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Thread: Envy? What’s the basis for that feeling?

  1. #11
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    Originally Posted by Nebraskagirl14
    Yeah, I guess that’s all very true. I guess I feel like it’s 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 didn’t 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 don’t ask for people to explain things to me. I know very well why I feel envious in cases like that. It’s 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 can’t have? I guess it’s the question.
    Oh so I think it's futile to try to control feelings. Just the reaction to feelings. So if you choose not to react then eventually that feeling becomes less and less of a twinge and stays on the periphery. Another way is by living your best life and that includes- as you put it - reacting to those feelings in a mature and responsible way.

    We all want things we can't have all the time. It's normal, it's the human condition and sure there are exceptions -there are times we will never feel that way, there are people who practice forms of meditation or similar who I understand do not feel that way (so they say and for all I know, it's true!). But it's really how you choose to react. Here are some of the ways I deal with that feeling and other unpleasant feelings - I pound the treadmill even harder, scrub the floor even harder, I sing (yes, if I'm feeling icky/stressed especially around my child who doesn't deserve it, I sing in a way that slows down my breathing and we have little "inside mom-son" songs that I sing daily to him, no I cannot carry a tune in the least, who cares), I drink water, I call a friend but not to vent about my stuff, to listen and talk about other stuff. I count my blessings. Not "think positive" and not 'stop that feeling!" but just gain perspective.

    So, nothing fancy. Nothing with $200/hour therapy-speak. I mean sure therapy can be awesome and what I don't find awesome is a practice of immediately turning to complex psychological terms when the person is not a psychologist because to me that just overcomplicates and overanalyzes and proposes solutions that often are described on social media like "30-day detox" or some new trendy app to track whether your meditation is working. I like to start really simple and basic and force myself to describe the issue in those terms.

    I do want things that I haven't been able to accomplish. I see other people accomplish those things. Social media makes it even harder. I'm 53 and I am so thankful that I didn't have social media in my face in my teens, 20s or most of my 30s. I cannot imagine.

  2. #12
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Envy? What’s the basis for that feeling?

    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    Sure, this makes sense.

    Conjuring up the ghosts of past threads—without a deep dive, so apologues if my memory is foggy—I 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 package—the 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.
    I loved your response above this and to this one, you’re absolutely right. And the funny thing is, I don’t think the other relationships are by any means perfect and so I’m not romanticizing the other relationships, per se. Just more like they get to connect physically and I would love to have that because there is that attraction there. I have been really looking at this closely recently and starting to work with a friend who is a healer on loving unconditionally and without attachment to outcomes. Far easier said than done but definitely something to strive for.

  3. #13
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    Oh so I think it's futile to try to control feelings. Just the reaction to feelings. So if you choose not to react then eventually that feeling becomes less and less of a twinge and stays on the periphery. Another way is by living your best life and that includes- as you put it - reacting to those feelings in a mature and responsible way.

    We all want things we can't have all the time. It's normal, it's the human condition and sure there are exceptions -there are times we will never feel that way, there are people who practice forms of meditation or similar who I understand do not feel that way (so they say and for all I know, it's true!). But it's really how you choose to react. Here are some of the ways I deal with that feeling and other unpleasant feelings - I pound the treadmill even harder, scrub the floor even harder, I sing (yes, if I'm feeling icky/stressed especially around my child who doesn't deserve it, I sing in a way that slows down my breathing and we have little "inside mom-son" songs that I sing daily to him, no I cannot carry a tune in the least, who cares), I drink water, I call a friend but not to vent about my stuff, to listen and talk about other stuff. I count my blessings. Not "think positive" and not 'stop that feeling!" but just gain perspective.

    So, nothing fancy. Nothing with $200/hour therapy-speak. I mean sure therapy can be awesome and what I don't find awesome is a practice of immediately turning to complex psychological terms when the person is not a psychologist because to me that just overcomplicates and overanalyzes and proposes solutions that often are described on social media like "30-day detox" or some new trendy app to track whether your meditation is working. I like to start really simple and basic and force myself to describe the issue in those terms.

    I do want things that I haven't been able to accomplish. I see other people accomplish those things. Social media makes it even harder. I'm 53 and I am so thankful that I didn't have social media in my face in my teens, 20s or most of my 30s. I cannot imagine.
    Ha! Funny you should say singing!! I have been doing that a lot and it definitely always makes me feel better. I appreciate your very real and Human take on this issue, Batya. I know it isn’t abnormal to feel such things, but I, as someone who endeavors to be emotionally intelligent or at least more than I have been in the past, definitely want to deal with things better than I ever have before.

  4. #14
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I'm going to be a bit more blunt, with the hopes I don't come across as harsh.

    My suggestion? In addition to all the woo-woo healer stuff—stuff I'm all for, by the way, so long as it remains about self-extracting as opposed to self-absorption—turn on the really bright lights and call yourself out. Demystify it all, shrink it down to the nub. And what's the nub? Well, you're connecting in ways that are a little shallow, immature, and a touch shady, if only in the confines of your mind—ways that you've outgrown but remain habitual, to your frustration, especially when you see others who have found another level of being.

    I've done therapy, done woo-woo, with results. I've also learned to call my bs, and think therapy and woo-woo should still be mainly about that, past the language of diagnostics and mysticism. This is all ongoing, of course, and will be until the clock strikes zero. Still, there have been stark results in the quality of my connections—within and with others. There has been a change in habits, a reckoning of urges inside me that once felt contradictory into one whole. There is less drama to chew on, more deep waters to swim in.

    Without meaning to, because it came very naturally to me, and which I'm sharing with a sense that you can relate, I was often someone who created a kind of nebulous buzz with my connections: a place where love, sex, spunk, and a dash of darkness braided together into something potent. Mind you, I'm not talking about one night stands, flings, and affairs—or even, really, romance. My platonic relationships with men had a whiff of this, part of the binding glue. A buzzy energy that felt deep and was all sorts of intoxicating.

    Until, well, it didn't, wasn't. Or, put differently: not deep enough, a version of intoxication that was more of a headache than anything else. I'm not envious of much, since I know myself to be highly capable and functional. If I wanted $10 million, I'd get it. I want other things, and get them. That engine is pretty refined. But what triggered those twinges in me, as my 20s gave way to my soon-to-be over 30s? Deep, earnest, sustained, and profound connections that others seemed to have while I was still cultivating the buzz in the shade, a bit. Swimming around in those shallow pools. That engine was a little clunky.

    Sometimes saying "I am a little immature and shady" is more beneficial than saying "I am a fluid, big-hearted searcher who has struggled to love unconditionally and am seeking guidance on that journey." Both may be true, connected, valuable. But while the former gives you something to really shed, the latter can give you something to hold onto, subconsciously. Same habits continue, with the justification of awareness and "work." Cycles repeat, time marches on. Familiar envies burn with more than a twinge.

    Rather than thinking about how to be someone we're not, I like to think a lot about the power of what we "lead" with, and challenging ourselves to lead with parts of ourselves that we may keep hidden. If I meet you at a bar and I lead with a flirty, mischievous side—a side I have, that's connected to all sorts of goodness in me—we are likely to have a flirty, mischievous friendship. It can deepen, expand, but that's still integral to the foundation.

    Fine when we're both single, suddenly complicated—or shallow—when one or both of us is not. Doesn't really matter that you have no interest in my gender romantically or sexually, which is why I'm using this example. The buzz is there, and it's preventing a certain level of depth that could maybe have been accessed had I (or you) led with something else. Then, when you or I start dating someone else there is just genuine excitement, no twinges, no blurred boundaries even in our imaginations—and, with that, greater depth for all and less to envy with others.

    Not sure if any of that resonates, but I'll post it anyway in the hopes that it does.

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  6. #15
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nebraskagirl14
    I think you and Rose Mosse answered it perfectly. Yes, it’s 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 I’m 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. I’m not currently lacking boundaries or anything, but this has happened before and I can feel that it’s still around somewhere and so I’m asking so that I can figure out the basis of it so I can work with that feeling. I mean, the feeling isn’t logical.
    Well, you use it to better yourself. That's what it's there for. And you go on and better yourself (develop yourself further) and learn from each other - your friends, your family, even strangers. Envy is only fleeting (a transition period) until you learn to master all the things you want to get better at in life. There's no competition, really, other than the one with yourself.

  7. #16
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    I have feelings of jealousy and envy, too and whenever I feel this way, I remember what my mother had taught me ever since I was a teenager. She said to remember to grateful for everything because millions of people have it so much worse than you. They don't like the cards they were dealt with and struggle to cope daily. My mother said, "Lest you be grateful for everything." I never quite understood her concept until fairly recently.

    The grass isn't always greener on the other side either. People have their own personal troubles, bad memories which continue to haunt them to this day, poor health, nightmarish family dynamics, toxic dysfunction, mental illness, financial woes and lack so much in life. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors nor would you want to know. They put up a brave front for you yet you're jealous and envious of them. They are the ones who are insecure and none is the wiser.

    Keep in mind, YOU have something or a lot going on in your life that other people envy so much and yet they cannot ever attain it. I feel secure knowing this and gratitude causes me to count my blessings. You ought to try it and you will become a quietly content, secure, self confident person.

    What also helps me is that every month, I cook 30 servings for an abused kids home organization in my community. Volunteers cook for 30 servings in their homes and bring it to the site's kitchen and dining hall. There are hundreds of kids to feed and they hail from disadvantaged backgrounds of abuse, neglect, abandonment, homelessness, etc. I'm assigned to bring either a main dish, side dish or dessert. Whenever I see these kids who are so happy to receive these yummy meals, I feel grateful for my sound marriage and stable family life with two sons.

    I volunteer at a nursing home every week and give free manicures to the elderly. They tell me stories about WW2 and their youth. They're so lonely. It makes me feel both rewarded and grateful to volunteer. It's a huge slice of humble pie.

    All previous feelings of jealousy and envy disappear instantly. Help people who aren't as lucky as you are and you'll suddenly become quiet, introspective and give pause to thought for gratitude.

  8. #17
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    Yes, volunteer work does wonders for perspective -been volunteering regularly since 1981.

  9. #18
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I'm going to be a bit more blunt, with the hopes I don't come across as harsh.

    My suggestion? In addition to all the woo-woo healer stuff—stuff I'm all for, by the way, so long as it remains about self-extracting as opposed to self-absorption—turn on the really bright lights and call yourself out. Demystify it all, shrink it down to the nub. And what's the nub? Well, you're connecting in ways that are a little shallow, immature, and a touch shady, if only in the confines of your mind—ways that you've outgrown but remain habitual, to your frustration, especially when you see others who have found another level of being.

    I've done therapy, done woo-woo, with results. I've also learned to call my bs, and think therapy and woo-woo should still be mainly about that, past the language of diagnostics and mysticism. This is all ongoing, of course, and will be until the clock strikes zero. Still, there have been stark results in the quality of my connections—within and with others. There has been a change in habits, a reckoning of urges inside me that once felt contradictory into one whole. There is less drama to chew on, more deep waters to swim in.

    Without meaning to, because it came very naturally to me, and which I'm sharing with a sense that you can relate, I was often someone who created a kind of nebulous buzz with my connections: a place where love, sex, spunk, and a dash of darkness braided together into something potent. Mind you, I'm not talking about one night stands, flings, and affairs—or even, really, romance. My platonic relationships with men had a whiff of this, part of the binding glue. A buzzy energy that felt deep and was all sorts of intoxicating.

    Until, well, it didn't, wasn't. Or, put differently: not deep enough, a version of intoxication that was more of a headache than anything else. I'm not envious of much, since I know myself to be highly capable and functional. If I wanted $10 million, I'd get it. I want other things, and get them. That engine is pretty refined. But what triggered those twinges in me, as my 20s gave way to my soon-to-be over 30s? Deep, earnest, sustained, and profound connections that others seemed to have while I was still cultivating the buzz in the shade, a bit. Swimming around in those shallow pools. That engine was a little clunky.

    Sometimes saying "I am a little immature and shady" is more beneficial than saying "I am a fluid, big-hearted searcher who has struggled to love unconditionally and am seeking guidance on that journey." Both may be true, connected, valuable. But while the former gives you something to really shed, the latter can give you something to hold onto, subconsciously. Same habits continue, with the justification of awareness and "work." Cycles repeat, time marches on. Familiar envies burn with more than a twinge.

    Rather than thinking about how to be someone we're not, I like to think a lot about the power of what we "lead" with, and challenging ourselves to lead with parts of ourselves that we may keep hidden. If I meet you at a bar and I lead with a flirty, mischievous side—a side I have, that's connected to all sorts of goodness in me—we are likely to have a flirty, mischievous friendship. It can deepen, expand, but that's still integral to the foundation.

    Fine when we're both single, suddenly complicated—or shallow—when one or both of us is not. Doesn't really matter that you have no interest in my gender romantically or sexually, which is why I'm using this example. The buzz is there, and it's preventing a certain level of depth that could maybe have been accessed had I (or you) led with something else. Then, when you or I start dating someone else there is just genuine excitement, no twinges, no blurred boundaries even in our imaginations—and, with that, greater depth for all and less to envy with others.

    Not sure if any of that resonates, but I'll post it anyway in the hopes that it does.
    Thanks, Bluecastle. Yes, I would agree that what you are talking about and the relationships that I have mentioned have been a little shallow, immature and a touch shady. They have also been mutual. And the reason I mentioned the woo-woo stuff is that I want to change that pattern.

    "There has been a change in habits, a reckoning of urges inside me that once felt contradictory into one whole." Yes, but how did that happen? Therapy has done nothing for me in that way. I am happy to call myself out and I will be the first two admit that in my past, when I have had these two immature, shallow and shady connections, they were with people that I would have never wanted to be partnered with in life. They are both friends now and the relationships are no longer shady.

    "Fine when we're both single, suddenly complicated—or shallow—when one or both of us is not. Doesn't really matter that you have no interest in my gender romantically or sexually, which is why I'm using this example. The buzz is there, and it's preventing a certain level of depth that could maybe have been accessed had I (or you) led with something else."

    Led with what, though? Because I have been friends with a couple of people, totally platonic, with no intentions to be shady, but as we spent more time together, feelings developed and decisions then had to be made. One I ended up dating. One I never dated.

    I am single now which is why I find it the perfect time to work on this. I am definitely not avoiding calling myself out. I am posting this essentially TO call myself out and say, "Hey look, I have a pattern of being attracted to unavailable people." I know that that probably happens because I myself am only partially emotionally available. In relationships, I have been with people that try to marry me and have my babies or are totally emotionally unavailable and frankly, I'm not into either of those scenarios. I guess being attracted to unavailable people has something to do with a romanticizing and a safety because you get to have the chemistry without them trying to lock you up and keep you forever and without being burned by their emotional unavailability. However, with the latter scenarios, there is a hankering for the physical because there is chemistry. And I'm not talking about people in relationships necessarily. I have dated people that were available but not AVAILABLE emotionally. So, yes, be honest in writing this stuff. I'm good with it. It's why I posted here.

    So, there is the foundation of this question. But what is the solution to a pattern like this? All areas of my life go really well. I'm a professional. I am responsible, etc. But this has been a sticking point for me and I'm working on it so I don't get into another relationship that isn't going to work out. And I don't blame them. I know what I am attracting and why. But I don't know why I find it so attractive.

  10. #19
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Yes, thank you, Rose. That is how I'm trying to use it now :)

  11. #20
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Cherylyn
    I have feelings of jealousy and envy, too and whenever I feel this way, I remember what my mother had taught me ever since I was a teenager. She said to remember to grateful for everything because millions of people have it so much worse than you. They don't like the cards they were dealt with and struggle to cope daily. My mother said, "Lest you be grateful for everything." I never quite understood her concept until fairly recently.

    The grass isn't always greener on the other side either. People have their own personal troubles, bad memories which continue to haunt them to this day, poor health, nightmarish family dynamics, toxic dysfunction, mental illness, financial woes and lack so much in life. You don't know what goes on behind closed doors nor would you want to know. They put up a brave front for you yet you're jealous and envious of them. They are the ones who are insecure and none is the wiser.

    Keep in mind, YOU have something or a lot going on in your life that other people envy so much and yet they cannot ever attain it. I feel secure knowing this and gratitude causes me to count my blessings. You ought to try it and you will become a quietly content, secure, self confident person.

    What also helps me is that every month, I cook 30 servings for an abused kids home organization in my community. Volunteers cook for 30 servings in their homes and bring it to the site's kitchen and dining hall. There are hundreds of kids to feed and they hail from disadvantaged backgrounds of abuse, neglect, abandonment, homelessness, etc. I'm assigned to bring either a main dish, side dish or dessert. Whenever I see these kids who are so happy to receive these yummy meals, I feel grateful for my sound marriage and stable family life with two sons.

    I volunteer at a nursing home every week and give free manicures to the elderly. They tell me stories about WW2 and their youth. They're so lonely. It makes me feel both rewarded and grateful to volunteer. It's a huge slice of humble pie.

    All previous feelings of jealousy and envy disappear instantly. Help people who aren't as lucky as you are and you'll suddenly become quiet, introspective and give pause to thought for gratitude.
    Ahhh, yes, Cherylyn-

    Amazing points and the volunteering is a wonderful suggestion. thank you. I have done quite a bit of volunteer work with animals and that kind of thing really does take you out of your own stuff.

    Thank you!

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