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Guard against jealousy

It is very much like all other emotions we experience

education Updated: Oct 27, 2010 11:25 IST
Samir Parikh

In every walk of life, one can encounter individuals who are better or perceived to be better than oneself. Envy becomes a routine affair, continuously plaguing one. It frequently causes distress and distraction. So how does one handle this experience of envy or jealousy?

An emotion like all others
An important thing that we all need to understand and appreciate is that jealousy or envy is very much like all other emotions that we experience, such as sadness, happiness, and anger, to name a few. The problem arises only when it becomes a predominant emotional state. This means that if one experiences envy relating to a few things/persons which later fade away from memory, then it is okay. Moderation is the mantra to a healthy life and this is applicable even to our emotions.

Count your positives
If somebody is good at something, that does not take away the fact that you, too are good at something or the other. Each of us has some skills and abilities. There are areas we excel in. In moments of envy, reminding oneself of what one possesses — our values, virtues and abilities — can be of great help. Patting yourself on the back is always good so long as like envy, it, too, does not become a predominant habit.

Someone is envious of you
Remember that envy is experienced by every individual at some point of time or the other. So, if you are jealous of somebody, be assured that someone else must be jealous of you. Do not give this experience too much significance. Treat it as any other experience you may have had which involved strong emotions.

Reactions change
Reactions to events and people change over time and the intensity of emotions associated with the experience also changes. While you may be envious at the moment, it is possible that some time down the line when you look back, you may simply laugh over it.

The author is a psychiatrist, and chief, Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences, Max Healthcare