Why do the people around me envy me

The nice side of envy

The nice side of envy

Nobody is free from the nasty feeling - and that's not bad at all. PETRA author Katja Bosse shows how you can get motivation out of resentment and turn poisonous thoughts into positive power.

It's such a dull feeling in the stomach area. A diffuse malaise. A hint of bad mood that just won't go away. Why is he getting the compliment now and I am not? I've spent a whole year in Paris, cramming vocabulary and snogging the French - and as soon as I return to the city of love with my husband, everyone raves about his fantastic pronunciation. Pardon?! With his school French he just manages to order a croque monsieur.

Sometimes the envy monster pisses too, it can even bite. I drag myself to the gym, bravely do my bum program - and who is dancing past me in a slim sports dress? The sit-up queen with her crisp show-off body and the acidic, friendly smile. I quickly hide my sweaty face behind a gossip sheet. Not that she notices my admiring gaze. Unfortunately, she is not a stubborn and snooty fitness woman, but simply enviable sporty. And I would love to be that too.

Occasionally the stubborn Rumpelstiltskin tramples across my head and nods around: “Unjust! Injustice! Injustice! ”Especially when I try to lock it up. After all, there is no good reason to grudge my friend's freedom. But no sooner does she begin to rave about riding weekends on the Cornish coast, ski huts, whizzing in the Alps and a crazy trip to Vegas than the monster in me begins to gnaw. Because while everything happens oh so spontaneously with her, I just make a quick decision to go to the cinema - or to the children's wonderland because it rains all weekend and we can't go to the playground.

Feelings of envy are quite normal

When I think about it, there are few people I wouldn't envy of anything. I'm jealous of my girlfriend, who shakes a star-studded menu out of her sleeve while I claw my way into the cookbook - just so as not to accidentally take a pinch of a knife instead of a pinch of salt. I envy my father for his inexhaustible general knowledge - nobody will ever choose me as a telephone joker. And I simply envy our neighbors for their big car, which even before a two-week vacation with a cool box and cuddly toys gives them legroom and a look back. Am I a hostile mom now? A jealous hammers? Dissatisfied and unjust? Yet I think my life is great - and most of the times my fellow human beings too.

"Feelings of envy are quite normal," says Martina Frisch, life and job coach from Hamburg. "Because we constantly compare ourselves and prefer to strive for what we admire in others." But aren't such feelings also pretty nasty? Especially when they are directed against someone who is dear to me and dear to me? Or who at least can't help it that he has what I desire? “Emotions are often made taboo, although we live in a downright envious society,” says Frisch. Even as a child we were patted on the fingers when we envied our sandpit friend's toys. “Unfortunately, very few people were taught how to deal with feelings properly.” And so we prefer to be ashamed of ourselves instead of openly admitting our envy and giving the person an honest compliment: for what they have, can or do great. Depending on the character, degree of envy and form of the day, we instead react indignantly, sadly or even hostile. Women fall into a mood of depression; Men get angry with themselves.

Instead of being happy about the language skills, the sportiness and exciting trips of the others, I poke around insulted in my Salade niçoise, drag myself into the changing room in frustration and emphasize that Las Vegas flashes too much for me anyway. I don't like my "yellow pages" at all.

“Don't be ashamed of your feelings,” says social psychologist Rolf Haubl, director of the Sigmund Freud Institute in Frankfurt am Main, “but rather use the feeling as a signal that tells you something about yourself.” Then envy could even be Be positive because you start to reflect: Why does it give me a pang when my sister makes the party happy with piano music? Why does my face slip away when a colleague presents her project with brilliant rhetoric? Probably because you are not that musical and eloquent yourself, but you would like to be. "If you come to this insight, you have already taken a big step," says Haubl, who carried out a study on "Envy and how to cope with envy in Germany". In order to get rid of the annoying envy completely, it can now be converted into motivation: "What would you have to do yourself to acquire these skills - or to improve them?"

Nice side effects of envy

Those who reflect on themselves, make concrete plans and accept the envied person as a role model use nice side effects of envy: self-knowledge, incentive and determination. “When you think about it, many people come to the realization that they really don't want what they envy,” says the expert. Her sister-in-law is making a career and has a huge plus in her account - but she hardly has any time for shopping. Your friend has a partner who runs the household - he still does not share her desire to have children. Then you'd better have one handbag less and shake hands more, you might say to yourself - and you're a lot closer to envy-free happiness.

For others, motivating envy develops into such a spiral that they only strive for higher things and constantly compare themselves with people who are more beautiful, more successful, and happier. “You should know when it's not only better, but also good,” says Haubl, who wrote the book “Only the others are envious. About the inability to be satisfied ”(Beck, 325 pages, 12.95 euros) wrote. If you tell yourself that you can only be happy if you outdo someone, you will probably never achieve this goal.

And what should I do if the thing I want cannot be got? Because my hair will never be so thick that the elastic only fits twice, or because my boss didn't decide in vain to put a superior in front of my nose who he obviously thinks is more capable? "Then you should accept that - and look at what you have and finally pat yourself on the back for your own merits and talents," advises Coach Frisch. Envy usually arises from a feeling of lack; Anyone who realizes what they have already achieved in other areas, what they are grateful for and what is going really well, can easily compensate for such a shortcoming. "Sometimes we lose sight of the fact that not all the circumstances of the person we envy are equally desirable," says Frisch.

It sounds familiar to me: There are definitely days when I internally congratulate the woman at the supermarket checkout: Because she can switch off her head every now and then when she is pulling goods over the scanner - while I work my way out of the I have to suck my brain and feel overwhelmed in my job with so much ambition. In doing so, I unfairly ignore the fact that I do not want to do this job every day, work until 11 p.m. or be bullied by nasty branch managers. "Do not clarify the situation and instead try to keep an eye on the bigger picture," advises Martina Frisch. "You will then most likely not come to the conclusion that you want to swap lives." Seen in this way, I would never exchange my beloved apartment in an old building for fuller hair, my serenity not for the perfect nasal sound and my small family for no money in the world.

9 envy no gos

Regardless of whether it is an acute attack of envy or a nasty feeling in the subconscious - don't let yourself be tempted to commit these crimes

  1. Losing your composure: Roar, insult, howl - before you lose control, better leave the room and cool down. Otherwise worse threatens.
  2. Looking for blasphemers: Anyone who speaks badly and nags, easily gets to someone who messes with them. React differently.
  3. Get into the feeling: Envy is a poison that primarily harms you. Do you have to do that to yourself?
  4. Dismantle the envied: Your boss consciously chose the superior. If you try to blacken him, you still won't get the job.
  5. Judging yourself for envy: Knowledge is the first way to get better. Use the knowledge of your feelings and change something in your own life.
  6. Bad for others: Just because you don't have it, it's still great. Treat yourself - that is also good.
  7. To stop contact: Going into hiding doesn't relieve your envy. Better to talk about it.
  8. Bitching offended: Excuses and radio silence are silly and childish. Save yourself that.
  9. Schmallipping will be: Looks ugly and is bad for karma. Smile!

Help, I am envied

It's not just you who grudge - friends, colleagues or relatives sometimes tend to be jealous too. What to do when you are the trigger for it

Keep your composure, no matter how stupid an envious person may be. He should not be given any reasons to further stir up the “enemy image”. Try to take his stupid behavior as a compliment and enjoy your success.

If a friend is plagued by envy - for example because you are pregnant or in a new relationship - be sensitive. You don't have to avoid the subject; but also don't rave about all the time. But be sure to keep in touch.

If envy is a burden for the whole relationship, you can speak to them about it. Express your regret that something stands between you. And ask carefully what it could be. If you drill too hard, you risk breakage.

As sorry as you may be that someone wants what you already have, you are not responsible for this condition. Rather, help them see what sets them apart and makes them enviable.

Don't stir up envy unnecessarily
Of course, one can be proud of successes and enjoy one's own happiness. Anyone who makes too much of themselves with it and deliberately stirs up resentment should, however, reflect on what is behind this need - and whether their behavior is really necessary.