Skip to content

Dealing with an Envious Friend

Dealing with an Envious Friend published on No Comments on Dealing with an Envious Friend

envy_friends

Have you ever gotten that long awaited promotion or new job, shared it with a friend whose response was: “Oh, that’s nice.” Or worse yet says, ”What was wrong with you that you couldn’t get it sooner?”

Or maybe you’ve returned fresh, filled with tranquility and joy from a spiritual retreat, excited to tell a good friend all about your personal discoveries, and they immediately dismiss it or generalize your experience.

And then it seems we all have that one friend that always seems to be competing with you to be bigger or better.

 

This is Envy.

 

It’s normal to feel a little envious of others every now and then, but it’s different when it’s consuming, and deliberately hurtful.

 

Morrissey even wrote a song about it
which sums things up pretty well:

morrissey_single
We hate it when our friends become successful

And if they’re northern, that makes it even worse
And if we can destroy them

You bet your life we will destroy them
If we can hurt them
Well, we may as well, it’s really laughable
Ha, ha, ha
You see, it should’ve been me
© Morrissey – We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful

 

I’d like to quickly point out that Envy and jealousy are often confused.

Envy is when you want what someone else has, but jealousy is when you’re worried someone’s trying to take what you have. Jealousy is most often seen in insecure relationships.

 

The root of envy is a mentality of poverty or lack.

This mentality is driven by comparison and the belief that they will never achieve a desired status, income or aren’t any good at something or at least not as good as the one being compared to. This stirs up powerful feelings of desire or covetousness for the lifestyle, possessions or what-have-you of another.

The emotion of envy can be triggered in circumstances that
involve a social comparison where someone perceives that you have possessions, attributes, or attainments that diminish their own status (Silver & Sabina, 1978; Smith & Kim, 2007).

Envious people will never say it directly, but the distain they have towards you will come out verbally and sometimes subtly as criticism or disrespect for you.

 

Envy is a sign of weakness.

The greater the envy experienced, the more weak and inadequate the envious one believes they are compared to the other person. This insecurity causes a higher tendency to be defensive or verbally lash out.

A powerful emotion like envy can even influence ethical decision-making, promoting the justification of deceptive behavior.

___________

Recognizing envy in others:

 

  1. Withdraw: They aren’t available and don’t behave like the person they were before learning of your achievements.
    This person may not answer your phone calls, emails, or texts. You find they give you the silent treatment and just be overly unavailable. Truly, they wish good things were not happening to you and can’t bear to hear about your happiness.

 

  1. Invalidate you: This includes subtle and not so subtle belittling, generalizing and/or devaluing your achievements and experiences. This often includes comparison to others.

 

  1. Rudeness toward you for no reason when things are just starting to go well for you. This can display as dismissiveness, a lack of responsiveness, to outright belittling on hearing of your good news.

 

  1. They are never happy for you.

 


___________

How to handle an envious friend

There are several methods to deal with these situations and personalities, but firstly, I recommending taking a step back and evaluating the overall relationship and determining if this ill behavior is a long-term pattern, or a one time issue.

 

  1. ) Do NOT take things personally! Usually when someone is negative, it has to do with them and their issues and nothing to do with you.
  2. ) Be proud of yourself and your achievements. You worked hard to get where you are – own it! Do not downplay your own success and hard work because of another’s feelings of inadequacy.

  3. ) Try talking to your friend about it. If their behavior doesn’t improve, or if you believe it to be a pattern, bring it up gently and try to work it out. But remember, it is they, not you who must do the work.

  4. ) Give it space or if needed, let them go. Usually, time and space apart is enough to minimize another’s ill feelings toward you. If they continue to react to you in hurtful and negative ways despite efforts to remedy the situation, it’s in your best interest to let them go.

  5. ) You cannot and never will please everyone. Just do your best to be a loving, honest and compassionate person.

“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time”.”
John Lydgate

 

We all might feel envious at times, but those who really understand that the source of their suffering is actually within themselves, will try to fix their problems, because truly, the feeling of envy is painful.

 

You are not competing against anyone in this life but you. You only ever need to focus on your own path and goals, continually improving yourself and well-being.

 

 

 

 

Alone but not lonely

Alone but not lonely published on No Comments on Alone but not lonely

alone-notLonely

It was a chilly day, the wind whipping across the water as we stood out on the deck of a ferry crossing Milford Sound in the south island of New Zealand. She, a stranger, held out her camera to me and asked that I take her photo. I was careful to capture the crisp mountains and rainbow waterfalls framing her perfectly. She, then asked,” You traveling alone?” “Yes.” I replied. “Me too!” She laughed, “Guaranteed good company! When you’re by yourself, you’re guaranteed good company!”

Guaranteed good company…

 
I hadn’t thought of it that way, but she was right.
One thing I always liked about traveling and venturing out on my own was all the impromptu adventures and friends I made along the way.
 
But, there are a great number of people who fear being alone. Many of us find it frightening to travel alone, to take a class alone or find there’s no one to ask for help.
 
To avoid this fear of being alone, we will socialize endlessly, from jumping from one relationship to another, emailing constantly, or becoming absorbed in social media. Often times, to avoid being alone, we’ll end up in a relationship with someone who isn’t really good for us.
 
There’s a difference between being alone and feeling lonely.
 
Alone means there aren’t people with you.
 
Lonely is a feeling of disconnect, or longing despite having a great deal of social contact with others, or being in a relationship.
 
As mentioned in an earlier post Understanding Loneliness, people who struggle with feelings of loneliness of find their struggles have deeper roots.
 
Being alone is what you make of it.
 
To truly understand what makes being alone so painful, you must recognize that it probably comes from a deeper situation that may be uncomfortable to address.

  • Sometimes can be traced back to an unpleasant experience or past memory.
  • Some simply are bored when they are alone.
  • When in solitude, unpleasant thoughts and feelings can arise that you must then reflect on and process.
  • Sometimes, as an adult you keep trying to bring people into your world to soothe the lack of nurturing from childhood.
  • Social anxiety and fear of the thoughts of others.

 
So how can we learn to enjoy being by ourselves if it seems intimidating?
 
The secret to being alone you’ll find, is that it’s empowering. You make all the decisions and can be completely focused on and present in every experience.
 
You will be learning self-sufficiency and emotional independence, which is an act of strength. Time alone is an opportunity for growth and to get to known yourself.
 
Becoming acquainted with time alone may start small and simple.
 
Try spending small amounts of time alone, without your phone, laptop, TV, or radio. This quiet will allow you to become aware of yourself and surroundings. Ask yourself things like: What is my body telling me today? How do I feel today?
 
Eventually if you keep at this, you’ll grow used to setting time aside for yourself to be by yourself. You may spend your time going on hikes, reading books, creating artwork, or even writing that novel you’ve been thinking about.
 
I encourage you to go off on an adventure of your own, my friends, and know you’re guaranteed good company!
 
If you feel I may be of help, please call me at 206-428-1975
or email me: joanna@ascension-healing.com

with love,
Joanna 

Save

Cultivating Self-Love

Cultivating Self-Love published on No Comments on Cultivating Self-Love

cultivating_selflove
“In order to be able to truly love another person, a person needs first to love oneself, in the way of respecting oneself, and knowing oneself (e.g. being realistic and honest about one’s strengths and weaknesses).” – Eric Fromm

Hi Friends,
 
For anyone who’s ever been on a commercial flight, I’m sure you recall listening to the airplane safety presentation before take off. It includes elements such as these:
 
Exits are in the front of the plane, back, and over the wings; be aware the nearest exit may be behind you – look around.
 
Flotation devices are under the seats in the event of a water landing
 
If air pressure drops in the cabin, oxygen masks drop down from the overhead. Be sure to put your oxygen mask on before children or helping others.
 
Be sure to put your oxygen mask on before children or helping others.
 
It may seem selfish to take care of yourself first in a dangerous or potentially dire situation, but it really is an astute safety measure. The point is to make sure you can breath and are stable before assisting others; otherwise you will become a liability causing resources and time to be used to help you whereas otherwise it would have been unnecessary.
 
When you take care of yourself first, you can be more productive and then help others. And just like taking care of yourself first on an airplane, if you practice self- love and take care of yourself, you too will be more helpful, productive and overall happier in life.
 
It’s important to point out that loving oneself is different from being conceited, or egocentric. It means you care about yourself and take responsibility for yourself.
 
“Regaining of a quiet sense of pleasure in being one’s own self.” – Carl Rogers
 
Being aware of yourself, your needs and recognizing your worth are the keystone of cultivating self-love.
 
This starts by gradually learning to accept your weaknesses along with your strengths. It builds out of the thoughts and actions that you choose.
 
A few tips to help cultivate self love:
 
Mindfulness:
Start by checking in with yourself – begin to recognize what you feel, think, and want. Your thoughts dictate your emotions and actions. Slow down and listen what you’re saying to yourself and the thoughts that you’re having. Ask yourself how these are impacting your mood and behavior.
 
Self-Care
It’s important to enroll in healthy physical activities and exercise, and make sure you’re getting adequate sleep and nutrition. Set time aside for play, social interaction or quiet contemplation. Loving yourself through an established practice to meet your basic needs sets a foundation for further personal growth and wellness.
 
Boundaries
Consider what you can tolerate and accept and what makes you feel uncomfortable or stressed. This is a good way to set limits and recognize activities or interactions that aren’t good for you. Tune into your feelings to recognize what feels good and helpful or what stresses you and feels wrong. Be direct and clear with your wants and needs.
 
Loving ourselves isn’t a one-time thing.
It’s an ongoing process.

 

 

Understanding Loneliness

Understanding Loneliness published on No Comments on Understanding Loneliness

understandingLoneliness
We’re going to talk about Loneliness.

I’m not going to give you a top 10 list of ways to meet people. You can find that all over the Internet and frankly, it won’t really help and will probably just piss you off because, I know that’s how I’d feel.
 
We’re going to go a little deeper.
 
This is especially poignant because I’m writing this while living in the Pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle, Washington, which is nationally known for the “Seattle Freeze”.  A good way to describe this “freeze” is that most folks that move here find it immensely difficult to make meaningful friendships or truly experience anything beyond surface pleasantries. People here are nice enough, but emotionally and socially distant. Another way to phrase it is: “You’re welcome onto the porch, but never in the house.” Thus “lonely” is a word often heard and an experience often felt.
 
When I initially moved out here to the Pacific Northwest, I was a resident in a local Buddhist Monastery. While living there, I had a close confident in an 86-year-old nun whom also was originally from the East Coast. She told me the reason people move out here to Seattle is to heal. There’s something about all the water and remoteness that draws those who are suffering.
 
Her point of suffering is where we’re going to start addressing loneliness.
 
Being lonely can mean not feeling part of the world despite having a great deal of social contact with others, or being in a relationship.

This is Internal Loneliness, which is different than the sort of environmental loneliness brought on by something like a relationship suddenly ending or a recent move to a new location. It’s important to understand the difference because it goes so much deeper.
 
Internal loneliness is a deeper more prolonged sense of loneliness. The causes usually come from within ourselves.

This deep sense of loneliness can happen for a number of reasons:
Low self-confidence
Seeing yourself as less or unimportant
But most importantly, a deep sense of loneliness may stem from childhood, and could be linked with feeling unloved or cared for as a child.
 
That’s a lot to take in, as this requires you to look back over your life and the length and breath of this loneliness and feelings of exclusion. This requires courage, so take a deep breath and give yourself a lot of patience.
 
If you’re looking back and seeing a long pattern of loneliness, it very well may be the result of childhood abandonment, and thus you abandoning yourself. (Remember to breathe)
 
Childhood abandonment results from:
• The loss of one or both parents to death or divorce
• Physical/sexual abuse
• Neglect
• Withheld nurturing, affecting or stimulation
• Or even a parent whom had an alcohol or drug addiction or mental health condition.
 
Children are totally dependent on caretakers to provide safety and basic needs. When this isn’t provided, the grow up believing the world is not a safe place, that people cannot be trusted, and that they do not deserve positive attention and proper care.
 
When we are children, we have no other experience of the world and this being the first experience, it becomes the baseline or standard for everything else.
 
As an adult this can manifest as:
• Feelings of insecurity & mistrust

• Depression
• Anxiety & Isolation
• Inability to commit or follow through
 
A common adult symptom of abandonment issues, is finding yourself in unhealthy relationships that reinforce negative beliefs, even though you’re looking for love & acceptance.
 
Does this sound familiar?
 
What does one do?
 
First it’s important to understand that this isn’t your fault! It is by no way an indictment of your innate goodness or value.
But it does take time, hard work, and patience to separate fears from the past from the reality of the present.
 
These feelings of loneliness and abandonment can seem overwhelming, but they can be managed and overcome.
• Explore ways to care for yourself
• Develop a way to ground and center yourself when feeling fears arise
• Communicate needs
• Have appropriate boundaries
• Build a sense of trust
 
My friends, you all deserve love and happiness.

 

Different Types of Energy Vampires : Part 2

Different Types of Energy Vampires : Part 2 published on No Comments on Different Types of Energy Vampires : Part 2

TypesEVampires

I have this one friend, and every time she calls, I feel this mild sense of dread wash over me. This dread is mild as the pollen that floats softly, shimmering in the gentle spring sunlight, swiftly launching into full blow allergy agony.  
 
I answer the phone and my energy falters and wanes as she launches into her newest drama, complaints, and woe. “You’re so lucky you don’t have to deal with all the troubles I do…” She says. And I stop her there. “I have to go. I’m just headed out the door. We’ll talk later.” I say and hang up. Here, I gather myself up, ground, and breath for a bit until I return to myself.
How can someone so far away make me feel so exhausted? What is she, some sort of vampire?
 
Well, yes.
She is a sort of vampire.
She’s a psychic or energy vampire.
 
Does this sound familiar? Feeling exhausted, irritable, antsy, or uncomfortable around someone for no immediate logical reason?
 
These are all signs your energy and well-being are being compromised.
 
There are a few types of energy vampires that present themselves in recognizable ways.

These are a few of those types:
 
Complainer / Poor me: These folks always have one drama or problem after another. This person believes the worlds is against them and are always crying “crocodile tears”. But, they always assure you that after talking to you, they always feel better!
 
What to do: Center and ground yourself. Set firm boundaries and limits. Setting limits may mean only listening for a short time then insisting they talk about solutions or simply excusing yourself from the conversation altogether.
 
Interrogator / Over talker: This person must know everything about what you are doing, cross examines you, may even look for something to judge you about. This person may also corner you at work or at a party and talk endlessly. They are only really interested in themselves and it’s exhausting.
 
What to do: These folks don’t really follow nonverbal signs indicating your discomfort. Engage, listen for a little while, and then politely excuse yourself.
 
Intimidator / Criticizer: This person makes you feel bad for not doing things “right”. Every time they come around they’re trying to find things wrong with you or what you’re doing. They often have negative comments that just cut you down. Sometimes they use manipulation and fear to control. You will almost always have a deep sense of dread and feel unsafe when they come around.
 
What to do: Try a visualization of a protective shield. Eliminate these people whenever possible.
 
Fixer-upper / Helpless: This person has soo much potential, and you can see that it’s obvious. But the fact is, they will never reach that potential. For whatever lack of motivation or some other reason, they never achieve much of anything. From financial trouble, inability to keep a job, complete projects, follow through on promises, they are helpless and unable. But, you can help them, can’t you? You always have the solution, so they come to you for help!
 
What to do: Don’t be a rescuer! Show concern but not solutions. Be supportive and try directing them to other sources where they may find the answers themselves.
 

Being able to recognize when your energy is being affected and sapped is paramount to your health and overall well-being. It is a direct indicator that something is amiss in the situation. It’s important to be aware of these things and address them appropriately. Staying in a negative relationship, friendship, or work situation often results in an undesirable impact on your physical, mental and emotional health.
 
Remember, my friends, always check in with your body to see how you feel about a person or situation! Your body will always signal the truth.
__________

Be sure to check out Recognizing a Parasidic Draw or Energy Vampire : Part 1

Mindfulness, Empathy, and Emotional Intelligence

Mindfulness, Empathy, and Emotional Intelligence published on No Comments on Mindfulness, Empathy, and Emotional Intelligence

emotionalMaturity
Mindfulness.

I’m sure you’ve heard of Mindfulness. But, what is it? There are many things one can ascertain from the word itself, but what it’s really described as is: Focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. Mindfulness recently is being employed as a therapeutic technique.

It is simply stopping, taking stock of your feelings and physical sensations in relation to the situation you’re currently facing.

Seems logical to be aware of your feelings, but actually, it isn’t always that easy; especially when your feelings are confusing or painful.

What can one do to better be aware of themselves and emotions? Your thoughts, actions and emotions are tied closely together. Thoughts create emotions, which create actions. Having this awareness will dramatically affect your life in very positive ways.

Empathy.
Empathy is built through an understanding of oneself and processes. This necessitates deliberate self-reflection and self-work. The more you understand your own thoughts, feelings and emotions the more you can understand the perspective, thoughts and emotions of others.
I’m referring a bit more towards cognitive empathy in this regard, yet emotional empathy definitely plays a role. Emotional empathy makes someone well attuned to another person’s inner emotional world, to the point that they themselves are also experiencing another’s emotions as thought it were their own. Self-work is also essential so that one can differentiate ones emotional state from another.

The awareness of one’s emotions, and the understanding of them culminate into something known as Emotional Intelligence. Emotional Intelligence an individual’s abilities to recognize and manage their emotions, and the emotions of other people, both individually and in groups.

This also includes: being conscientious and controlling your actions (not acting rashly); taking personal responsibility for your own behavior. Also, being adaptable to different situations, good communication skills and empathy- to understand yourself and another person’s emotional reaction.

Mindfulness: Being aware of one’s emotions in the present moment

Empathy: The ability to understand one’s emotions

Emotional Intelligence: Ability to recognize and manage ones emotions

Ultimately, we’re striving for a high level of emotional maturity through these practices, to be able to peaceably and appropriately manage situations and feelings as they arise and live happier, more productive lives.

 

Giving & Receiving

Giving & Receiving published on No Comments on Giving & Receiving

candles

Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened.  Happiness never decreases by being shared.
― Buddha

I’ve been reflecting a lot on the process of Giving and Receiving.
Receiving creates a moment of connection

Why is it easier and seemingly more acceptable to give than to receive?

There are several reasons for this.
To an extent, resisting receiving, whether it’s help, a compliment or a gift may stem from a fear of intimacy.  It is a subtle way to defend the heart and the risk of connection. Giving can provide a type of control; and there also may be the belief that it’s selfish to ask or receive.

These are very sensitive observations.
Giving and receiving are two sides of the same coin of intimacy…and ultimately, love.

Recognizing we too, deserve help and love not only provides the pleasure of giving to the giver, but opens our hearts towards acceptance of one’s self. Receiving allows us to reveal a vulnerable part of ourselves. Acknowledging and staying in this tender place, we’re more available to receive the gifts we’re offered every day.

Whenever we obstruct or inhibit the flow of energy, it will result in limitation, frustration, and stagnation. Therefore, it only makes sense that we embrace the way of giving as well as joyful receiving.

By receiving with a tender self-compassion, we’re allowing ourselves to be touched by life’s gifts. Allowing ourselves to receive graciously is a gift to the giver. It conveys that their giving has made a difference.

Each day, each encounter, bring a gift may it be a smile, a compliment or a flower.

Each day, each encounter, be open to the gifts life has to offer; be it warm sunlight or first snow.

Each day commit to the flow of giving and receiving, especially the gifts of appreciation, caring and love.

Primary Sidebar