Jealousy, Envy, Insecurity, etc.: Merged Threads, General Discussion

redpepper

New member
"Jealousy differs from envy in that jealousy is about something one has and is afraid of losing, while envy refers to something one does not have and either wants to acquire or to prevent another from acquiring."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jealousy

Some people in my life lately are possibly envious or even jealous when it comes to my relationships. I say possibly because they might just be figuring it all out for themselves and taking the time to do so. I know I should just chalk it up to their problem and not mine, but I hurt from it. I don't want them to think I am gone from their lives for good and I don't want to feel I have to down play my happiness either. It is far easier to deal with my partners feelings around jealousy and envy than it is with the outside world...

I'd love to know how to deal with the outside world on this one...????
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
If I answered that completely honestly, I would have to reveal certain things about myself that I'm not yet prepared to do on this forum.
 
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redpepper

New member
If I answered that completely honestly, I would have to reveal certain things about myself that I'm not yet prepared to do on this forum.

Oh reeeeeeaally..... hmmmmm...
Are you sure you are not willing to reveal? hmmmm?

seriously though, if it is not appropriate to reveal here then you know where to find me for a private chat.... I'd be up for that and certainly am left intrigued by anything you want to say Ygirl. Whatever that might be...
(I'm expecting a tongue lashing.... which come to think of it wouldn't be too bad ;))
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
I didn't realize how enigmatic that must have sounded.

I will probably say something soon, I just have to let it stew for a bit.

It isn't a tongue-lashing (although I'd tongue-lash you any day of the week :) ) that I have to say, but it's more along the kinds of things Mono says when he talks about his personal hang-ups and shit. It really isn't as bad as I made it sound, it's more like I wonder what folks will think of me if I were to say certain things. I'll have to read your original post again.

But I do have this for you:

What if, instead of your happiness (which is not a tangible thing), these people were jealous or envious of your great body, which you spend X number of hours in the gym and deprive yourself of yummy snacks to maintain?

I'm not saying that is the case (although your body looks just fine to me), but it IS a tangible thing, and would it be any different to you if they were jealous of that?
 

XYZ123

New member
I'm not usually mean-spirited. But, honestly, if they're jealous or envious, let them go out and find their own (person, place, thing) that makes THEM happy. I'm not saying I'm never envious or jealous, it's human nature. But I get over it pretty quickly and DO something about these feelings. In other words, I find my own happiness. And I make a decision to be happy for those I care about, even if I do wish I had what they have. You keep being happy. Let them waste their own lives envying you. But remind them that they can work towards happiness as well and be willingto show them how. You are only responsible for the happiness of yourself and for doing what you can to bring about the happiness of those you love and who love you and work towards your happiness in return. It took me years (and alot of going without to make other people happy) to learn this. And I still forget sometimes.

I wish I had the support and the extended chosen family you do. I wish I had the happiness and fulfillment you do. However, I'm not envious as there is no negativity attached to my wishes. Rather, your story provides me with hope and I am happy for you. So thank you for sharing it and please continue to be as happy as you are!

(Hehe. I'm grumpy today. Can you tell?)
 
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Ceoli

Guest
"
Some people in my life lately are possibly envious or even jealous when it comes to my relationships. I say possibly because they might just be figuring it all out for themselves and taking the time to do so. I know I should just chalk it up to their problem and not mine, but I hurt from it. I don't want them to think I am gone from their lives for good and I don't want to feel I have to down play my happiness either. It is far easier to deal with my partners feelings around jealousy and envy than it is with the outside world...

I'd love to know how to deal with the outside world on this one...????

Well, one thing I would ask is what exactly about their envy is hurtful to you? What's the connection it makes for you?

Other than that, I think there is sometimes merit to listening to other people's reactions. I know that for myself, I'm not where I want to be in my love life and while there are some good points to it, my love life has had a very painful and lonely history that makes it sorely lacking in a way that creates a tangible ache (but the beauty of being human is learning to move past the pain and being open to more love). Now, I have friends who are overflowing with happiness in their love lives, and while I am happy for them, I can't deny the envy either. But that envy doesn't hurt our relationships because they respect where I am on my journey. They respect the loss and sadness I have and *make space for it*. Just as I work to make space for their happiness. (I know that in situations of great happiness, it's easy to be a bit more oblivious to the effect it may have on people around me) They don't treat my sadness as an attack on their happiness and that allows me to be genuinely happy for them despite my sadness. And it's very enriching because we all have things to learn from everyone else's experiences and we can do that when each experience is honored. I have had other friends where we haven't been able to maintain relationships because their overflowing happiness leaves little room for anything else and doesn't tolerate the fact that this is where I'm struggling. They don't leave the space for me to have my own feelings. They don't honor my struggle in their happiness, which makes it more difficult for me to honor their happiness in my struggle.

In contrast, I'm aware of other parts of my life where I have achieved great success and have been envied by others. One thing I do in areas where I feel successful is that I try to be keenly aware of how much space that success takes up in my relationships. I remember that while I have worked very hard for my success, there is also a great deal of luck and serendipity that helped me to be where I'm at. I find it important to remember that when other people express envy for my situation. So I won't hide my happiness in those areas, but I will approach it with a bit of humility and respect for people who may not have had the fortunate situations that I've had.
 
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redpepper

New member
What if, instead of your happiness (which is not a tangible thing), these people were jealous or envious of your great body, which you spend X number of hours in the gym and deprive yourself of yummy snacks to maintain?

I'm not saying that is the case (although your body looks just fine to me), but it IS a tangible thing, and would it be any different to you if they were jealous of that?

How is that a tangible thing? It is very similar in fact (although I don't spend time in the gym and indeed eat treats... :)) what does one do with that even? It's like I come barreling into a room all happy and smiley, ready to chat and get to know people, eager to tell my story and share experiences, learn from others and love them for who they are and I am faced with them looking me over, taking note of my situation and then get the eye roll and the cold shoulder. As I said, I don't know if this is envy or not. Perhaps I am just distasteful to others period. I don't think so, because I have generally been very well liked and well regarded. It's just since I have made Mono and my poly life public that I have faced this. I am not used to it and it makes me feel sad and hurt.

If XYZ123 is reading, I fear it is what you and I discussed about my having my cake and eating it too. How having two men is frowned upon for women, but not for men with two women.
 

XYZ123

New member
Stick out your tongue, put your fingers in your ears, wave your hands and go ppppllltthhhh :p (You can learn the best responses to cold shoulders and mean responses from a 5 year old.)

I'd hang with you anytime.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
Someone's appearance is tangible because you can point to it, touch it, or take a picture of it.

Someone's state of mind (or happiness, in your case) is intangible because you can't pick it up or capture it on media or make a copy for yourself.

I'm not trying to draw a conclusion based on this difference. I was just asking if it would make any difference if folks were jealous or envious of something you had that they could see or touch than if they were j/e of something that could not be put in a box so easily.

Either of these things takes a lot of work. So is it the thing itself they are j/e of, or the fact that you make it look so easy?

I guess that's what I was going for.
 
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XYZ123

New member
Oh-And if that fails, turn around, bend over, and wiggle your butt at them. My son almost always gets a laugh out of an eye roll with that trick!
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
What I was trying to say before when I said I didn't want to reveal certain things about myself yet, what that basically was was that I don't really like people all that much and I just wish they would mind their own business and stay out of mine.

I have said that before, but I was in a bullshitty mood this morning because of something I read on Fakebook (which is also my problem and not the person who posted it's problem.

There is no real insight to be had from my comment regarding the OP. But, it does color my attitude when responding to stories about how other people react to something. This board is supposed to be about support, understanding, and acceptance, and I am afraid of crossing the line into cynicism and negativity and making enemies or getting kicked off, but on the other hand, I'm not really afraid of that and it wouldn't surprise me at all. Except I haven't pissed anyone off so far.

Sorry about the detour. I return you to the scheduled programming.
 

Sunshinegrl

New member
I'm not usually mean-spirited. But, honestly, if they're jealous or envious, let them go out and find their own (person, place, thing) that makes THEM happy. I'm not saying I'm never envious or jealous, it's human nature. But I get over it pretty quickly and DO something about these feelings. In other words, I find my own happiness. And I make a decision to be happy for those I care about, even if I do wish I had what they have. You keep being happy. Let them waste their own lives envying you. But remind them that they can work towards happiness as well and be willingto show them how. You are only responsible for the happiness of yourself and for doing what you can to bring about the happiness of those you love and who love you and work towards your happiness in return. It took me years (and alot of going without to make other people happy) to learn this. And I still forget sometimes.

This.

Im sure that Many people do get envious of things I have, Im envious of those of my friends who have things that I dont. I dont let it control me or my life. I usually find ways to make it happen for me If i want it so much. I believe sometimes Envy or Jealousy can be a positive thing too. I know with My BFF Her Envy of My weight loss has Spurred her to do something about her own weight issue. So I dont think that Envy is only a negative thing. Now If the Envy or jealousy is Causing this person to be a bad/negative friend Then I would probably think about talking to them about it.
 

redpepper

New member
wow, what a hugely long response.... sorry, I'm just too tired to read it all right now. I will tomorrow.... please don't think I haven't noticed or haven't cared....

thanks for the responses.
 
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Ceoli

Guest
I had another thought on this. If envy or jealousy arises in a romantic partnership, generally I'll work on that very hard with the partner. I'll also work on it with the respect for the love and care we've built together. I think most people would approach it in a similar way.

I hold my friendships in life to be just as important as my romantic partnerships. So why would I treat a jealousy or envy issue with my friend any differently than I would treat it with my partner?
 

Karelia

New member
I have encountered this to some degree, I guess. I've had some people who have struggled with find one person worth loving make comments about my having two people to love who love me back.

I haven't let it get to me, though. I am far from perfect, but I've worked really hard to get to a place where I was mentally ready and healthy enough to be in a relationship. Just before I met my husband, I'd reached a point of realizing that settling was far worse than being alone - and I'd decided there would be no more settling for me. He and I had a rough first year, but we worked through it, and were all the stronger for that work.

I have definitely had female friends who were incredibly envious of my relationship with him. He's an amazing guy... also not perfect, but closer than most ;). He makes me laugh when I want to cry, he's been my partner through a lot of loss and trouble, and without him life could never be as sweet. So, I guess what I'm saying is, I get the envy.

We added our girlfriend to this, and well... most people just don't get it. Generally speaking, the reactions have been, well, if you're happy, I guess that's good. Which is probably the most positive reaction I could expect from most people. I guess "coming out" made me realize that I had some really good friends, because I was worried more of them might decide to distance themselves or walk away because of our GF.

So, when I see someone who is envious, it just reminds me of how much I have. While I often say that I am fortunate, I also know that I've worked really hard to maintain my relationships. The one with my husband hasn't needed much "work" since that first year, but *I* had work to do even after I met him to feel worthy of love, worthy of a healthy relationship. Now, we're all working to try to make the triad something that can grow and develop into the sort of rare bond that my husband and I shared before her (and still do separately from what we share with her, if that makes sense).

I guess my point is, happiness is not something we're just given. We work to be happy. It's foolish to think it can just fall into your lap, no matter how easily love comes to you. It's also foolish to think that you can love and be happy when you don't give it 100% of who you are. So, in regards to outside envy, I just see it as, well... I've worked hard to have what I do, and I'm very fortunate that I was able to see things I needed to do in order to be healthy enough to find this sort of love, and I'm very thankful that I have a partner (now two) that loves me enough to be there for me while I continue to grow as a person, and as a partner.
 
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Ceoli

Guest
I think it's important to remember that experiencing envy isn't the same as being disappointed that happiness hasn't fallen into their lap. Being envious doesn't mean that they're not aware of all of the hard work that goes into creating happiness. A person can feel envy and still appreciate all of that. I guess I wonder why people feel the need to isolate themselves from envy or why they consider it a hurtful thing to be around.
 

NeonKaos

Custodian
I think it's important to remember that experiencing envy isn't the same as being disappointed that happiness hasn't fallen into their lap. Being envious doesn't mean that they're not aware of all of the hard work that goes into creating happiness. A person can feel envy and still appreciate all of that. I guess I wonder why people feel the need to isolate themselves from envy or why they consider it a hurtful thing to be around.


I think of envy as a non-zero-sum concept, and jealousy as a zero-sum-concept (even if these are not in the dictionary definitions).

Envy means someone else has something that you wish you had for yourself also, while jealousy means you wish that the other person did not have it if you can't have it too.

If you're married or whatever, and your partner has a boyfriend or girlfriend, you could say "I envy that" meaning that you want a BF or GF too but don't want them to give up what they have.

If you said "I'm jealous of that" it is like as if it's a competition and in order to "feel equal" someone would have to give up something the other person doesn't also have.
 

vandalin

New member
Ygirl: I like how you put the differences between jealousy & envy. This is something that has come up recently in regards to Elric and myself. He has mentioned a couple gals on FB often enough for me to feel something but I wasn't sure quite what. Using your definitions I can deduce that what I feel is envy, I am envious of the other gals because I wish I could have the attention he is giving them for myself. Thanks!

It seems that envy is an okay part of compersion while jealousy is something we would not want in compersion so must work through and get rid of. Yes?
 

Karelia

New member
YGirl, I like your definition. :)

I don't have a problem with envy. Jealousy can be destructive, but envy usually isn't, and if it is, it hurts the person feeling that way, and not me (unless I'm the one feeling the envy, haha).
 
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