Why Envy Doesn’t Suck, and How it can Help You…

Here’s what’s been on my mind lately. I see this issue with my lovely lady clients all the time. And I think we’ve ALL been there. I know I have.

Hope your boobs don't fall into my linguini...

Have you ever struggled with this bit of melodrama? You know the one where one of your favorite gal pals calls you to share about her new promotion at work excitedly, her spectacular Moroccan-themed dinner party, her kid’s ah-mazing report card, OR she simply shows up nicely tanned, rockin’ a fabulous new outfit, bubbling over after her relaxing trip to Costa Rica…

Well, how are you feeling? Are you really feeling happy for her, or do you ever find your voice sort of raising an octave, constricting a bit, while sporting that kind of crappy & creaky half smile we can sometimes do, with the unsmiling eyes and barely eeking out:

“Wow……that is…um…great..I’m so happy for you. – I made the most AH-Mazing Pesto last night with smoked paprika…..And, How about that, Miley Cyrus, did you see that? Isn’t SHE a Total trainwreck??

THIS is the look I’m talking about: Nice boobies, beot#ch! But if you notice, it’s envy/disdain on both sides. 


……don’t you just freaking HATE that? You’re now not only shrinking because you feel loser-ish but also because you feel guilty; YOU are an evolved woman, riiiiigghhht? YOU know better than that……….

Note: Feeling like CRAP, and NOW add in beating yourself up. Good times.

We’ve all been there. We can be ESPECIALLY vulnerable to this kind of reaction when we are going through a challenging time ourselves when our life feels SUCKY in every way.

Why do we feel this way and act this way sometimes? We know we love our friends, so, W.T.F?

Usually, our inner and outer reaction lies in our own beliefs about ourselves. It has nothing to do with our friend’s skinny jeans. Yes……”It’s not you, It’s me.” has many creative applications, not just with the dudes.

Are you not buying it?

OK, ever noticed how when YOU are doing GREAT, words like AWESOME, FABULOUS, (insert YOUR fave happy dance words here_______ ) and general mental: high fiving comes much more naturally?

One of your Besties comes along, and she shares some news she feels is excellent, and: OH, you go grrrllll! Is your natural, even effervescent reaction?

But when we are not feeling so cozy in our skin, we can sometimes feel this little prick of envy, irritation, or worse: humiliation with the shared news.

Because: Check off any that apply:

  • We are comparing with someone else and despairing about what and where we should be
  • We somehow believe that their success, happiness, WHAT-Evah, somehow diminishes us
  • We believe WE can’t have what we dream about
  • We are stuck in areas of our lives, and we believe that there is no way out
  • We believe we will never get it right -whatever IT is. Ever been there?

I geddit. We’ve all been there…

YUCK & STUCK. Not Fun.

So what if you knew you could change that? How do you begin to change that?

You challenge your own beliefs from the inside out.

That. Is. How.

What about this idea?

Envy is simply the masked upside-down desires of things that we are craving to create in our own lives, and we simply haven’t figured out exactly what they are and how to get there, YET.

Next time you are feeling FRENVY piping up, try this:

Get under it: When you feel Frenvy coming on, don’t ignore it. Instead, lean in and get UNDER the emotion, get curious and check out what you are really thinking. What’s really behind this SAD-itude? Envy can tell you a lot about what YOU are profoundly desiring. Perhaps you’d like a new job, a vacation, exercising more, eating healthier, or maybe you simply want one of those miniature pet elephants you can carry in your purse? Just making sure you are still with me ;).

They DO exist - In Italy.
They DO exist – In Italy

OR maybe simply: to have more TIME, to have more CONNECTION, to have more LAUGHING, to have more LOVE, and to have more JOY in your life?

That’s what it gets down to most of the time.  

So, think about this:

  • What is it that your friend has got going on that you’d like to have happening?
  • How can you turn the situation around to be more inspiring and less unfulfilled upside-down desiring?
  • How can you create more of what you are hungry for in YOUR life?
  • What gifts & talents do you have that can help you bring more things you are secretly pining for into your life?
  • What are some tangible things you can do TODAY to move it forward and bring that desirable thing into your life?

Note: Write it ON PAPER….it’s way more effective.

Do something cool for someone ELSE: Ever noticed how good it can feel to get your mind off of yourself and reach out to someone else, someone who needs YOU. Share your unique gifts with the world rather than fixating on someone else’s gifts. YOU are created perfectly to bring your gifts into the world. We are the most content when we are doing what we have a passion for and naturally do the best. Why do we overlook that stuff? OY-VEY!

Imagine your life without it.

Jealousy is a potent emotion, and if it goes unchecked, it can be a MAJOR obstacle in moving toward the life you are designed for. If you think it’s something you have to live with fo-EVAH; Nope, Nada, Not True.

And I’m not going to tell you it’s always EASY to change this habit.. Because I hate when people say that shit stuff.

Envy hurts you. It feels bad to YOU; ever noticed that? But I will tell you it is WORTH looking at it head-on and dealing with it.

And it also can hurt your beloved friends..so let’s deal with it, & heal this nastiness that is not showcasing who you are deep down under the crap that holds you back and keeps you stuck.

And also, there is nothing wrong with coming clean with your friend: “You know sweetheart, (I know that is not a popular phrase, but that’s what I call my friends)

I AM happy for you. And I adore you. But I’m feeling; __________ (less than luminous is always a good one, or like a bag of puffy Cheetos, can work….) right now, so please forgive me for not being as cool as I want to be about how fab things are going for you.”

Transparency is the NEW BLACK.

I’d say TWEET THIS! But you already know; I hate it when people tell you to do that $hit ;).

Peace and Big Love,

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  1. I worked this out for myself about a year ago. A friend had received a promotion I’d been dying for. I raged about it for a few days, but then I realized: who better to tell me how to do it? So we sat down for lunch and I realized she’d actually put a huge amount of work into being promoted that I hadn’t known about, and she totally deserved the new gig. And now I had the blueprint for how to do it, too! There are so many better ways to use envy than just for hating on people. Great article.

    1. Thanks @allie. Love your example. So often we really have NO idea what other people are doing or feeling as they aspire to things they really want in their lives. What a healthy approach you chose. Thanks for sharing it! It will be good food for thought for people to read.

  2. I spend more time than I should envying others for what they have in their relationships with their SO. It seems that the ‘spark’ has left our relationship. I’ve been talking to a therapist about it, and it’s helping some, but I think a lot of what you’re saying here really makes sense to me and helps. Thanks tons.

    1. Charlene,
      I think that is VERY common. Great for you for recognizing it and getting help. It can be difficult when we feel things are “not so bueno” in an area of our lives and all around the grasses are looking greener. Keep up the good work!