Author Topic: Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?  (Read 8999 times)

astvilla

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« on: July 04, 2016, 12:44:23 AM »
There was a thread before but it told me to make new one.

Does anyone feel jealous or envy about their peers' "potential" net worth? I'm finding I have this really unhealthy obsession about figuring how much my peers are worth. (I'm human, not perfect) I almost hope they spend like crazy actually and am not jealous of material things. 

I make a lot less than my peers but save a lot.  And it sucks that I have to work or discipline myself so much more to get the same savings as others who aren't so.  But there's this unhealthy obsession and I know it doesn't matter in the end, no one cares, but I just want to retire early in front of their faces and see their reactions (horrible motivation).  I'm focusing too much on others, not myself even though I know 95% of people are doing worse than me

How does one fix this mentality? I can't imagine being the only one.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2016, 01:54:03 AM »
Why would you be jealous of other people doing worse than you? Revel in your badassery.

And, more importantly: "Let the refining and improving of your own life keep you so busy that you have little time to criticize others."

Kaikou

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2016, 02:03:36 AM »
nope

pbkmaine

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2016, 02:36:25 AM »
Stop worrying. It's less than you think. I used to be a financial planner. Most people have lots of stuff and no money in the bank.

mozar

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2016, 10:59:50 AM »
Quote
but I just want to retire early in front of their faces and see their reactions (horrible motivation)

Is the issue that these people are condescending to you and you want to show them that your better than them? I've basically had to cut a lot of people out of life who behaved like this. My mind has become so much less cluttered after cutting out the negativity.

If its not coming from those around you, you can do self esteem work. "Feeling Good, the new mood therapy" helped me with this.

azure975

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2016, 01:11:23 PM »
There was a thread before but it told me to make new one.

Does anyone feel jealous or envy about their peers' "potential" net worth? I'm finding I have this really unhealthy obsession about figuring how much my peers are worth. (I'm human, not perfect) I almost hope they spend like crazy actually and am not jealous of material things. 


Yes. But more of people who inherited or have trusts (I know a lot of people with rich parents). I know comparison only makes one unhappy, but it's hard to break the habit.

Rubic

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2016, 02:50:10 PM »
Yes. But more of people who inherited or have trusts (I know a lot of people with rich parents). I know comparison only makes one unhappy, but it's hard to break the habit.

Break the habit.  You've picked the worst of the 7 deadly sins to practice, the only one that's guaranteed to make you miserable for the rest of your life.  It has no upside.  I've had great times with Gluttony, Lust, Anger, or even Sloth -- with the inevitable consequences -- but Envy is the only sin that you can't enjoy any fun.  Why choose to make yourself miserable?


Edit: grammar
« Last Edit: July 05, 2016, 07:01:17 AM by rubic »

Altons Bobs

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2016, 03:18:34 PM »
You need to stop yourself.  I have a "friend" who used to call me a lot to compare herself to me, ALL THE TIME.  It was very annoying and disrespectful. She was constantly telling me how great she was and how wealthy she was and everything about her was the best and everything about me was crappy. Well, good thing I didn't have her insecurity complex, I didn't really care but didn't want to waste time listening to her comparing herself to me on every phone call, I quit answering her phone calls. I think she gets the message now that I do not want any comparison like that with her or with any of my friends. It's pointless.

MissNancyPryor

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2016, 04:00:15 PM »
I remember asking DH once how it was possible that all of these similarly-aged young people around us were driving brand new cars while we still were in the same shit boxes we had since high school (we didn't sell our HS cars until after the second baby arrived, 7 years after marrying).  What was wrong with us that we didn't have any money?  He said, "They don't have money.  They have debt."  That man is kick ass smart.  They were looking good while we were being the tortoise: saving, being smart, delaying gratification.   At some point I stopped comparing because I loved my life and I knew what mattered, and that day may have been the moment it turned.  I crystallized the thought and really got it. 

Today I can buy any car I want for cash and yet when I see people rolling into the office with a new $65K Z71 pickup I feel something more like pity and a sense of dread for them.  Chain, meet ball.  A heavy fucking ball that looks like a loan payment book wrapped around their ankle, stealing their freedom.           

Consider for a moment what you would do if you knew all of their NWs.  Wouldn't it just make you madder?  You believe that you already are hustling harder than they are to meet your goals, and it would really piss you off if you knew how much they wasted and what you would do with their incomes if you had them.  Futility defined.  You will never affect them and you will make yourself miserable.  Redirect your anger into focusing on yourself.  It is OK to fantasize about the FU moment when you do get to bail out early, but agonizing over them is energy wasted.     
« Last Edit: July 04, 2016, 06:56:48 PM by MissNancyPryor »

deborah

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Re: Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2016, 06:13:19 PM »
Everyone has different goals. When you are FI, most of them will wonder why you even wanted to stop working (not to change jobs, but to stop working completely).

Rosy

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2016, 07:03:03 PM »
Your job in life is to lead your own best life possible - period! Dwelling on what others may or may not have will interfere with your focus on reaching your own goals.

Re-direct your focus - re-evaluate what is really going on here. Life is not fair - move on, you've already recognized that this is not really the behavior you want to engage in.
Perhaps, you are killing yourself struggling with unrealistic goals - step back, take a break, go on a vacation, be good to yourself - you are a smart, capable person, figure it out.
There is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to live, but don't bother comparing yourself to others - there will always be people doing so much better than you or for that matter so much worse than you.

Enjoy and be grateful for what you do have - then build upon it and smile all the way to the bank.

Choices

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2016, 08:29:07 PM »
Hopefully, on your journey to FIRE you'll define your true priorities and values. In addition to saving money, most people come to value health, simplicity, time with family and friends, etc. over accumulating stuff and impressing people they don't like. When your life is full of things you love, it's easier to stop feeling jealous and comparing yourself to others.

Even if you just want a "how do you like me now" moment, holding on to this comparison and caring what others think means that you're still letting them get the best of you, your time, and your attention.

The best possible outcome is to be in a "how do you like me now" position but to have forgotten all about whoever it is you wanted to show up.

mbl

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2016, 06:40:23 AM »

Today I can buy any car I want for cash and yet when I see people rolling into the office with a new $65K Z71 pickup I feel something more like pity and a sense of dread for them.  Chain, meet ball.  A heavy fucking ball that looks like a loan payment book wrapped around their ankle, stealing their freedom.           

 It is OK to fantasize about the FU moment when you do get to bail out early, but agonizing over them is energy wasted.     

Everyone does life differently.  Just because  someone has what you believe is a large albatross of a vehicle doesn't mean that they have some fiscal character flaw.   Things aren't always what they appear to be. 

You take care of yourself and make decisions that you are most comfortable with.    That's the limit.   

Seeing ER/FI as a way to  be able to thumb one's nose at others is shallow.   Who cares?  Just as you wouldn't believe that someone is superior to you because of their material possessions, you're not any more superior because of your bank account. 

Why is there the need to feel superior in some way? 

ER/FI brings mostly what I believe is freedom and peace of mind.   


plog

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2016, 06:48:15 AM »
Quote
How does one fix this mentality?

From what I've seen, jealousy is a life long affliction. Never met anyone who has overcome it.  The best you can do is recognize you have it and try not to display symptoms to the world. 

2Cent

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2016, 07:03:12 AM »
Technically this is envy. Not jealousy.

Anyway, the problem is not that they have more, but that what you have to struggle for comes easy to them and they waste it. To get out of this just see how real poor people live. How they have to work hard labour to get enough money to feed their family. That will make you appreciate how exceptionally fortunate you are to have so much more than you need that you can actually save a significant portion.

"I cried when I had no shoes until I saw a man with no legs" -Anonymous

MandyM

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2016, 07:26:18 AM »
Yes. But more of people who inherited or have trusts (I know a lot of people with rich parents). I know comparison only makes one unhappy, but it's hard to break the habit.

Break the habit.  You've picked the worst of the 7 deadly sins to practice, the only one that's guaranteed to make you miserable for the rest of your life.  It has no upside.  I've had great times with Gluttony, Lust, Anger, or even Sloth -- with the inevitable consequences -- but Envy is the only sin that you can't enjoy any fun.  Why choose to make yourself miserable?


Edit: grammar

I love this response, especially "the only sin that you can't enjoy any fun." Indeed.

MoneyCat

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2016, 08:08:03 AM »
Most of my friends and family are actually jealous of ME and they are always telling me how "lucky" I am to be doing so well. I am not doing anything they they couldn't do if they would cut back on their expenses and do some investing. Envy is such a useless and self-defeating emotion.


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Kaspian

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2016, 09:01:41 AM »
I wrote this before and a few people liked it, maybe it'll help...

"Jealous"?  I thought we all left that Jones' stuff in the dust eons ago as we rose out of the primordial mud to become muscle-ripped, financial badasses?  No, not jealousy--never jealousy.  I've had friends become jealous of my badassity--knowing that I have a secret bank account which is growing like out of control mould in a filthy refrigerator.  Jealous that I've thrown clutter away like it was fall leaves, have empty space in my closet, in the cupboards, and on my bookshelf.  Indeed, witnessing this many have commenced purges of their own.   Me jealous?  No way in hell!  I eat a delicious self-prepared meal every night and get to go for outdoor walks on legs which function at 100%.  My cup overfloweth!

TheAnonOne

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2016, 11:42:35 AM »
I make a lot less than my peers but save a lot.  And it sucks that I have to work or discipline myself so much more to get the same savings as others who aren't so.

So, not to be too harsh, but...

You make way less than them, presumably, because they put more effort into their careers. They probably do have savings, maybe even more than you. I have a few friends who make good money 150k+ spend a good amount but still save 15-25 percent of their income. They are going to amass more wealth than anyone making 50k and saving half or more.

The math, however, is more or less, what is your savings pile vs. your yearly spending. If they have 1 million in savings but need 10 million, they are farther from retirement than if you have 100k but need 500k.

Focus your effort on increasing your income, be better yourself.


Lanthiriel

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2016, 01:41:25 PM »
I have mostly talked myself out of being jealous of people's material things. Now I'm just jealous of all the people here on MMM who are doing so much better with their savings than I am. I feel like I don't fall into the copious consumption lifestyle, but neither into MMM, so sometimes I just feel like I'm not getting the benefit of their lifestyle.

dougules

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2016, 02:21:44 PM »
I hate always being the one to play the psychology card, but I think the obsession over NW is just a symptom of something else.  Is there something that makes you feel inferior to them?  Is there something in your life you're worried about?  Stop to really think about what's driving the obsession.  It may even be something totally unrelated. 

Kaspian

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2016, 03:00:59 PM »
Oops...  I think I lied above.  When I know full well that a friend is at the beach, it's sunny, hot weather, he/she has beer and I'm stuck at work in a cube, I do feel a small pang of what might be called jealousy.  Or, if I see somebody eating a big, gooey, tomato-ey pizza and I don't have any.  Luckily, none of my friends have ever picked up Mila Jovovich, Claire Danes, or Natalie Portman.  That scenario just may cause rage envy.

woopwoop

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #22 on: July 05, 2016, 03:33:40 PM »
To get out of this just see how real poor people live. How they have to work hard labour to get enough money to feed their family. That will make you appreciate how exceptionally fortunate you are to have so much more than you need that you can actually save a significant portion.

"I cried when I had no shoes until I saw a man with no legs" -Anonymous
100% this. Living in places where there's no running water or electricity, watching people eat the same rice and beans day after day, seeing families living in shacks where a leaky roof is fixed by a bucket on the floor - knowing poverty makes you appreciate all you have so much more that you forget all of the people above you. Whenever I travel in poorer countries, I am struck by how wealthy I am to have warm shelter at night and any kind of food I want at my fingertips. Volunteering with the poor can help remind you of how damn lucky you are as well.

Either way, there will always be someone above you and someone below. The happiest nations traditionally have less inequality - when you're the same as your neighbors, you don't feel bad about what you have. Try to avoid social media and don't try to live beyond your means to avoid comparing yourself to others if you can. That's the best advice I can give.


marty998

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #23 on: July 05, 2016, 03:51:05 PM »
Oops...  I think I lied above.  When I know full well that a friend is at the beach, it's sunny, hot weather, he/she has beer and I'm stuck at work in a cube, I do feel a small pang of what might be called jealousy.  Or, if I see somebody eating a big, gooey, tomato-ey pizza and I don't have any.  Luckily, none of my friends have ever picked up Mila Jovovich, Claire Danes, or Natalie Portman.  That scenario just may cause rage envy.

Yeah that gets me too! I have a group of high school friends on Facebook... every second day they are in an exotic location, or at the beach... living it up in penthouses.

I honestly don't know how they are able to do it.

redbird

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #24 on: July 05, 2016, 07:13:48 PM »
Technically this is envy. Not jealousy.

Anyway, the problem is not that they have more, but that what you have to struggle for comes easy to them and they waste it. To get out of this just see how real poor people live. How they have to work hard labour to get enough money to feed their family. That will make you appreciate how exceptionally fortunate you are to have so much more than you need that you can actually save a significant portion.

"I cried when I had no shoes until I saw a man with no legs" -Anonymous

This. I grew up in a very poor family. I feel extremely fortunate to have what I have, since I live completely differently as an adult than I did as a child.

It also helps to figure out what actually does and does not make you happy. Fancy cars don't make me happy. Eating out doesn't make me happy. Buying expensive clothes don't make me happy. So I don't do any of those things. That helps me have more money for things that *do* make me happy.

letired

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2016, 08:34:57 PM »
Not envy, but I am a grudgey motherfucker. If I feel wronged, I will hang onto that insult for just about forever.  The thing that helps me the most is focusing on other things. Thinking about how so-and-so did me wrong 5 years ago can still get my dander up, but it's much more enjoyable thinking about the diy project I have planned, that TV show I want to watch, or how I'm going to ever find a remote/wfh job so I don't have to put on pants every day. After a while, it subsides. I'm not over my grad school anger yet, but the stuff from high school is gone! Who cares about that mean nun anymore!

The other helpful thing for me is to flip it around. Yes that person was terrible to me, but what did I learn from it. What can you learn from these people (or your response to these people) that will help you get to where you want? Grad school was miserable and my advisor terrible, but heck if I don't know a TON about how to spot crazy bosses, how to pull useful feedback/direction out of someone being crazy at me, and how to work even when I would rather lay down in the road and die. I also know a lot more about my personal weaknesses/hot buttons and how to work with/around them.

astvilla

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #26 on: July 06, 2016, 07:43:46 AM »
Wow some really insightful comments and thanks for the recommendations, they are all really great!  Sometimes, I need you guys to wake me up now and then, this certainly helped. It's kind of a relief to know I'm not the only one.  I know this isn't the right mentality, it's self-defeating but hard to fix.  I guess it stems from possibly a wrong career choice I know would've put me closer to FI but instead is taking longer while others could be closer (should be...); who knows though, the choice might pay off in the end.  I think FB stalking is part of it.  I don't use it, but watch others, actually I only very recently logged back in, for years I never did!  Time to log back out!  I'm not jealous of eating out, cars, or anything though.  It's totally hypothetical about their NW and how much less they need to devote themselves.  There might not be anything worth being jealous about, so stupid!  But I feel more clear and refocused reading the responses now.

I'm slightly jealous of other Mustachians but not so much, I guess cause I'm not surrounded by you guys.  I'm also clueless as to how well I'm actually doing? I have no idea?!  Part of this insecurity is I don't know where I'm at in terms of FIRE goals and just doing simple (incorrect?) math, it would take me 20 years without kids to reach goals (insane! Early for average but doesn't feel like RE), it sounds...daunting. Really daunting to slave that long for FIRE.


Break the habit.  You've picked the worst of the 7 deadly sins to practice, the only one that's guaranteed to make you miserable for the rest of your life.  It has no upside.  I've had great times with Gluttony, Lust, Anger, or even Sloth -- with the inevitable consequences -- but Envy is the only sin that you can't enjoy any fun.  Why choose to make yourself miserable?


Edit: grammar

I really like this one....deep!

Kaspian

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2016, 08:42:18 AM »
Oops...  I think I lied above.  When I know full well that a friend is at the beach, it's sunny, hot weather, he/she has beer and I'm stuck at work in a cube, I do feel a small pang of what might be called jealousy.  Or, if I see somebody eating a big, gooey, tomato-ey pizza and I don't have any.  Luckily, none of my friends have ever picked up Mila Jovovich, Claire Danes, or Natalie Portman.  That scenario just may cause rage envy.

Yeah that gets me too! I have a group of high school friends on Facebook... every second day they are in an exotic location, or at the beach... living it up in penthouses.

I honestly don't know how they are able to do it.

The exotic locations and penthouses don't stir me at all.  But when it's a beautiful day and others are outside playing while I'm at work?  I feel like a dog watching through a glass door as other dogs frolick around in the yard.  Unhapiness.  :(

DeltaBond

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2016, 08:52:47 AM »
Back when I was on FB officially (later I just had an account to check news stuff) I noticed a lot of people posted photos that made their life look awesome.  Then I hung out in person and saw that they were just really good at taking photos and cropping out the reality of their situation - quite literally.  It looked like they were on vacation, when they were just a town away in a particularly pretty spot in between other crummy spots.  It was really odd, I didn't see what they had to gain from doing that.

The others who did go on vacation a lot, as I found out, were in serious debt or mooching off of someone else's dime.  I slowly stopped paying attention to their "my life is better" posts, as I lost trust.  I no longer felt like I was behind the curve on having funds for vacations.

MrsDinero

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2016, 08:57:37 AM »
I sometimes get envious of people who just throw caution to the wind. 

Yes I know I have more in the bank than they do.

Yes I know they are 1 job loss from losing their home.

Some I've known for years are seriously not worried about their debt.

So it isn't really the stuff, but more of their ability to not worry like I do.  Most of my reasons for craving a stable financial life is because I once lived VERY UNSTABLE financial life and I worried all the time. 

Kaspian

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #30 on: July 06, 2016, 09:59:48 AM »
The others who did go on vacation a lot, as I found out, were in serious debt or mooching off of someone else's dime.  I slowly stopped paying attention to their "my life is better" posts, as I lost trust.  I no longer felt like I was behind the curve on having funds for vacations.

Definitely!  I've seen Facebook posts where (not out of jealousy but out of concern for stupidity) I yell at my monitor, "I know you and know damn well you can't afford that!  Not with your debt load!  Just adding more onto the credit card pile, are we?"  I can't be jealous of that.  It's crazy-people behavior.

dr_sassy

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #31 on: July 06, 2016, 12:33:50 PM »
I think envy, jealousy, and grudgy-ness are pretty standard issue. I used to medal in all of them, especially for writing. One day, I realized that envy can spur you on at the beginning, but in the end, it's not adaptive. So I worked hard to let it go.

Good luck. It's not easy, but it makes for a much better life. Like the Dalai Lama said, if you can be happy for other people, you multiply your own chance of happiness by (over) six billion.

tonysemail

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #32 on: July 06, 2016, 03:51:59 PM »
the solution for me was to quit facebook.

But to the original question, sometimes I do feel anxiety about the opportunity cost of ER.

I know some folks in my financial position will keep working.

And with the magic of compound interest, their net worth will be multiples of mine.

I justify ER in my mind because I think there's nothing I'd rather own than my own freedom.

What's a few million between internet strangers, eh? ;)

Miss Prim

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2016, 02:39:10 PM »
I don't know why, but I have never felt envy of other people!  I am so happy and blessed with what I have that I wouldn't want to trade lives with anyone.  But then, I've never given a flying you know what about what people think of me anyway!  Guess it is just my nature.  When my brother was buying new cars every few years, I just felt bad that he wasn't more frugal with his money.  Now I am retired and have plenty of money and time to do what I want and he is still working and still owes money on cars and his house.  He would always joke about how tight my husband and I were, but I never missed having new cars.  It just wasn't that important to me to look well off.  I would rather BE well off!

And as far as not having a big paying job, didn't have that either!  But I liked what I did and made do with what I made by being frugal.
I have a brother-in-law that was a CPA and lawyer and he made good money and has a lot more money saved than I do, but he is the most miserable person you would ever want to meet!  Was I ever jealous of him?  Never!

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meghan88

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2016, 07:04:32 PM »
I lived hand-to-mouth until my 30's, including a good long period of dumpster-diving early on, and then I changed my life by working three low-wage jobs at the same time, then getting better and better jobs, and then self-funding my higher education so I have nothing to complain about now.  Poverty made me resourceful and also helped me become a good saver, and for that I am grateful.

That said, I still get caught up in worrying about having enough.  I also wish I could retire to France or Italy but that's impossible because I only have Canadian citizenship and I'm probably too old to apply and get in.  So the goal after FIRE is to just get over there for 90 days during Jan-Feb-March and be content with that.

However, when I watch Giada in Italy, I find myself getting close to jealousy.  That kitchen ... that view ... the local produce.  Must be nice. 

The only cure for that is googling things like "Giada large head t-rex arms" and then I feel a tiny bit better  :-)

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Re: Re: Jealousy - does it happen to you?
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2016, 02:01:08 PM »

The only cure for that is googling things like "Giada large head t-rex arms" and then I feel a tiny bit better  :-)

Oh my god... Everytime I see her on tv I feel like that kid in Invader Zim, telling everyone there's an alien.... there... right there!



And Giada just sits there like