Recommended, 2022

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Envious of the girlfriend: That's why it's ok

I'm happy for you about your new friend, your success in the job or your great kids. Sometimes it is hard to give the girlfriend what you would like to have.

Envy of the best friend: not so unusual
Photo: Istock
  1. Envy is normal
  2. Envy becomes motivation
  3. Envy decreases with age

But why that is okay, now reveals a study.

As a child, when you feel jealous of another child, when it's better at school or at sports, it's perfectly fine. Our entire school system and many areas of our society are based on comparing. "It's always about the comparison, " says Dr. Susanne Jones, a scientist at the University of Minnesota. Since a friendship is not spared.

Envy is normal

And why is the comparison so deeply rooted in our society? This is due to the evolution of humanity. "We live in groups and not in isolation, which means we have to manage how we live together, " says Jones.

In other words, the desire to be accepted in a group lies in our DNA. This also means that as soon as someone stands out from a group by positive peculiarities, we want to be like him, in order to be accepted.

Envy becomes motivation

So as soon as your girlfriend shows up in a great pair of jeans, has a nice new boyfriend, or makes a remarkable trip, you'll be less afraid of being accepted. "Envy does not have to be a bad thing, " says Dr. John Sharp of Harvard Medical School. He can also transform himself into motivation to achieve more goals.

So if you are jealous of your girlfriend now and then, you do not have to worry. It is more important to question whether you yourself might want to improve something. Maybe you do not have the job you want or you do not like your character? Then thanks to your girlfriend, because it helps you to develop motivation for these goals.

Envy decreases with age

But there is also hope: the desire to compare decreases with increasing age. At least that's what science says. In teenage groups, the desire for acceptance and therefore envy is much higher than for older adults.

The next time you are jealous, you should think of three things: Why am I jealous? Am I unhappy with myself? Does that make me what my girlfriend is really happy or am I looking for something completely different? Maybe this will also help your girlfriend say more often, "I'm happy for you!"