The Psychology of Envy

Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

Carrie Fisher

Envy is more common than you think. In fact we become envious of others a lot more than we like to admit as it’s the easiest thing to feel towards someone, especially with the power of social media. Let’s be real some of those people appear to be bragging about things on purpose it seems like right, which pride is the next since we will exploring later on this week, which let me just say their are more underlying issues when it comes to pride. Now before we go down the rabbit hole of envy, let’s talk about the difference between envy and jealousy shall we. Which let’s just first differentiate the two. Jealousy is plainly a resentment of another person in the feeling of fear of losing what we have. Envy is feeling due to lacking a superior quality, which can lead to a slippery slope of actions to a person that end up, now feeling resentful for a quality that they have worked or gained to strengthen; have you purposely acting on the events to eliminate the competition. Which in many cases where the resentment of a trait versus a materialized gain, has those in situations where like in my case a year ago which started this cluster fuck of deception from a woman I use to work with in her envious rage. Which was due to an accounts I landed that I was steps away from closing, had people thinking they were fraudulent accounts, which calling them regarding the inability to open these accounts due accusations, was informed that this woman called them attempting to open the accounts, with after bringing this to light. Was the plot that began an illegal vendetta she had various people attacking me with, that due to her arrogance and insecurity; which she was notorious and known for doing repeatedly to others could have been stopped. As one of the things I pointed out in this occurrence was the pattern of behaviors that were presented, which getting the employee record and the various accusations this individual has already made along others, even to our boss that she manipulated to believe I was in the wrong. Had him doing things that were illegal just to get me out as not only did I have leverage against her, but with his actions of protecting him and her, I had leverage against him and the entire company as the practices that were used as well as the terminations they had based on the ill advisement to support quota achievement, would have the entire company in a predicament based on the behavior patterns that have occurred. Which one behavior that would stick out like a sore thumb, is the deadly sin of greed. As money was a common motivation when it came to sales.

Envy is a prison that we put ourselves in if you come and think about it. The many qualities we envy can be gained or improved. Truth of the matter is, we don’t focus on the superior qualities we process ourselves, which if you truly look at it abstractly, we are facing the same quality that has others gaining success. Come to think about it’s a superficial and vanity quality that we all think will get us appreciated. But have you met a person who was so focused on their vanity that they were dumb as dirt and had no skills whatsoever. Not to sound insulting to those entities but I have. It’s like “You’re so pretty but your so dumb” and for me, I can’t stand a minute of being around this person as they have nothing to say. Or at least anything intelligent to say which makes me feel sympathetic for them as the one big picture idea they didn’t come to the realization of is that they one day will lose it all to age. Which seeing many of them that I grew up with end up losing it all. As the unfortunate thing that comes with depression and the lack of knowing one self is addictive behaviors and chemical dependencies that waste their body away in the insecurities they don’t ever admit to as they for whatever reason as the pride that settles is another prison that is the emotional prison of life. Which regardless of what you say or do, they will never see what you always see in them as they have already given up on themselves and the world.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

What Does Envy Look Like

Envious people tend to feel hostile, resentful, angry and irritable. Such individuals are also less likely to feel grateful about their positive traits and their circumstances. Envy is also related to depression, anxiety, the development of prejudice, and personal unhappiness according to Mentalhealth.net. according to  Natalie Staats Reiss, Ph.D in her article “The Nature of Envy” that makes some very valid points as she references the Golden Globes and also gives some advise on how to nip that action in the bud, which we will get to that later which if your compelled to read the article sooner here is the link https://www.mentalhelp.net/blogs/the-nature-of-envy/. Envy is something that is natural to feel and is assumptive as envy in my experience comes from seeing the final outcome of someone’s struggle and not looking deeper int the work it took to get them to that state of grace. Many people in my social media tend to cut me down or down play my triumph of the cluster fuck that hit my life a year ago. Regardless of how they saw me grow and how I suffered through the darkest times, people regardless of what I will point out will always focus on the finished product.

Most people will assume that the problems that happened at the time were over exaggerations as they see those talk about those struggles like it was a walk in the park. Which coming to terms with the tragedies that life brings becomes a lot more easier to vocalize when they share their story. But the truth is that the only reason why they talk so openly and so nonchalantly about those struggles is due to one factor they no longer posses. The fear that they once had for that situation as they for the first time ha battled their demons. I share these accounts not to cause embarrassment or shame on those individuals who still envious following my blog, which fear is of those we envy are exactly why we act the way we act towards those who possess a power it seems we may not possess according to PsychologyToday.com and Josh Gressel Ph.D. which is what he based a book on, which focuses on the envy which being defensive is the ultimate key of envy according to Harriet Lerner Ph.D. from Psychology Today https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-dance-connection/201311/stop-being-so-defensive. Which a following behavior in my experience leads to a slippery slope that is gaslighting, which has some very good key points that she mentions in the blog.

Am I Being Envious?

Like all behaviors, envy can be corrected which I am going to start off with first hand. The first thing we have to start doing to correct a problem or face a disaster. Admitting a problem and realizing the realness that the problem is the only way you can proactively resolve a problem. Little things like downplaying someones progress, undermining the struggle that came along with it, and not celebrating their win I feel are the small signs of jealousy as this is a threat to our own being. Taking actions towards those fears of losing ourself is when we begin the acts of envy which if your are in the middle or have done it, it’s time to step back and begin to analyze the what’s, when’s, where’s, why’s, and how’s of your actions as I wan’t to truly this is not your nature. Even depicting someone as a villain is an act of envy. In this war in spiritual warfare, it’s about correcting those actions now. I honestly believe that as long as we make a full fledged effort of attempting to change and not just put it to the back burner is when we begin to gain redemption. Humans possess human nature and the biology behind it is that we are programmed to make mistakes. But one must not make the excuse of making excuses as to why we are enabling those acts as it becomes entitlement. Here are some facts about envy according to JR Thorpe from Bustle.com. (JR Thorpe. Why Do We Envy. July 22, 2016, Bustle.com. https://www.bustle.com/articles/174232-why-do-we-envy-others-7-things-to-know-about-the-psychology-of-feeling-green.)

  1. It May Serve An Evolutionary Purpose
  2. It Could Be The Foundation of Our Ideas of Justice
  3. Is it the achievement’s that they accomplished; Malicious Envy or Benign Envy which is generalized envy toward the person.
  4. It Feels Just As Bad As Physical Pain
  5. Envy begins as Young Adults and Follows Us To Adulthood When Not Resolved
  6. Social Media Is Connected To Higher Levels of Envy
  7. It May Be Feelings of Prejudice

Am I Am Being A Target of an Envious Party?

Envy can be a bad friend to have on your corner as it is it causes irrational judgement and misconstrued idealisms of what we truly feel. Envy can also bring out a part of us that we didn’t recognize which is prejudice, which is by far the one thing that we still yet have not conquered in our modern day society. In fact the problem becomes worst over time as we begin to put bandaids on the problem enabling bad behaviors such as entitlement. Which the simple solution to a offense to everything is rewarding someone in bribery. The more and more bandaids we attempt to put on to cover the real problem becomes the demise of a society that we never see change in, hoping for things to get better. When in fact they become worse. In life we will always have an envious entity behind us whether it be a passive aggressive entity or direct threat., which in my opinion; it’s the passive aggressive one’s we have to worry the most about. As this is a sign of manipulation and deception. Here are some signs of envy according to Araya Baker, M.Phil.Ed. from Psychology Today (Araya Baker, M. Phil. Ed. 5 Telltale Signs That You’re the Target of Envy. Red flags of the green-eyed monster. April 1, 2020. PsychologyToday.com. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/beyond-cultural-competence/202004/5-telltale-signs-you-re-the-target-envy.)

  1. They step out of character when others compliment or congratulate you.
  2. They’re committed to scrutinizing your work—and misunderstanding your intentions.
  3. They use ad hominem attacks and stereotypes to discredit or underestimate your intelligence, skills, and/or talent.
  4. They romanticize your life, or assume they’re more deserving of your success because you’ve struggled less.
  5. They diminish you, while copying your characteristics, style, or work.

Conclusion

t the end we all make mistakes. We all get misguided. We all end up justifying the mistakes I’m a bias rational. Welcome to being human. We get shamed, we get belittled. We get stereotyped and treated unfairly. When are you going to admit that to yourself. One of the things I was told in this journey recently was the characteristic that is consistency and strength, which I had to chuckle a bit and also emphasize that the laugh wasn’t in no means to undermine or make fun of the compliment, but due to the fact that I said “If you knew me two years ago, you would see that I was a scared girl trying to keep my head above water just like everyone else. Some of the tactics are common to what worked for me, which due to a lifetime of unresolved trauma; took a little more effort. There are many ways to deal with this. Gratitude and generosity seem to be the universal way so far in these focusing on these two sins. Here are some ways to deal with envy according to Joshua Becker from BecomingMinimilist.com (Joshua Becker. A Helpful Guide to Overcoming Envy. October 28, 2019. https://www.becomingminimalist.com/ungreen-with-envy/).

  1. Shift your focus to the goodness in your life. … 
  2. Remind yourself that nobody has it all. … 
  3. Avoid people who habitually value the wrong things. … 
  4. Spend time with grateful people. … 
  5. Understand that marketers routinely fan the flame. … 
  6. Celebrate the success of others. … 
  7. Be generous.

Trying to figure this out with no guidance and no absolution, seeing the world burn around me. Seeing the ones that I love unjustified and losing hope all huddled together in the corner waiting for the slaughter like cattle.” If you think about it, low key you feel the same too seeing dangers getting closer and closer with no one doing anything. Being part of the group that stereotypes those you fear and putting those same people they share the same physical features that associate those dangers to those that are perceived as the threat. But what would you do if you became that stereotype or worse. What if that danger was someone that didn’t fit the stereotype. What if that danger looked exactly like you? Which has happened to me so many times. Feeling hopeless and with no one to get you out? The more and more we stop trying to get the power to fight back, the less people we have helping us get out of that situation. Which is where I came along. I was tired of letting things happen to me.

I have no respect for the passion of equality, which seems to me merely idealizing envy.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.

The irony about the seven deadly sins in general is stemmed from insecurities of not knowing our own true. Finding who you really are is the key in finding a life long battle that seems never ending sometimes. It leads to a life of enabled bad behaviors, fulfilling these needs or desires with things that only temporarily fix these gratifications that when the next moment of disturbances fulfill our lives leads to further behaviors. Behaviors that end up at the end of the day leaving us feel empty and unfulfilled on the perceptions people lead us to believe is truth. The desires that we feel will make life better only leads to more problems that we have no knowledge of dealing with. As our risk perception will deceive us along with pride, as we tell ourselves the lies that help us get by. At the end of the day when those things turn out to be the perfect illusion that we believed as truth, it tends to continue a downward spiral of more depressive nature. Thus having some of these people take their own lives, which no one should ever do as life isn’t about things, it’s about being able to overcome those obstacles. And if we give ourselves more credit that we sometimes don’t give to ourselves. You too will find out that you are a bonafide badass waiting for your moment to rise from the ashes. Like the Phoenix in my logo, we all deserve the chance to rise out the ashes as our true powerful self without the security blankets we rely on to prove our worth. I talk from experience. Because knowing who you are is the most liberating and best thing to be. That no matter how hard someone attempts, nobody will ever take away from you.

Photo by Marcus Wu00f6ckel on Pexels.com

Published by Frieda Lopez at Frieda the Writer

Frieda Lopez is a Texas Native, born in the heart of San Antonio's West Side Community. Frieda attended Lanier High School and primarily attended Memorial High School where she graduated with the class of 2001. Raised in a blended family dynamic, Ms. Lopez gained her noble character from the women she admired and loved the most, her grandmothers. Frieda attended Alamo Community College where she majored in Liberal Arts primarily studying on biology, sociology, philosophy, psychology, and creative writing and shortly attended University of Incarnate Word. She gained a MBA from AIU and has actively participated in local fashion shows until she moved to Houston returning back August 2019. She began her career in healthcare, where she gained the skill of being able to not only resolve conflicts but reach out and engage in the community through her time serving as health care relations customer care and outreach representative. After being let go from her employer which she last served as a Customer Relations Representative for DentaQuest, she began her journey in retail where she came part of the leadership team a month of working as a part time representative for MarketSource and build a relationship with her local Target team. She later served five years with Amtel T-Mobile as a Store Manger after moving to Houston to pursue a management position with unfortunately ended in adversity which opened the opportunity of writing her first book "Journey of an Unraveled Road" will be releasing her second book a fiction based series titled "The Rideshare Chronicles" with the first book to the installment titled "Destination Destiny."

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