The Green-Eyed Envy Monster

Image by citris blossoms

There is not a passion so strongly rooted in the human heart as envy. ~ Richard Brinsley Sheridan

Envy gets a bad rap in our society, with fair cause.  But today I want to talk about the positive aspects of envy. I believe that envy can be a great helper in your life, if you know how to tune in and use it wisely.

Image: mamadeon.wordpress.com

Think of envy as a little green monster that sits on your shoulder, a friendly monster who knows you well, watching and observing as you go through life.

When he sees something that you want (whether you recognise that fact or not), he digs his claws into your shoulder, causing you a sting of discomfort.

If it’s something that’s actually quite important to you, the green-eyed monster’s fat, heavy tail may also slap you on the side of the head, to make sure you’re paying attention.

Ouch!

And then a little flag goes up in the perimeter of your conscious awareness, to mark that space for you. It will make you feel uncomfortable, restless, cranky, perhaps even a bit pouty. It can also make you feel inadequate, guilty, insecure, or ‘not enough’.

Image from performanceobjectivesnow.com

But be brave.  Move past those reactive feelings. They are only there to get your attention.  Now he’s got it, tune in to the envy monster’s message.

He’ll whisper in your ear, “look… look… the boots she’s wearing… the job he’s doing… how fit she is… the review for his book… their holiday house in France… the freedom they enjoy… those friends having dinner together… did you see that?  did you feel that? We could do that.  We could have that.  We could be that.”

And you’ll know it’s true.  Maybe it’s not enough to be a clerical assistant any more – maybe you should go back to night school. Maybe you need to lose a few pounds, update your wardrobe, go on a holiday, dust off that half-finished manuscript and have another crack at it, start dating or end a go-nowhere relationship…

There is a seed of self-awareness in envy, and if you plant that seed in a barren part of your life, water it, nurture it, and help it grow, it will one day bear sweet fruit.

Image from beautifullyaddicted.com

And then the green-eyed envy monster will have a nice long, well-deserved nap, because you won’t need him any more.

♥ You deserve to shine.

♥ You deserve to follow your dreams.

♥ You deserve to be happy and well loved.

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Image from blog.zoosk.com

29 thoughts on “The Green-Eyed Envy Monster

  1. What a wonderful post, and so well written. Yes, let’s put that green-eyed monster to bed… we definitely do not need him anymore. Such enjoyable reading you share with us here. Thank you for helping foster soul growth in us all. Blessings and Love to you, Gina

  2. I’m finding this is a really helpful way to look at those twinges of env,y when they happen…to look at what I might be reacting to or wanting…and if it’s something that I consider “worthy” to use that as a message that I might want to develop in that area…just as you write about here…and then to work in my own mind to not water that reaction toward others, but to work on that in my own life….did I make sense there?…to use it as a helpful clue for figuring out what I might want to pursue…
    Oh Nicole…I just love those last three heart bullets…oh, love, love, love them…and they went straight into my heart…. : )

  3. Very well put and very true !
    Such a wonderful twist on a feeling that is completely misunderstood and looked over.
    Wonderful to see that we could turn anything into a positive lesson and use it constructively to better ourselves.

  4. Perfect…cute happy images…and I just love your flip-side view of Envy….the seed of self-awareness. As per usual your postings seem to be perfect for me each and every day…don’t know why I’ve awoken today feeling lost & a little sad….but this post has brightened my day…thank you…XX

  5. Good morning Nicole, and what a great post on envy. I couldn’t agree more….this emotion or feeling is just like any other feeling….it’s a beautiful messenger that there are beliefs and aspects of yourself, or the way you view and do life that needs some TLC.

  6. That is the cutest green monster ever!!!! All emotions seem to be signposts huh? Good reframe of envy, will use that! Hugs sx

  7. That’s a very interesting take on envy, I’ve never heard it described quite like that. I like the idea of the monster tail slap to make sure you’re paying attention. 🙂 Hey Lorna, you know you want a Toyota Hilux, well what are you going to do about it? I would like that little fellow to have a rest, so it’s a good reminder to turn envy around into something positive. I love the images you used, the last one is really very sweet.

  8. What a great way to turn around our perspective on envy. I never thought of envy as being a positive force in our lives, but it makes sense to look at it as a sign of what we could have instead of what we don’t.

    Thanks, Nicole. You always inspire me!

  9. There’s not a <3 big enough to show how much I love this!!! Thanks so much for writing on this subject – written so clearly too. My envy monster (who is currently bound, gagged, chained and boxed in a very deep hole) will be mightily happy to be let loose.

    I've been blind to so much that I love but I'm learning I *can* have those things that make my heart sing (and dance!), and Mr Greeny will help point them out for me! xxxx

  10. THANK YOU SO MUCH Nicole!!!
    I never thought of using envy as a positive tool. In fact, I was so convinced that envy is something bad, that I used to completely ignore it, despise it and feel SO guilty when I just feel it. When guilt is very strong I even try to talk to myself, and tell myself that my envy can’t be bad as long as I am happy for others, as long as I don’t want them hurt because of what they have. I am the opposite. I am really and honestly so happy for others. My envy is never for something they possess, the only envy I can feel is for love, the need to feel loved.

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