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Envy? What’s the basis for that feeling?


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Maybe it’s also jealousy, I don’t know. I’m not talking about when you are in a relationship and jealous or INSECURE of what your partner is doing. I’m 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. I’m asking more because I am doing a lot of work on myself at the moment and I don’t feel that the root of this is the same as the jealousy and insecurity one might feel if they are with someone else. I’m strictly talking about people you aren’t with. I don’t think it’s necessarily about worthiness but I’m 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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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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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, 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.

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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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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 plane—your 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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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 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.

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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 plane—your 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 wasn’t the one they were physically with. I’m not talking about affairs or improprieties necessarily. There weren’t always conversations about it. Just that feeling.

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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.

 

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 want—wheels, sex, love, enlightenment, whatever—and 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't—be it material, emotional, or physical—become sources of inspiration rather than frustration.

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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 wasn’t the one they were physically with. I’m not talking about affairs or improprieties necessarily. There weren’t always conversations about it. Just that feeling.

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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.

 

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.

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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.

 

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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I feel we're departing a bit from the envy stuff, which is okay, especially since such great thoughts and advice has already come out—and because it really does seem like the envy stuff is connected to the connection stuff, yeah? Guess, before answering your above, I just want to check in and make sure you don't feel I'm misreading things or hijacking things from what was behind your original post.

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Thank you Nebraskagirl14.

 

At first I was reluctant to resume volunteering again but my BFF persuaded me to give it another go so I am.

 

You did a lot of loving care for animals. I'm a dog lover, too. I miss my amazing Golden Retriever who passed away in Jan 2019. I miss her terribly.

 

I was jealous and envious of a lot of people in my life time until I dug deeper. When someone lives in a big, fancy house, I'm envious and then I discovered that the wife's husband is extremely disrespectful and obnoxiously rude to her AND their children so it's not all roses, butterflies and chirping birds. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

 

I'm envious and jealous of my in-laws who have awesome financial security, they're quite affluent and set for life. Then I dug deeper and they're in very poor health. Who's the richer one now?

 

I'm envious and jealous of a friend who owns several homes free and clear, has zero mortgages, wealthy beyond your wildest imagination yet she's lonely. Her husband isn't home much, her kids moved faraway and she's always depressed.

 

I'm envious and jealous of another friend who has a lot of money, a great job, a big house in the suburbs yet she's haunted by memories of a traumatic and abusive childhood and teen years. She can't escape the ghosts that chase her. She has nightmares. Again, who is the wealthier one now?

 

I'm grateful for my husband who treats me with respect and love, two amazing sons, a stable, peaceful, secure, content life in the suburbs. I don't live in a mansion yet I feel wealthy in other ways. This is how I count my blessings. I can list a lot that I don't have but at the end of the day, basic happiness is all that matters. Everything else is superfluous.

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I feel we're departing a bit from the envy stuff, which is okay, especially since such great thoughts and advice has already come out—and because it really does seem like the envy stuff is connected to the connection stuff, yeah? Guess, before answering your above, I just want to check in and make sure you don't feel I'm misreading things or hijacking things from what was behind your original post.

 

Not at all... the envy stuff is connected to the above thoughts. Here’s how: I am attracted to someone. They are not available. They may then date others or are perhaps taken. I am envious of their relationship with others because I want them emotionally and physically and can’t have that. That is a very dramatic explanation and not indicative of my relationships in general, but indicative of when I feel the most envy. Like you, Bluecastle, I always go after what I want in life. If I want something, I go for it. I feel like I can make it happen. The personal relationship thing, as I said, is the one sticking point for me.

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Thank you Nebraskagirl14.

 

At first I was reluctant to resume volunteering again but my BFF persuaded me to give it another go so I am.

 

You did a lot of loving care for animals. I'm a dog lover, too. I miss my amazing Golden Retriever who passed away in Jan 2019. I miss her terribly.

 

I was jealous and envious of a lot of people in my life time until I dug deeper. When someone lives in a big, fancy house, I'm envious and then I discovered that the wife's husband is extremely disrespectful and obnoxiously rude to her AND their children so it's not all roses, butterflies and chirping birds. The grass is not always greener on the other side.

 

I'm envious and jealous of my in-laws who have awesome financial security, they're quite affluent and set for life. Then I dug deeper and they're in very poor health. Who's the richer one now?

 

I'm envious and jealous of a friend who owns several homes free and clear, has zero mortgages, wealthy beyond your wildest imagination yet she's lonely. Her husband isn't home much, her kids moved faraway and she's always depressed.

 

I'm envious and jealous of another friend who has a lot of money, a great job, a big house in the suburbs yet she's haunted by memories of a traumatic and abusive childhood and teen years. She can't escape the ghosts that chase her. She has nightmares. Again, who is the wealthier one now?

 

I'm grateful for my husband who treats me with respect and love, two amazing sons, a stable, peaceful, secure, content life in the suburbs. I don't live in a mansion yet I feel wealthy in other ways. This is how I count my blessings. I can list a lot that I don't have but at the end of the day, basic happiness is all that matters. Everything else is superfluous.

 

This is SO GOOD, Cherylyn!!!! Thank you!! You’re right. We never know about others’ relationships and honestly, for example, I have a few friends that have relationships that I don’t envy but I do envy that they are number one for someone and I’m not right now. For myself I am and that is what matters most, I know. I’m so sorry about your Golden Retriever!!! [emoji22]

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I feel we're departing a bit from the envy stuff, which is okay, especially since such great thoughts and advice has already come out—and because it really does seem like the envy stuff is connected to the connection stuff, yeah? Guess, before answering your above, I just want to check in and make sure you don't feel I'm misreading things or hijacking things from what was behind your original post.

 

I also just want to add that some of these connections that I have had have blossomed into beautiful and very appropriate friendships. I am the kind of person that loves having a deep connection with a couple of key people. At times, that connection has danced on the line of attraction. Typically, it evens out and ends up being a wonderful friendship, however. It’s just finding my way in it if and when there is that ambiguity.

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