on a downward spiral of negative emotions. You end up feeling intimidated by this person’s success as you begin to doubt yourself, fear losing something or experience anger or humiliation. No matter how hard you try and whatever success you do achieve, you’re constantly left with the feeling that you simply don’t “measure-up”.
Tip 1 – Join the JA (Jealous Anonymous)
In the privacy of your own head, have your Honesty Imp stand up, put his hand on his heart and say the words “My name is XXX and I’m jealous of XXX.” Recognise it for what it is and have the courage to admit to yourself that Jealousy is at work and stirring the pot. Everyone on the planet at some point or another has done battle with their Jealousy Imp.
Tip 2 – Don’t Give Up on “Team You”
Grab hold of your CANDo Get-Up and Go-Go and don’t give up. Just because someone else is well-known, clever, top-of-the-class, successful, the current boss, published or whatever, doesn’t mean that you can’t be too. In the infamous lyrics of the dreadful ‘80s song Room at the Top from Adam Ant, “There’s always room at the top. Don’t let them tell you there is not.” In this case the them is your Inner Imps. Don’t let them tell you there’s no room for you at the top to be just as well-known, successful, positive, good looking, etc., as the “enemy” Jealousy is obsessing about. There are lots of people out there at the top and there’s no reason they can’t make a little more room for you.
Tip 3 – It’s Possible
The fact that someone else is doing it, successful, getting the grades, etc., means that it’s possible to do. If it’s possible to do, you have just as much chance of achieving what they have as they do.
Tip 4 – Interrogate Jealousy
The minute Jealousy start shouting off, start an interrogation.
- Why is Jealousy feeling envious?
- What are you doubting about yourself?
- What are you afraid of?
- Why do you feel threatened?
If you can ask yourself these simple questions and find an honest answer, you can begin to think up steps you can take to manage your feelings more positively.
Tip 5 – Be Big and Turn Destructive Behaviour into Constructive Behaviour
Jealousy often gives rise to destructive behaviour. Destructive towards not only our “enemy” but also ourselves. The result is that we not only create problems for our “enemy” but also for ourselves.
Be big enough to take a stand and recognise that your “enemy” is actually being successful doing/being what you want to do/be. You could probably learn so much from them that would really give you a leg up in the right direction.
Get Courage to give you the balls to be big and make use of the person you’re envious of. Ask them some simple but relevant questions about how they got to do it/be who they are. What qualifications/experience they needed to get their job, how they stay positive, what their beauty regime is, how they got published, how they study, where they get their hair done, etc? (Fill in as appropriate.)
Even your ignoble Inner Imps such as Jealousy, Doubt and Fear have important roles to play helping “Team You” win the game of life. By developing your emotional intelligence and learning the life skills you need to control your Inner Imps emotions rather than them controlling you, you’ll be the one whose achievements are envied.
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