Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jealousy

Jealousy. I think that every one has experienced jealousy- and most likely on both sides of the fence. We've all been jealous of someone or something else and been the object of someone else's jealousy. Jealousy: "feeling resentment against someone because of that person's rivalry, success, or advantages" A few months back, I told someone I was jealous of them but based on that definition, I don't think I used the right word. See, when I find that I am feeling jealous, I'm not resentful of that person. I don't resent their success. So what's the word I should be using? I'm proud of that person and wishing, hopeful that I can achieve that success or have what they have or feel what they feel. But there are definitely people who feel jealousy in the truest definition of the word and it can come out in ugly and petty ways. Here's what I don't understand... I get that everyone is different. It's like the world of Pooh. Some people are Rabbit- hard working, focused on work, matter of fact. Some people are like Tigger- bouncy, peppy, and full of constant energy. Some people are like Eeyore- taking more of the hard knocks of life but continuing to trudge forward. We all have different qualities that make us special and unique and wonderful. And we all have things that annoy us about other people. And sometimes, that annoyance is really jealousy. Sometimes, the things we see in other people are things that we wish we had. I don't think there is anything wrong with that. Feelings are feelings. We feel jealous, we feel resentful, we feel annoyed, we feel joy, we feel bliss, we feel a lot of things. The part where I get confused is when people choose to take that annoyance, that jealousy, that resentment and use it to hurt someone else. There are often unintended consequences when someone chooses to try to hurt someone else. Personally, I don't really get my feelings hurt easily. I'm pretty good with keeping perspective and having a thick skin and all that jazz. Because I know who I am and I know my purpose. Sometimes, there might be someone who has an annoyance with me and how openly I live my life and how honest and out there I am. And they might want to sling some arrows my way. What they don't realize, what they don't think about... is that when you sling an arrow, you don't always know who you are going to hit. True jealousy- when it is based on resentment- can blind common sense and lead to some pretty poor choices. If I've ever expressed jealousy of you, please know that I sincerely did not mean it with any resentment or ugliness. To me, jealousy can be a form of flattery. I've been fortunate enough that when friends have expressed jealousy of me, it's been from a positive place and not meant with any venom. And to anyone who feels the need to fill the space around them- be it in real life or online- with negativity, sarcasm, insults, cruel teasing, bullying, and other negative choices that stem from resentment, jealousy, low self esteem, lack of confidence, and who knows what else... well, honestly, I pray for you. I pray for you to find joy, peace, contentment, happiness within your own life so that you can overwhelm and inspire others without causing pain. I pray that you someday know how it feels to honestly be so happy that it just spills out of you and seeps into the lives of others. I pray that you someday find your truly authentic and beautiful self and that you understand and live your life's purpose. And when that day comes... I bet I'll be my own version of jealous of you. Photobucket

19 comments:

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I absolutely love this post. Wonderfully written.
I love the Winnie the Pooh comparison, too. =)

Krista said...

I have to ask - why would you consider it *more* "open and honest" if a person who was annoyed, irritated, angry, or even just hateful kept that stuff all in instead of sharing it? It might show more restraint, perhaps even more sensitivity, but certainly not more openness and honesty. I don't think sharing negative feelings is a result of jealousy of openness and honesty...sharing those feelings is more open and honest than keeping them in and pretending you don't have them.

Eternal Lizdom said...

I'm fine with sharing negative feelings- I applaud it, in fact. But when people choose to be cruel, teasing, and poke fun of someone... that's uncalled for and hurtful.

If I've done something to upset someone else, I would hope they'd be able to just come to me and let me know- "Hey, Liz, I really don't like it when you talk about running all the time. Could you maybe tone it down some? Because I just really don't care that you are running and it annoys me to always see you talk about it."

See? Valid response that opens the door for discussion.

But... (insert sing-songy taunting voice here) "Look! I ran 5 steps today! Aren't I the most awesome person ever? Tomorrow, I hope to run 6 steps and then I will be even awesomer!"

That is poking fun, taunting, being cruel. And, more than hurting me, it hurts other people I am friends with who might be starting to become runners and are enjoying encouragement and support.

The Boob Nazi said...

I hate when people are mean. Good post.

Krista said...

I'm not defending poking fun or being hurtful. I'm just saying that it's easy to chalk people not liking us up to jealousy, but I think the vast majority of hurtful things are done for reasons other than jealousy.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Maybe it isn't jealousy. Maybe just resentment? All I know is how things are perceived, right? My perception of recent events is that there is resentment of my perceived success, resentment of what I am perceived to have. There have been comments made that indicate a keen lack of awareness of who I really am. There have been decisions made that were intended to hurt me but unintentionally ended up hurting others with lasting effect.

So whether it is resentment or envy or jealousy or annoyance or anything else- choosing to purposefully make an attempt to hurt someone else, to tease someone else is not ok. That's what I teach my kids, anyway. ;)

And I very much appreciate this conversation with you, Krista.

Kristina said...

Let me get this straight - you are criticizing people for slinging arrows, yet you use this post to accuse them of being jealous of you, of having low self esteem, etc? Hypocrisy much?

Question for you - what exactly do you think Tracy and Meg are jealous of about you?

Eternal Lizdom said...

That's not for me to know, Kristina. Someone being jealous or resentful or annoyed or anything else is their own concern. As I said in the post, my concern is when people choose to take negative and hurtful actions towards other people. Whether that is because of jealousy or anything else, choosing to hurt someone else isn't the best way to live your life.

And this is my blog and I use it to talk about anything going on in my life. Recently, people chose to try and hurt me. Instead, they hurt other people. I think it's a situation that happens far more often than it ever should so it seemed a pertinent topic to write about.

You'll notice I talked about the situation of making choices to take action on negative emotions and didn't purposefully drag out a bunch of negative stuff directed towards someone specifically. I didn't poke fun at something they are specifically invested in, I didn't name names or go into details about the situation.

I wrote about a general topic that happened to hit close to home recently but that also is a far more broad spectrum topic than just recent events or specific people. I think being the target of someone else's hurtful decisions is a subject a lot of people can empathize and sympathize with.

Bottom line is that when people make specific choices in an attempt to be mean, poke fun, hurt someone else... that's what isn't ok.

We live in a Zoo! said...

I for one love the post! I think too many people misunderstand and misuse the word jealousy. The key word is TRUE jealousy, "flattery jealousy" is quite different. ;D
http://thisisourzoo.blogspot.com/2010/03/jealousy.html

Kristina said...

But it's perfectly clear to anyone who missed the drama yesterday EXACTLY who and what this is about. To quote what Satch said to Tracy yesterday: don't play coy. It's 100 percent obvious that this post is simply YOUR way of taking a poke back at then, of making accusations and trying to hurt them.

As for the whole being hurtful thing, maybe I just didn't see some things, but I don't get it. Yeah, "Throw Up Thursday" was poking fun, but I totally saw it as lighthearted teasing, not trying to be mean and hurtful. Maybe it was a bit snide, but I truly don't see how it was interpreted as so hurtful that friendships were severed over it.

You know, some of my friends poke fun at some of my qualities, my loudness, brashness. But I don't get upset about it because 1) I acknowledge my weaknesses and don't operate under the assumption that I'm Gods gift to the world, 2) I've reached a happy medium of tempering and accepting my weaknesses, so indeed I am very comfortable with them and with myself, and 3) I realize that my friends have weaknesses too and sometimes attempts to be funny or lighthearted don't come out quite as intended and I give them some leeway.

Maybe instead of accusing others of being jealous and having low self-esteem and praying for them, you can pray for yourself to figure out what it is in YOU that causes you to so overpersonalize things.

Leticia said...

I can't get too deeply invested in this discussion, but feel like I should say something. I am hurting. Yesterday I was hurting a lot. I sat with my pain. I learned something new about myself from that pain. I accomplished 2 things that should have been accomplished a long time ago from that experience. I am satisfied with the way things turned out, today.

Jealousy, or not, it hurt me. Period. Now, I realize that I am perhaps more raw and sensitive than some people, and even more than some people may think I am, but I couldn't understand how being annoyed by my photos turned into making fun of me. Intended or not, that is what happened.

It was immature, and it was petty, and I am so disappointed in myself for allowing myself to be drug down by it. It's not going to happen again. Not today.

I love my friends, and I will do just about anything for them, and I mean that in the truest sense.

People have told me that I misunderstood, and that I was not the one being made fun of...but I was. It would be like saying "People who listen to Country Music are red necks, but not you Lety. You rock." Ummm...but I do listen to Country Music. Maybe not as much as Sally has recently...but I do.

In closing, if I bother, annoy, or otherwise inconvenience someone with my presence, be it a conversation, a status update, or a silly photo of me expressing my joy, I'd love it if you would shoot me a call, message, text, whatever and just be honest. I can handle that. Telling someone they make you want to vomit in a more private manner could be hella funny...hell, I make myself want to vomit from time to time, but posting that shit publicly on the internet...how is that NOT hurtful?

I am moving on from this because "I wouldn't trade the pain for what I've learned." <3

Satchuel said...

Kristina, so when you guys were poking fun of me yesterday on Meg's page, you think I should be ok with that? My feelings are REALLY hurt! I would NEVER do that to one of my friends. Here over the past few months I "thought" I had really started making some connections with the moms from SHHH. Guess the joke wasn't just on me but about me.

Meg said...

Liz, I did not mean to cause hurt or pain to anyone, and I sincerely apologize to anyone whose feelings were hurt.

My initial photo was meant as a parody. I can't read your mind, and I don't know you personally, so all I have to go on is my perception of the inspirational photos you post. What I saw was just a vague positive message that was sent to (by way of tagging) essentially random people (by way of you working through your friends list alphabetically). Those were the ONLY photos I was commenting on. As Tracy has said before, tagging people with a message that is geared toward what feels like masses of people seems impersonal and meaningless. (Kind of like the horoscope in the paper, for example.) On top of that, I'm totally not an affectionate person. I'm not a hugger, I'm not a cheek-kisser... I'm the type of person who says things like "Bite me," and "Fuck you" affectionately. I realize that you and others are not like that, and that's totally fine. Because of the way Facebook is set up, I cannot block your photos unless I defriend or block from my news feed you and everyone you might tag in a photo. I was content to just scroll on past and maybe roll my eyes if a zillion of my friends were tagged.

Some other local moms and I were talking off of Facebook about the photos, and it came to light that we all perceived them the same way... None of us understood the depth of emotion that surrounds your posting of the photos. We discussed messages we thought captured what we perceived as the message your photos actually sent.

So, after seeing another inspirational photo, getting a ticket for no reason, and being in a bad enough mood to not care if my parody was taken completely the wrong way, I posted a picture of my own. Internetting while angry is definitely one of the mistakes I should know by now not to repeat.

It was not meant to be mean-spirited at all, and neither was the Throw-up Thursday event. I tagged people I thought would get the humor, whether they were fans of your inspirational photos or not. With the event, I was poking as much fun at myself as I was at you. I completely understand that my perception of your photos is driven by the I deal with emotions and express them to others (which is, badly), so I tried to incorporate that into the event description. I only came up with the event because people were getting so bent out of shape about the photo that I thought was completely lighthearted.

I did end up saying some things that I want to apologize for. After getting a nasty email from someone and seeing other comments about how petty, mean, bullying, etc. I was, I did get mean-spirited. I'm sorry for that. I had no call to say anything so personal about you or anyone else who had previously posted photos. I know that it is just a difference in the type of people we are, and I let my emotions take over instead of thinking about what I was typing.

I still stand by my posting of the first picture and the creation of Throw-up Thursday, keeping in mind the lighthearted spirit with which they were done. Some people did enjoy them and related to what I was trying to get across.

In light of all of this, if you and others are still hurt and angry, that's your perogative, and I'll totally understand. Different people have different senses of humor and take offense at different kinds of things. However, I would appreciate not being name-called or treated with as much pettiness, rudeness, meanness, bullying, disrespect, resentment, jealousy, etc. as I have been accused of displaying.

Meg said...

Also, the message in the Throw-up Thursday photo was not directed at you or anyone else who posted inspirational photos. It was just a typically mean saying that I thought would be humorous if used in an affectionate manner. I might find your inspirational photos annoying, sometimes saccharin, but they've never induced a gag reflex.

Kristina said...

Satch, in all seriousness, is the poking fun you are referring to the "You Are....Ambiguously Virtuous" pic and the comments beneath it? If so, I guess the thing is that I know I never meant it to be mean to any specific people, I saw it is parodying the whole concept of the photos. And I honestly didn't even know you were part of the photo thing until late in the day yesterday. You aren't on my Facebook (not cause I don't like u but because I don't generally have IMLMs I don't really know personally on my FB). And Meg posted that original photo and most of the comments were also a couple days old. For me personally at least, I wasn't and couldn't have been making fun of you cause at that point I had no idea if you were involved with the pics or not. It was never personal at all.

You know how we are taught that when dealing with our kids, we should be careful to criticize behavior and not the person? Like, "that behavior was rude" instead of "you ate a rude person.". I guess it's kind of like that. Regardless, I realize that the difference is nuanced. I think Lety gave a great example with the country music thing. The way she explained it, I do get it. And I am sorry if I hurt true friends, which I consider Lety to be, and even acquaintances as we are.

I guess what upsets me is that us "naysayers" had our very characters called into question and have now been publicly accused of being jealous and having low self esteem, etc. All because some of us aren't touchy geeky and therefore poked fun at the concept of the pics.

Kristina said...

Oh and in that last sentence it was supposed to be touchy FEELY not touchy GEEKY.

Eternal Lizdom said...

Meg, I sincerely appreciate what you came here and said. I have deep respect for that. Thank you.

Again I will emphasize that my post, while definitely inspired by the events of the last 2 days, was truly not intended against anyone in particular. Meg, I especially have no "bone to pick" with you. I don't know you. I've interacted with you only so far as giving you earplugs for Mommymoon and making a donations to Nets- all years ago.

Back in August, a blog friend and I had a falling out because of my own jealousy. It led to a huge misunderstanding. We've recently been able to reach out to each other and are working on improving our relationship.

With everything that happened yesterday and with the events of last Aug on my mind, this post came out. It was a culmination of things that have been going on in my life.

I still stand by my statements- because when a person chooses to do something cruel, that stems from somewhere. Generally speaking, especially when you don't personally know someone and don't have a personal relationship upon which you can poke fun and understand humor, those behaviors do come from a place of weakness. It's a place we all have and it's a place from which hurtful decisions can come for any of us.

Again- my blog is my space and it's where I sometimes write to work things out. This couldn't be discussed on Facebook or MLM without inciting a lot more hurt feelings or without being heavily edited/deleted. It might feel as thought it was intentionally focused AT individuals but it truly wasn't. I tackled it as an overall topic stemming from my own feelings from the current events. Hence the reason I didn't name names or bring up specifics or tell a story.

Peace, ya'll.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

You are SO wise!!!!! You said it all perfectly! I always feel sorry for those who act out in a mean spirited way due to jealousy and whatnot.

Karen said...

Oooh boy. Sounds like a lot of crazy drama around here!

Liz, I thought this post was really good. And very true. I get so frustrated because I just see so much negativity all the time. I don't know whether it stems from jealousy or blind hatred or what. But it needs to stop. It's really not that hard to be nice to people.

I know I can be sarcastic and sometimes come across sounding rude. But I never want to be accused of being mean. I don't want to hurt people if I can possibly help it. And the world would be a better place if everyone tried to be more like that.