How do I diminish my feelings of envy? At work, I’m surrounded with married folks gushing about their newborn babies, their super-awesome wife or husband (I am single by the way). Online, my Facebook/Twitter friends talk about their fast-paced lifestyle, the gadgets they’ve acquired, their overseas travels, the concerts they’re attending, and generally all of them have way more Facebook friends or Twitter followers than me. Sometimes I feel like retreating into my room and not going online (unless necessary) as I don’t need to be reminded everyday of my inadequacy compared to everyone else. Do you have any words of wisdom that can help me handle my feelings of inadequacy and jealousy ?
Yes. I do have some words of wisdom for you: stop being such a waa waa pansy baby.
I hear what you’re saying; I’ve been on fabulous vacations and looked up from my in-room massage on my private back patio near a special section of the ocean that they’ve removed all the fish from just for me, and thought to myself, “Oh, look. Those people on the second floor have a better view than I do. This sucks. I want to go home.”
But then I get over it. It’s perfectly human and absolutely normal to feel envious of other people. What’s not normal is to decide to go hang out in your room with your sad self and your dog-eared copy of “I’m Okay, You’re Okay” and think about how unfair life is because you didn’t get the iPad the first day it came out.
I have two suggestions for you:
1. Get off your ass and DO something. Do you want to go to concerts? Then go to a freaking concert! It doesn’t take millions of dollars or a private jet. (Have you ever been to a Phish show? Most of those people don’t even own underwear and a toothbrush. If they can make it to a concert, you can.) Do you want to be married? Unless you sleep in a subway car, you’re not going to meet many people hiding in your bedroom. Go browse in a used bookstore or join a mountaineering club or dress up in your favorite Star Wars costume and go sit in a nerdy bar until a geeky Star Wars fangirl comes in and falls in love with you. Do you want to go to Egypt? Then get another job, or start a special savings account, or start your own side business walking dogs, and save for a trip to Egypt. Sitting around whining about what other people have and do isn’t going to make your life any better at all.
2. GET OFF THE F-ING INTERNET, FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST. I mean, definitely still check out this web site every day because it’s important and I’m relevant, but then, after that, GET OFF THE INTERNET. I’ll stop yelling at you once I tell you one more thing, which I have mentioned many, many times in my year as an official advice-giver: FACEBOOK IS NOT REAL LIFE. Facebook is an edited version of real life that people put out there to impress other people. I never see a status update that says, “John Doe just found out he has gonorrhea. :(” You might see a status update that says, “John Doe just took a wonderful drive into New York City and saw a fabulous production of La Cage Aux Folles!!!!” What you don’t know is that John Doe wept during the entire performance because he had just driven into the city to see an STD specialist who told him he had the worst case of gonorrhea known to mankind and would he mind allowing some of his body parts to be photographed for an abstinence brochure?
You life is what you make it. Acknowledge your feelings of envy and jealousy, and then instead of letting them suck you into a deep dark abyss of despair, use them as motivation to get yourself to where you want to go.