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Thread: Envy? Whatís the basis for that feeling?

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    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Envy? Whatís the basis for that feeling?

    Maybe itís also jealousy, I donít know. Iím not talking about when you are in a relationship and jealous or INSECURE of what your partner is doing. Iím talking about a love interest, perhaps even a really close friend with whom you have a deep connection and that feeling of envy or jealousy that other people get to experience them in a way that you wish you could. Physically or emotionally or whatever. Iím asking more because I am doing a lot of work on myself at the moment and I donít feel that the root of this is the same as the jealousy and insecurity one might feel if they are with someone else. Iím strictly talking about people you arenít with. I donít think itís necessarily about worthiness but Iím trying to get to the bottom of it. Thanks!

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    So does it matter that much what the root is when you know it's an envious feeling? Envy typically means you want what the other person has. When I was single there were times I simply could not stomach hearing about a friend's success in a relationship, or her pregnancy, etc. I made myself be there for the person as best I could and was honest with myself that it made me so envious of what she had and what seemed to be just out of my grasp (seemed).

    You used a lot of pronouns so I'm not sure I got the gist of it. Are you envious of a close friend getting to experience that same close connection with someone else?

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    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Oh I see what you mean. Yes, professionally, when I first started I wanted to be in some circles I wasn't a part of initially unless I wrote an exam or some other. I wanted to be a part of something I wasn't qualified for. That happens. It was a social/professional thing.

    I also have brothers and wasn't included in some things they went off to do also because maybe they thought I wasn't into it. I think looking back, I might not have appeared interested (probably clueless not necessarily not interested). It always resolved if I asked though. They've always included me then.

    I also have friends from different backgrounds in different groups so obviously there are some cultural or religious events (Muslim) that I've not been able to attend as I'm Catholic. These are childhood friends and we are very close. I've experienced envy at their tight knit community. I attend all other events though and have never felt excluded otherwise.

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    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Envy? Whatís the basis for that feeling?

    Originally Posted by Batya33
    So does it matter that much what the root is when you know it's an envious feeling? Envy typically means you want what the other person has. When I was single there were times I simply could not stomach hearing about a friend's success in a relationship, or her pregnancy, etc. I made myself be there for the person as best I could and was honest with myself that it made me so envious of what she had and what seemed to be just out of my grasp (seemed).

    You used a lot of pronouns so I'm not sure I got the gist of it. Are you envious of a close friend getting to experience that same close connection with someone else?
    I think you and Rose Mosse answered it perfectly. Yes, itís envy and not only in personal relationships but I am more talking about the last piece which I have experienced a few times throughout the years of having that envy of a close friend and their other personal relationships or even, at times, and I KNOW this is lacking in boundaries but I have experienced it twice and so Iím asking, which is having feelings for a friend and knowing they are romantically involved with others and having that twinge in your solar plexus because you want that with them. Iím not currently lacking boundaries or anything, but this has happened before and I can feel that itís still around somewhere and so Iím asking so that I can figure out the basis of it so I can work with that feeling. I mean, the feeling isnít logical.

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    Feelings are feelings. They're not supposed to be logical. I mean it makes perfect sense that if you want person A but A wants B instead of you you're going to envy that A and B have the connection you wanted. Or you want what A and B have in general and you envy that they were able to have that and you were not. Seems like a very typical feeling. How you react to that feeling is your choice despite not being able to control the feeling. Why the delving into "lacking in boundaries?" I'm not even sure what that would refer to -certainly if you reacted to the feeling by saying to A "I envy that you found that with B - I know I asked you 5 times in the last week why you don't feel that with me but can you explain that again?" Or my former friend who made snide comments about my marriage like "well you know you were just lucky to get married." Um no. Part luck for sure not all luck. I believe her to be jealous of my marriage and that comment was her rude way of dealing with her feelings. Not sure if I'd describe it as "boundaries" but she wasn't playing nicely in the sandbox.

    Or, if it's envy of something you cannot have then that's normal too - it's a feeling. Why limit what feelings you're allowed to have (it doesn't work anyway).

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I think of envy as an external projection of inward frustrations, something you've decided you lack internally (but can't quite define) and so you envy another person who seems to have it, with the hard definition of their personhood filing in the blanks of what's blurry inside you, the thing you can't quite define but are very, very hungry to define.

    So, what's the root?

    From what you've written, with so much focus on emotional connections, I'd say a part of you is disconnected from yourself. It's like you know there is a deeper end of the pool that is you, but haven't found access to it, or quite learned to swim in it. So others who you connect with but seem to connect with others on a different, deeper planeóyour craving that is, perhaps, you craving something inside that is there but not quite found. You see them as being better swimmers, in a sense, the way a small kid sees the teens playing in the diving well and, well, envies them.

    That's not to write this off as childish. Just trying to help you understand it.

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    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Feelings are feelings. They're not supposed to be logical. I mean it makes perfect sense that if you want person A but A wants B instead of you you're going to envy that A and B have the connection you wanted. Or you want what A and B have in general and you envy that they were able to have that and you were not. Seems like a very typical feeling. How you react to that feeling is your choice despite not being able to control the feeling. Why the delving into "lacking in boundaries?" I'm not even sure what that would refer to -certainly if you reacted to the feeling by saying to A "I envy that you found that with B - I know I asked you 5 times in the last week why you don't feel that with me but can you explain that again?" Or my former friend who made snide comments about my marriage like "well you know you were just lucky to get married." Um no. Part luck for sure not all luck. I believe her to be jealous of my marriage and that comment was her rude way of dealing with her feelings. Not sure if I'd describe it as "boundaries" but she wasn't playing nicely in the sandbox.

    Or, if it's envy of something you cannot have then that's normal too - it's a feeling. Why limit what feelings you're allowed to have (it doesn't work anyway).
    Yeah, I guess thatís all very true. I guess I feel like itís probably part of being human at the same time, I want to know how to better handle those feelings. In the past, my best friend and I had that happen with each other and we didnít handle it well but this was 10 years ago and we have grown past that place in spades. But that feeling is not a favorite of mine. Now, in this day and age, I handle myself much better and I donít ask for people to explain things to me. I know very well why I feel envious in cases like that. Itís the exact A/B scenario that you mentioned above and sure, I am an adult and I manage that well outwardly but how do you manage it inwardly. How do you not feel that twinge? How do you not want something you canít have? I guess itís the question.

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    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I think of envy as an external projection of inward frustrations, something you've decided you lack internally (but can't quite define) and so you envy another person who seems to have it, with the hard definition of their personhood filing in the blanks of what's blurry inside you, the thing you can't quite define but are very, very hungry to define.

    So, what's the root?

    From what you've written, with so much focus on emotional connections, I'd say a part of you is disconnected from yourself. It's like you know there is a deeper end of the pool that is you, but haven't found access to it, or quite learned to swim in it. So others who you connect with but seem to connect with others on a different, deeper planeóyour craving that is, perhaps, you craving something inside that is there but not quite found. You see them as being better swimmers, in a sense, the way a small kid sees the teens playing in the diving well and, well, envies them.

    That's not to write this off as childish. Just trying to help you understand it.
    Thank you, Bluecastle. Yes, I think it has to do with a connection to myself that I do have but am working on, but the funny thing is, there have been times in the past when I have been deeply connected to someone but they were physically connected to someone else. Does that make sense? So I was very aware of our connection and it was wonderful and unique, etc. but I wasnít the one they were physically with. Iím not talking about affairs or improprieties necessarily. There werenít always conversations about it. Just that feeling.

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nebraskagirl14
    But that feeling is not a favorite of mine. Now, in this day and age, I handle myself much better and I donít ask for people to explain things to me. I know very well why I feel envious in cases like that. Itís the exact A/B scenario that you mentioned above and sure, I am an adult and I manage that well outwardly but how do you manage it inwardly. How do you not feel that twinge? How do you not want something you canít have? I guess itís the question.
    Speaking for myself, I go out and get the very thing I can't have. No, I don't mean I steal my friend's girlfriend or car. I isolate whatever that thing is I wantówheels, sex, love, enlightenment, whateveróand make it happen. Sometimes that's easier than other times, of course, but the commitment to that journey, for me, negates the twinge of envy. With that mindset, those who have what I don'tóbe it material, emotional, or physicalóbecome sources of inspiration rather than frustration.

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    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nebraskagirl14
    Thank you, Bluecastle. Yes, I think it has to do with a connection to myself that I do have but am working on, but the funny thing is, there have been times in the past when I have been deeply connected to someone but they were physically connected to someone else. Does that make sense? So I was very aware of our connection and it was wonderful and unique, etc. but I wasnít the one they were physically with. Iím not talking about affairs or improprieties necessarily. There werenít always conversations about it. Just that feeling.
    Sure, this makes sense.

    Conjuring up the ghosts of past threadsówithout a deep dive, so apologues if my memory is foggyóI think all that is connected to a state of emotional unavailability, or semi-availability, that you've been wrestling with. I can certainly relate. You want that full packageóthe emotional and physical pyrotechnic show you build and sustain with one person. But it's remained just out reach, while others seem to have a handle on it.

    With these slightly jagged connections you get, in ways, a shortcut to that, but a limited one. Your quiet longing for them physically, or quiet envy of another who gets "all" of them, in ways can feed the emotional connection, at least in an illusory way. And that's stuff to be careful with. Because it can feel deep and wild and mysterious, training you to experience a certain set of circumstances and stimuli as "depth," when in fact it's not nearly as deep as you want, and where some of those big feelings are getting stirred, by you, in your shallower pools.

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