There is a strong tendency to want what others have, or to believe that other people possess skills, abilities, or other qualities that you want, deserve, or are lacking. This mindset, however, can be incredibly damaging. Not only because of the negative emotions that come from feeling like you’re not enough or you don’t have enough – but also because it ignores the deeper reality of what goes in the life of someone who’s life they desire.
The Wealth of Sports
Sports are an excellent example of this. Many adults experience envy or jealousy over the lifestyles that athletes have. On the surface, they seem glamorous – outstanding skill, play a game for a living, make a lot of money and generally do well socially.
But behind the scenes there are injuries, verbal abuse, problems maintaining relationships, toxic masculinity, stories of pasts that are fraught with trauma. Football players, for example, frequently come from very dangerous or very poor towns specifically because football is seen as the only way out. The life of a football player may seem glamorous, but the reason that they are successful came – and comes – at a significant personal cost.
Social Media Surface Level
There are many examples of this happening in our own personal lives as well. We see a person post a beautiful photo of themselves at an exotic beach on social media and desire where they are and what they have, but if we were to actually switch places with them, we may see eating disorders, pain, suffering, trauma, fear, broken marriages, broken households – all different types of problems that come with their experiences that we don’t often see when we envy what they have on a surface level.
Envying the Irrelevant
The truth is that what others do and what others have is largely irrelevant to your life, and everyone has their own problems, struggles, and traumas that they are dealing with that you wouldn’t want to experience yourself if you were to switch places with them.
You know yourself. You know your life. You have your own strengths and weaknesses. There is very little value in concerning yourself with the “haves” of others. Instead, learn to appreciate what you have and address any areas of need that you can for your own self-actualization, not because of what others have.