'Am I a bad person for feeling envious of others?'

"I don’t wish bad for them, but it definitely would be nice to also have my dreams and aspirations accomplished."

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Dear Haya,

Sometimes I feel envious and jealous of other people for their achievements that I have always wanted for myself. I don’t wish bad for them, but it definitely would be nice to also have my dreams and aspirations accomplished. I cannot bear to see them having it all, while I struggle to make a mark.

The feelings often lead me to thinking negatively and often despising these people without even knowing them closely. I feel resentful towards them and seeing them get continued success is really frustrating.

Does this make me a bad person?

Am I a bad person for feeling envious of others?

Dear reader,

Seeing other people live the life you want can be frustrating. Having feelings of envy and jealousy doesn’t make you a bad person. Its natural to feel depleted and demotivated and envy and jealousy are natural human emotions that everyone may experience at some point in their lives. What matters is how you manage and respond to these feelings.

Lets break down to see what’s going on and what we can do.

First of all, acknowledge your emotions. It's crucial to recognise and accept that you are feeling envious or jealous. Suppressing or denying these feelings can lead to more intense negative emotions over time.

Ask yourself : what’s making me feel this way? Get curious about the root cause. Is it because they have reached there before you? Are there specific areas of your life where you feel inadequate?

It’s great to have aspirations and goals but at the same time expectations need to be managed and realistic.

I would encourage you to conduct an audit of your own life. Compare yourself with where you were in the past, what you have accomplished so far. Set achievable goals and celebrate your progress, no matter how small.

We see people’s outcomes, but we don’t see their journeys. We don’t know what they have been through and what all it took for them to get there. Everyone's path is different. What you see on the surface is often not the full story. Focus on your growth and the steps you need to take to achieve your own aspirations.

Focusing on what we have versus what we don’t have allows us to live in abundance. And abundance attracts abundance. When we focus on what we don’t have we continue to live in lack.

Ever heard the saying, comparison is the thief of joy? That’s because it is. Comparing to others will take away any good you have. Instead, a perspective shift could be to see their journeys as a way to seek inspiration and see if there are strategies or mindsets you could adopt.

Understand that the road to success is not linear. And in that journey of ups and down developing self-compassion is critical. Be kind to yourself, its okay to have setbacks – they don’t define your worth or potential.

Allow yourself to grieve accept and embrace all emotions that come up.

Remember, personal growth and achievement are not a zero-sum game. Others' successes do not diminish your potential or worth. Its ok to feel disappointed in not being where you thought you would. Working through these feelings, allowing yourself to feel all what you feel, channeling your feelings into positive actions and working towards a healthier mindset can all lead to personal growth.

If you continue to feel too overwhelmed and frustrated , I encourage you to work with a life coach who will aid you in reaching your goals.


Am I a bad person for feeling envious of others?

Haya Malik is a psychotherapist, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) practitioner, corporate well-being strategist and trainer with expertise in creating organisational cultures focused on well-being and raising awareness around mental health.

Send her your questions to [email protected]

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