Envy is Harmful


Do you know someone who has made your life impossible because of envy? Have you ever felt threatened by the comments of an envious person? If you answered yes, you will want to read this.

Envy is a psychological phenomenon where the person experiencing it suffers and can often make others suffer, too. Sometimes the person who suffers from envy shows it explicitly. Other times it may be hidden, and others are not able to recognize or perceive it.

Envy is a feeling of frustration that usually results from the good fortune of others or a desire to have what others have. While envy is a natural part of the human experience, some individuals have difficulty resolving it in a healthy manner. It is worth noting that envy is not a psychiatric disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), but it can certainly cause a lot of problems to people suffering from it.

For many, envy is one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. This is where envy can be very harmful and damaging. Not only does the person succumb to unhappiness, but can also feel the desire to hurt others. That drive and desire to do evil to others can be manifested through gossip or comments intended to alienate the person being envied. Or envious people can even try to physically attack their “enemy.”

Often envious people are unsatisfied, either due to a lack of maturity or to frustrations they have had in life. This may lead to resentment towards others when they see them achieving success, such as financial stability, power, beauty, or simply happiness. Envy can also lead an individual into a state of helplessness; instead of working productively towards their own self-improvement; they prefer to eliminate the “competition.”

It is believed that the envious person suffers from inferiority and often perceives others as being better. Physical, intellectual, or emotional defects can lead an individual to develop such feelings of inferiority. It is a challenge when envious people are confronted with those who have qualities, virtues, values, ​​and attributes they wish they had. A common reaction to this painful reality is to try to make other people look bad through gossip, stories, and rumors.

Someone once asked me if envy can be learned. I believe it is possible. For example, if at very early age, say 2 or 3 years old, you see your mother or a close family member scream and jump every time they see a roach, you may engage in the same behavior and do likewise later in life. This being the case, it stands to reason that envious adults may model such behavior for children.

We must carefully analyze the environment where a person has grown up, as this could greatly influence the development of his or her identity and traits. If parents talk about and compare what other people own and what they have or have not, children may observe and emulate such patterns; developing the view that others are their “rivals” with which they must compete.

Unfortunately, many parents may also tend to compare the behavior and actions of siblings. While the goal of the parent may be to highlight particular ways in which a sibling behaves for the purposes of teaching good examples, this can nonetheless send the wrong message. The affection of the parents may become perceived as conditional, and a child may develop feelings of inferiority and/or envy towards siblings and others.

In closing, I must say that envy, like all emotions, is not necessarily bad in itself. It is, however, necessary to control our actions and behaviors when we experience it.

If you sense that envy is taking up too large a space in your life and is affecting your emotional well-being and relationships, seek help from a mental health professional in your community today.

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