There scenarios – which would irk you the most? (A) Your friend’s salaries increase. Yours stays the same. (B) Their salaries stay the same. yours too (C) Their average salaries are cut. Yours is, too.
If you answered (A) don’t worry, that is perfectly normal: you are just the another victim of the green eyed monster.
Here is a Russian tale: A farmer finds a magic lamp. He rubs it, and out of thin air appears a genie, who promises to grant him one wish. The farmer thinks about this for a little while. Finally, he says: ‘ my neighbour has a cow and I have none. I hope that his drops dead.’
As absurd as it sounds, you can probably identify with the farmer. Admit it: a similar thought must have occurred to you at some point in your life. Imagine your colleague scores a big bonus and you get a gift certificate. You feel envy. This creates a chain of irrational behaviour: you refuse to help him any longer, sabotage his plans, perhaps even puncture the tyres of his Porsche. And you secretly rejoice when he breaks his leg sking. Happyho also provides best Meditation and Tarot classes in Noida and Delhi NCR India area
Of all the emotions, Envy is the most idiotic. Why because it is relatively easy to switch off. This is in contrast to anger sadness, or fear. “Envy is the most stupid of vices, for their is no single advantage to be gained from it,’ Writes Balzac. in short, envy is the most sincere type of flattery; other than that, it is a waste of time.
Many things spark envy: ownership, status, health, youth, talent, popularity, beauty. It is often confused with jealousy because the physical reaction are identical. The difference: the subject of envy is a thing ( Status, Money, Health etc). The subject of jealousy is the behaviour of a third person. Envy needs two people. Jealousy, on the other hand, requires three : Peter is jealous of Sam because the beautiful girl next door rings him instead.
Paradoxically, with envy we direct resentment towards those who are most similar to us in age, career and residence. We don’t envy business people from the century before last. We don’t begrudge plants or animals. We don’t envy millionaires on the other side of the globe – just those on the other side of the city. As writer, I dont envy musicians, managers or dentists, but other writers as a CEO you envy other, bigger CEOs. As a supermodel you envy more successful super models. Aristotle knew this: ‘ Potters envy Potters.”
This brings us to a classic practical error: let us say your financial success allows you to move from one of New York’s grittier neighbourhood to Manhattan’s upper east side. In the first few weeks you enjoy being in the centre of every thing and how impressed your friends are with your new apartment and address. But soon you realise that apartments of completely different proportions surround you. You have traded in your old peer group for one that is much richer. Things start to bother you that have not bothered you before. Envy and status anxiety are the consequences.
How do you curb envy? First stop comparing yourself to others. Second, find your ‘ circle of competence’ and fil it on your own. It doesn’t matter how small your area of mastery is. The main thing is that you are king of the Castle.
Like all emotions, Envy has its origins in our evolutionary past. If the hominid from the cave next door took a bigger share of the mammoth, it meant less for the looser. Envy motivated us to do something about it. Laissez – Faire hunter gatherer disappeared from the Gene pool; in extreme cases, they died of starvation, while others feasted. We are the offspring of the envious. But, in today’s world, envy is no longer vital. If my neighbour buys himself a Porsche, It doesn’t mean that he has taken anything from me.
When I find myself suffering pangs of envy, my wife reminds me; ‘ It’s OK to be envious – but only of the person you aspire to become.’