Is envy the root of the greatest calamity

Fighting envy: definition, causes, tips

There are many sayings about envy. One of them: You have to work for envy, you get pity for free. And indeed: those who are successful in life do not have to stay up for long Envy, jealousy and resentments wait that don't even treat you to the black under your nails. But being envied is also the highest form of recognition. It is different if you feel envious yourself. This is how you make the happiness and success of others your personal unhappiness. Fortunately, that can be changed if you combat envy and use emotion as motivation ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Definition: what is envy anyway?

Envy often has its origin in comparison, the "view of others". Who sees that the other person has or possesses something that he or she would like to have. We then recognize one defect and react to it with feelings of envy. However, becoming more envious can also result from the feeling of being disadvantaged.

According to envy researchers, most envious people are found in, of all places Circle of friends and acquaintances.

Actually, the spontaneous "Envy impulse“A component of human nature, Immanuel Kant recognized. The scientist Antonio Cabrales from the British University College in London, for example, considers envy to be one evolutionary development as "the result of the competition for limited resources".

He is convinced that in early human history it was not about owning much, but above all more than the others - what to do higher social status and reproductive success led.

And what can you not be jealous of ?! To the object of desire often include envy factors such as ...

  • Good look
  • Material possession
  • Social status
  • Athletic performance
  • Musical talents
  • Professional success
  • Confident appearance
  • Lasting health
  • Sexual potency
  • Reliable friendships

Even seeming trivialities like chocolate can trigger envy. The Cologne social psychologists Jan Crusius and Thomas Mussweiler, for example, came to this conclusion in their studies. For the scientists, envy is therefore “a natural and spontaneous reaction to inferiority”.

For the US psychologist Betsy Cohen, who wrote a bestseller about envy, the resentment is accordingly a "normal human feeling„.

Admittedly, nobody likes to just admit that he or she is jealous. Many are even ashamed of it. Because being jealous always makes you feel small and does not throw a good light on the envious person. Last but not least, envy is one of the in the Christian faith and in the Bible seven deadly sins.

Psychologists distinguish 3 types of feelings of envy:

  • Destructive envy

    It is an aggressive feeling and is mainly characterized by resentment. According to the motto: I want what the other has and if I can't have it, I'll break it. In professional life, for example, this feeling of envy is expressed in the fact that you are not only annoyed about the promotion of your colleague, but also intrigue behind his back and make his life unnecessarily difficult.

  • Depressed envy

    This form of envy is crippling and particularly harmful to one's self-esteem. Obsessed with the thought of not being able to achieve what the other has, these people go through life miserably. They have lost their objectivity. The successes of others are viewed through a magnifying glass. The pathological comparison with one's fellow human beings determines one's own life.

  • Positive envy

    This is the admiring form of envy. The focus is on an unfulfilled need. For example, you would like to appear as confident and charismatic in front of customers as your colleague. This feeling can help you break out of the wasteland of everyday work. This kind of envy can arouse ambition and serve as an incentive to get better yourself. In principle, you don't want to destroy your counterpart, but rather create yourself anew. However, this desire carries the risk of becoming the double of the person you admire. And: Strictly speaking, this envy is not positive either, but its consequences are.

But don't get it wrong: envy is anything but one Virtue.

The other side of the coin is: envy creates suffering, it makes mean, devious, poisonous, destructive. He often seduces people ...

  • to Defamation
  • to intrigue
  • to sabotage
  • to the robbery
  • or even to murder.

They are not the only ones Effects of envy. It makes the envious man mad and blind - and makes him harming yourself only to harm the other even more.

Quite a few are constantly comparing themselves with others, which only increases the envy. In the extreme, resentment leads to complexes and Feelings of inferiority, to sadness and shame, to teasing and malicious joy, to hostility or even hatred. At the very least, chronic envy prevents satisfaction and inner peace.

But persistent envy can also physical consequences to have. These include, for example, sleep disorders, headaches, gastrointestinal complaints, heart rhythm disorders or even depression.

The envy researcher Norbert Haubl even believes that envy can even be life-threatening. For example, when we “compulsively always think about what the others have, feel compulsively treated unfairly and then become lonely troublemakers, bitter, socially isolated. Envy can indeed lead to so-called balance sheet suicide, ”said Haubl to the“ Stern ”in an interview.

In Germany envy ferments particularly well. Hardly anyone here likes to talk about how much they earn or how successful they are. Entrepreneurs certainly not. Otherwise they are considered greedy Capitalists, exploiters, cutthroats titled.

The condenses even more Resentment on the type of High earner: Those people who seem to get a lot of money but do little for it. The Allensbach Institute once determined that 43 percent of all West Germans and 59 percent of all East Germans associate them with spontaneous antipathy.

One's Freud is his envy to the German.

Proverbs: aphorisms and quotes to envy

In fact, there are numerous sayings around the topic of envy and envious behavior is also known by other names. In German, for example, the terms Resentment, jealousy and malice often used as synonyms for Envy in english there are synonyms envy, grudge and jealousy.

But also many Philosophers, Poets and Celebrities have already dealt with envy. Correspondingly, numerous inspiring sayings and aphorisms can be found on the Internet:

  • Envy only sees the flowerbed, but not the spade.(Unknown)
  • Just as rust consumes iron, so too does envy devour the soul.(Unknown)
  • The envious die, but envy never dies.(Jean-Baptiste Poquelin Molière)
  • Success is pretty much the last thing to be forgiven.(Truman Capote)
  • Envy is its own torturer.(Unknown)
  • Envy is the shadow that success casts.(Marylin Monroe)
  • Envy is the anger at the lack of opportunity for glee.(Unknown)
  • The number of our envious people confirms our abilities.(Oscar Wilde)
  • What good is envy? It's the one sin you can't have any fun at.(Charles Munger)

Psychology: We harm ourselves out of envy

Another envy saying: Jealousy is a passion that eagerly seeks what creates suffering. First there is this one Stitch in the chest, the throat constricts, the gastric juices boil until the bile burns on the tongue and finally the envious rage runs through a deeply felt injustice.

Why the - and not me?

Far too often, resentment leads to all sorts of things irrational acts. You may be familiar with the long legendary experiment at Harvard University on this. At that time the students were asked if they would rather ...

  • (a) Want to have an annual income of $ 100,000 while everyone else is making $ 200,000, or
  • (b) Want to make 50,000 when everyone else is only getting $ 25,000.

The majority decided on variant (b).

Instead of choosing one's own advantage, the income competition and the envy of high earners are enough to make irrational decisions and make yourself worse off.

Envy at work: are women biting a mare?

According to an international study, it could be the phenomenon of the so-called Mare bite actually giving. The scientists working with Abraham Buunk formulate this a little more cautiously: "Sexual competition has a greater impact on female colleagues than on male colleagues at work."

The group of researchers from Spain, the Netherlands and Argentina first examined how envy and resentment affect social Rivalries in the job had an impact. In fact, it was found that initially both genders were jealous of colleagues with strong social skills. Or to put it less scientifically: if you are well received by your colleagues, suddenly you are no longer well received by others in the team.

At the same time, the research team registered that women react particularly violently (vulgo: more jealous) when their female counterparts were well received by men. Especially when there is something like a secret one Attractiveness competition gave.

The result partly coincides with a meta-study by Daniel Balliet from the University of Amsterdam. After that, women find it rather difficult to work with other women - with Men against it it works wonderfully.

Here, the researchers evaluated a total of 272 studies, with a total of more than 31,000 test subjects in 18 countries. Result: When it came to a serious problem, both sexes cooperated every time well together. In everyday individual cases, however, the women in mixed teams could do better with men and the men did better with men.

Envious? Only on the achievable!

But why is that, why not can indulge? Why does other people's happiness taste so bitter?

If you look closely, hardly anyone envy billionaires like Bill Gates or Richard Branson their wealth and prosperity. Nor do we hardly envy the actor applause; glory to no hero; the crown to no king; no sheikh his oil.

  • But we grudge the colleague promotion that we ourselves have been waiting for for years.
  • We grudge the neighbor his new (bigger) automobile
  • the blogger the higher Click numbers
  • the friend the more attractive partner and the smarter kids.

The reason: You are closer to us. And therefore they are also a latent accusation against our ego, ours Proud and our guilty conscience.

Not because fate meant it better for them, but because they might opportunities seized that we let slip away. In short: that object of desire must be achievable so that we envy the other for it.

But that is also the chance of envy.

Envy isn't all bad, he is also creates wealth. Envy - to a healthy extent - spurs on, inspires, promotes innovation and careers. Last but not least, he's the one Root of competition. Aristotle already recognized:

The ambitious are more inclined to envy than those who are free from ambition.

Whether envy draws you down or increases motivation depends on your own attitude. If we classify the success of the other as unattainable (motto: "I can't do what he has anyway ..."), dissatisfaction or the feeling of being treated unfairly by fate follow.

On the other hand, if you see envied success as the result of effort, hard work and determination, envy spurs you on. Your motivation grows, you put more effort into yourself and work towards the envied desired state.

If you manage to turn your envy into admiration, pocket it strong drive.

Social media increase feelings of envy

According to studies by the Humboldt University, increased use of Facebook is enough to get a species Spiral of envy trigger and become increasingly dissatisfied.

Result of the survey on feelings during and after the use of Facebook: Over a third of the respondents primarily felt negative feelings like frustration and envy. Above all, those who hardly actively communicated in social networks themselves, but rather consumed information - for example, reads many posts from friends, are affected by this.

As the main reason for the frustration, the researchers made the great life of Facebook friends out. The lives of others - it always looks better there than your own.

The many positive, varied and dazzling pictures and messages in your own timeline and in the profiles of the supposedly mega-successful friends leave your own life pretty much usually to look boring.

Offline is this social comparison much more difficult, the information is not spread as widely and not as massively there.

Paradoxically, this lead Feelings of envy then to an even more pronounced self-presentation on Facebook. A kind of overcompensation, which in turn arouses feelings of envy among friends - a classic one Vicious circle.

Fighting envy: this is how resentment turns into admiration

So that the envy is his destructive force loses, one has to admit it to oneself and learn to be able to indulge it. But also to get rid of exaggerated comparisons with others.

Taboo, on the other hand, only aggravates the resentment: it becomes a Smoldering fire, if not to the backdraft.

Every few years a new car, the latest cell phone or other electronic bells and whistles to keep up with the neighbors - that puts us under destructive pressure. The more numerous such comparison options, the more unreachable they become - and the more unhappy and envious people become.

Envy eats up the soul.

At the same time you should Troubles see who are behind most of the successes. We may envy the friend for her model measurements and see hers Dream figure. At the same time, we overlook the fact that she goes without a lot when eating and spends her free hours in the gym.

Hand on heart: would you be ready pay the same pricein order to also own what the colleague or neighbor has?

Envy is always relative, but success is absolute.

It depends on your goals - not on the wealth of others. So instead of in High earners, better off and better able Seeing enemies, it would be wiser to analyze, learn or even copy their strategies for success and ask these people for advice. Completely envious.

The wrong thought behind the resentment is instead a fatal one Zero sum logic: I can only feel better when others are worse off. Or as the philosopher Schopenhauer also said:

We rarely think of what we have, but always only of what we lack.

How stupid.

Getting Rid of Envy: Tips for Better Handling Envy

Envy has a bad reputation. Often you feel ashamed when you think about it green envy monster The door and gate is open. How to keep the monster at bay:

  • Stand by it

    Admit to yourself that you are jealous. Use it offensively, and don't torment yourself over it. If you accept that this is how you feel and that it is okay to have that feeling, you can experience envy as challenges.

  • Question the feeling

    Material goods are seldom the envy of those around you. Rather, it is the thought that you would be much happier with a life like that of your neighbor, for example. Ask yourself why you think you would be happier under different circumstances: what has fallen by the wayside lately? Perhaps unlike one of your friends, do you regret not having graduated and are now jealous of his job? The critical questioning of your own life situation is often painful and excruciating, but the realization that something crucial is missing in your life can help you to embark on a completely new path.

  • Avoid resentment

    It's okay to wish for something that someone else has. It can motivate you to perform better. However, beware of the aggressive desire to destroy another person's happiness. Another's misfortune won't make you happier. Rather take up the challenge.

  • Look closely

    In comparison mania, some tend to only see the successes of their counterpart. In doing so, they easily overlook what someone had to sacrifice for their success.Your colleague talks about the exciting places he was allowed to visit on business trips and leads important projects. But of the four weeks of a month he is on the road for at least two. And when he's there, he comes and goes last. Would you still like to swap places with Him?

  • Focus on your strengths

    Those who know and appreciate their own abilities and assets are less prone to envy. What do you find easy that your colleagues find difficult? What are you valued for in the team? If you don't know the answer right away, ask your family and friends. It will boost your self-esteem immensely.

  • Be grateful

    Gratitude is the best and at the same time the noblest way to more happiness and satisfaction. Yes, even a key to success. This is even proven by several studies.

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