View Full Version : Quick "envy" reactions


Batman55
10-14-14, 01:18 AM
I tend to be an envious type of person, and used to struggle with it greatly. Envy for me is most likely to occur when talking about or reading about wildly successful people. I don't know if envy is the result of lack of confidence/self-worth or if it causes the low self-worth. I can say for certain that it does tie in with self-loathing, which for me fueled self-destructive behavior.

But thankfully I've made some progress with defeating envy. One of the ways I do this is kind of a "short-cut": I know what triggers these feelings, and will actively avoid or quickly stop perusing material that starts it. One example is avoiding reading Facebook, I don't have an account and I never look at anyone's page, and that's a good thing for me.

But sometimes randomly something will trigger envy. Just tonight I was reading about how someone was a "triple major" in a good college, and not only that, it seems they were gifted with everything else possible in life. But it's really this "triple major" thing that gets me. I couldn't even handle community college (not that I really tried, though) and apparently some people find college courses to be so easy, they just keep piling on more until the plate is full, something like that.

Then the comparison begins. I just feel ridiculously small, and lacking intellect. No doubt, I wish I had their abilities. I feel like I'm entitled to something, and yet I have almost nothing. It's a spiral of thought processes that goes from rage to depression, in the span of an hour.

Obviously we can't all be like that, I admit very few will do this "triple major" thing. But then I start comparing myself to the average person, and I find I still have little if anything to be proud of.

Perhaps it would help me to understand HOW a person can be so ridiculously gifted as to be a triple major and have a full/active social life at the same time.. and if intellectual gifts are the main factor in all such cases, or if perhaps an average intellect with the right kind of personality and upbringing can pull off superhuman feats like that as well (the latter would make me happier.)

I guess the more relevant question though, is how to stop the envy and start to like oneself, it really seems as if folks who don't like themselves never get anywhere.. and that's the case with me. I have to turn that around.

stef
10-14-14, 03:45 AM
It's a long road and I wish I had some advice!

Just in the past year I have found myself NO LONGER envious of my best friend (we work in related fields and technically, well I am qualified to be her employee!) she is very smart but also, outgoing and can do many things that I just can't do. This used to bother me immensely but it doesn't anymore, I guess I have just been happier in my own life without realizing it.

sarahsweets
10-14-14, 04:13 AM
I think envy and jealousy are about self esteem. When we have sh+tty self esteem its easier for us to compare ourselves to someone we see as more successful. I know this is the case for me sometimes.

Corina86
10-14-14, 06:25 AM
I don't have a solution for this, but lots of people (I believe most people) feel some degree of envy towards others, they just keep it to themselves (as they should). It has nothing to do with success or money, since there is always someone who has it better. I'm pretty sure there are some people who are envious of you, you just don't know about it.

Batman55
10-15-14, 12:48 AM
Yes it's true I've got to work on the self-esteem. I think a good first step, however, is to help myself understand more about the subject of my envy, that being those people who seem to achieve virtually superhuman feats. I listed some good examples in my original post.

I've learned that ignorance can fuel envy, it's only recently I've seen it from this angle. In other words, you've got to take these mega-achievers off the pedestal you have them on, and find what takes them tick. It's a problem that seems to even resist logical de-construction: if it is only hard work that gets them there, why is it they have an active social life at the same time, instead of being buried in constant schoolwork? Why is it they can resist the stress of handling 3 majors at once with a social life and possibly a job on top of it, when most people would have to be carted away to a psych ward from exhaustion?

So really I think some feasible explanations for how such a person operates, what MAKES them this way, would help me. Even some theories would help. There has to be something human in these people, e.g. a crisis in their early life that instilled a kind of unstoppable energy for achievement. I can't sit here and think "they're just ridiculously bright" and be satisfied with that.

sarek
10-15-14, 02:30 AM
I believe literal single mindedness is the quality you are looking for in these people.

Other than knowing that I do not think it serves much of a purpose to try and compare oneself with a way of life almost none of us can ever emulate. It's not likely that studying their way of life can yield you an easy to use recipe to apply to yourself.

I have been in that place, attempting to finish my education while everyone I started with had long ago passed over my horizon and out of sight, no doubt pursuing wonderful careers. I served my time in frustration hell.

Now, I am just me. That is enough.

Batman55
10-16-14, 12:19 AM
I believe literal single mindedness is the quality you are looking for in these people.

Other than knowing that I do not think it serves much of a purpose to try and compare oneself with a way of life almost none of us can ever emulate. It's not likely that studying their way of life can yield you an easy to use recipe to apply to yourself.

Thank you, sarek. Comparing is something I used to do, but have begun stopping it. Now what I seek is better understanding... educate yourself on what it is you envy, or what it is you fear, etc.. only then can you defeat it.

I think this idea of "single-mindedness" is a good start. But I'm afraid I'd want to take it a bit further than that. Are there any theories on there being a genetic link, or environmental trigger (to me, this seems more likely) for someone becoming this way?

I posited a theory earlier that perhaps a difficult childhood, in some cases, can lead someone to develop a purpose prodigiously, and for this they will understand the importance of achievement much more thoroughly than your average numbskull, etc etc. I'm sure the answer is really a very complex interaction of factors, but I think if we all put our heads together, we can come up with some common links between famous, or anecdotal, cases of mega-success. I'm up for it. Are you?

sarek
10-16-14, 02:14 AM
I posited a theory earlier that perhaps a difficult childhood, in some cases, can lead someone to develop a purpose prodigiously, and for this they will understand the importance of achievement much more thoroughly than your average numbskull, etc etc. I'm sure the answer is really a very complex interaction of factors, but I think if we all put our heads together, we can come up with some common links between famous, or anecdotal, cases of mega-success. I'm up for it. Are you?

It has to be a combination of factors. There are lots of people who have had a difficult childhood without that turning them into super achievers. So there has to be more to it.

From what I have seen with people who have been in difficult situations (deprivation, abuse, etc.) is that there are three primary response patterns:

- you can run
- you can hide
- you can fight

I presume the fight response is what we are looking for. What I do not know, however, is whether that is genetically encoded.