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Thread: Envy? Whatís the basis for that feeling?

  1. #31
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by catfeeder
    Fantasy. The more we engage that, the deeper we can drill ourselves into an emotional ditch, even while reality smacks us back to recognizing what we don't want to recognize. So the less we engage fantasy 'about' people and engage the actual person, instead, realistically within the limits of what they offer, the less likely we are to project emotional stuff onto them.

    We're each in charge of our own choices. We can invest in learning how to discipline our mind to work in our own favor and lead us to external action in the real world, or we can live in our head and suffer the consequences of that.

    Our thoughts aren't something that happens 'to' us.
    I always think to myself, ďWWCFS (What would Catfeeder say?Ē I do agree with you in the way that I romanize things and I remember you have said this before. I am practicing being more present with people as they are, not putting too much on it and that has been more rewarding than the fantasy. I was thinking last night about how grateful I am for what I do have with my friends and that also puts me back into the reality of what is. Itís a dance and Iím also an emotional person confirmed by every personality test ever. If I were more logical, perhaps I wouldnít get caught up as much in the romance in my head. But I am a romantic. I find nothing wrong with that. I just want to keep great boundaries as well.

  2. #32
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Wiseman2
    Envy is the gradient between what you want and what have. Close the gap.
    Itís true, Wiseman. I guess when itís a material item or an experience, itís simple. But what if itís a relationship? And not just any relationship is the thing...

  3. #33
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    Originally Posted by Nebraskagirl14
    I always think to myself, ďWWCFS (What would Catfeeder say?Ē I do agree with you in the way that I romanize things and I remember you have said this before. I am practicing being more present with people as they are, not putting too much on it and that has been more rewarding than the fantasy. I was thinking last night about how grateful I am for what I do have with my friends and that also puts me back into the reality of what is. Itís a dance and Iím also an emotional person confirmed by every personality test ever. If I were more logical, perhaps I wouldnít get caught up as much in the romance in my head. But I am a romantic. I find nothing wrong with that. I just want to keep great boundaries as well.
    No, it's not about being an "emotional" person (or a "logical" person) or about what tests label you as. You don't have to "be" more logical or "be" more or less emotional. Or not be a romantic. Be who you are, and you are in control of the choices you make - you are not a label. You are a person who makes choices as to how to react to feelings/thoughts/situations, not a passive participant in a car wash of emotions or romanticisms. You get to pick which aspects of reacting in an emotional or romantic way work for you. You can choose whether to get "caught up" or not. For example, If you felt emotional and romantic about a married coworker would you go with emotion or logic if you had the chance to be alone with him and confess your love for him - let's say your emotions were running high - would you confess your love for him and throw your arms around his pheromonic body and then excuse it with "sorry, I'm a romantic, just who I am, tell your wife I just got caught up in the moment, no harm intended, K?"

    There is something wrong with a passive response "just who I am, sorry" to what is in your control when that response is not working for you. If it does work for you then sure, it's totally fine to sit back and take the car wash approach to life. But it's not. My son and I had this very conversation multiple times yesterday because he reacted in a destructive way to being upset -nothing terrible but upsetting for him and for us. He kept saying "but it's because I was frustrated" "but it's because I was upset" - and I kept calmly reminding him broken record style that it's totally fine to be frustrated, upset and NOT react in that destructive way. He finally said "I'm a kid, you have more experience at that than me!" And that I accepted - I told him -of course! - I am telling you that at your age you do have enough experience -and we've gone over this before -not to react in this way. But yes -you might not have the "experience" at choosing a different reaction but that doesn't mean you don't roll up your sleeves and get to work with the excuse of "but I'm a romantic/emotional person and I have the test results to prove it!".

    It's wonderful to have the attitude is gratitude and to remind yourself of all you do have -awesome first step. Next step is taking action in response to the attitude is gratitude. You can do this as long as you don't let yourself indulge in labels as an excuse.

  4. #34
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    Originally Posted by Nebraskagirl14
    Itís true, Wiseman. I guess when itís a material item or an experience, itís simple. But what if itís a relationship? And not just any relationship is the thing...
    It's not always simple with material things either. Of course Wiseman is correct. And I think unfortunately the answer isn't waiting to find your one because if envy is your mindset you'll find other things to be envious about and you'll find other situations where you find yourself reacting to envy. Envy is kind of wasted energy so if you can't have what it is you're envious about then you relegate the feelings to the background by refocusing on what you do have -through actions - and then those feelings naturally fade/go to the periphery.

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  6. #35
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I love catfeeder's post about the perils of engaging more with fantasy that reality. In a sense, engaging with fantasy is essential when we're coming of age as adults. We come up with visions of ourselves and life in our brain, and those visions become fuel for forward momentum, for making fantasies real. But there are limitations to this as adulthood itself becomes less a fantasy than a reality.

    Follow me here:

    The college graduate moves to New York City with a familiar dream: she wants to be a famous novelist. She sees herself, at 35, living in a loft with wide-plank wood flooring, a dynamic partner making her an espressoóa man she connected with after a brief period of formative, semi-scandalous liaisons during which she wrote her breakout novel. Now she is more settled, happily, working on book number 4 that will win the Pulitzer. A baby sleeps in another room. She and her partner still have a rollicking sex life, still occasionally talk shop with interesting friends in smoky rooms and on fire escapes.

    She sees all that at age 21 and she goes out and tries to get it. And, lo and behold, a lot of it comes true. Hot liaisons, the breakout book, the wood-flooring. Complicated part? Each pivotal moment when a fantasy is realized does not quite feel the way she thought it would. Something remains out of reach. The hunger she thought she was sating is only more pronounced. A subtle hollownessóa shallownessóhas become evident.

    Now she has a choice. Does she keep leaning on fantasy to be the driving engine and source of comfort? Or does she learn to live in reality, to feel what she does feel rather than what she hoped to feel, longs to feel? The former is a more immature path, whatever riches it may produce. It is in ways a passive approach, per what Batya is articulating with her trademark no-frills elegance. The latter is more mature. It's understanding what the business of being a grownup is really about, and finding mystery there.

    A version of that reckoning is inevitable, and hits different people at different moments. For those not only particularly prone to fantastical thinking, but skilled in realizing versions of those fantasies, the reckoning is postponed. Sometimes indefinitely. Perhaps you are going through a period of shedding a fantastical lens in favor of a more realistic one. It's turbulent as the eyes adjust, and a lot of the questions you're asking are that turbulence.

    Good stuff. And probably, in my opinion, a critical step in moving from "unavailable" to "available," which in a sense is moving from fantasy toward reality. Because the people around you stop being projection screens, just like New York City stopped being one to my straw-person writer, but instead just became a place, a dynamic one, with lots of concrete and tall buildings and annoyances and thrills, where she lived. And wrote stuff. And loved people. And exited the story of it all to just be in it.

  7. #36
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    I love catfeeder's post about the perils of engaging more with fantasy that reality. In a sense, engaging with fantasy is essential when we're coming of age as adults. We come up with visions of ourselves and life in our brain, and those visions become fuel for forward momentum, for making fantasies real. But there are limitations to this as adulthood itself becomes less a fantasy than a reality.

    Follow me here:

    The college graduate moves to New York City with a familiar dream: she wants to be a famous novelist. She sees herself, at 35, living in a loft with wide-plank wood flooring, a dynamic partner making her an espressoóa man she connected with after a brief period of formative, semi-scandalous liaisons during which she wrote her breakout novel. Now she is more settled, happily, working on book number 4 that will win the Pulitzer. A baby sleeps in another room. She and her partner still have a rollicking sex life, still occasionally talk shop with interesting friends in smoky rooms and on fire escapes.

    She sees all that at age 21 and she goes out and tries to get it. And, lo and behold, a lot of it comes true. Hot liaisons, the breakout book, the wood-flooring. Complicated part? Each pivotal moment when a fantasy is realized does not quite feel the way she thought it would. Something remains out of reach. The hunger she thought she was sating is only more pronounced. A subtle hollownessóa shallownessóhas become evident.

    Now she has a choice. Does she keep leaning on fantasy to be the driving engine and source of comfort? Or does she learn to live in reality, to feel what she does feel rather than what she hoped to feel, longs to feel? The former is a more immature path, whatever riches it may produce. It is in ways a passive approach, per what Batya is articulating with her trademark no-frills elegance. The latter is more mature. It's understanding what the business of being a grownup is really about, and finding mystery there.

    A version of that reckoning is inevitable, and hits different people at different moments. For those not only particularly prone to fantastical thinking, but skilled in realizing versions of those fantasies, the reckoning is postponed. Sometimes indefinitely. Perhaps you are going through a period of shedding a fantastical lens in favor of a more realistic one. It's turbulent as the eyes adjust, and a lot of the questions you're asking are that turbulence.

    Good stuff. And probably, in my opinion, a critical step in moving from "unavailable" to "available," which in a sense is moving from fantasy toward reality. Because the people around you stop being projection screens, just like New York City stopped being one to my straw-person writer, but instead just became a place, a dynamic one, with lots of concrete and tall buildings and annoyances and thrills, where she lived. And wrote stuff. And loved people. And exited the story of it all to just be in it.
    ďPerhaps you are going through a period of shedding a fantastical lens in favor of a more realistic one. It's turbulent as the eyes adjust, and a lot of the questions you're asking are that turbulence. ď Yes, this... exactly this. I am not living and dwelling in this place as a comfort zone. I do feel like Iím shedding this lens right now. More than ever. Your analogy is super tangible for me to grasp, thank you, bluecastle.


    And just to quickly address what Batya said above, Iím not AT ALL saying, ďThatís just how I amĒ in regards to being emotional like Iím a victim of my own feelings. Not in the least. I am friends with many analytical folks who approach relationships from a pragmatic place. I donít. Love languages for instance. Some people feel that itís romantic to give a card full of feelings and do something special for someone while the other person feels like someone taking out the garbage is romantic. Well, through my experience, people that are the more emotional, wear their hearts on their sleeves type, tend to have different struggles than people who see relationships as a business transaction. One isnít better or worse than the other but personality types DO affect how people see the world. That is what I meant. I am not a victim to any of that at all. I know I have the power to make change in this area of my life but Iím in the process of creating new behaviors and ways to approach situations like this. I have worked on this in other areas of my life. I used to be envious of many other things. Peoplesí new jobs, achievements, etc. Now Iím not at all. Iím happy for people when they succeed. I am envious of people that have healthy relationships. Thatís is my area of focus now because, yes, of course, I DO want that. And I think to myself if Iím slipping back into old habits of romanticizing the unavailable, ďYou have two paths to take, the old way or the new way.Ē And I want to be the emotionally intelligent person that I know I can be and make healthier choices.

  8. #37
    Platinum Member Cherylyn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Nebraskagirl14
    You are totally right, Cherylyn and I really am very grateful for what I do have which is so very much! And I definitely do try to be well-rounded in my life and take care of myself in all respects. The envy always does go away and itís not frequent. Itís just that when I do feel it, I thought I should be dealing with it better or even not feeling it at all but that may be a stretch. I have been feeling, as bluecastle said, immature, for feeling this way at all. And also at times, shady. There are layers to this issue as you can see from the above convo, but in general, my life is very blessed. I just donít want to go on forever never truly resolving some of my relationship issues and I certainly donít want to bring them into my next relationship. Thank you again :-)
    Thank you Nebraskagirl14. Aside from daily gratitude, it's great that you take good care of yourself.

    Regarding envy, my mother said this: "When you observe a person, envision them as an onion. Then once you peel its thin skin and layers underneath one by one and get to the core, there's a side to that person which is not so enviable. They have problems, issues, stress, insecurity and it runs the gamut." She's right.

    What you are feeling is envy while not digging deeper. You only see the outward envy. You're not looking at deep personality and incurable character defects and many times you're not observing deep seeded mental illness. You're not observing their problems and burdens they carry. These are all facets that you do NOT see nor will they every allow you to see it. Once you ingrain these concepts into your brain, suddenly you won't feel envious anymore and will begin to increase your feelings of daily indifference and feel "blah" about other people.

    Change your human psychology and you'll no longer feel obsessed about other people. You are more important than other people. Be concerned for yourself only. Once you change the way you think, you won't feel envious anymore and you'll focus on #1, YOU.

    Succeed and prosper in your own right and you'll automatically become the person others envy. Then choose your associations wisely. Remove all the rejects and duds from your life or have strong boundaries with the rejects.

    Don't be envious. You put too much stock into people. They don't deserve exalted status in your brain. You more important. If you use reverse psychology on yourself, it will save your soul. You will grow to become a more secure, self-confident person with high self esteem and self worth. Try it. It works wonders for me and it will for you, too.

  9. #38
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    " just to quickly address what Batya said above, Iím not AT ALL saying, ďThatís just how I amĒ in regards to being emotional like Iím a victim of my own feelings. Not in the least. I am friends with many analytical folks who approach relationships from a pragmatic place. I donít. Love languages for instance. Some people feel that itís romantic to give a card full of feelings and do something special for someone while the other person feels like someone taking out the garbage is romantic. Well, through my experience, people that are the more emotional, wear their hearts on their sleeves type, tend to have different struggles than people who see relationships as a business transaction. One isnít better or worse than the other but personality types DO affect how people see the world. That is what I meant. I am not a victim to any of that at all. I know I have the power to make change in this area of my life but Iím in the process of creating new behaviors and ways to approach situations like this. I have worked on this in other areas of my life. I used to be envious of many other things. Peoplesí new jobs, achievements, etc. Now Iím not at all. Iím happy for people when they succeed. I am envious of people that have healthy relationships. Thatís is my area of focus now because, yes, of course, I DO want that. And I think to myself if Iím slipping back into old habits of romanticizing the unavailable, ďYou have two paths to take, the old way or the new way.Ē And I want to be the emotionally intelligent person that I know I can be and make healthier choices."

    I think you're being too simplistic and too complicated. Most people are not one way or another and change the way they look at things over time, day to day, depending on experiences. Of course people look at things differently -it's what makes life interesting. And nothing to do with my point. You can have a different perspective, look at things differently, be more "emotional" than some and less analytical than some and vice versa. There doesn't have to be any complicated "process" in changing behaviors. You just do it. You do it in small ways at first so that it's doable without a "process." The more you tell yourself it's complicated or see it as a "process" the more you'll fall back on the habits you say you have.

    If you really think anyone sees a long term committed romantic relationship as a business transaction as you yourself put it, I am truly baffled. Just like I'm truly baffled if you think that there are people who see long term committed romantic relationships as purely about feelings and emotions and nothing to do with day to day realities of life, including financial situations, health situations, living situations. Most normal, typical stable people are a mix. How the mix pans out of course affects how that person sees the world. And so each person makes different choices to attain a healthy romantic relationship if that person desires one. Not everyone does for sure. But you do. And "romanticizing the unavailable" is unlikely to result in accomplishing your goal. So take small doable steps that you can accomplish if not daily then close to it so that you aren't tempted to go back into the safer habits as you put it, so that you aren't tempted to tell yourself "well it's a process and I'm going to do all this stuff like yoga/meditation/essential oils/30-day detox" (I'm making this up of course but you get the gist) and then someday I'll reach my goal.

    I was completely envious for many years of my friends who made it look easy to meet the one and make a baby - the kind of "smug married" the "when you know you know" - it wasn't easy for me. I had my excuses too - I just wasn't lucky enough, I didn't want to feel like I was settling, etc. I had a real shift a few months before I reconnected with my now husband -a shift in perspective, fueled by an aha moment about my failed on and off again 7 year relationship that had ended a few months earlier and the reaction I had to being over the moon about a guy I dated for 3 months and then realizing that his unavailability actually made him less attractive to me -I'd simply had enough and I wasn't going to lose any more sleep over him (I'd lost plenty, waited for plenty of phone calls, waited for him to decide to be exclusive with me). I had to become the right person to find the right person.

    Not shift from being a "romantic" or "logical" but simply shift from what I found exciting about being involved with a partner so that what I found exciting had nothing to do with unavailability of some sort or the thrill of the chase. It wasn't simple but it was a shift -it was a deep down shift not one I forced on myself or convinced myself of. Because I was over the moon about my husband when we reconnected but that over the moon feeling is affected by time spent together, by knowing you "have him" and he has you, by lots of things -and I had to continue to be motivated, to be excited, to be sparked to be with him even though now he was mine, now we had future goals, now his ex girlfriend was going to stop emailing him - part of that is because we found true love plus commitment - love for each other but also strong beliefs in the value of commitment and future marriage and family - the value of that over the value of short term excitement fueled by unavailability.

    I don't know that the way you changed your perspective on people who have better jobs, etc than you will work here. Why? Because I think you just do a flavor of the month kind of thing -so now you envy relationships and next it might be someone who had a baby, or bought a house, or is single and living what you see as a fun, free life. It's great that now you're happy for people who get good jobs etc and maybe some of those tools will work but think about it -if it really did you would have simply applied that to this situation already. It's fine to feel envious. Right now I'd avoid indulging in the "love language" distinction and the "but I wear my heart on my sleeve" kind of stuff and figure out what baby steps you can take each day to move closer to your goal of a healthful relationship. And then of course the envy will disappear. You might then envy something else but I'd tackle this aspect first especially since the real issue is you want a relationship not that you want to stop feeling envy -that's secondary and likely will be resolved if you find that relationship.

    Just my two cents from an old married lady who's been where you are with the envy.

  10. #39
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Bowing down to Batya here, who is, in my opinion, on fuego. I have things to add, questions to ask, but I think she just provided a buffet of hard-earned information, thoughts, and observations. Gonna let that simmer a bit while I think of what, if anything, I can add to enrich the flavor of the stew.

  11. #40
    Gold Member Nebraskagirl14's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Batya33
    " just to quickly address what Batya said above, Iím not AT ALL saying, ďThatís just how I amĒ in regards to being emotional like Iím a victim of my own feelings. Not in the least. I am friends with many analytical folks who approach relationships from a pragmatic place. I donít. Love languages for instance. Some people feel that itís romantic to give a card full of feelings and do something special for someone while the other person feels like someone taking out the garbage is romantic. Well, through my experience, people that are the more emotional, wear their hearts on their sleeves type, tend to have different struggles than people who see relationships as a business transaction. One isnít better or worse than the other but personality types DO affect how people see the world. That is what I meant. I am not a victim to any of that at all. I know I have the power to make change in this area of my life but Iím in the process of creating new behaviors and ways to approach situations like this. I have worked on this in other areas of my life. I used to be envious of many other things. Peoplesí new jobs, achievements, etc. Now Iím not at all. Iím happy for people when they succeed. I am envious of people that have healthy relationships. Thatís is my area of focus now because, yes, of course, I DO want that. And I think to myself if Iím slipping back into old habits of romanticizing the unavailable, ďYou have two paths to take, the old way or the new way.Ē And I want to be the emotionally intelligent person that I know I can be and make healthier choices."

    I think you're being too simplistic and too complicated. Most people are not one way or another and change the way they look at things over time, day to day, depending on experiences. Of course people look at things differently -it's what makes life interesting. And nothing to do with my point. You can have a different perspective, look at things differently, be more "emotional" than some and less analytical than some and vice versa. There doesn't have to be any complicated "process" in changing behaviors. You just do it. You do it in small ways at first so that it's doable without a "process." The more you tell yourself it's complicated or see it as a "process" the more you'll fall back on the habits you say you have.

    If you really think anyone sees a long term committed romantic relationship as a business transaction as you yourself put it, I am truly baffled. Just like I'm truly baffled if you think that there are people who see long term committed romantic relationships as purely about feelings and emotions and nothing to do with day to day realities of life, including financial situations, health situations, living situations. Most normal, typical stable people are a mix. How the mix pans out of course affects how that person sees the world. And so each person makes different choices to attain a healthy romantic relationship if that person desires one. Not everyone does for sure. But you do. And "romanticizing the unavailable" is unlikely to result in accomplishing your goal. So take small doable steps that you can accomplish if not daily then close to it so that you aren't tempted to go back into the safer habits as you put it, so that you aren't tempted to tell yourself "well it's a process and I'm going to do all this stuff like yoga/meditation/essential oils/30-day detox" (I'm making this up of course but you get the gist) and then someday I'll reach my goal.

    I was completely envious for many years of my friends who made it look easy to meet the one and make a baby - the kind of "smug married" the "when you know you know" - it wasn't easy for me. I had my excuses too - I just wasn't lucky enough, I didn't want to feel like I was settling, etc. I had a real shift a few months before I reconnected with my now husband -a shift in perspective, fueled by an aha moment about my failed on and off again 7 year relationship that had ended a few months earlier and the reaction I had to being over the moon about a guy I dated for 3 months and then realizing that his unavailability actually made him less attractive to me -I'd simply had enough and I wasn't going to lose any more sleep over him (I'd lost plenty, waited for plenty of phone calls, waited for him to decide to be exclusive with me). I had to become the right person to find the right person.

    Not shift from being a "romantic" or "logical" but simply shift from what I found exciting about being involved with a partner so that what I found exciting had nothing to do with unavailability of some sort or the thrill of the chase. It wasn't simple but it was a shift -it was a deep down shift not one I forced on myself or convinced myself of. Because I was over the moon about my husband when we reconnected but that over the moon feeling is affected by time spent together, by knowing you "have him" and he has you, by lots of things -and I had to continue to be motivated, to be excited, to be sparked to be with him even though now he was mine, now we had future goals, now his ex girlfriend was going to stop emailing him - part of that is because we found true love plus commitment - love for each other but also strong beliefs in the value of commitment and future marriage and family - the value of that over the value of short term excitement fueled by unavailability.

    I don't know that the way you changed your perspective on people who have better jobs, etc than you will work here. Why? Because I think you just do a flavor of the month kind of thing -so now you envy relationships and next it might be someone who had a baby, or bought a house, or is single and living what you see as a fun, free life. It's great that now you're happy for people who get good jobs etc and maybe some of those tools will work but think about it -if it really did you would have simply applied that to this situation already. It's fine to feel envious. Right now I'd avoid indulging in the "love language" distinction and the "but I wear my heart on my sleeve" kind of stuff and figure out what baby steps you can take each day to move closer to your goal of a healthful relationship. And then of course the envy will disappear. You might then envy something else but I'd tackle this aspect first especially since the real issue is you want a relationship not that you want to stop feeling envy -that's secondary and likely will be resolved if you find that relationship.

    Just my two cents from an old married lady who's been where you are with the envy.
    Thank you, Batya. Iím taking all of this in and I totally appreciate your insight.

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