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The Green-Eyed Monster

Dr John Demartini explains how to address feelings of jealousy and envy.

Jealousy can be quite similar to envy, but it can also demonstrate a few differences. One difference between jealousy and envy is the following: If you are envious of, or covet another person’s position, say, you are envious of something that they have that you assume and perceive that you don’t have – say their level of intelligence, success, wealth, closeness, prestige, appearance or spiritual awareness then you will envy them. But if you are jealous, you could be jealous of something that another person recently acquired or soon could acquire that could be taken away from you, whether it’s a person you are having a relationship with, or a position that you desire in a business that they may acquire. 

Let’s say you want a promotion at work and instead of being given the promotion, somebody else is brought in to take the position. You may have a partial assumed claim or entitlement, and you’re probably going to feel jealous of that person for getting that position. You will possibly resent the person making the hiring decision and be jealous of that person who got the position, because he or she is a rival and grabbed the opportunity to that you felt was potentially yours or that you felt you deserved.

Envy is something different. This is where somebody has something that you don’t have, that you want, for instance money, or success. Coveting is similar to envy; you are coveting something that another person has. 

If you were dating someone, and you envied their intelligence, and a woman came in who had a more intelligent conversation with your partner, then you’d possibly also be jealous of her. You would envy her having that intelligence to relate to your partner in a way that you do not or cannot.

You can envy her ability to communicate with your partner, but you’d be jealous of her too because of the potential loss of your partner. And you would covet that dynamic. Jealousy has a hidden or revealed resentment attached. You resent that person for possibly taking your partner away from you. You envy them as they obviously have something that you don’t.

Jealousy is based on a perception of a potential loss to a rival, somebody that could take something of value away. So as long as you are attached, infatuated, addicted, dependent on that trait you’re admiring in the person you’re afraid of losing, you are vulnerable to jealousy. So there’s an underlying infatuation of some part of the person you’re with – that can be in a relationship or it can be in business. 

So what’s the solution? If you’re disempowered, and you assume that this person has something you don’t, you’re vulnerable. And the more the discrepancy between what you think they have and what you have, the more vulnerable you are. 

The solution is to find out what it is that you think they have that you don’t have and work out what you have instead so you can level the playing field and have less fear of losing. It’s also important to crack the fantasy that somebody is supposed to be attached to you because of some sort of agreement – that they are legally bound to you. So if somebody comes along and offers them a better package, a better deal, it will keep you on your toes.

The solution is to keep on your toes and make sure you keep offering a greater package than anybody else. Go and empower as many areas of your life so that you can keep offering a greater package than any other person that comes along.

To level the playing field, you have to keep empowering all seven areas of your life so that you’re offering the greatest possible package to their highest values. It is wise to keep communicating your valuable off in a greater manner than anybody else’s. 

Think of it as a situation with a customer. If you don’t provide for the customer, they will go somewhere else. And if you’re going to date somebody that you’re highly infatuated with and you don’t feel equal to them, then be aware that you will be vulnerable.

So it’s important to find somebody who is a real mate, not somebody that you’re just infatuated with. You’ll pay a price if you’re infatuated. There will be jealousy and you’ll be vulnerable, constantly trying to compete. If you date somebody who has more power than you, you run that risk every time, because you can’t provide enough of the values they need to meet all their needs.

Remember, your feeling of jealousy is partly a byproduct of not empowering yourself. 

Dr. John Demartini is a human behavior specialist, educator, international best-selling author and the founder of the Demartini Institute.

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