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Jealousy - how to get over it?

I always feel "behind" somehow. Have my whole life. Now that I'm in my mid-thirties, I am convinced that I'm somehow lagging in my career -- I just know that my friends have bigger paychecks and are somehow more financially secure than me. I have no proof, of course, save watching them one by one buy homes and have children and post their lovely vacation photos to Facebook and complain about the high cost of daycare or nannies or what not ... while I continue to work hard, try to save, and rent my city apartment without ever really getting "ahead." And many of my single urban friends live in flashy apartments or luxury buildings and seem to be on the fast track.

In my more rational moments, I know you can't judge by outside appearances. But I mean, come on. It takes money to support a family. It takes a lot of money to buy a house, and I know how much those luxe apartments rent for -- one friend just bought a massive condo in a new development in Brooklyn, on his own. Maybe family helped. Who knows.

Anyway I just needed to vent. Am I alone or can someone here relate? Thanks for listening to my pity party.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 2105/25/2013

Let me give you some valuable advice, OP, and I hope you take it to heart: Don't judge your happiness and success by material things. They will never bring you lasting happiness. The ONLY things that bring true happiness are love, friends and family(whether biological or chosen).

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 105/25/2013

R1, (I'm not the OP), but on those standards I'm much farther behind most people... I'd be far more miserable and jealous if I did that.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 205/25/2013

Things can turn on a dime. Things can change in a second. Focus on yourself and be grateful for what you have.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 405/25/2013

Be happy for those that have made it to a level of not worrying about how they are going to pay for next month rent, mortgage, food. I felt that way at one time and now I stop judging myself against the status of others. God bless them for not having that persistent mental uneasiness. Now looking at my life, yes I'm still alone not thrilled about it but hey for now I'm healthy, alive and have a job.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 505/25/2013

You're in a race with yourself, OP, not the person in the office down the hall.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 605/25/2013

I can relate, OP. So much so, that I have no advice to offer at the moment--only cyber empathy. How some people get so much money and success has always puzzled me, too. Three of my close family members are multi-millionaires, and I've asked them what they did to climb so seemingly fast. And they're like "uh....I dunno. Worked."

It seems a lot of people who amass great wealth, or at least the ones I know, don't think too deeply about anything. Jealousy is a right bitch, though.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 705/25/2013

Again, NEVER believe that people's lives are anything like their Facebook profiles! Everyone is their own PR agent today, trying to convince the world that they're living a NYSD-perfect life.

The reality usually involves massive debts.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 805/25/2013

How do you know, r8? I happen to agree, but how do you know!

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 905/25/2013

What R1 said!

OP, I recently reconnected with old friends and the majority of them are doing exceedingly well financially. I can see from spending time with them that their happiness is based on material pleasures and I found the interactions to be pretty shallow. It didn't used to be that way, but I guess time and circumstances do that to people.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 1005/25/2013

r10, what types of job do your friends have?

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 1105/25/2013

[quote] The ONLY things that bring true happiness are love, friends and family(whether biological or chosen).

And, HEALTH. Without it you have nothing.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 1205/25/2013

R10 here. Investment banker, diamond dealer, broker, real estate/construction CFO, lawyer, Marketing VP, etc.

I've been out of the workforce for 10 years to care for a sick parent. The values and priorities between my friends and me are very different now.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 1305/25/2013

Think about those worse off than yourselves. There's a webpage devoted to the lives of children who fought cancer, suffered through the treatments, and died anyway - and about their families who suffered along with them.

Then take some time to be grateful for every day you're alive and able to breathe, eat, read a book, feel the sunshine on your skin, for anything!

One day you won't have any of that anymore. And that privilege has been taken away from many people, some who never got even a year to enjoy the experience of life.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 1405/25/2013

Hey, OP.

Somehow you've just got to become comfortable in your own skin.

There will always be people who are better looking, are fitter, manage money better, get lucky breaks, have 'smarter' homes, have cleaner houses. And some of these people, but not all of them, will be kind and happy and contented.

You have a job (which lots of people don't have). You've got a city apartment (which lots of people don't have). And you're saving money.

So what makes you happy? How do you take advantage of your city apartment? What are you saving your money for? How do you spend your spare time? What do you spend your money on?

One of my friends told me last week that they have paid off their home. But they want to re-do the kitchen and he is worrying about what he will do when he retires, so they are thinking of selling the house and moving to the country!

Other friends just told me that they are going on an overseas holiday for two months - to Asia. Would I want to spend two months in Asia - No! Would I want to be away from home for two months - No!

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 1505/25/2013

Everyone I know seems to have more than I do. I live in a rental, have a pension, work as a consultant to make ends meet. Sometimes I worry that I have not saved enough, won't be able to find work. Yet my life is pretty damn good compared to three fourths of the rest of the world.

First stroke of luck, being born here and not in some war torn place. Not a victim of childhood disease, not starving. Not living in a repressive fundamentalist country. Not struggling with a debilitating mental illness.

So corny to talk about an attitude of gratitude. Count up all the positives when you feel down.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 1705/25/2013

I can totally relate, OP. My brother and sister are raking it in, have good, smart kids, nice houses, time and money for vacations and I have...nothing. I work 60 hours a week for less than $35K/year. I have one major debt I haven't tackled yet because it scares the hell out of me and I expect it to take every cent I have...and I'm 47. The only thing I can really feel good about it that with the two jobs I have now (even though neither provides health insurance coverage) is that neither one will ask me to do anything illegal, unlike my previous employer. My brother's reaction when I explained the situation to him was "You should have sued". I wish now I had. I was scared and just wanted out of that job. For some reason I just don't think like my siblings do.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 1805/25/2013

Learn the difference between jealousy and envy.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 1905/25/2013

i think i never got the jealousy gene. Even as a kid i had rich friends and poor friends and i was somewhere in the middle. it was about character not expensive clothes or cars. if someone got to go on a fabulous vacation my family couldn't afford I was happy for them anyway.

Would you rather your friends and relatives were miserable? I have friends who are scrapping by but are happy and friends who are rich who may or may not be happy. Same with family. I am better off if the people i love are happy. I don't like to see people I care about struggling and like to see them find success in love or work.

The only time I get annoyed is when people can't enjoy a perfectly good life because they don't appreciate what they have, It's a bad habit. Barring serious heath and mental problems it's all about how you chose to look at and respond to the world around you.

Either find a way to change your situation to have a fulfilling life or learn to accept the one you have with a smile. It may take some work to get out of your mindset but it will be worth it.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 2005/25/2013

OP, don't be ashamed, That's your inner self telling you you want those things. Don't stop scheming to get them and just be a late bloomer.

by watching tv while it rains outside reply 2105/25/2013
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