Envy Blocks Growth. It Blocks Our Ability to See Opportunities and Goals.

Here Are 10 Ways to Combat Envy!

Let’s set the tone and take a look at this playful video on jealousy which would be great to play for late primary, junior and intermediate students.

Envy and jealousy, two words that are often used interchangeably, however, they hold different definitions. Envy is wanting what another has, such as an object, place, way of being or experience. Jealousy involves wanting to protect a relationship you have with someone else. It is driven by fear of losing the relationship. 

Today, given the pandemic, envy is hitting epidemic levels. Take a look at this article

If we as adults are struggling with envy, what about our children? How are they making sense of this insidious emotion?

Envy is that emotion that simmers like a burning ember, just waiting to get fanned with more fuel. Our insecurities feed that yearning and before we know it the toxic mix of pity, entitlement, judgement, victimization and anger ignites a flash fire of colliding emotions. As the video above suggests, the first step in extinguishing this fire is first acknowledging the root cause….envy. Our perception is that it’s greener on the other side of the fence. What’s worse is that emotion can get in the way of us progressing forward as we are too obsessed with looking sideways or backwards.

This constant state of comparison then evaluating what we are lacking is supported by social media. If we ruminate on the negativity of scarcity, we have a harder time seeing opportunities and maintaining goal direction. A shift is needed. You might remember that fairy dust is packed with glamour, a secret ingredient from the forests that has the ability to turn anything ugly beautiful and anything negative positive? I suggest you get out your fairy dust, sprinkle it a foot away from your sight, take a deep breath then consider the following:

  1. List all the things you are grateful for and consider keeping a daily gratitude journal.
  2. Put things into perspective by remembering that there are those who have it worse. Again being thankful for the blessings in your life.
  3. Perform a random act of kindness. Acts of service and compassion have a way of reminding us that life isn’t all about us, what we have or don’t have. Life is about living in service and love to others.
  4. Remember the saying be careful of what you wish for lol. We just finished watching MAID on Netflix (excellent btw). There is a riveting scene where Alex, the main character, spends an hour fantasizing about how her employer has a perfect life, then is suddenly slammed with a reality check when the employer tells her the real reality of her life, which as it turns out is not that grand… Money can’t buy happiness. 
  5. Engage in the lion’s breath yoga posture, blowing out all envious negativity.
  6. Be happy for your friends, family and others instead of wanting what they might have, and invite blessings by keeping your energy positive. 
  7. Make a list of your own strengths, and feel empowered.
  8. Consider making your envy a motivator to change or improve your own circumstances.
  9. Remember if you are faced with challenges, consider what these are meant to teach you. Our journeys are not the same. Maybe what you don’t have is a lesson in patience, acceptance and tolerance.
  10. Limit your social media time.

When it comes to your children, first discuss the difference between envy and jealousy. Then work through the steps listed above. Support your process with a picture book or story on the topic of envy. Emphasize that it is normal to feel envy and jealousy, however, it’s turning these shadow emotions into positive motivators and resulting actions.

It’s tough these days when we are faced with our extensive media platform that is constantly showcasing brilliance, inciting us to compare and contrast ourselves leaving us potentially to feel lacking or inadequate or encouraging us to compete. We live in a world that is continually appealing to the insecurities of our own egos. Let’s remind ourselves and our kids that we are all good enough.

Flying Fairy with a Wand

Resources for Kids

A Fun Story Video:

I Used This Book in the Classroom:

Here’s Another Story Video:

An interesting article written back in 2014 referring to the epidemic of envy… interesting isn’t it!: