Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spin Cycle: Jealousy

Jealous: Definitions according to Encarta Dictionary: English (Microsoft Word)

Demanding loyalty: demanding exclusive loyalty or adherence. a jealous god.

Watchful: possessively watchful of something. Keeps a jealous watch on his research.

Suspicious of rivals: feeling suspicious about a rival's or competitor's influence, especially in regard to a loved one.

Envious: feeling bitter and unhappy because of another's advantages, possessions, or luck.

Never really been jealous. My husband has my complete trust and is deserving of it. However, my boyfriend before I met my husband also had my complete trust and was completely undeserving. When I found that out, I felt betrayed. But it didn’t taint me. My husband can go out after work with his friends, come home at any time, and I’m still not suspicious or jealous.


I confuse envy with jealousy, envy is more difficult to overcome. Oh, not the material things.

I’m fine with living simple. But when I looked up the definitions, it was that last word that stuck with me.


Luck. Good fortune.


I admit it.


I wish I had more good luck.


I also envy people who take things in stride better than I do, who do not seem to get anxious. Or live with moody, anxiety inflicted loved ones.


I envy my friends who get to travel more than I do. I realize how lucky I am to live where I do, but I get rock fever horrendously, especially during the summer, especially when I miss my family in the Mainland. I admit it. Even while I am happy for them, I envy those who can afford to travel.


On a side note, I’ve been following conversations at Smart Mouth’s and Oz Girl’s on particulars of commenting. Since I will be home all day today working on a home project, I will try and be present in the comment thread today.


On that note, which of the above definitions is your biggest barracuda? How do you deal with it?

38 comments:

lisa said...

Thanks for clarifying....I've been mistaking jealously for envy.

I do envy people who can just pick up and go....I think that's my biggest one. Can yu be jealous and envious at the same time?

only a movie said...

Cooool post, Pseudo. I am puttering around my house, cleaning, resting, laundry-ing, commenting...

So envious is one I have a hard time with sometimes. I used to be envious of intact families, especially when my child was small. Over the years I've realized that it's not ever helpful to compare my experience to another person's. Everyone has their own stuff to deal with no matter what the external presentation is...

I'd also like more money (to travel, etc), but I'm not sure I'm unhappy that others have it...

blueviolet said...

I have the envy issue sometimes too. Within the last few years, I've dropped my dreams of living the high life one day and I don't even want to. I don't want a big fancy house or expensive cards. That's not important to me. I just don't want to have to worry all the time about money.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Ah yes. The finer point of envy. It's not that I don't want others to have what I want, I AM happy for them. I just want it too.

Like Blue Violet, not riches and ostentatious "things," just not having to worry aobut how to come up with tuition. Or being frustrated that I cannot afford a plane ticket when my 82 year old mom needs a visit.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

And I am sometimes envious of homes where there is less stress and conflict, but as Movie points out, you never know what goes on behind the doors.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

I don't think I'm either. I don't know why. Sometimes I'm too California kicked back I guess. Briefcase travels all the time with women and it doesn't faze me. I'm happy with what I've got in life too. Maybe it was the car accident ... I think it put everything in perspective for me.

Jan said...

I kid people a lot that I'm envious of them, but I'm pretty secure and happy with my life. I should be; gawd knows I've worked hard enough for it.

Incredulity is more my thing these days - there's a lot I don't understand. A LOT.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Isn't it interesting that the older (and wiser) we gt, the more we realize wemay never understand...

Pastor Sharon said...

I just included things like jealousy and envy in my sermon last Sunday. Envy is more powerful sometimes and causes us to confuse it with jealousy!

I am not the jealous type. I don't think I ever have been, romantically jealous. However, when I was little, I was jealous of anyone who spent too much time with my mom that took my time away. . . but I grew to understand that there was enough of her love to go around. . .

Sprite's Keeper said...

I also mistake envy for jealousy all the time. I don't really feel jealousy for anyone or anything since I'm fairly happy with the hand I've been dealt, but envy comes up quite a bit. So envy would have to be my biggest barricuda. Great Spin! You're linked!
(My sister lived on Oahu for almost 2 years and had a big case of rock fever toward the end!)

tera said...

I used to be jealous when I was younger, found out later (of course) that I had good reason to be, but
that's a whole other deal.

Now, I am definitely envious. I am envious of people who can work from home. I am envious of people who I perceive have more talent than I do. I am envious of those who travel all the time. And envious of those who live closer to their parents. I am sometimes envious of people who have kids. I am envious of people who have "enough" money, but do realize that having "lots" of money has it's own problems, which doesn't really keep me from wanting it anyway.
sigh
I guess it's just the human condition to always want what we don't have. :)

Mama Dawg said...

I occasionally get jealous about people's trips but that's about it. Life's too short. I live in my own little cocoon and tend to not notice others around me. Self-centered? Nope, just oblivious.

Mama Badger said...

So many good spin's this week! I didn't even think to actually look up the word before I wrote!

I, too, confuse jealousy with envy. I guess I'm sometimes more envious than jealous. And like most others, not of things, but of relationships. Hard to get over that.

Oz Girl said...

I like how you've clarified the difference between jealousy and envy. I constantly tell myself that I am happy living a simple life,and WANT to live a simple life, but couldn't I do that just as well, maybe even better, if I didn't always worry how everything was going to be paid for?! I am most certainly envious of those who do not have to worry about paying the bills, who have enough money and then some.

We buy lottery occasionally - why, oh why, just once, couldn't we win more than $10? LOL

I trust my husband 150%. Even though my last boyfriend (we were together 5 yrs) mistrusted me tremendously, which I never quite understood, until I realized HE was the one who couldn't be trusted. Lesson learned; if someone mistrusts you and you've never given them reason, they they are most likely leading a 2nd life of sorts.

Like Tera, I envy people who have more talent than I, and it seems there are lots of people who do. I wish I had some huge, big talent, but I've never really found out what it might be, and that makes me sad sometimes. And not just talent, but a passion, something that consumes your whole being. I can't say that anything in my life is all-consuming like that. I'm very envious of people with a passion - my brother has an undying passion for RC airplanes -- he lives and breathes them, gets to test new models for the manufacturers, and writes reviews for a magazine. It consumes him.

All in all, I am happy and content with my life. And I always remind myself of my wealth compared to the majority of the world's population - shelter, food, warmth and coolness in the appropriate seasons, transportation, my dogs, my husband, my son, my mom, my sister and brother...

Oh yeah, that comment thingie. It's taken on a life of its own, huh? I still don't know what the best way is...

rubbish said...

When my Daughter was being born all I could think was "be healthy, be healthy, be healthy". She was and is. Can't hope or wish for more than that so I don't think I've been envious or jealous of anyone since that day.
All the best.

Ann's Rants said...

This topic I struggle with, but I do know one thing:

When I struggle with envy it has absolutely nothing to do with the object of my envy. It has to do with my own perfectionism.

It's an asinine obsession, and one I'm working on.

And it has nothing to do with my marriage or material goods...more so with my addiction to praise.

Just B said...

In my younger days I used to have the jealous girlfriend thing something awful. That was about my insecurities, not their roving eyes.

I too am a little envious of those that live lives free of some of my ever-present anxieties. But for the most part jealousy/envy are not big energy-zappers for me anymore.

Except, now that you mention it, I am envious of people with good skin and long eyelashes.

Loved the post about your son. Some of those pictures made my heart stop and others were so heartwarming. It's not a cliche to say a child can take your breath away. I am breathless everyday.

Beth said...

Based on the definitions, I'm not jealous but at times envious. I get envious of the time my husband gets away from his job. I am envious that he works less and makes more. I'm envious that I don't have the time or the funds to travel.

Like you, I totally trust my husband. And like you, I've had a previous boyfriend betray that trust - but it didn't cause me to not trust other men.

Great post!

Pearl said...

I'm not a jealous person, but I can be envious. Why is life so hard for some and so easy for others -- and just when do we find out?!

Pearl

Nubian said...

I guess I am slightly confused on the envy definition.

When I look at a few people out there who I have known for many years in the hospitality industry, who are now in the plum positions, it blows my mind as to how they got there... do they have something on someone, do they know how to play the game, what qualified them to be there and not me (and it is not a degree issue here)

So would this be envy or just plain confusion?

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Wow, run a few errands and it's like Christmas in the comment thread. So many ideas that I can relate to.

I, too, am envious of those who can work from home. I am lucky that I have a job that I enjoy, but i enjoy being home even more. When my children were little, I worked two jobs until they were 6 and 9. That's a lot of time away from home.

I think envy sometimes comes from frustration and, as Nubian pointed out, confusion.

Michele said...

I'm with the envious gang. I try very hard not to be envious of others good fortune but it is really hard.

Rikki said...

I'm with you on the envy part of traveling. My family is 3,000 miles away and sometimes, when I am feeling really, really sorry for myself, I lament that they may as well be on the moon. At least then I could get my hands on a telescope and see them.

And I find myself envious of people who work for the private sector and make hundreds of thousands of dollars with less or equivalent eduction. But then I think about how awesome my job really is and pppfffht - money, who needs it?

Lucy Filet (tafka Kylie) said...

Like you I struggle with envy. I'm so envious that other people's families come to visit and mine never does. I get all teary eyed when I see the graduating seniors and their grandparents that come from the States or just other parts of Europe and know that in 3 years when my daughter graduates it will be only my husband and me and the three boys.

That, and all the other things they choose to miss, make me very envious of all the other people who have that kind of support.

Em said...

Oh envy, that's my biggest of the Seven. I actually started my blog because of it - my journey to finding contentment within my own four walls.

I have to say, it has helped a great deal. There are still days when I'm so envious of parents with "typical" kids that I could spit nails. We're heading to Disney World in a couple of weeks, and I have spent the last couple of days compiling all the special food and formula that youngest needs for his PKU diet - I'm so nervous I'll forget something that we can't get at the corner store.

How easy it must be to just make a reservation and sit down for a nice meal.

I can't remember.

And then I look at him, and suddenly I don't care to remember. We will make it work.

Kristan said...

"I also envy people who take things in stride better than I do..."

Um wow, because you already take things in stride so well! Or at least that's the impression you give. :)

I guess I'm more "demanding loyalty"?

midlife slices said...

I'm not a very jealous person although I was married to a VERY jealous man and that's no fun at all. I do admit to my share of envy and I hate that feeling more than just about anything. I envy you living in Hawaii. :)

Lilly said...

My ex was very jealous and controlling so I have tried with all my might never to be like that. Sure I have pangs of envy but the older I get the more I realise that we accept the hand we are dealt with and try to live as best we can. The hardest for me is seeing people who I think who are undeserving and plain nasty get greater success than others who really deserve some positive luck their way. Thats life, it wasnt meant to be easy. Looking at Michael Jacksons death today just reinforces to me that the simpler life we have, the better.

As for travel, given airlines are laying off staff and others like BA are getting their staff to work for nothing, soon they wont be able to afford maintenance of their aircraft either so its safer to stay home, lol.

hillgrandmom said...

Oh envy it certainly is (my 'biggest barracuda'). Envy is very common--far commoner than supposedly more toxic jealousy. But envy can be vicious--cos it can so often poison the good gifts we get/have. Some envy may be good because it may make us strive harder to achieve. But uncontrolled envy just makes one miserable

starrlife said...

Wow- Psychology Today has a big article on jealousy. I unfortunately am afflicted but I'm in the closet so don't tell! Envy, jealousy I have always had the feeling of getting the smaller piece of pizza. I'm the firstborn and when the second cam along 10 months later I wouldn't look at my mother for a week! Sad, tragic but true. On the good side I am aware and have modified it as I've gotten older and I certainly don't afflict anyone but myself. Although My Hubbie did have an indiscretion once and I am a fabulous stalker so I found. Oops-too much info I think...lol.

Gaston Studio said...

Not to be the odd one out, but I don't think any of those definitions fit me at my current stage of life. When I was very young, I envied everyone almost everything, but as I got into my 30s, I decided to start changing that because it's a horrible waste of time, energy and so unproductive.

So here I sit at age 67 and a half, on social security so very limited financially, but I'm totally happy with myself and my current life. I haven't had a man in my life for 16 years and I don't miss one at all; considering how promiscuous I used to be that's kind of amazing!

It's no way that I've 'done it all, seen it all, etc.'; but I think it's that somewhere along the way, I taught myself acceptance.

Coffee with Cathy said...

Envy can hurt us so much -- uses up too much energy and puts more negativity out there. Overcoming envy means being happy and satisfied with who and where you are -- not easy. Thanks for opening up an insightful and honest discussion.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I think HillGrandmomhad an interesting point. A little bit of envy makes one strive to achieve, but too much can be toxic.

And Gaston - we're getting there...

Gaston Studio said...

Left something for you over at my place. Hope you can pick it up soon.
Jane

Camille said...

All of them. I do demand loyalty from my husband---I think cheating is the one thing (second to abuse) that would be a deal-breaker for this marriage. I hate it, but I think that makes me jealous...

Oh yeah. And envy. That one sucks, too.

Melissa B. said...

Sadly, I suffer envy as well. I guess that's why envy is part of the 10 Commandments and not jealousy. I think envy is much more difficult to overcome...

anymommy said...

Envy. For sure. Although, not too much recently. I envy freedom and free time, while not really wanting to give up my little time sucks.

Smart Mouth Broad said...

I don't think I'm a jealous person but do suffer from some envy. Like you, I wish we could travel more. It may seem thru my blog that I travel a lot but that bike trip was the first real vacation like that in our entire marriage. Being surrounded by real wealth in Palm Beach County, it's easy to see all we don't get to do and forget to be grateful for all that we can. :-)