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I envy my boyfriend
Oct 25, 2006
To get it straight, envy is my biggest weakness, and I can never stand being with anyone that is better than I am (in whatever way: intelligence, appearance, accomplishments, etc.) Whenever I come across someone whom I perceive is a better individual than me, I'll run away from him/her as far as possible, otherwise the envious fire at my heart would burn me to death. Paradoxically, I fell in love with a guy whom I perceive is smarter and more accomplished than I am. He loves me too (or even more than I do him). But part of me doesn't seem to be able to carry on this relationship anymore, because I can't stand the fact that I'm inferior than my boyfriend in some areas. I usually date someone that is equal to me or slightly dumber than me so that I can feel I'm in control. My boyfriend's intellectual superiority makes me insecure and vulnerable. I shiver whenever seeing his grandiose accomplishments. I remember someone said, "envy's true nature is the will to completely destroy the envied"—do I want to destroy my boyfriend then? Well, yes, I do RESENT him for having talents that I don't have. Yet at the same time I'm in love with him. Yes, I love AND hate him simultaneously! Such feeling is too much to handle. Ugh. I don't think I can leave him, because he loves me so deeply that I'm afraid he'd have a huge breakdown if I went away—that'd be too selfish of me. If I could get rid of my envy, everything would be fine. But how can I do it? This bad trait of mine is so ingrained in me. I always uncontrollably compare myself with others. I can't help it. So I am seeking advice from you guys. Please don't say, "everyone has his/her talents and defects. You are equal to your boyfriend because you have talents too." Yes, I do have several talents he doesn't have. But from what I perceive, my boyfriend has MORE talents than I do. He is superior to me MORE OFTEN than I am to him. I can't stand this. Meanwhile, I wish I could eradicate my envy and have a wonderful relationship with this guy.

Well, I hope you will not reject the advice you may get from us, guys and girls from this board, if you suddenly find that we happen to be brighter than you! :)

Now, seriously.

To begin with, your post shows that you are a [COLOR="Blue"]very courageous person[/COLOR], and I compliment you on this. You are an [COLOR="Blue"]original[/COLOR] person. Very few people in this world will admit in public that they are envious of other people, too. And honestly speaking, we are all envious of others, in different degrees, at different points of our life, for different reasons. I don't think there's one exception to this observation (that we are all envious). And I would add more: they say that idleness is the root of all evils. Maybe, but I am more prone to believe that envy is that one root.

Ok, I am not saying that envy is always an evil. It can be, if it is too big and overwhelming. But I am also sure it can be made into something "good" or positive or at least less harmful and less self-destructive. And I should think that is what you are after: a way, a formula or a trick to control your envy so that it can become palatable. For I am afraid that you won't be able to get rid of all your envy, because that is a part of you: if you empty all the envy out of you (erradicate in your words), you will no longer be yourself. Unless you are sure you can become a saint!

So, the first note to write down is: Realization - "[COLOR="Blue"]Envy is part of me.[/COLOR]" You have done that already simply by posting your message.

Second note is: Acceptance - "I am able to get rid of some of my envious feelings or rather I am able to change them." Be serene and reassured about this.

Third note is: Working on it - There are various strategies to tackle envy.

In terms of Religion, envy can be viewed as one of the Seven Capital Sins (anger - pride - envy - greed - gluttony - lust - sloth). It is often linked with anger and pride.
If you are a religious-minded person, my obvious advice is for you to seek solace, comfort and possibly a healing in the religious doctrine and inspirations that most appeal to you. You don't have to accept the Bible as the ultimate truth (maybe it isn't), but there's certainly a lot to be learned from those lines.

On the other hand, I think profane and fictional literature can also help you. I can't think of any particular work right now that deals with the issue of envy, but surely there must be plenty of them. It is important for you to realize that your problem is a very common one, more common than most people would agree to admit, and various thinkers and writers have already plunged into the debate and maybe brought out good answers.

In terms of psychology, you might want to seek a counsellor or a therapist. Excessive envy is a sort of addiction. I suspect that meditation would be particularly useful to you. [COLOR="Blue"]The opposite of envy is equanimity[/COLOR]: the feeling that you have basically all that you need for the present moment and that any external help or addition is just a complement rather than a threaten. The envious person should try to live in the present and direct their thoughts mostly to the positive aspects of the situation at hand rather than keep longing for something unreal and unavailable. This is where meditation might help you.

If you have a job or if you go to college, whatever you do, try to develop your cooperative rather than your competitive impulses. Try to understand that joining forces together is often the only way to achieve the best results, rather than being stuck with the thought: "If only I had this or that. If only I were like this or that..." [COLOR="Blue"]Use your own envy as a tool for self-improvement, but try to compare your progressing achievements with your previous doings rather than with other people's successes[/COLOR].

In terms of your actual relationship with this guy. Maybe you should feel proud of yourself for having gotten such an intelligent boyfriend. If you were able to attract him, [COLOR="Blue"]then certainly there is something good about you[/COLOR]. And then proud of him instead of envious of him. See how you complement each other in terms of personal qualities, so that you make a balanced couple. Nobody is perfect.

Now, on second thoughts, maybe this guy gives you good reason to be envious. That is, [COLOR="Red"]if he brags about himself all the time, if he likes to show off and never recognizes your own talents, then maybe you should be in another relationship.[/COLOR]

Hope this helps you.


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