The Management Of Envy

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Rihana, May 18, 2021.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    A part of personal growth is improving how one manages envy.

    Share your thoughts, suggestions and personal experiences (if any) about this. Such as:

    - The time you felt that pang of envy that was almost hilarious in nature.
    - Or, the time when envy prodded you into taking action and achieving what you were envying.
    - Generally speaking, how do you find yourself dealing with envy? How has this changed with time?

  2. Rihana

    Rihana Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I crave organization. Even in nebulous concepts like envy, I like to create or find some order. : ) So, the first thing to do was find the difference between jealousy and envy.

    To be honest, I think the word 'envy' entered my vocabulary quite late in life. For a long time, it was simply "jealous". I recall laughing and saying to many a friend, "Oh I am so jealous of you yaa" : ) Now I would definitely use, "I envy you" in the same situations.

    I came across two simple descriptions of the difference between jealousy and envy.
    What Is the Difference Between Envy and Jealousy?
    The Difference Between Envy & Jealousy — And Exactly What To Do About Each

    This is what I understood:
    Envy is wanting what somebody else has. It involves two people. One might envy a friend who gets a new car, a better job or has thick, luxurious hair that look fabulous straight out of the bed or shower. : )

    Jealousy is the fear of losing what one already has. It usually involves three people. When her husband shares more with his mother, a wife might feel jealous.

    Coming back to envy, some more reading showed that the situations can be categorized into two types:
    - We envy what someone has and we can also have with some luck and lots of disciplined effort.
    - We envy what someone has and we can never have.

    More later... Taking of a debilitating kick in the emotional solar plexus (not my words, copied from somewhere!) The kick was a just reward for some needless "searches" I did today on LinkedIn. : )
  3. winterhue

    winterhue Gold IL'ite

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    Yesterday. My 8 yr old was eating his second ice cream without any worry and was actually enjoying it. Made me envious that he could eat it without thinking of calories , sugar, diets - absolutely guilt free. Made me wonder when was the last time I had a meal without thinking of what it would do to my waistline.

    This one is silly too. I planned a vacation out of envy :) A cousin had posted pics on Instagram of their beach vacation and I was so jealous that I decided to take action. The end result was a lovely beach vacation with the family. Much needed break !

    I am proud to proclaim that I only get jealousy of the "petty" kind. I get jealous of women who have amazing bodies or people who can eat all they want without gaining weight etc. I have never looked at someone and thought " I wish I had their life". One thing that has helped me achieve this state is a gratefulness practice. Every morning, as soon as I wake up , I list out at least 5 things I am grateful to have. (Job, health, family, kids, vacations :) ) It is usually random . But I have noticed that ever since I've started that practice, I find myself more appreciative of what I have. I've also limited my social media scrolling and have successfully realized that not all the pics posted there are perfect as they seem.
    messedup and Rihana like this.
  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Under the spell of ‘J’


    My daughter stood third in the state in the Board Exam..My thickest friend who used to contact me daily,remained awefully silent for two months and remarked”Seems there was not much competition this time.”

    ‘She sings nice,much much better than usual;

    Rasam tastes ok,but Amma’s kai manam is missing;

    The picture is good;of course you have a world class camera.”

    Aren’t remarks as above clearly indicative of ‘J’s presence?

    One day or other every one is jealous.Normally the word 'ENVY' and'JEALOUSY' are used interchangeably.

    Reasons may be multifold.Kamala got high scores and first rank;The neighbour’s daughter got married early;some others begetting children or male issues in particular; X has got a home free from nagging in-laws !

    It includes hot looks regarding neighbours or friends getting into top ranking institutions,and those securing covetable IT jobs etc..

    Lottery prizes won by unknown persons does not bother us.. If such a prize is won by a close friend or relative, we are enraged about the unfairness . We work out reasons why he does not deserve the luck.

    Bill Gates being the richest is never an issue to us;but our neighbour purchasing a luxurious car or bangalow is much painful to us. We tend to compare ourselves only with those closer to our status. The lives of Oberoi, and Dhirubai Ambani do not make us feel envious; But a person with similar seniority getting promotion ahead of us makes us frustrated.

    When an article written by a friend or cousin gets published and not ours ,somehow we try to demean the writings. Nobel Laureates and Sahitya Academy prize winners are never cared by us.

    We place ourselves with people of similar cultural, social and financial milieu. When they succeed where we don't, we feel denied and deprived. If they could achieve what we could not, with other things being equal, we tend to look for concealed advantages or recommendations behind their selection.

    Even fairer by one shade and leaner by a few pounds cannot be tolerated by us.Reminded of ‘owner’s pride and neighbour’s envy –an advertisement by Onida TV.

    The dormant devil ‘J’ inside everyone of us, waits to sneak its ugly head when the concerned person is either near or dear to us. Our house is plunged in darkness.If there is no power in neighbour’s house also,a sigh of relief!our faces become bright,thought not the house. My son was not into IIT.Yet there is a secret pleasure since,my friend’s son also failed.

    On 1 Dec 2015 the husband is jubilant about knowing that the entire TV set has beem immersed in brother-in-law’s house in Chennai!What a joy!

    But I still feel a little envy is okay, adds spice and the competitive spirit.If it is positive ,it should be ok.But let not the devil make you a permanent residence.

    Therefore jealousy stems in every area of life where one feels that the other person is more comfortable while he is deprived of simple joys.

    "Beggars are not jealous of millionaires; they are jealous of beggars sitting next to them, collecting a few more coins than they do."

    Reminded of Shakespeare

    “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy;
    It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock
    The meat it feeds on. “

    Jealousy isn't something we have much control over. In truth, it is a natural, instinctive emotion that everyone experiences at one point or another.The worry is, it is an outward expression and it hides other more hurtful attitudes.It is a mega combination of our anger, fear, grief and betrayal.It is an impulse within us to torment ourselves with self-critical thoughts.Jealousy invites reflection and reveals more of us to ourselves.

    Jealousy is not the privilege of human beings alone. Chimpanzees are the most jealous and they don’t hesitate slapping the male partner, if he is found courting another. Bluebirds are equally jealous. Let this not justify our jealousy.

    With all this, many wish to be envied at and their sense of superiority is often expressed as’evil dhrishti’ of others.
    Are they too under the spell of J?

    Jayasala 42
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  5. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    I feel we need to differentiate between healthy competition vs jealousy. When we are attempting to learn a new skill from someone is good as opposed to putting down their skills. If we get motivated by other's success, it is good as opposed to feeling depressed about the success of others. If we are competing to achieve something for ourselves, it is good as opposed to competing only to defeat someone.

    My own way of controling jealousy/envy is to celebrate the success of others. In a way, as simple as nominating someone's great contribution here in IL can check jealousy. I also avoid excessive celebration of any success in life and take that with humility. That practice also helps to look at other's success meaningfully and with humility.

    There are a few suggested in the scriptures to avoid jealousy and they are:

    1) Pratipaksa Bhavana - Understanding one's negative feelings and then make a deliberate attempt to replace them with positive feelings
    2) Karma Gati Vichara - Recognizing that all of one's gain are direct results of one's own actions
    3) Pancha Karmayoni Jnana - Understanding that the laws known and unknown, give one uniform and unbiased results of actions
    4) Dhrti - Fortitude on perserverance to not lose heart but continue to work hard for what one desires
    5) Prasada Buddhi - Appreciate the grace in whatever is given as a result of one's action or have an attitude of not expecting the fruits of actions
    6) Maitri - Friendship towards all realizing oneness of all
    7) Mudita - Delighting in the success of others making conscious attempt to check any feelings of resentment, unhappiness, hatred or jealousy that crops up in the mind when seeing the success of others.

    While a few of the suggestions above worked for me, others in this list were difficult for me to inculcate into my life.
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