Guarding Against Envy

Long Post Warning!!

I`m not sure if it`s because I’ve had a few stressful interactions or my lack of quality sleep but a relationship of mine is causing me a lot of angst.

This person is the social organizer for one of the friend groups I enjoy. She’s quite lovely and I often enjoy hanging out with her as we share a lot of the same interests. When we first met she distinctly reminded me of someone I had kicked out of my life a few years ago. The person was often controlling in a seemingly nice way and would sugarcoat her condescending comments so that it was really my fault for being offended since she was just trying to help me.

Back to the present: this person, let`s call her Nancy, is very open about the fact that she can be very domineering towards other women. As I’m a go with the flow type until you hit a hard line I often wonder if she enjoys playing with me to see where my lines are. This occasionally leads me to be a bit on guard and prickly when we meet, which result in me feeling guilty for being prickly.

As I`m writing this I notice that she also tends to sugarcoat condescending comments, using the words,”I’m glad we’re the type of friends who can be honest with each other,”to soften the blow.

Reading this I feel like a moron, why would I continue a friendship with someone who makes me feel this way? Really it’s the niceness of having someone to do fun things with other than ML.I miss the days of high school and university where you saw your friends all the time and could just pop over if you wanted a movie date.

Now the title of the post is Guarding Against Envy which I haven’t even touched on yet.

Nancy’s family recently moved into a new home. When they had purchased it I was in a good place and was thrilled with me. So why the creeping envy now? It’s been the throw away comments, the ease at which they speak of re-decorating the entire house and the way she shops when we go out together. As Nancy grew up with very little( We weren’t poor we were po’ , we couldn’t afford the extra letters, she says), she sees herself as very cost conscious. This is true to a point. While she’s searching for a good deal she’s looking for a good deal on an expensive product. Recently she wanted us to go to dinner to a nice restaurant where the drinks were relatively cheap at a minimum of $10 per drink. She’s not wrong based on the restaurants that she frequents those are very well priced. However, for me they’re on the high end of the scale.

This financial piece adds an additional strain as we’re in reversed circumstances. While her family was struggling to make ends meet I was attending private schools and taking part in a host of extra-curricular activities. I was fortunate as my mum was able to work from home, managing the family business, so I had all the benefits of a stay-at-home mum while my dad worked outside the home.  I suspect my parents felt very much like Grace at the CFO Mom Blog. Now  she and her husband are on track to become millionaires even if they don’t curtail their lifestyle. She doesn’t work while ML and my  combined incomes are still less than her husband’s.

As she makes it clear that she wants to host at her home it has left me feeling as though my home is wanting. Which is not true and really just a way in which I’m allowing another person’s  desire to be needed impact my own life.

Right now, I’m going to maintain the friendship as I enjoy hanging out with the group but limit our one on one time.

Have you had similar relationships? Any advice on how to handle this like an adult?

 

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11 thoughts on “Guarding Against Envy

  1. used to have similar thoughts/emotions about a number of people in my life.1) about the financial things: you may want to limit your dining out instances with her (not easy… I know…), or be clear about what your preferences are and choose places that are suitable for you, too. 2) I would not spend too much time thinking about the financial differences/preferences between you two, but rather be relax/comfortable about being what you are and what you offer: If I was in your place, I would say “these are my home, my furniture, my diners that I select/like, and hell, I am pretty happy with them”. Does not matter what she or others think. Really does not. You sound like younger than me and that means it may be hard to find this serenity about your own circumstances but maybe you would trust me when I say that in your world, you are the Queen!!!! best 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      I definitely used the blog as a diary for this one. I was having a rough time figuring out what my problem was, it was only through typing that I came to understand a bit more of my underlying feelings.

      I like your proposed mantra! I need to say it a bit more often when exposing myself to people who can make me feel uncomfortable with who I am and what I offer.

      In terms of dining out, it’s only hard because I allow myself to feel cheap. I’ve limited myself and usually have to give myself a big talk about the fact that I’m not being cheap, rather I’m choosing where I want to spend my money.

      I love your last line!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you again! It’s good to know that I’m not alone or crazy and that there are things I can do to minimize the impact so I can continue a relationship rather than packing up my proverbial toys and going home 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I believe your focus is on the wrong person.Your feelings are about “Nancy” when I feel you would be better off self introspecting and understanding why “Nancy’s” life (and what she thinks and feels) should impact your personal feelings about yourself and your life. Part of becoming HAPPY and SATIFIED in life requires each of us to like who we are and where we’re headed. If we truly satisfy these two concepts, it doesn’t matter what other people think or how they live. Commonly, those with accumulated wealth only experience “short lived” emotions of happiness when other people can see their “accumulated financial value (usually in possessions.) If happiness can only be achieved if a second person is involved, a person isn’t truly happy with themselves. Living life with purpose and meaning that achieves real PERSONAL satisfaction is the first step in overcoming concerns about other people and their potential destructive personalities and habits.

    From our time on wordpress, I will bet you deserve to feel better about your outstanding work ethic, family life, kind heart, dedication to achieving your financial goals and so on. You can’t (and shouldn’t) control other people’s attitudes and behaviors. If these are kind or unkind people with self confidence issues, you should recognize their defensive reactions as action to minimize the hurt they would otherwise experience. It certainly doesn’t justify their sentiments or actions; it simply explains why they behave the way they do.

    As you feel better about your life and the direction you have chosen, other people will not be able to create the feelings you’re currently experiencing.When you start experiencing feelings of envy, turn the thought process onto yourself and address why other people are able to influence how you feel about yourself. Only YOU should have the POWER to influence how you feel!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You’re right as usual :). My happiness and feelings of contentment are hard won!
      On my own I like who I am. I think Nancy’s comments serve to reinforce that nasty little voice in my head that whispers I’m not enough.
      I suspect I was happy for other friends good fortune as they weren’t highlighting our differences through their comments. Instead of seeing her comments as reflections of her own needs I chose to take them on.
      You mentioned that if happiness can only be achieved when a second person is involved they’re not truly happy. Which makes me realize that I need to ignore her comments or better manage our interactions since when I return home I’m happy with where I’m headed.
      Some of our conversations leave me wondering if I’m only happy with myself as I’m blind to my faults. Once again if I like me on my own why let someone else influence that?
      At the end of the day I am willingly giving my power away. That has to stop as that little voice in my mind doesn’t need any friends when I spend good energy filling my world so I do not let my anxiety control it.

      Like

  3. I think the above comments have covered quite a lot about the jealousy thing and there’s lots of good advice and insight. I don’t want to reiterate the same message so I’ll comment on a different aspect of your post.

    I completely agree about the days of education where you easily see/make/spend time with friends. I have slowly cut away all the friendships that were no longer beneficial to me, and now I’m not left with many, and they are all individual. I’ve tried really hard to arrange them into a new group, but it just hasn’t worked (they’ve all already got their groups or their demographics are too different). It’s so hard to find a new group unless you really commit to something, like a hobby class. It means we grasp onto what we have left, even if they aren’t beneficial. I know I’ve held onto a few friendships for far too long, because I felt sad thinking if I let them go I wouldn’t have many left, but ultimately those friendships weren’t meaningful anyway. I’ve also developed a real aversion to people who engage in toxic behaviour like sugarcoating condescending comments, or don’t genuinely want good things for others because they always want to come off better/the winner (like they will appear supportive at face value but their actions show a different story). It’s like I’ve become allergic to it, I just cannot stand it and don’t want it; I cut it out right out and I’d rather be alone with my wholesome mind than to be surrounded by not-so-well-wishing people.

    As with people making you feel a certain way about money, I think that’s a form of toxicity too. Sometimes my friends and I will tell each other honestly “I don’t want to spend much money (on meals/outings), how about we go for coffee instead”. The ones who “understand” but seem a little condescending (as if they are doing me a favour), are ones I don’t want to spend too much energy on. The ones who don’t bat an eyelid and are just like “Okay where do you want to go?” are the ones I know who genuinely value me, and don’t care about money/status/glamour.

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  4. Anyone who starts a sentence with “I’m glad we’re such good friends so we can be honest,” is neither a good friend, or being honest. Truly good friends don’t do this. Passive aggressive ones do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s true!
      This is one of the benefits of my blogging. All I knew was that I wasn’t feeling right in the relationship. I was feeling petty and small minded because of it. It wasn’t until I typed that phrase that I realized I wasn’t being silly.
      Thanks for giving that behavior a name.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed your post, particularly as I have also been blogging about friendship today – https://backontheroadagainblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/28/i-knew-when-i-met-you-an-adventure-was-going-to-happen/
    I have found it is worth reflecting on friendships that are not making you happy and asking if it is just a bad time that you or they are going through or whether this is someone that you would be better not having in your life. Good luck with working through this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!
      Those questions are gold! I have a few friends with whom I’ve asked those questions and realized that we’re just not good for each other right now. We tend to get back together when we’re in better places.
      Great post too!

      Like

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