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How can I stop being jealous of other women?

(32 Posts)
KeepingItKalm Tue 23-Feb-21 20:30:08

I feel bad admitting this, but I am often jealous of other women. I absolutely do not act upon these feelings, and I would never do something bad to a woman that I am jealous of.

Anyway, I feel that these thoughts impact me negatively. I worry that i may unconsciously treat women I'm jealous of badly.

To give some examples, I am jealous of women who are: smarter than me, better-looking than me, more sociable than me, richer than me, and so on.

I feel awful admitting this, but if something mildly bad happens to a woman I am jealous of, I feel gleeful. I absolutely don't want to feel this way, but I do.

How can I combat these feelings? sad

OP’s posts: |
Nocares Tue 23-Feb-21 20:36:27

How do you see yourself OP?

Do you think your attractive? Smart? Successful?

Jealousy is because you believe someone has something that you should have.

You need to think about what you feel you don't have and how you can get it if that's what you desire.

Sillysandy Tue 23-Feb-21 20:38:18

Try to remember that all these things are a matter of perspective. You might think they are better looking, have better social lives, richer but they might feel completely different about themselves. And really those things don't mean they are happier or not battling their own demons.

Also try to embrace the concept of abundance. Someone being rich is not depriving you of money, likewise with looks, attention, social engagements.

Sundance5 Tue 23-Feb-21 22:46:28

It sounds like you envy them. Jealousy is when you feel threatened that something or someone you care about is going to be taken away. Envy is when you want something which someone else has.

If you want to overcome envy you have are going to need to work out what you want and start working towards getting it.

People often feel shame about envy but it's just an emotion, don't ignore it but also try not to hang onto it also.

Bluntness100 Tue 23-Feb-21 22:50:06

You need to work on your self esteem and happiness. If you’re not happy and have low self esteem it’s unlikely to resolve.

So it’s about self focus. And I would add the women know. Everyone does. It’s always always obvious and why. 😔

TriflePudding Tue 23-Feb-21 22:50:17

You need to work on your self esteem, focus on you and loving yourself and you will noticing what other women have.

seensome Tue 23-Feb-21 22:59:02

Definitely self esteem, has someone made you feel unworthy in the past? Focus on what you do have and having your own goals don't see them as competition or a threat, feel happy for them. I'm sure you have plenty of things that people admire about you too.

CatAndHisKit Tue 23-Feb-21 23:27:09

Do you ever commpaer yourself with the less fortunate women? They may feel envious of you - but you still have problems. All these women who you envy, also haev their own issues, whehter it's health, luck in relationships, probles with DC etc. You only see the surface.

But in any case, the wise books tell us to try and be happy fpr these women, maybe imagine it's our friend/sister and be pleased for them. I know it wouldn't come naturally but just imagine you aer someone who CAN feel this. Like an exercise.

CatAndHisKit Tue 23-Feb-21 23:28:02

sorry for the endless typos!

user1481840227 Tue 23-Feb-21 23:44:31

@Sundance5, no it definitely sounds like jealousy.

"feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages."

OP it's worrying that you feel gleeful if something bad happens to them, it's good that you don't want to feel that way and recognise those feelings, but it just shows that there's probably a lot of work for you to do on yourself.

At the end of the day comparing yourself constantly to other women and thinking that x and y about them is better than you must be making you extremely unhappy

You need to really throw yourself into self love, whatever that means for you and start to build up your self worth and self esteem and learn to stop thinking those thoughts about other women. If it's been going on for a long time now it's probably a habit to compare yourself and then imagine their perfect lives and then dwell on it and spend way too much time thinking about it.

Would you consider therapy? Therapy could help you identify compulsive thoughts you have and try to break the habit of thinking them. It can obviously also give you the tools to learn to love yourself, perhaps you might need different therapists for those issues.

I know you might feel embarrassed admitting the issue to a therapist but they will have heard worse!! and they won't be looking at you thinking anything bad about you at all, they'll just be focused on trying to help you!

Mittens030869 Tue 23-Feb-21 23:52:37

One thing to point out. Other people's lives won't be as wonderful as they appear. I have a really loving DH and two adopted DDs of 11 and 9. They mostly behave perfectly in public. As a family, we're pretty well off thanks to my DH being on W Google salaried and a couple of inheritances. We live in an extended 4 bed house in a very nice estate. We can afford for me being an SAHM and my DH WFH.

The reality? The biggest inheritance came from my F, who died 23 years ago. He sexually abused my DSis and me all through our childhoods.

Our DD1 has SEN and adoption related attachment issues. She refuses to settle at night and has loud rages. She used to lash out at me physically.

I have MH issues myself (PTSD) and I'm now suffering from long Covid, which has really brought me to my knees over the last year. My DH was off work for two months with stress and burn-out? Get the picture?

I share none of this on Facebook. So you would think I had the perfect life if you followed me on Facebook.

In short, OP, there is no reason to be jealous of anyone. We all have our battles and are muddling our way through life as best we can. You really should focus on making as good a life for yourself as you can.

However, I realise that feelings aren't rational. I think it would be helpful for you to explore through therapy what it is that makes you constantly resent other people being happy, and rejoicing in other people's misfortunes. You don't have to live this way.

And I agree with @user1481840227 there's no need to feel embarrassment when explaining yourself to your therapist. They will have heard far worse! And the fact that it embarrasses you that you feel like this is positive as it shows that you don't want to continue being like this.

Jackie2022 Tue 23-Feb-21 23:54:21

Seek therapy, honestly

It’s concerning that you feel happiness at other’s misfortune, especially as your vitriol stems from them being more attractive/successful than you rather than them doing anything to deserve your hate.

Imagine going through something distressing like a loved one passing or being made redundant, meanwhile @KeepingItKalm has a massive grin on their face that you’re upset because you get more likes than her on Instagram and are therefore deserving of the hardship confused

You don’t sound like a well-adjusted adult. You’re clearly carrying around all sorts of mental baggage and I feel sorry for you. You sound thoroughly insecure in all aspects of life, because if you were confident with what you bring to the table in terms of looks or career success, you wouldn’t feel like this. We’re merely human and all have flaws. Talking this through with a professional may help you move on.

ginandwineandbaileys Wed 24-Feb-21 00:07:23

I'm in one of the categories that you're jealous of, possibly two. But, I left my abusive exh, have had three miscarriages (after he pushed me down stairs, on one occasion, another pushed me into a low shelf), have two sons with SEN, who will,never be independent, my neighbours make my home life a living hell every summer, I never sleep (two Sen ds's), my sister stole my inheritance, I have had no support bubble all through lockdown, and I can't be with the only man I've ever actually liked, because of circumstance.
If I sit down and think about it all, it overwhelms me. Because I'm an do,sod all about any of it

ginandwineandbaileys Wed 24-Feb-21 00:08:16

*because I can do sod all about it

SilverRoe Wed 24-Feb-21 00:37:36

Try to stop seeing these women as a series of elements of things you are jealous of (looks, success etc) and as whole human beings in their own right. at the moment you are viewing these women as just representing one thing you want or feel lacking in. That’s not a realistic way to view anyone, people are way more complex than the one element about them that stands out to you.

At the end of the day, people often try to make others or themselves feel better by saying oh someone might be pretty but has a horrible partner or she’s successful but hasn’t got a nice family etc. That’s just the same thing in reverse - focusing on the ‘bad’ (real or imagined) to make yourself feel better about the ‘good’(real or imagined) qualities they possess that you feel you are lacking.

Instead, try and respect these women are just people. No one leads a charmed existence, with every element of their life worked out and happy all the time. We all have pain, difficulties, hurts. If you look at it that way then it makes these people - people, not just a snapshot of something you feel jealous of to base your bad feelings on.

OldWomanSaysThis Wed 24-Feb-21 01:09:42

Did your Mother do this and verbalize it when you were growing up, by chance?

customwatkins Wed 24-Feb-21 01:47:07

What you perceive is not the reality of peoples lives - everyone is slightly dysfunctional and has their own problems. What you are jealous of (the 'full package' of success and happiness / perfection) doesn't truly exist.

I think you're very honest and brave admitting how you feel, most people feel that way to a certain degree.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 24-Feb-21 01:49:46

Internalised misogyny is a thing. Feminism is the answer!

Eckhart Wed 24-Feb-21 01:59:23

To give some examples, I am jealous of women who are: smarter than me, better-looking than me, more sociable than me, richer than me, and so on

You have to work out why you feel inferior in each of these ways. There are things you can change about yourself; if you don't feel smart enough, start learning. Turn into one of the clever people in the room. If you don't feel like you're good looking, get stylish. If you're not very sociable, what is actually wrong with that? There are some amazing, clever, good looking introverts in the world; why do you judge it negatively? Can't you be pleased with yourself that you don't have that desperate craving to be validated by others constantly?

The basis of what I'm saying is that you need to turn yourself into someone you respect. It's not a competition. All those people you are jealous of have people richer than them, better looking than them, cleverer than them. But do you think they spend time worrying about it? They probably sometimes do. An anybody who walks about thinking they are the best looking or cleverest or richest person in town isn't very nice really, so, perhaps you can start your self respect mission by respecting your own humility, which is a lovely quality.

Enough4me Wed 24-Feb-21 02:00:14

Back away from social media (like Facebook aka 'book of face') and spend more time being in the moment and being kind to yourself. With less time given to comparison it's much easier to feel more fulfilled.

I used to post regularly online to 'keep up' with friends on how I was doing/having things. I was also positive about my friend's posts, but often they would say their partner/DCs/ day out had been really hard work. So much of what is presented is fake or dressed-up to impress, it isn't really enviable.

MrWendel Wed 24-Feb-21 02:54:08

@KeepingItKalm Firstly, you are absolutely not alone in having these feelings, especially when it is so easy to compare our lives to others (via social media etc) and during the pandemic where we are all over-thinking everything.

I actually think - in a weird way! - your feelings show your underlying admiration for these women. You see them as beautiful, talented, creative etc. But you can't see the same in yourself (yet).

As PP have said, cut any social media use down (completely if possible). There is a reason that social media is a huge source of stress and mental anguish for young people, because you are comparing your life to someone else's heavily edited/curated life. Please don't do this, because it's causing you to be unkind to yourself (and them).

Secondly, this is your time to be utterly selfish. Maybe think about what you want in your personal/professional life - it might be something like learning a new life skill, becoming healthier, a promotion etc. Make a plan and focus on that project.

The final thing that has definitely helped me is, if I have an inkling of a negative thought, just tell yourself to "stop" - don't dwell and torture yourself because comparison really is the thief of joy. There will always be more beautiful, richer, kinder people than us but take it each day as a time, because a mental adjustment is a habit you need to form thanks

Sundance5 Wed 24-Feb-21 07:56:34

user1481840227

**@Sundance5**, no it definitely sounds like jealousy.

"feeling or showing an envious resentment of someone or their achievements, possessions, or perceived advantages."

OP it's worrying that you feel gleeful if something bad happens to them, it's good that you don't want to feel that way and recognise those feelings, but it just shows that there's probably a lot of work for you to do on yourself.

At the end of the day comparing yourself constantly to other women and thinking that x and y about them is better than you must be making you extremely unhappy

You need to really throw yourself into self love, whatever that means for you and start to build up your self worth and self esteem and learn to stop thinking those thoughts about other women. If it's been going on for a long time now it's probably a habit to compare yourself and then imagine their perfect lives and then dwell on it and spend way too much time thinking about it.

Would you consider therapy? Therapy could help you identify compulsive thoughts you have and try to break the habit of thinking them. It can obviously also give you the tools to learn to love yourself, perhaps you might need different therapists for those issues.

I know you might feel embarrassed admitting the issue to a therapist but they will have heard worse!! and they won't be looking at you thinking anything bad about you at all, they'll just be focused on trying to help you!


Emotions are subjective, there is no science behind them so if you do some reading, you will find lots of perspectives on this.

In this case it could be helpful to think about this situation within the context of whether or not these women pose a threat to the OP's relationships or possessions. In this context it appears that they do not, therefore it could be helpful to think about this within the context of envy. You can manage this situation by trying to achieve the things which the other women have, that you envy so much.

Lostinwinter Wed 24-Feb-21 07:58:10

'Comparison is the thief of joy.

justanotherneighinparadise Wed 24-Feb-21 08:04:17

I agree with PP. This is never about other people and always about how you feel about yourself. When your life is ‘going well’ you’ll find you are happy for those who are also enjoying success.

If you feel ‘lesser than’ most of the time though then other people will always be better than you. That’s just how that works 🙁

poppyzbrite4 Wed 24-Feb-21 10:13:28

KeepingItKalm

I feel bad admitting this, but I am often jealous of other women. I absolutely do not act upon these feelings, and I would never do something bad to a woman that I am jealous of.

Anyway, I feel that these thoughts impact me negatively. I worry that i may unconsciously treat women I'm jealous of badly.

To give some examples, I am jealous of women who are: smarter than me, better-looking than me, more sociable than me, richer than me, and so on.

I feel awful admitting this, but if something mildly bad happens to a woman I am jealous of, I feel gleeful. I absolutely don't want to feel this way, but I do.

How can I combat these feelings? sad

I think admitting something like this shows maturity and you're already making great strides. Whenever I've felt jealous of someone else, it's been because my self esteem has been low at the time. I remember being jealous of a friend as she was tall and slim and strode around doing her own thing. At the time I was ill, going through countless tests for a medical diagnosis and overweight. I was in a lot of pain and would have given anything to be like her. I was feeling very down on myself at the time. I'm feeling a lot better now and I don't envy her at all.

When I'm feeling good about myself, I'm really pleased for other people for their successes. I think your well needs replenishing because at the moment, it sounds as though you have nothing positive to give out. I agree that working on your self esteem and changing your mindset would really help.

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