Haters, haters, haters.
When you envisioned getting that promotion, buying that new car or getting in a relationship that really makes you happy, you might have just forgotten the downside of success.
Unfortunately, when people are doing well, it's not uncommon for others to suffer from jealousy and envy and try to bring the high flyers down. This can be hurtful or stressful if it’s acquaintances or colleagues or neighbors doing the envying, but it can be especially painful if your friends and family are jealous, too. They might start putting you down, throwing shade on your success, or out and out trying to sabotage you.
It would be great if all this could be avoided, but we have to face reality – most people get jealous from time to time, and that emotion certainly doesn’t bring out the best in us. It’s even likely that sometime in the past you’ve felt jealous because someone else had something you wanted, or achieved something you aspired to. Maybe you managed to keep that envy inside, maybe not. So unless you’re Mother Teresa, you’ve probably been a hater at some point in your life, too. Since we’ve all been through it, we can empathize with people feeling less than, and help ourselves in the process too.
Thankfully, there are some straightforward ways to deal with the negativity thrown at us. We’ll share some of the best tips for staying positive and successful, no matter the shade people throw at you:
1. Encourage and inspire
When we see anyone doing well, there are two things we can feel – jealousy, or inspiration. Some people will feel jealousy no matter what they do, but many can be swayed from envy to inspiration, depending on the way you treat them.
For example, if you flaunt your exotic vacation all over Facebook, then pay your employees poorly and treat them without respect, you can expect jealousy all the way. If you are arrogant about your achievements, people aren’t likely to rise above envy.
But if you encourage people – showing them you believe they can succeed, and wanting them to rise as you have – they might just be inspired by your achievements, possessions, and accolades.
This encouragement and inspiration could take many forms. If you’re successful in business, you might decide to join a mentoring program, for example. If you’re doing well in an impoverished community, consider ways you can sustainably share your wealth and help others benefit. Giving back, being humble, and encouraging others are great ways to minimize jealousy and start inspiring others. And it always pays social dividends to treat everyone around you with respect, no matter their position.
2. Make sure you’re in the right circle
If you find your friends are envying your success, you might want to consider how close the friendships really are. In our view, friendships should be based on encouraging one another to achieve our goals, strive for what we want, and reach our potential. If you see that your friends turn sour as soon as you taste success, it might be time to re-evaluate those friendships.
Though it can be daunting letting people go from your life, especially if you’ve known them for a long time, it’s important to keep in mind that people’s circles often change during different phases of life. It’s common to want to be around people who have a similar mindset to you, and who can understand the goals you want to achieve. While we don’t advise ditching all your friends, keep an eye out for who is really supporting you, and who’s just tagging with you, bringing jealousy along for the ride.
3. Don’t let others define you
One way people try to mess with your head is to tell you what you are, what you’re capable of, and what you should be doing with your life. You’ll have seen many celebrities and others go off the rails a short time after they gain success, and this is usually because of the people they have around them. It’s important to cultivate a sense of self that is solid and strong, so that you know who you are and where you’re going, and can’t be swayed by others.
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