Avoiding The Source Of Envy Is A Sign Of Weakness?

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Rihana, Jan 26, 2023.

  1. nuss

    nuss Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,526
    Likes Received:
    2,908
    Trophy Points:
    283
    Gender:
    Female
    @Rihana- you are a mind reader :).

    I was going through envy a few weeks ago. We visited my best friend who has just bought another house. I was super excited, bought beautiful gifts for the new home, and really couldn't wait to see it. Then, we got there and I felt this pang of jealousy/envy. We enjoyed our weekend but I got back home and was sulking. So, I opened my heart in front of my local best buddy and mentioned to him how I felt. Don't get me wrong, I am very happy for my friend but also know that I'll never have a house like that (because my DH is very content with what we have....sigh!). I asked him if it was wrong to feel that way and my wise friend said- it's natural! Nothing wrong with it. It's good that you are processing your feelings instead of just burying them.

    Now, 5 days later, I am just fine and still love my house (I can use some renovations though :))

    Is it a sign of weak ness? I am not sure, I think it's just human.
     
    Thyagarajan, Laks09 and Rihana like this.
  2. beautifullife30

    beautifullife30 Platinum IL'ite

    Messages:
    1,194
    Likes Received:
    2,409
    Trophy Points:
    285
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi Rihana,

    Yes, i unfortunately suffered from this envy for a long time and it made me so thankless of what i had. I started being mean and it started affecting my relation with my kids and family.

    Then i learnt to make peace with it. I started understating that everyone is precisely where they are supposed to be. If a colleague got a promotion, or a friend moved to a better locality or say my relatives' children did or are doing better than my kids (actually truth be told, all these things are currently happening :) ) then, maybe there is something extra they did to be there. Or their life is such that they deserved it. We dont all walk the same paths in life. Then how can our lives be the same?

    Maybe that was something they needed so badly. Maybe this colleague had to put in extra effort, be it buttering up the mngr or maybe stretching his hours and working sincerely. Maybe my relatives' daughter excels coz she is constantly studying and trying to learn something new. She is a single child and she goes to so many classes and she does extraordinarily well in all her studies. Infact she is the same class as my son but everyyear she stands first in her school for her batch. While my kids are running behind each another and fighting to play these video games and trying to get them to study is a big big task.

    And when my friend purchased a house in a better locality i know that she and her husband are saving up for it - not that i am not - but they are probably investing a lot more time and effort and energy to get that done. Maybe even if i put in all that effort, i wont be able to move to that posh a locality but now i am left wondering, should i wish for something that she has or something that i want?

    The thing i learnt is if you want something in your life so much then it will surely find a way to come to you. I know that coz i have been experiencing it. My waking hours were spent wishing for that one thing and today when i see that being happening, i know i am being granted that wish. Universe has this way of granting us what we want.

    My life is exactly as god planned it. I wont say i planned it coz trust me when i say this, the last 1 year proved how wrong i was in that assumption. The saying "Man proposes and god disposes" is so true in my case. But now i have this maturity of understanding that my life is unique in its way. I have so many beautiful things to be thankful for.

    So my question to you now is - You have this power, infact each of us has this power within us to get what we want, provided we try for it and wish for it. Do you want to brood or think about others' way of life or do you want to spend it on wishing and trying for your dreams to come true.

    I know my post might sound like a cliche but my entire life sounds like one to me so bear with me on this :)

    So to answer your question, no, i no longer am in the clutches of envy. I can proudly say that. I donot avoid any source of envy or go in search for it. When someone i know does better, i am so happy for them and wish them the best in their life coz they probably struggled to be where they are now. Most of us only see the external 10% but the 90% backend effort goes unnoticed. So i am mindful of it now. No, i dont begrudge anyone anything coz i know that no matter how much i envy or covet something which is not mine, it would never be mine. And what is mine would always be mine and nobody can take it away from me.

    I am extremely happy to be where i am now and i am for once in my life concentrating on what I want and how i want to live my life.
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  3. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    5,894
    Likes Received:
    11,333
    Trophy Points:
    438
    Gender:
    Female
    Going through envy is not a sign of weakness, but lessining contact with friends or ghosting them for their success is indeed a sign of weakness, inferiority, inability, jealousy or whatever... you name it.

    It is definitely not your friend's fault to prosper in life or get lucked out. If we are to lessen contacts with friends or relatives for this reason, then we will end up having no real friends/relatives in life. Or we will end up with only sobbing friends for life.

    This is indeed a very serious discussion for me. Personally, I have lost a lot of friends and relatives whom were once so close to me. It is painful to be ghosted out for no reason. It gives you self doubt and sense of guiltiness without knowing what went wrong.
    Being rich, or finding better employment or getting some luck in life doesn't mean our lives are perfect. Like everyone, we too have our own problems and dark times, perhaps differently.

    Off late, I noticed that either myself or my family members become sick or face troubles following a success or happiness in our family.
    Sharing our success or happiness with certain people make us either lose them for life, or suffer misfortune immediately after. With experience, we have learned to carefully avoid discussing our success or happiness with certain people, whom we think as evil people, but your thread gives a different perspective to this matter.

    Yes, they are not evil people, but weak people who can't handle other person's success or happiness. May be they have no idea about the other persons struggles and pains. May be they have no idea about the blessings in their life. May be they have no hope for a better future.

    It is human to envy on others success. I have gone through this even yesterday following my friend's FB post about her new apartment in Sri Lanka. She already has a villa, and now invested her money smartly in another apartment which she is planning to rent for tourism business.
    I felt uneasy for a while, talked to my H and fought with him for a while for not supporting me whenever I try smart investments.
    Within minutes I decided that I too will buy an apartment, if not a luxurious one like hers, at least a moderate one and rent that out. This very thought made my mind at ease and I forgot about this friend or her investments until I saw this thread.

    So, feeling envy is real. But I have never stopped contacting this friend or feeling happy for her success. In fact, I started following her smart decisions, and trying to make similar investments to grow in life.

    I think this is how you should handle your envy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2023
  4. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,243
    Likes Received:
    29,732
    Trophy Points:
    540
    Gender:
    Female
    I think if someone asked me the question I have asked, I too would say yes it is a sign of weakness.

    The question though is a little more nuanced. Avoiding the source of envy is done in a few cases, not as a routine way of dealing with envy.

    This I agree with no modifiers. It is not fair to the other person if we reduce contact for our own self esteem.

    Maybe the question should have two layers: i) Is sometimes avoiding the source of envy a sign of weakness? ii) Should this weakness be fixed?

    Nice to read your response, drdiva, and your explanation.

    It is an ongoing joke in my house that amma has one or two people she is currently not keen to meet often. But, I wonder how weak or wrong that is. If I had a weak foot or knee, I might avoid certain types of exercise for a while or for good. If a part of my heart or mind are weak, and I take a few shortcuts or detours now and then due to that, so what... : )

    ===========
    All have been so kind to take the time to share their thoughts on the question. Maybe I should share exact cases of when I avoid(ed) the source of envy. The hypothetical examples in the first post might be missing some context.
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  5. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,243
    Likes Received:
    29,732
    Trophy Points:
    540
    Gender:
    Female
    @beautifullife30 thank you for the heartfelt response about managing feelings of envy. There is a lot to learn from it.

    However, as noted in the first post, the discussion and question here is about a specific kind of envy, and a specific way of dealing with it.
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  6. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,243
    Likes Received:
    29,732
    Trophy Points:
    540
    Gender:
    Female
    LOL. There was a time we used to visit furnished model homes to get decor ideas. After a while, I started comparing our home to those, and my husband started to dread those no-reason visits to model homes.

    Recently we visited apartments our kid is considering renting for summer, and nearby they were also some new SFH (no backyard) and townhouses for sale. I saw those like-wood floors, airy floor plans with floor to ceiling glass windows, and the room-by-room zoning of the HVAC, and I went into a fresh why can't we move to a smaller, newer place. Coming back to our house, I looked at it like a kid looks at the local park after a visit to Disneyland. : )

    I will conveniently count this as a vote for no, it is not a sign of weakness. : )
     
    Thyagarajan and nuss like this.
  7. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,243
    Likes Received:
    29,732
    Trophy Points:
    540
    Gender:
    Female
    Thank you SGBV. I appreciate the thought you've put in your response.

    What you write above makes me think... and rethink.

    Perhaps I should give more real examples of the cases I had in mind when avoiding the source of envy is a form of self-care.

    I've thought of bumping up your thread on this a few times. This is slightly off-topic from this thread's discussion but I've tracked the happy update sharing that is followed by quick misfortune for 3-4 years now. I know it is not scientific but God help me I've stopped sharing stuff about my kids and husband with some people. I consider my dispensable and don't mind sharing updates about myself but cannot bring myself to take that risk for my family.

    What you have suggested is a productive way to deal with envy. But this thread is specifically about:
     
    Thyagarajan likes this.
  8. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    12,243
    Likes Received:
    29,732
    Trophy Points:
    540
    Gender:
    Female
    OK, leke Prabhu ka naam, taking the name of God, here are three times from the past when I did that avoiding the source of envy. No way I going to share any current example of that.

    1) We were dealing with infertility, adoption was ruled out, our friends didn't know about our struggle. Back then we had a huge friend circle. Over the years of our TTC and infertility, I avoided a few pregnant friends but was fine and normal with the others who got pregnant in those years. I skipped some first b'day celebrations but attended others. It all depended on the mood and hope level that month I guess. Anyway, I would say that avoiding the source of envy was not weakness, it was self-preservation.

    2) One neighbor had her parents visit every summer to be with the kids. The dad looked quite like mine. I got along quite fine with all the other grandparents visiting, talked with them in the park as I supervised my kids, often helped them when they got locked out or the house alarm went off. : ) Heck I even helped them shoo away birds from the drying papads. But that one friend whose dad looked like mine and I was going through a tough time with my parents/siblings, I just avoided this family all of that summer and fall. Something about the way her father talked, waved his arms, the pyjamas he wore, the way he walked on the sidewalk in only banian and pyjama, the lingering cigarette smell, was too much a reminder of my father. I was years away from seeing a therapist to talk about stuffs.

    3) Another friend had parents who regularly handed out gold and plots, apartments to their grown well-settled kids like candy. Literally. Mine took my money, apartment from a trusting, gullible me and gave it to others for years. Something about this friend's first world problem of "how do I get money from India to the U.S." ticked me off. I avoided her. I badly wanted one time to receive some money, some gold or a tiny plot from my parents to me. There was no rhyme or reason to this envy or avoiding her. I was fine with another friend whose parents and brothers gifted her a diamond bracelet for her 40th b'day. I celebrated with her about how they all went to the jewelry store in India, how she didn't sleep the entire flight as she was carrying the bracelet in her handbag. We talked about putting it in locker or keeping it at home for convenience. My own 40th went with complete silence from parents, siblings but her diamond bracelet didn't bother me.

    So there... I think avoiding the source of envy sometimes can be a form of self-preservation. As long as it is not our only mode of dealing with envy, it is fine. But I also understand why some view it as a sign of weakness.
     
    Thyagarajan, SGBV and mbharani like this.
  9. SGBV

    SGBV Finest Post Winner

    Messages:
    5,894
    Likes Received:
    11,333
    Trophy Points:
    438
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi @Rihana


    I totally understand your post now, and i see different perspectives here!

    I happened to find a replica of my dad in Myanmar in 2008, that was almost immediately after my father's demise.
    This was a poor person selling fruits on the streets of yangoon. But like young boy in love, I would wake up early in the morning for jogging, just to have a glimpse of this man every day.
    I would voluntarily talk to him, buy fruits only from him and wait for his presence next day.
    It went on like this for sometimes until this man moved to a different street without saying a proper goodbye. Eventually, i forgot this person as the intense memories of my dad slowly faded from my mind.
    For me, seeing this person who looked like my dad helped to fill the vacuum in my heart following his sudden departure.

    This... This is what i believe in.

    But reading through your examples, one thing i noticed was the envy you mentioned and the reactions were so real.
    For me, the envy has got to do something with the relationship i have with certain people in life rather than the life equation. That's why we do not cut off certain people following their success, while doing the same for others.

    For ex: one of my cousin's DD entered medical school with merit and i went through envy and did not wish her for this success.
    Not because my kids didn't do well in studies ( in fact they are very young and they have a long way to go), but because i do not like this family. There is a bad history between us, and i always have this competition with them. They are one of those people who are happy about my failures, yet they act as if they care.

    These days i have decided to completely cut off the communication with them and that helps.
    Not because they do better than me ( not at all) but i have realized i will be better off without this kind of relationship in life.
     
    Thyagarajan and Rihana like this.
  10. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

    Messages:
    3,970
    Likes Received:
    6,724
    Trophy Points:
    408
    Gender:
    Female
    But weakness is a part of human nature and the life experience, isn’t it? Otherwise we would all be Gods and saints, not mere mortals.
    There’s nothing wrong with feeling your feelings, as long as you have the wisdom and maturity to introspect and understand.
     

Share This Page