We compare ourselves to others more than ever before. Comparisons help us make sense of the world, but when we are constantly peering into the lives of others through social media, movies, and TV, it’s easy for judgment and envy to creep in.
It is really hard for me to admit that I experience these feelings, because that means I have to admit that I am inferior or am thinking negative thoughts about someone, but it happens. Bringing those feelings to light and acknowledging them helps me to squash them.
When I find myself judging someone else, I ask myself “why?” I try to put myself in that person’s shoes, see myself in them. Almost every time, I realize a real path to the choice they made or their circumstance that I could have easily chosen. It’s just a few steps off the path I’m on.
I remind myself that deep down I don’t just believe people are good…I know people are good. They want to do their best. Circumstances change people. We are not all the same, but we have more in common than not…even if it’s just the fact that we are human beings. This video I saw last week was a great reminder to try and see myself in others.
What about envy? Envy may be the ugliest feeling of all. I ask myself the same question when it comes up. Why am I feeling this way? Often I find after some reflection that I don’t even really want what they have, or I don’t want to put in the work required to have it (something we all forget is how hard others work to get what they have). Prime example: they have a nice car, a nice house, and tons of money but they work 80+ hours a week and travel all the time. When I really think about it, I don’t want to trade my time for that money. That’s just not the life I want to live.
So what life do you want to live, and what are you doing about it? I found that when I have a solid understanding of what I need and want in life and a plan to get there, I am far less envious. When others win, I have fun celebrating their successes with them, and let them pull me up instead of trying to drag them down. I give out more high fives and hugs than ever before and it feels so good!
Check out this podcast to get a better understanding of envy, get you more comfortable Counting Other People’s Blessings!