Author Topic: Jealousy ??  (Read 12811 times)

LiseE

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Jealousy ??
« on: December 04, 2014, 07:13:27 AM »
I came here today searching the forum for topics about Jealousy ..

With our newly mustachian lifestyle I feel awesome watching our debts being erased and now we're off to tackle our mortgage.  I feel amazing and on FIRE with the progress we've made this year.  I usually (most of the time) look at my friends lifestyles and can only imagine the debt they are getting themselves into but today I received a Christmas card from a friend .. the card was also a "We've moved" address change notice ... and they moved into my absolute dream house in town.  I had been looking at this house online all summer .. daydreaming about it.  I am not the jealous type but for whatever reason this one hurt.

We live in an affluent suburb and when my kids go on play dates to these 4000 sqft mansions I feel a little sad for them because I know they are like "Whoa!  Mom .. did you see their house?"  This recently happened and upon returning to our home (which I love) it seemed so small.  I did also think that my sons friends house was a tremendous waste of space (and money I'm sure).

But back to my dream house .. again I'm not the jealous type so I'm looking to vent a bit  as therapy.  Yes, they probably have an insane mortgage on that house ... yes, if her husband lost his job they might very well be in trouble .. but .. their kids have this amazing house to live and play in ..

I know that "stuff" doesn't make us happy ... and that house probably wouldn't make us happier .. but right now I'm thinking it would. :)

RFAAOATB

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 07:27:01 AM »
Could y'all move in as roommates?  Enjoy the big house and help pay down their mortgage while you spend less than your current mortgage?

Or save your money and buy an even dreamier house in cash before they can pay off their mortgage so your grand children will have a bigger house than their grand children?


iris lily

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 07:30:11 AM »
Please cultivate that friendship so that you can be invited to spend a lot of time in that house. Seriously.

I live in a neighborhood of Victorian houses and I love Victorian architecture. My own house is modest and it's shabby in some areas.

But I love visiting my friends' fabulous big houses.  I can sit at a dinner party and admire the crown moldings and ceiling medallions and original fixtures and be happy.

Granted, when I come home I DO feel brief unhappiness with my little house which has nothing in the way of original appointments, but that is fleeting. The happy memories my enjoyment of the big, beautiful houses trumps my brief unhappiness. 

What helps is focusing on the bits in my own house that I love. It's a learned response, making yourself happy with your own stuff, it takes practice.

And yes I do also  think of my friends' heat, cooling, and tax bills and and I am grateful that I don't have to pay those bills. They maintain those big houses nicely, preserving that great architecture for me and others to see, and it is costing them and not me. Win/win.  :)
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 07:32:46 AM by iris lily »

otherbarry

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 07:30:53 AM »
But back to my dream house .. again I'm not the jealous type so I'm looking to vent a bit  as therapy.  Yes, they probably have an insane mortgage on that house ... yes, if her husband lost his job they might very well be in trouble .. but .. their kids have this amazing house to live and play in ..

I know that "stuff" doesn't make us happy ... and that house probably wouldn't make us happier .. but right now I'm thinking it would. :)


Is that a little rationalization I see? People here usually shun materialistic tendencies so they can spend more time improving themselves rather than working to pay for houses, boats, cars, etc. There's always going to be someone you know with a nicer house, why not instead revel in the peace and freedom that living well under your means can bring you?

LibrarIan

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 07:31:55 AM »
You could use this a lesson for your kids. Sometimes people waste money on things they don't need. Sure, it can be impressive, jaw-dropping things they waste money on, but waste is waste. I find that my 1200 sq. ft. apartment is far too large. We have a whole second bathroom we don't even use! So when I see two people living in massive abodes, I cringe.

TrulyStashin

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 07:32:11 AM »
I love Carolyn Hax, advice columnist for the Washington Post.  Here's a column from her on jealousy.  The details of why the letter writer is jealous are different from yours, but the principles are the same and Hax's advice is awesome.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-how-to-cope-with-feelings-of-jealousy/2014/05/02/effd04a0-c991-11e3-93eb-6c0037dde2ad_story.html

skunkfunk

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014, 07:33:44 AM »
http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/06/28/king-for-just-one-day/

Read that. You are better off enjoying that house occasionally when you see your friends than you are owning it for yourself.

Spock in Amok Time: "After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true."
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 07:36:27 AM by skunkfunk »

LiseE

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2014, 07:38:14 AM »
Quote
Is that a little rationalization I see? People here usually shun materialistic tendencies

I'm really not materialistic but I just WANT THAT HOUSE!  (LOL!)

Seriously though, I'm not a envious person by nature so it's somewhat foreign to me to feel this way .. I take great pleasure and derive much happiness in our own home and watching our financial health improve over time.



Siobhan

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2014, 07:57:36 AM »
Quote
Is that a little rationalization I see? People here usually shun materialistic tendencies

I'm really not materialistic but I just WANT THAT HOUSE!  (LOL!)

Seriously though, I'm not a envious person by nature so it's somewhat foreign to me to feel this way .. I take great pleasure and derive much happiness in our own home and watching our financial health improve over time.

We actually did have the house that the kids would come over and go to their moms "DID YOU SEE THEIR HOUSE" or "Why couldn't we move into something like this instead of our house" and "They live in a MANSION, why can't WE?!?!".   IT'S NOT WORTH IT.  Straight up, from the horses mouth, that thing was a GIANT waste of space, time, energy and money.  We got the house for a steal (forclosure) and fixed it up all 3k sq ft ourselves, I never want to do that again...EVER.  There was an entire finished floor in that house that I went into twice a year, once to turn on the sprinklers, the other to turn them off. 

We now live in a 1200 ft townhome, and are much happier, we don't spend the weekends cleaning non stop, we don't spend hours on the lawn and gardens, and we don't have rooms that we never used...ever.  The only thing I can say I miss is my big kitchen.  Other then that downsizing let us remove a lot of crap we didn't need from our lives.

pksr

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #9 on: December 04, 2014, 08:29:04 AM »
If it helps at all, the folks in the 4000 ft2 houses aren't looking at your house and feeling great / content about their situation...They're looking at the 6000 ft2 houses and feeling the same way you do about theirs. For some reason we always look up, not down or sideways - if you can get away from that you can be happier than someone in the most badass of homes.


sheepstache

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #10 on: December 04, 2014, 08:31:25 AM »
I would accept your jealousy and use it as a tool.

Don't fall back on a 'but think of the children!' argument and shift your feelings off on a claim that you're concerned about them. The house you grow up in always feels much bigger than it is anyway and the kids are probably better off playing outside.

Don't fall into the trap of not wanting to have things so much as wanting to be seen having them.

Other than that, focus on what aspects make you jealous as a way of learning what you want. Do you really want a lot of interior space? Or is it that you love the design? Location? Prioritize. You can probably find a house with only one of these aspects that costs a lot less than what you friend has.  Or are you after some other intangible? Is it that she seems happier? Is it that their family has more gatherings? That they have better parties? That their lives seem fuller and more organized? Anything like that will help guide you.

UnleashHell

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #11 on: December 04, 2014, 08:35:10 AM »
a) Burn it down!!!!


b) compare mortgages.



b) might be the proper answer....

catccc

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2014, 08:47:32 AM »
I know how you feel.

I could easily tell my kids the cons of a big house, and my 6 year old especially would understand it.  She seems to be naturally frugal.  My 3 year old is another story.  But she's only 3.

I don't get jealous of lots of things.  Cars, clothes, jewelry, electronics.  Grand pianos and expensive city apartments.  I couldn't care less.

But the thing I get jealous of right now is houses and land.  We rent and it is totally suitable.  It doesn't even matter if they are big or nice.  I just have always wanted to be a homeowner, and it just hasn't happened yet.  But the good thing is, I know I am in a really great position to buy a home.  My family just can't decide what we want, so we continue to rent our adequate twin.  So I remind myself of the great ease of renting, and try my best to move on.  But I still know how you feel!  It kinda sucks sometimes.




RunHappy

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2014, 09:00:16 AM »
Small home = Close family

You would love it until you got the bills to heat/cool it.  Had to clean yet another bathroom or something went wrong.  Appreciate what you have and realize there are people out there who are envious of your home.

AlexK

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #14 on: December 04, 2014, 09:14:20 AM »
I know what you mean. My dream house is a trailer in a trailer park but the IRS won't let me buy it. let me explain that one.

I live in a blue collar neighborhood of tightly packed houses with a strict HOA. It is very cheap, my house cost <$50k. Behind my house is a trailer park which is pretty dumpy. All except for one trailer. It is 1900 ft^2, nice looking, and has a detached 3 car garage. It is on the side of a mountain with no neighbors and a great view of the valley and river below. A big area to park cars and trailers, fenced yard, fireplace, front and rear covered decks.

My dream trailer went up for sale last year for $48k (and the seller told me she would accept much less for it). I had the cash and was super excited but the catch is the IRS owns that trailer park and there are income restrictions. A couple must make between $15k and $44k/yr to move in. Once you are in, you're in. Even if I quit my job, my wife makes $44k/yr and my investments kick out (at the time) <$15k so even if we both quit we couldn't do it.

The space rent for that park is only $80/month!!

I see the people living there now working on projects in their massive garage and enjoying the great views and I know it's dirt cheap living, yeah that might be jealousy.

The trailer park has a pretty crazy history. It was owned by Joe Conforte, who owned the Mustang Ranch Brothel. The point of owning the trailer park with super cheap rent was to buy votes and get prostitution legal in the county... and it worked. The current owner of the Mustang ranch to this day donates tons of free groceries and other stuff to the people living in my neighborhood to stay in the voter's good graces.

LiseE

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2014, 09:23:05 AM »
Quote
Small home = Close family


I like this :) 

I think about this also ... with a large house everybody would scatter and we probably wouldn't spend as much time together.  I've also started thinking about what it is I love about that dream house and how to include that into our existing house.  Like a front porch and French doors onto that front porch .. wish we had better flow for entertaining. 

skunkfunk

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2014, 09:24:29 AM »
I know what you mean. My dream house is a trailer in a trailer park but the IRS won't let me buy it. let me explain that one.

I live in a blue collar neighborhood of tightly packed houses with a strict HOA. It is very cheap, my house cost <$50k. Behind my house is a trailer park which is pretty dumpy. All except for one trailer. It is 1900 ft^2, nice looking, and has a detached 3 car garage. It is on the side of a mountain with no neighbors and a great view of the valley and river below. A big area to park cars and trailers, fenced yard, fireplace, front and rear covered decks.

My dream trailer went up for sale last year for $48k (and the seller told me she would accept much less for it). I had the cash and was super excited but the catch is the IRS owns that trailer park and there are income restrictions. A couple must make between $15k and $44k/yr to move in. Once you are in, you're in. Even if I quit my job, my wife makes $44k/yr and my investments kick out (at the time) <$15k so even if we both quit we couldn't do it.

The space rent for that park is only $80/month!!

I see the people living there now working on projects in their massive garage and enjoying the great views and I know it's dirt cheap living, yeah that might be jealousy.

The trailer park has a pretty crazy history. It was owned by Joe Conforte, who owned the Mustang Ranch Brothel. The point of owning the trailer park with super cheap rent was to buy votes and get prostitution legal in the county... and it worked. The current owner of the Mustang ranch to this day donates tons of free groceries and other stuff to the people living in my neighborhood to stay in the voter's good graces.

Could somebody else buy it for you and sublet it to you?

RunHappy

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2014, 09:34:52 AM »
Quote
Small home = Close family


I like this :) 

I think about this also ... with a large house everybody would scatter and we probably wouldn't spend as much time together.  I've also started thinking about what it is I love about that dream house and how to include that into our existing house.  Like a front porch and French doors onto that front porch .. wish we had better flow for entertaining.

I took it from a friend of mine.  Husband, wife, 2 boys under the age of 5, living in a 2 bedroom 1 bath home no more than 1000 sqft total.  They have tons of good frugal tips.  They would be on here except they say "being on the internet isn't how we like to spend our time"  <-- I still have much to learn

Cookie78

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2014, 09:42:51 AM »
Quote
Small home = Close family


I like this :) 

I think about this also ... with a large house everybody would scatter and we probably wouldn't spend as much time together.  I've also started thinking about what it is I love about that dream house and how to include that into our existing house.  Like a front porch and French doors onto that front porch .. wish we had better flow for entertaining.

In addition to the less time spent because of the physical size of the house, I think of the lower amount of quality time spent together as a family because you are all busy cleaning and maintaining and working to afford such a house. I think your kids would prefer to have more quality time spent with their parents than more space in the house to play in. :)

NumberCruncher

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2014, 09:58:32 AM »
In addition to the less time spent because of the physical size of the house, I think of the lower amount of quality time spent together as a family because you are all busy cleaning and maintaining and working to afford such a house.

Yes! I am not a naturally neat person, and having a small place is the one surefire way to never let the mess get too bad. :) 

I don't even need to imagine the hassle of a large house - my parents have one! When they moved...good lord, it took months to get everything out of boxes. When we moved...still not fun, but we were pretty well set up in a month.


Frankies Girl

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #20 on: December 04, 2014, 10:05:40 AM »
I've dealt with the whole jealousy thing for a while now. I know (really) that logically it makes no sense getting jealous, but then I see family members or friends spending gobs and gobs of money on new appliances, landscaping, vacations, clothes and just STUFF... and I still have the same 15+ year appliances, don't spend hardly at all on myself and haven't taken a real vacation in 3 years (and that one was done on a shoestring budget).

I sit and wonder sometimes if I'm not missing out somehow while I work and save and pass up the buying sprees I could technically go on. Not just the material stuff... the experiences I'm "missing out on" sometimes make me wonder if they are actually enjoying their life more that way.

But people like that will be working for the rest of their life to pay for the spending and buying cycle. And I'll be done working very, very soon. And I can afford to go do whatever and buy whatever (within reason) but I choose not to because what I have is perfectly good still.

I have to remind myself I'm not really deprived - I could go out and blow gobs of money of anything if I didn't mind the idea of working longer or carrying debt... so that's the trade off. I value my time and freedom enough to overcome the little pangs of jealousy that crop up. Not that they don't still happen, but it's getting easier to rationalize them away at this point! ;)


TerriM

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #21 on: December 04, 2014, 10:15:09 AM »
Well, maybe if they decide to move out later, you can get a good deal on it. :)

I have a friend who lives in a 2000 sq ft house with everyone around in 4000 sq ft houses.  The young playmates have apparently made comments like "your house is small."  So I'd been thinking of  responses.  The best I think is "Yes, that way I spend less time cleaning/doing chores, and more time having fun."  You can spin that towards your kids "That's a great house, but are you going to do the cleaning for it? I only have time for half of it."   Or "Would you rather have Legos for Christmas or a house that large."  Because all financial decisions come with tradeoffs. 

I think also, you can do things that make your house special.  At some point I bought an indoor bouncy house for my kids (financially it made more sense than doing daycare while I was working from home).  Our house is not large, and the thing took up the entire playspace, but the guests thought it was AWESOME.  It was a talking point for them.  So if your house is small, is there something else you can offer as a unique experience that helps you and your kids feel like you're special too.  Can even be something useful like having chickens, or a treehouse-fort, or a garden where the kids get to pull their own beans off the vine or a water slide in the summer.

SporeSpawn

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #22 on: December 04, 2014, 10:24:03 AM »
One thing that can help is this though:

Feeling jealous over something you can afford NOT to have is a luxury. Even more so when that jealous is caused by the (likely) bad choices of others that you are avoiding by not taking the thing.

TerriM

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #23 on: December 04, 2014, 10:30:59 AM »
I love Carolyn Hax, advice columnist for the Washington Post.  Here's a column from her on jealousy.  The details of why the letter writer is jealous are different from yours, but the principles are the same and Hax's advice is awesome.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/carolyn-hax-how-to-cope-with-feelings-of-jealousy/2014/05/02/effd04a0-c991-11e3-93eb-6c0037dde2ad_story.html

I like this article.


The truth is we all get a different lot in life.  Some lots are better than others.  Our best bet is to be happy with the lot we have, and make the best choices we can with it, because it's the lot we've been given and the choices are the difference we make.   I have become more and more aware of simply how lucky I am to have been born in the US.   Many people would give their lives to have a US citizenship, to live in a 1BR shack and simply be *safe* here.  To be able to worship freely, to be able to change their "class/status" by working hard, to have clean running water, and basic OTC medicines.  To sleep at night without bombs dropping.   We're all very lucky to be here, even those in debt.  [That goes for Canada too. :) ]
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 10:32:53 AM by TerriM »

dbunny

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #24 on: December 04, 2014, 10:33:21 AM »
It's really easy to feel this way, I completely understand. I see jealousy as an evil monster that must be tamed or it will take over your mind.

However, thinking that your kids will have a better childhood living in a huge, fancy house is just silly. The best memories of my childhood were not going to a friend's fancy house or wishing we could have more, but they were from spending quality time with family usually crammed into a single room in the house.

As much as kids rave about the fancy house next door, it doesn't mean that's what they want and it definitely doesn't mean it would be good for them. Think about it, after a kid leaves home they usually try to make their new home similar to their parents' home. If that means a 10,000 sq ft dream home, then they will bankrupt themselves trying to get it. Living with less early on is one way to help your kids to learn to live with less later in life.

A final thought. Appreciate what you have and remember that there is probably someone else you know looking at your situation in the same way you are looking at this friend. Jealousy can pop up when you are unhappy with some aspect of your life, not necessarily due to the house situation. Look a little deeper within and try to find what might be troubling you.

Good luck!

TerriM

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #25 on: December 04, 2014, 10:47:25 AM »
As much as kids rave about the fancy house next door, it doesn't mean that's what they want and it definitely doesn't mean it would be good for them. Think about it, after a kid leaves home they usually try to make their new home similar to their parents' home. If that means a 10,000 sq ft dream home, then they will bankrupt themselves trying to get it. Living with less early on is one way to help your kids to learn to live with less later in life.

Yes!  So true! 

jeromedawg

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #26 on: December 04, 2014, 10:57:16 AM »
I can relate to this. More so with friends who are remodeling or have remodeled and made their place look picture perfect like in the magazines and what not. I think I get carried away by renovation more than I do size of the house, although that does play a factor too (in the context of being envious of others).

At the end of the day though, I know I have to worry and take care of myself and my wife first and foremost. And that's far more important than wishing and wanting for what we don't have. At some point I think we will 'upgrade' but only in due time and for the right reasons. It's so easy to get caught up and flustered with "keeping up with the joneses" especially when you see their home(s) and really love it. I've been down that route of playing the "what if" game so many times it's not funny. I'm learning just to be content with where I'm at now, moving forward and not being caught up with what others have or don't have - that's the best cure for jealousy (and haughtiness on the flip-side).

Meggslynn

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #27 on: December 04, 2014, 12:24:08 PM »
I deal with jealously too. Mostly around items that I am unhappy with. For example I love my house, so many memories, completely our taste but the bathroom is teeny tiny and there is nothing we can do about it. There is no where to expand and renovate. So our friends were giving us a tour of their newly built house and the master bath ensuite was drop dead gorgeous and completely my style. I was green with envy. I know their mortgage is almost 250K more than ours but still.
Also, I have a teeny tiny car. I want something a bit bigger and much safer as most vehicles around here are BIG BIG trucks and SUVs so if I were to get hit I would squashed. My friend purchased a brand new Volvo sedan. This is my dream vehicle as it has the best safety ratings for its size of vehicle and again I was green with envy.
I know this sounds really bad but I reassure myself that when I am retire they will all have at least another 15 years of work ahead of them to pay for all of their material items I won't be the one green with envy then.

surfhb

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #28 on: December 04, 2014, 01:01:23 PM »
You wouldn't be jealous of their negative net worth........You are most likely better off financially

Read the Millionaire Next Door next time you feel this way.    Your friends are probably doing a huge disservice to themselves and their kids......I'd put money on it. :)
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 01:04:17 PM by surfhb »

catccc

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #29 on: December 04, 2014, 01:29:52 PM »
You wouldn't be jealous of their negative net worth........You are most likely better off financially

Read the Millionaire Next Door next time you feel this way.    Your friends are probably doing a huge disservice to themselves and their kids......I'd put money on it. :)

This, too.  I know it's highly likely that we are "better off" financially than most people.  So when I see couples 10 years younger than us buying a house we'd like, I remind myself that my current situation has advantages.  Whether it's a higher net worth, or a better location, any silver lining, I'll take it.

Terrestrial

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2014, 01:32:33 PM »
I'll chime in with a different viewpoint....my wife and I have 'that house' in our circle of friends.  No, not a ridiculously sized McMansion...what I mean is, it is definitely larger than we 'need' and is appreciably nicer in a better location than the houses almost all of our friends have.  I guess my comments on it would be:

Every family that chooses to have a nicer more expensive house isn't automatically financially worse off, it's all about prioritization.  We spent more on our house than many people we know, but we also are well below the 'mean' in other areas and have old cars, aren't outfitted in expensive clothes, I bike to work, and we cook most of our meals at home, etc etc.   We are home-bodies who like to entertain so that's where we chose to spend our money, I don't see anything wrong with it and we still save ~50%, we just gave up enough stuff in other areas of life to get the house we wanted without compromising other goals. 

So OP if you really want a house like that as your chief desire, try and carve out enough other stuff, keep saving, and get it!  I'm not ashamed to say it...having a nice house does make me happy (personal decision), and I think that's a good chunk of what saving money is for...to enable things that make me happy. YMMV.   





   
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 01:34:06 PM by Terrestrial »

LiseE

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2014, 01:50:21 PM »
I'll chime in with a different viewpoint....my wife and I have 'that house' in our circle of friends.  No, not a ridiculously sized McMansion...what I mean is, it is definitely larger than we 'need' and is appreciably nicer in a better location than the houses almost all of our friends have.  I guess my comments on it would be:

Every family that chooses to have a nicer more expensive house isn't automatically financially worse off, it's all about prioritization.  We spent more on our house than many people we know, but we also are well below the 'mean' in other areas and have old cars, aren't outfitted in expensive clothes, I bike to work, and we cook most of our meals at home, etc etc.   We are home-bodies who like to entertain so that's where we chose to spend our money, I don't see anything wrong with it and we still save ~50%, we just gave up enough stuff in other areas of life to get the house we wanted without compromising other goals. 

So OP if you really want a house like that as your chief desire, try and carve out enough other stuff, keep saving, and get it!  I'm not ashamed to say it...having a nice house does make me happy (personal decision), and I think that's a good chunk of what saving money is for...to enable things that make me happy. YMMV.   

Thanks for sharing this viewpoint and I feel the same way.  All of my life, any envy that I've ever felt quickly turned into "good for them and now what do I have to do to accomplish the same" kind of attitude.  We are also homebodies that like to entertain and you nailed that right on the head .. that house is big but cozy and built for entertaining hence my envy.  Our current house is nice and cozy and can be made into more of an entertaining style house .. we just need to work on it.  :)


 

arebelspy

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2014, 03:05:10 PM »
I came here today searching the forum for topics about Jealousy ..

Here's some reading then.  :)

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/jealousy-does-it-happen-to-you/

Here was my answer to: "Do you get jealous" and my response to someone's example of what they get jealous about and why I don't:

Quote
No.

Actually, @FuckRx mentioned something that I do feel envious of a lot: eloquence.  More specifically, a ready command of language.  Some people I work with simply have the talking knack, they can talk/BS their way through anything and they can give great presentations.

I was gonna say no, but then I read this and agree.

I rarely get jealous because the people around me usually don't have anything that I want. I bet I'd get jealous more often if I got to hang out with some people from this forum.

If I notice something like that (as there are frequently people who are better at things than I am), my reaction is never envy.

I might briefly think "I wish I was more X" or "I wish I was better at Y" but I don't feel any envy, and if I decide it's important to me, I'll work to acquire it.

I think one reason why I don't feel it is that I know I could have it if I wanted it.

Social skills, for example.  I'm not the most outgoing person.  Sometimes I'll note someone who is, and think "that's neat" - and then at times I work on my skills in those areas.  But I don't feel envious of those people, because if I wanted to be more social, I could.

I think one is envious of things they know they can't have (for whatever reason). Since I know I can have / do anything, I have nothing to be envious of.  If I want it, it just means is that I have to put in the work.

(I avoided this thread for a few days, thinking it might be too complainy-pants for me, glad that wasn't the case. It's awesome how many people here said no, I'm pretty impressed.  If we're all being honest, I'd think we're doing much better than the general population in that regard, though I have no data to support that hunch.)
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Lian

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2014, 04:20:20 PM »
I do understand that jealousy. I live in a small, kind of shabby but charming post-WWII apartment-turned-condo in a neighborhood filled with beautiful old Craftsmen and Victorian bungalows.  I wanted one of those houses so badly! Several friends owned those nice homes, and I could never figure out what I was doing wrong that I couldnít afford one too Ė I was jealous. Somehow it never occurred to me that some of them might be taking on massive debt.  Once I made the decision to aim for FI, I understood much better what I could realistically afford given my goals, and my desire to own one has pretty much vanished. Freedom is better than stuff. Also, Iím getting lazier as I get older. I like it that it takes very little time to clean my place.

Itís amazing how even really young kids pick up on the cultural paradigm that bigger is better and more stuff is better stuff.

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #34 on: December 05, 2014, 06:15:49 AM »
I'm in my 40s now, but I was one of those kids asking my parents why we didn't live in a bigger house in a trendier neighborhood. And why we didn't have a membership to the expensive gym that my best friend's family belonged to. I know this made them feel bad, but they explained to me the difference between "want" and "need," and I survived.

Fast forward 30-35 years, and my wife and I are living in a simple yet liveable paid-off house in a good neighborhood and on the way to FI. This while some of my friends live in super-cool ginormous houses and complain about working until they die in jobs they don't really like. So I'm thankful every day that my parents taught me the lesson that they did. It was well worth missing out on the memory of growing up in a house that my friends thought was better than theirs.




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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #35 on: December 05, 2014, 07:09:52 AM »
I am grateful that I don't truly understand this sort of jealousy.

The father of my children lives in a huge fancypants house in a far ritzier neighbourhood than mine.  My children marvel at what he has.  But my son, in particular, always says he likes my house better and never wants to live with his dad.  His dad is always working.  He says the kids in the neighbourhood aren't as nice as the ones in mine, and he's always afraid of doing something which might get him in trouble (eg. when he was little he scratched up their new hardwood floors by accident).

I'm glad I grew up poor.  I appreciate what I have now so much and do not covet the fancier things other people have.  I think children who learn to be happy with less are at a far greater advantage than those whose expectations and entitlements are so high. So, be glad for your kids.  They are learning that it's possible to be happy living with less than the Joneses.

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #36 on: December 05, 2014, 07:32:43 AM »
We are living the millionaire next door- in a 1700 sqft home plus basement, that all my daughters friends think is much bigger/ nicer than theirs.

It is all relative and certainly helps to keep our own lifestyle inflation wants down.

Probably because we opened up the kitchen, and I let them hang out on the main floor which is just one big room with new paint/ fixtures.   Not lots of privacy, but one big room is a larger impact than more house.

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Re: Jealousy ??
« Reply #37 on: December 05, 2014, 04:23:02 PM »
Certainly, a big house would be the last thing for me to envy. I spend most of my life in a space of a few square meters - in front of the computer at daytime, in bed at night. Why the heck would I want to attach a huge chunk of space, most of which I cannot realistically occupy, but still have to maintain? The only justification is "to impress other people". But then, there happens to be nobody that I would care to impress.

So here's the root cause of your problem. If you pay too much attention to other people's judgment and expectations, you are going to feel "jealousy" and desires that were implanted into you externally. On the other hand, if you don't care about what other people think, then most you will get is an amused puzzlement about the rat race and resulting "status problems".