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8 Ways To Overcome Jealousy and Envy

5. Learn from her.

Your enemy-friend is doing something right if she has your attention. There is a reason you are threatened. So, get out your scribbling pad and take some notes. If you want to network with her confidence and charm, then study her at a cocktail party. If you envy her fluid writing style, buy a few of her books, and dissect her sentences just like you did the pig guts in Biology 101. If you want her 36-24-36 Disney Princess figure, ask her what she does for a workout. If she responds “nothing but eat ice-cream,” you can ignore this and keep reading.

6. Go to the core.

Whenever I’m scheming to take down some chick who could (in my head anyway) destroy me with her success, or start in with the self-loathing because I don’t do something as well as my cousin’s best friend’s fiancé, I know that it’s time to go back mentally to my hospital room at Johns Hopkins psych ward, where I found myself.

“What has become of me?” I cried to my writing mentor Mike over the phone just after the doctors refused to release me and told me, despite my impressive argument, that I was, in fact, “one of them,” and that, as one of them, I needed to return to the community room and stay for a few nights.

“I used to be successful. Now I’m sleeping in a room next to a 65-year-old man banging his head on the wall who has been hospitalized for a year,” I said to Mike.

“It doesn’t matter,” Mike responded calmly. “None of it matters – the writing, the accolades, the success. None of it matters. Not in the end.”

Somehow I believed him. And when I get frenzied and tied in a knot about the most ridiculous things, I go back to that moment in time. And I believe him again.

7. Find yourself.

For those of you without a point in time like my psych-ward “special moment” you need to create one. All you need to do is to be quiet for a few hours in a peaceful setting (I suggest some woods or a nearby creek if you’re not afraid of ticks), and introduce yourself to yourself. “Self, meet Self. Nice to meet you, Self.” Then you guys have to become friends. How? Think about all the things you like about yourself. Get out your self-esteem file and read it. (If you want more information on starting a self-esteem file click here for instructions.)

During this time, give yourself a pep talk. Pump yourself up. Maybe sketch out some goals for yourself. What do you need to do to be able to go forward with more confidence? What specific actions will allow you to believe in yourself a tad more?

8. Do your best.

The ultimate weapon against jealousy and envy is simply to do your best. Because that’s all you really can do. Your friend-nemesis still may run farther than you, swim faster, and sell more books. But the only thing that matters is that you have done the best job that you can do. Then you can breathe a sigh of relief and feel some satisfaction.

The fourth (and final) agreement in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, “The Four Agreements” is “Always Do Your Best.” He writes:

Just do your best–in any circumstance in your life. It doesn’t matter if you are sick or tired, if you always do your best there is no way you can judge yourself. And if you don’t judge yourself there is no way you are going to suffer from guilt, blame, and self-punishment. By always doing your best, you will break a big spell that you have been under.

8 Ways To Overcome Jealousy and Envy

Therese J. Borchard

Therese J. Borchard is a mental health writer and advocate. She is the founder of the online depression communities Project Hope & Beyond and Group Beyond Blue, and is the author of Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes and The Pocket Therapist. You can reach her at or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn.

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APA Reference
Borchard, T. (2018). 8 Ways To Overcome Jealousy and Envy. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 17, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 12 May 2009)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.