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That Green-Eyed Monster: Taming Jealousy

The Challenge

What's your excuse when that evil monster rattles your cage? Most of us deny that we ever get jealous, but have you thought that you could harness that very emotion to your advantage?

The Solution

The saying, "The jealous bring down the curse they fear upon their own heads" by Dorothy Dix, succinctly embodies the nature of jealousy and how self destructive it is. If you honestly explore the deeper experience of this emotion, you will find that a core issue leading up to it is fear. Our fearful nature makes us display negative emotions like jealousy and envy.

Rather than serving us positively, it merely fuels the fear and makes us behave in ways which we would ordinarily not entertain. Jealousy comes about when there is a fear of loss, a lack of trust, anxiety and anger. It is not the other person whom you feel jealous towards; it is always about you. And just because you feel jealous doesn't mean that emotion is valid.

When you experience jealousy, be aware of the nature of your thoughts. Recognise that these thoughts are your perception and are not based on fact. They can be completely irrational or based on delusions rooted in the sub-conscious mind. Have you noticed that these thoughts also have a tendency to bring on a type of behavior that you end up regretting?

The challenge is to break this pattern. One helpful option that works for me is to do the exact opposite of my natural inclination. For example, instead of withholding information from your colleague because you feel it would give her an edge or take away your edge, challenge yourself to share information.

Know that this initial response is to do with your fear of losing out because they now know what you know. Remember - you feel the way you think. And what you think may not have a valid basis. If you are someone who has these fears, then practising the opposite behavior will be difficult at first. However, the more you continue, the more you establish a habit.

Soon, what started off as a conscious act will become a subconscious one motivated by choice. If you find difficulty in trusting, make a point of engaging the opposite behavior in ways which are initially safe for you. As you give yourself positive reinforcement, jealousy will begin to dissipate and will eventually give you immense freedom.

The Payback

Getting over jealousy leads to increased self-esteem - a priceless commodity these days. Competition will become a thing of the past and collaboration will be the new mantra.


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