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How to Overcome Jealous Behavior

By Sarah Carlson, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®

How to overcome jealous behavior can be challenging on your mindset, especially while trying to overcome adversity. Tension is high as we navigate the changing geopolitical situation. If you turn on CNN, you might think most people are multimillionaires, everyone perhaps except you. Cities like Seattle and San Francisco have experienced such growth in their tech sector and this can create financial angst if your wealth is not that of the "multimillionaire next door".

I think Charlie Munger (Warren Buffet"s partner) is correct. We don't have a greed problem. We have an envy problem. Envy is caused by dissatisfaction with self-image and your perception of your status. If you don't have a clear vision of what is important, chances are you will fall into the tension of being what envious means. You also create a jealous relationship with those who you perceive as better than you.

Envy nails you down and greatly affects how you feel about the success of someone else or about what they have. It may compliment that other person, but ultimately it is damaging to your self-esteem while creating a jealous relationship with them. Envy is often a secret emotion you may not likely be willing to admit. 

How can you avoid the envy trap? If you have realistic ideas that you can live up to, your self-esteem will not be harmed. How can you do this?

How to overcome jealous behavior is important for your well-being.

How to overcome jealous behavior can be accomplished by any of the following:

  1. Be in the moment. If you can have your mind focus on the now and not the moments that have passed or those that have yet to happen, it will help keep you focused and grounded.
  2. Revisit gratitude. What is working? Do you have your health? So many people don't. Take note of the many pieces of your puzzle that are working.
  3. Remember what is essential: your health, your family, and your friends. So many of these critical parts of your journey have nothing to do with physical possessions.
  4. Get grounded with your goals. Do you have a strong foundation of what you need? Food, shelter, and safety. A strong foundation will allow you to build the rest of your life on it.


Envy nails your overall well-being in a destructive way. A jealous relationship with others can be addicting because it"s easier to focus on them than on yourself. The best and safest investment you can make in yourself are those aligned with your passions, knowledge, and abilities. What envious means is that it"s within your control. Apply a win/win attitude about everything you do, and you can achieve your goals. Build self-confidence that won't participate in the mental game of envy.

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Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.