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Coping with Jealousy & Envy


StarryNightAllAlone

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StarryNightAllAlone

What makes you jealous and envious? How does being jealous and envious make you feel? How you cope with jealousy and envy? This is a space to share your struggles with jealousy and envy. 

 

 

Jealousy is something I've struggled with my whole life. I never felt the kind of envy that wished harm on others, but I can't deny that I've always struggled with these feelings. I've dealt with being envious over things (personality traits, physical traits, or skills) other people have that I don't possess. The other things I've felt jealousy over is towards intimacy that other people share. It's difficult for me to admit. I don't want anything bad to happen to anyone, but it's something I feel a lot of shame over.

 

As part of my self-growth journey, I've started to come to terms with my jealousy by accepting my feelings without shame or judgement. I'm not going to lie. It's still difficult for me, but I'm finally starting to realize where my feelings of jealousy are coming from. I believe my jealousy stems from my childhood experiences. I grew up feeling unlovable and defective. My jealousy came from my feelings of deficiency and my intense craving for love. It's difficult to unlearn things about myself that I believed were true for many years. I'm beginning the journey towards healing. It's not easy, but it's worth it.

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I'm actually extremely ashamed of the thing that makes me the most jealous, because it relates to a massive insecurity I've had since I was a kid and it's just... really painful at times and makes me feel very inferior, inadequate, and bitter. It's a social thing, that's about as specific as I want to get. In the past I've behaved unfairly and probably hurtfully towards people in my life that I care about because of the emotional pain and shame this issue brings up for me.

 

What's helped? I think mostly some techniques I've learnt from cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT). Self-talk, self-compassion.

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Lysandre, the Star-Crossed

Jealousy and envy are predominately something that accompanies resentment for me, and as such I don't experience them often. The last time I felt envious was towards a woman I detest at work who made my life hell for quite some time. I found myself briefly overcome with a burning desire to feel as she felt. to be so emotionally detached and selfish that she thought nothing of my livelihood she was attempting to destroy. In an unsettling way I was jealous of her. "How does she sleep at night?" was a thought that crossed my mind. Apparently the answer is  "just fine". 

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StarryNightAllAlone

@Ceebs Thank you for talking about something so painful to you. I totally understand that these things are difficult to talk about. I appreciate you sharing how you cope with your jealousy. I share your feelings of deep shame, and I've done things I'm not proud of because of my jealousy.

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I sometimes feel envious of my brother. Despite being younger, he's gained a lot more life experience, and he's more mature than I am. I don't hate him for it. On the contrary, I'm proud of him. It just makes me feel bad about where I'm currently at. I feel like I'm behind in life. 

 

To get over these feelings of inferiority, I remind myself that I'm my own person. I shouldn't compare myself to him. I have some good and unique qualities of my own. I've accomplished a lot, too, in my own right. Though I must admit, I occasionally need reassurance from the people who truly know me.  

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I’m jealous of other people’s intelligence, their ability to be good at gaming, their ability to wake up for work, and their ability to make friends. 
 

I also get jealous if I see someone eating good food that I don’t have lol I don’t get angry, I usually just get sad and experience self pity 

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MarRister

I hate the feeling of it, and can understand the idea of beating myself up for it. I do think I feel envy quite a bit, but rarely jealousy. I think of envy as being more so wanting what someone else has in a way that doesn't really become negative feelings towards that someone (more so just towards myself), and then jealousy I think of more so as feeling threatened by someone moving in on something you want or have, and in that gain negative feelings towards that someone (and likely also towards yourself).

 

The last time I really struggled with feeling envy was back when I had a good sort of casual relationship going, and I wasn't in love, but I was having a lot of fun and I did like the guy, but he found someone he decided he could see a real future with so decided to break things off with me. We were never committed and he was always very honest with me from the get go and I had no ill will towards him or his now girlfriend. But I was very envious of the fact that he was connecting with someone like that and continuing to enjoy that fun dating experience. I was struggling at the time during covid lockdowns with feeling inferior in a lot of ways to many people and not having a very good social circle at the time. I wanted what they had, but held no resentment towards him really. Every time I'd see pictures of them, I'd get that sort of pit in my stomach feeling and it would just bring up a lot of negative feelings about myself. It would also make me anxious in a way. 

 

While it is a really miserable feeling, I do think it is a force for change. It tells you what you desire, and then you can either work towards what will get you closer to that, and/or work on ways to accept what you cannot change. It is not an easy feeling to get past though. Most of my envy that I experience now has to do with the quality of my social life and wanting it to be more. Also other people's jobs that are just 40 hrs a week haha, oh how I envy that right now.  

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StarryNightAllAlone

@Zhorin You're not alone in feeling envious of people with more life experience than you. I feel that way sometimes. It's hard not to compare ourselves with other people, but we're all on our own path in life.

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Philip027

Not much, really.  About the only thing I can distinctly regard myself as being jealous of is the drawing/artistic ability of others, because I have none.  Even then, it's not really prevalent.  It's not like I end up disliking anyone over it; it's just a silly minor thing that I wish I was better at.

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RoseGoesToMush

I'm jealous of couples. I intensely want what they have, but at the same time, I'm also happy for them and find it adorable. If they broke up or if I broke them up, everyone would be sad. So I guess it's possible to want what someone else has while also not feeling any ill-feelings toward them.

 

I don't really get jealous for other reasons because a) I know people are running off a different life script than me, and b) I know that no matter how good someone else's life seems on the outside, they have problems, just like everybody has problems. Because that's how the universe operates; it'll give you everything you don't particularly need and deny you what you most deeply desire. Maybe the double amputee Paralympic gold medalist just wants two real feet. Maybe the bestselling author wishes she could have a loving family. Maybe the child celebrity just wants to be left alone, in peace. Maybe the gorgeous model wishes she didn't have a mental illness. Maybe the brainiac wishes they weren't so smart. Maybe the talented artist just wants financial stability. And then you have the billionaire who has everything they could possibly want and then some... but they're an assholes who nobody likes, who just wishes they could make one real friend. Everybody has a problem, and nobody wins without a cost. When you keep that in mind, jealousy becomes... moot.

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I have felt very envious of the  type of personality that allows some people to feel comfortable with other people, and able to make friends easily.  I haven't felt that envy toward specific people, just envious of what allows someone to feel that kind of social comfort.

 

Separately, I've felt jealous at times, when I think it's possible that I will lose someone because they will love someone else instead of me.  I think jealousy is always a fear of loss, of being displaced -- sometimes it's realistic, and sometimes not, but it's always a fear.  

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4 minutes ago, Sally said:

I have felt very envious of the  type of personality that allows some people to feel comfortable with other people, and able to make friends easily.

This is part of my issue, yeah.

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I tend to be jealous of...

  • the person I "could" be if x, y, or z
  • people in (what appear to be) happy relationships
  • people who got to follow their career dreams vs me who followed what my parents wanted
  • people who do things I feel inhibited to do for whatever reason (some good reasons, some not)

Most of the time my envy never surfaces to be that strong, because I'm constantly on guard and try to suppress it. It's just a little ache that crops up now and then.

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The only thing I might be slightly jealous of are people with good health and people who can easily stand up for themselves, just like my husband.

It's not even a real envy, it's like I wish I was like that, too. But in daily life, I don't think about it. I just keep living my life.

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3 minutes ago, Euna said:

people who got to follow their career dreams vs me who followed what my parents wanted

I'm sorry to hear that. Must be really difficult, especially if you're not interested in that and yet you have to do it :(

 

I'm one of those who followed my heart and I've been working in the job I love for 9 years and counting. I haven't worked for a year now, but hopefully I'm coming back next month, for two days a week. But apart from that, I must say I'm happy that I didn't follow what my mother wanted me to follow and I did my own thing.

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Lilibulero

I'm not envious of others because the illusion that the grass is greener on the other side is just that, an illusion.

 

A lot of people who are successful have put loads of effort into what they do/ how they live, so I guess that's the thing to do if you want something you see in someone else.

 

Comparing with others doesn't lead to happiness, but polishing up my own strengths might lead to whatever it is I'm after.

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43 minutes ago, Lilibulero said:

A lot of people who are successful have put loads of effort into what they do/ how they live, so I guess that's the thing to do if you want something you see in someone else.

That's well said.

 

I'm not jealous of people who have achieved a lot through hard work, because they worked hard for it and they deserve it like no one else. All I can do is look up to them and work hard as well.

On the other hand, I'm not jealous of people who have had everything handed on a golden plate - well, I'm kind of sorry for them, because sooner or later they will be confronted by reality and I'm pretty sure this will be a painful fall.

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Lilibulero

Thanks @godverdomme, and you're right about privileged people. It must be awful to know in your heart that your wealth,etc didn't come through your own efforts, so I'm sorry for them. Plus as you say, when they need to step up, they won't have the skills or life experience to fix it.

 

 

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Black-purple-grey
9 hours ago, Lysandre, the Star-Crossed said:

Jealousy and envy are predominately something that accompanies resentment for me. 

I can associate with this. I resent circumstances in my life that have limited my opportunities to achieve things others have. I feel jealous of what they've got that I want too but don't have, like marriage or career success. 

 

6 hours ago, RoseGoesToYale said:

I'm jealous of couples. I intensely want what they have, but at the same time, I'm also happy for them and find it adorable. If they broke up or if I broke them up, everyone would be sad. So I guess it's possible to want what someone else has while also not feeling any ill-feelings toward them.

 

I feel the same. 

 

5 hours ago, Sally said:

I have felt very envious of the  type of personality that allows some people to feel comfortable with other people, and able to make friends easily.  I haven't felt that envy toward specific people, just envious of what allows someone to feel that kind of social comfort.

Yep, feel this too. 

 

3 hours ago, Euna said:

I tend to be jealous of...

  • the person I "could" be if x, y, or z
  • people who got to follow their career dreams 
  • people who do things I feel inhibited to do for whatever reason (some good reasons, some not)

 

This. It's mostly ill health and anxiety that have prevented me from having a career, a relationship, or just feeling comfortable socially and not being shy, so I often mourn or resent why I have been given these things to deal with and some others haven't and have been allowed to get the very things I seek. But they will have their own problems, I'm sure. I sometimes wonder how different life might have been if I didn't have anxiety, if I was healthy, if I'd never been teased at school - I'd have more self confidence that's for sure. I'd probably be more optimistic too. But all I can do is deal with what I've got so I try to appreciate the fact I have a loving family who'd do anything for me, that I have an able body, that I have a future where circumstances can change cause nothing stays the same forever. 

 

I think my number one jealousy is envying people with good health. Ill health affects everything - relationships, career, mental health, quality of life, finances... If you've got your health you've got opportunities to make choices and achieve things. 

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Eutierria

I used to wish I had the same life as people who had everything handed to them when life feels really hard. Now I'm glad that I worked for everything because it allows me to figure ish out when faced by inevitable challenges.

 

Through different jobs, I've met a lot of people from different age brackets & from different financial statuses. I was taught to believe that only a high income equates to happiness - I've worked with people like that - they're not happy. They have everything on paper that looks 'successful' but their reality is very different. If I died tomorrow, I want to know that I've lived a meaningful life & not one where I had the highest figure with the bank. 

 

Every time I felt a 'I wish I was like that' - it was a signal that it was something I wanted to try. Never in my life did I think going to the gym before work would become one of them. It's doable but takes some concious effort until it becomes a habit. 

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Dreamfyre

I felt like that once mainly because I am from a very tiny developing nation where I have very few career path options and where I live is not a place for ppl with big dreams especially creatively and places I'd like to visit I need to fork over 10K for a tourist visa. Then the economy is bad, our currency is so low compared to the usd and pound and the crime rate isn't any better. The big countries all have travel advisories against us.

 

I fking hated North Americans and Europeans for having things and freedom I could only dream of. Not sure why I calmed down now maybe it's age maybe I've learnt to accept my situation and that I have to fight harder for many things and it's a part of life I can't escape. And it's nobody's fault in those places that I was born here.

 

Honestly just feel the jealousy and envy and go through the motions because advice like "Oh they worked hard for their success!" "Be happy for them instead!" is a bunch of bs it doesn't help those feelings.

 

Neither does suppressing the jealousy it makes it like a pressure cooker. Whatever you do DO NOT harm anyone because that will not improve the situation.

 

While it isn't a cure journaling helps. Be honest with yourself and your feelings when you do so.

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10 hours ago, Sally said:

I have felt very envious of the  type of personality that allows some people to feel comfortable with other people, and able to make friends easily.  I haven't felt that envy toward specific people, just envious of what allows someone to feel that kind of social comfort.

 

Separately, I've felt jealous at times, when I think it's possible that I will lose someone because they will love someone else instead of me.  I think jealousy is always a fear of loss, of being displaced -- sometimes it's realistic, and sometimes not, but it's always a fear.  

I can relate to those.

 

I also feel some envy when I see people who look good in the kinds of clothes and appearances I would like, but that's more of a light wishfulness. Sort of like, sigh, if only.

And envy for people with skills or talents I would like to have, also more wishfulness. I know I don't have to rive or calling to put in the work they probably have to get there.

I don't dwell on those. They are more like thoughts/feelings occur when I encounter the things that bring up the feelings.

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You and I have shared some conversations on this, but I don't think I elaborated on another cause of envy, jealousy and despair in me. I absolutely hate watching couples. I hate watching friends interact. I have trouble with any kind of public gatherings.

 

It stems from being alone and meeting people but never being able to have them in my life. Always close but so far. I hate watching other people because I start imagining what it's like to have somebody so close that you can call up at anytime of day. To have a person waiting for you to come home. To make dreams together, to explore. Everything positive that comes out of a relationship that I no longer have.

 

To be honest with you, V, I don't think I have the best coping mechanism. The primary emotional responses I have left are humor, empathy, and hatred. I draw out the festering hatred I have buried down to cope with watching other people get to live their wishes and dreams together. Of course, I don't direct it at them, but I use it to bolster my resolve.

 

I hate being alone, I hate having to watch everybody else around me seemingly get what they're after. I hate it so much that I can turn it into spite. Spite of what? That I am still alive. That the probability of me living alone for the remainder of my time is greater than connecting to somebody again and having things go right. I say to myself that I'm the only person I know of that can do this. I can live this existence of isolation not because I want to, but because I have so much hatred in me I will not bend for anything.

 

And I think it's a poor way to describe it. I use anger to push myself quite a bit when I'm fatigued and out of options. Taking rage and turning it into action. But to describe the exact process? Difficult. And I know it's not the best way to cope with things. But the more difficult question I have to ask is, if I don't have much left powering me, then what do I use to get the job done?

 

And that's the crux. There's a part of me that still believes almost everything I ever was or could have been died long ago. The afterimage of that person remains behind because they have a job to do. Jobs do not require love or care from another human being. Jobs require a machine that makes no compromises and does not stop until it is rendered non functional. I remind myself that I persist because I am no longer here for me. I'm here for those I try to watch out for.

 

Again, not a healthy way of dealing with it. But it's what consistently enables me to do what some may call insurmountable when I already am running on empty, and have been for a long time.

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I'm also envious of people that have decent, healthy relationships with their parents. This is a new one, so I'm not sure how to cope just yet. 

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