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How do you get over jealousy?

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  • #114366
    Ben
    Participant

    HI guys,
    Having a bit of a down day today and would like to get some input on something thats been bugging me for a long time.

    Basically I am jealous of one of my friends. We met at university in 2009 and though we studied slightly different disciplines we were quite similar in regards to working hard, ambitous and similar dreams about working in the video games industry. The only major difference at that point was that he came from a well off family with a father and brother both working in video games and I came from a poor (for the uk) family and was the first of my family to make it to university.

    He studied animation and I studied art for video games. At the end of university we both were selected to display our work to visiting recruiters and he got lucky. A recruiter turned up looking for two animators in his field and as luck had it there was only two of them there, my friend and another guy. And they both got employed before they had even left university. Now I should state my friend was good at what he did but not anything special, similarly to myself at that time. Capable but not outstanding. He lucked out as there was no competition, the other guy was amazing at everything he did and quite a prodigy but my friend got lucky. I do not begrudge him this as he worked for it but if there had been more competition I do not think he would have succeeded like he did.

    I couldn’t get a job for the next two years until I finally managed it and got employed at a studio and for 2 years I did my dream job but was made redundant because a massive popular publisher used a loophole and refused to pay us for our work and ploughed the studio into the ground. There was no other studios for me to apply to so I fell out of the industry and never got back into it. Now I don’t want to work in games anymore because the money is bad the work is hard and conditions are terrible and there is no stability.

    Today I work a job so simple I could have done it at 15 and the pay while better than video games work is still not very good. It is boring monotonous and sould destroying. My friend meanwhile is working on video games and has his name on some of the most popular titles out there. And I really mean the top titles in the world. His work is very niche but there arent many studios in the world doing it so they get most of the top titles. He has a good wage, stable job and is living the dream. Pretty much living my dream.

    My question is really how am I supposed to not be jealous of him? We were quite comparable but due to one act of luck he has the life I always wanted and I have nothing. A 9-6 job I really don’t like and I can feel myself wasting away. No progression no money no free time. I am lazy and thats not me. I have no ambition and no dream or drive to do anything. I thought after a while it would pass but it hasn’t. I really do not like what my life has become it was supposed to get better but it didn’t. The only option for me is to get more training but obviously given my wage I can’t afford that so I am stuck and heaven help me if I am made redundant again.

    I get that you shouldn’t compare youreself to others and I see how he had advantages I couldn’t have and stuff but when I look at the results he has succeeded and I have failed and every time I see him or think of how our paths have gone off different directions I feel a knife wrenching my guts. Whether its my fault or not I am angry that my luck ran out and his didn’t. Life isn’t fair and its not supposed to be but how do I not feel like flying off the chain whenever I feel like this?

    My friend isn’t the cause of my anguish and my anger isn’t directed at him but he triggers it and it has nowhere else to go. People talk about getting over it and moving on but how can I move on when I have nowhere else to go and how can I get over it when I still feel this weight in my stomach whenever I think about it? My misfortune isn’t anything to do with him but his success reflects my failure and regardless of why it happened be it my fault or not it doesn’t make me feel any better, its still there.

    I used ot have drive and ambition like a fire in my belly. Now I hate work and have lost my drive completely. Nothing interests me and nothing has replaced my original dream. I am just drifting now with no goals. I thought it would pass with time but it hasn’t and I feel like crap. This isn’t a constant feeling, but a few times a week it creeps up on me and makes me feel so depressed.

    I don’t know what to do and when I am not angry about this I feel like a shell or shadow of myself. I lost what made me me and do not know hwo to get over the anger and jealousy I feel about it.

    Sorry for this being ranty. As I said I am not having a good day, not my best self today.

    Thanks
    Ben

    #114400
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Ben:

    This is my understanding of jealousy of the kind you experience. I will tell a fictional story about the guy you are jealous of. Although the story is fictional, I believe the principle is true.

    It looks to you, from where you are, that this guy is doing so well. From where he is, he is jealous of his older brother because his older brother is a medical doctor in the emergency room and their father values the latter’s profession very much. The father keeps expressing his appreciation to the older brother and keeps devaluing the younger bother’s occupation as “playing childish games” and “doing nothing that matters.” This distresses the younger brother who still looks up to his father for approval. He feels nothing when he sees his name in print because it means nothing to his father and his father’s opinion is really all that matters to him.

    His older brother, the medical doctor in the emergency room is looking at your life, Ben, and is jealous of you! He is thinking: I wish I could have a 9-6 job. How I wish my job would end at 6 pm! I am so tired and stressed from these long shifts and I am getting in trouble with the X drug I am stealing from the workplace so to keep me awake for the job. How I wish I didn’t have a father I had to please. And don’t get me started about my younger brother- he is so lucky to be playing those games for a living. I have no idea why he looks pissed off much of the time!

    anita

    #114446
    Ben
    Participant

    Thanks for your response Anita. I am in a much better head space today, for some reason I was very moody yesterday. I get what you are saying though my point still stands. All of those examples make sense and my answer to my own original question to them is you can’t compare youreself to others as situations are different.

    However the more similarities between two people in the past the more opportunity there is for jealousy to develop. My friend and I were very similar and almost due to a coin flip he now has everything I wanted. Specifically a job he loves that is stable and challenging with chances of progression. He gets to tell people hes worked on final fantasy XV and Battlefield 3 and call fo duty and people are genuinely interested and he works with likeminded people. I on the other hand am bored most days and have a dull lifeles job with no progression and way too much workplace drama for my taste. And I am simply not qualified to do anything else nor is there anything I wanted and even if I did you need so many qualifications these days I simply cannot afford education.

    We were once so similar but now he has spent 5 years or more becoming even more capable in his field and I have had to struggle to keep my head above ground. I could argue that due to luck (though not luck alone, I am not saying he isn’t skilled just that by comparison to myself we had the same chance and he got lucky) he got his chance and it worked out but that doesn’t mean hes any better than me but 5 years of professional work on AAA projects makes him unstoppable and certainly better than me now. He could get a job at most studios (and gets headhunted occasionally) and I couldn’t even get a junior role now. He has a better life than me, it’s that simple. His future has more prospects than mine by far and he is living his dream. I am sure he has other ideas but when he sees me on facebook I’m sure he has no interest in connecting and doesn’t feel much other than pity whereas I am consumed by envy when I see him.

    How do I get over this? The facts are quite irrifutable his lot is better than mine. If I had another ambission I could move on but I simply don’t and not for lack of looking. I am not jealous of other peoples success I am jealous of this one guy because had a couple of things gone differently that could have been me.

    I don’t focus on this day to day, just that when the mood strikes I get very emotional over it. I feel like I have been dropped on the heap, like my best times are behind me and now I have 30+ years of dead end drudgery ahead. It’s not event hat I begrudge him his life, just that what he has highlights what I don’t have and knowing how easily it could have been me it just eats me up inside.

    It sounds silly to say but it’s like I have this weight that I drag around with me that if I could shrug it off I could move onwards towards a better future. But at the same time holding onto this weight is what is keeping me from finding a new future.

    I may start a new thread on this actually as after writing this I think perhaps I need to let go of my past, maybe this is the weight I feel not neccessarily jealousy. I feel like a part of me is dead and perhaps my jealousy is that my friends dream is still alive but mine is dead. Maybe. I think the big thing that makes this worse is that not only was I made redundant, there are no jobs in my field anywhere close so I am mixing redundancy with a career change. Not to mention that I have no desires to do anything anymore, so when I should be working hard to change things I can’t even decide on a direction and at times I don’t even want to get out of bed.

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 10 months ago by Ben.
    #114562
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Ben:

    Your pain is loud and clear. You gave up a lifetime dream (I remember previous threads, months ago)- and you are stuck in a job you dislike. The old dream is gone and there is nothing to replace that passion, the purpose you had.

    This guy reminds you again and again your lost dream. He is living YOUR dream, you wrote. You are not. You are grieving the loss of your dream, I am thinking.

    If so, it will take grieving the loss- accepting that indeed that dream is gone and will not become reality. It is gone and over with. This will be a process and once you have done enough, to accept it is gone and let go of the attachment you still have to that dream, then you will not suffer anymore.

    anita

    #114579
    Ben
    Participant

    Thanks Anita. Thats a good way to sum it up. He is living the dream I wanted and I resent that. I don’t resent him personally but any conversation with him results in my feeling bitter about myself. I resent myself because I know I need to drop this dream and move on but obviously I am struggling with that and although I have left it mentally I still feel the loss in my heart. I really wish there was a button to just cut this part of me off as its over a year and a half now and I am still walking around like a wounded lamb. I really hate that.

    I guess the problem isn’t that life treat me unfairly but that I expected it to be fair. And the idea of another 5 year cycle of training to become something else that may blow up in my face again makes me want to give up now. I have bouts of enthusiasm but then I have months of feeling hopeless.

    I am sure that as long as there are two people alive in the world there will be jealousy so I know I am certainly not he only one to feel this and I know others have much more grounds to feel this way than myself. I just wonder how you go about without this bitterness inside. I mean how do victims of serious crime get up in the morning? How do people in third world countries feel about those that have more than them? It makes my head spin at how unfair the world can be and here I am whining about some silly stuff while I have food, a roof, loved ones and leisure time. Its a funny world.

    Thanks for your help Anita. After all this whining you wouldn’t believe I am a biker lol.

    Ben

    #114584
    simplylaura
    Participant

    hi Ben!

    the only way to get away from such pain is to acknowledge the feeling within yourself and pinpoint what it is that makes you feel this way. Admitting this feeling to yourself will allow you to explore ways to overcome your jealousy. Focus on and accept your life and share what is positive about you. Keep practicing to become a better person, control the feeling rather than you let them control you.

    xoxo,

    Laura

    #114626
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Ben:

    You have the right to feel jealousy. You have the right to feel anything you feel. It is not the exclusive right of people in third world countries to feel jealousy.

    Behind every emotion we feel there is a valid message. The emotion is trying to deliver a message and until you hear the message and attend to it, the emotiol will persist.

    Life is unfair and luck does play a big part, often enough- a life and death part.

    When you accept this fact, that is relax into this reality (however unpalatable)- you gain calm, the jealously will weaken and weaken as you relax into this reality. It is the resisting of reality that causes distress.

    “How do you get over jealousy?”- listen to the message it delivers and attend to it.

    Please do post again- would like to read your thoughts following this input.

    anita

    #114645
    Nina Sakura
    Participant

    Ben

    Are there other areas in your life that you are satisfied with?

    Regards,
    Nina

    #114652
    Ben
    Participant

    Thanks for the responses guys.

    The only message I can get from this feeling is that I need a new goal or ambition. I aimed at my previous goal for a long time when I was growing up so an awful lot of my identity was invested in it. Losing it meant losing myself. It was how I distinguished myself, I may not be popular or have the most friends or have a car e.t.c but I was the best I knew at my art, it was my thing. Not only have I lost my ambition but I have lost my taste for art all together. But there is nothing in its place, no ambitions or goals, no real interests in anything. All jobs I see look dreadfully dull and the few that I have a chance at getting with my CV are low paid (all except my current role which is ok but not anything I want to stay doing). My current role was supposed to be temporary but as so often happens to other people I sort of stayed as there isn’t anything else for me. Its been a year and a half now and it just hit me that soon I will have been here as long as I was in games which is depressing considering there is nothing here for me besides a wage.

    I know I need a new goal or passion but nothing really gets me going. I am looking at web design/development as it seems like the closest fit for me but I would be lying if I said I saw learning it anything more than a chore (usually). And unfortunately most blog posts regarding redundancy recommend getting training or education but surely when you are redundant is one time you certainly can’t afford this king of thing, I know I can’t. My options are severely limited.

    I feel like I have nothing to be proud of, no achievements and no aspirations. I know I am ambitious and hard working but I have nowhere to aim at right now and at my current job I am wasting away being lazy and bored all the time. I very much wish I could click a button and get a new desire I feel passionate about.

    Nina, I am satisfied with my partner, we are getting married next year and are currently planning our wedding. But outside of that I am afraid no I am not satisfied with anything really. While I recognise it could be a whole lot worse I also see that not only is it not what I wanted and worked to build it is also balanced on a knife edge and I see that were I made redundant again I could lose everything. Part of me wants to go for jobs that have good money but the passionate part of me (and the part that gets bored very easily) doesn’t want something soulless but I just do not know how to reconcile the two parts.

    Thanks
    Ben

    #114654
    Ben
    Participant

    And just to add insult to injury and to highlight how pissed off I am with my circumstances my friend has just posted online that he has been promoted and is now a producer at his studio. Intellectually I get how I am supposed to deal with this but emotionally I am angry all over again. And just to add to my discomfort I just got hiccups too so I am literally shouting at myself in frustration. Ridiculous I know but true.

    #114659
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Ben:

    Still a sense of humor though (in last hiccup post).

    I don’t think it is a good idea to look for a Replacement Passion. I think that what you lost, the death you need to grieve, is not only losing the specific dream you had since you were so young but dreaming in itself, dreaming of the one thing that will put you on top of the world, the “happily ever after” existence you envisioned for yourself.

    I don’t think looking for a replacement passion is going to work for you because you are too devastated for the loss of the First and Only, so far. How can you trust such a passion again?

    A different kind of passion will work for you. This is your opportunity to find and exercise a different kind of passion, one that most people don’t get to experience:

    Once you give up and let go of that passion, you are left with the part of you that is not the artist you identified so completely with. What is left? What is there other than Ben-the Artist?

    Wel, this is it: finding that out could be the passion that will never let you down.

    Pay attention, be mindful, develop this skill of paying attention- it will blow your mind away with what you will find out. I am sure of it.

    I found my passion, late in life and it is not professional or income producing, yet it is a passion that keeps me curious about living- keeps me going. I would be glad to share on another post to you, if you are interested. But I am not inclined to do so right here and right now.

    Post again, if you’d like.

    anita

    #115160
    Ben
    Participant

    Thank you for your support Anita. I am somewhat more level headed now. I think I need to get out of my victim mindset and be responsible for my next actions and stop moping. I have been reading a little about philosophy (something I barely grasp but have a passing interest in) and stumbled across the quote ‘The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem’.

    Its easy for me to be pissed off with my current job as it is dull and the boss is really not nice and inspite of being there almost 2 years I still don’t really fit in or feel comfortable with people. But… I am jealous of my friend for getting so lucky (and a part of me absolutely hates and resents him because he doesn’t even REALISE it and is just smug), but my other friend who worked in video games with me originally and has over 10 years experience in it is jealous of me because although his job pays more he is in recruitment and hates it and he wishes his job was as laid back and low pressure as mine is. Whereas I am jealous of his salary and the impact he has on peoples lives. My partner is jealous of me too as she works for sports direct and they are on the news for how poor their working conditions are.

    So linking back to my quote, life isn’t fair but the problem isn’t that its unfair its that I expect it to be and it isn’t. I still don’t know how you are supposed to get over jealousy in general when it comes to serious injustice but for now this is helping me with my emotions. I don’t think I will ever be real friends with my old friend from university as his personality just makes me so angry at the drop of a hat and it will take me getting on my feet and feeling successful to get over that. I feel inferior to him because he has everything I want even excluding the job itself he still has cash stability and so on (he even just announced his honeymoon destination with his now wife which is where I want to take my fiance but can’t afford it).

    As for now I still need to get on my feet but first I need to stop thinking like I am a wounded animal. I certainly feel trapped but there must be a way out of this as I am nowhere near helpless an people far worse off than me have climbed far higher than I need to.

    Thanks
    Ben

    I need to find myself outside of art

    #115161
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Dear Ben:

    I like the quote you started with because it is congruent with reality. When I hear people repeating things that are feel-good things but not true to reality, I get irritated. For example: everything-happens-for-a-reason (no, much happens randomly, like your own story on this thread!) and live-life-to-the-fullest: what does it mean??? But I digress. I like the quote: expecting fairness and justice is not realistic. Better expect life to be what life is. It is in accepting life as it is, that you are then empowered to make the best of it for yourself.

    I would stay away from the Facebook and communication with the person you are jealous of- all it does is trigger you. Avoid exposure to that trigger!

    Your last line- I don’t suppose you intended to include it in your post: “I need to find myself outside of art.” Yes, I believe so. There is so much more to you than the art dream you had. You sure spent a lot of time and energy on that dream but that doesn’t mean that the dream was all you had. You didn’t focus on all that you are outside the dream, outside art. Time to pay attention and focus on the other parts of who Ben is.

    anita

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