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My boyfriend's sister seems to have what most people desire; physical attraction, popularity, a job which pays handsomely and as a result a lot of confidence within herself. She models and apparently works behind the bar in a ***** club. She regularly posts selfies or professional photos of herself on Facebook and people always tell her how beautiful she is. Additionally she is very smart and has the potential to pursue a career that requires a lot of intellect.  

I know that I should be happy for her but I can't help but feel envious; and now the envy is gradually converting to resentment. Whenever I see my boyfriend's sister I automatically compare myself to her. I think about her negatively almost every day and even though I have tried to think positively and change my attitude, my aversion toward her seems to intensify.

The strange aspect to my predicament is that I don't want to be like her.
To me the person she appears to be is superficial. I don't aspire to make a lot of money, have a lot of friends and own expensive clothing items. Yet I also envy her.      
Is there anybody who can help me? I feel very confused and upset.
Country: Australia
    

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2 Answers

+1 vote
Profile Photo by Eliah ANGEL2000+ (2.7k points)   2 9

Hey there :)

Straight off the bat, let me say that you come across as highly intelligent yourself - everything you've described of your predicament is written from the vantage point of someone who thinks deeply and sees herself clearly.

Which is why I know you won't begrudge me for a few suggestions.

Having dealt with envy myself, I have noticed a few things:

1) It never really goes away...for as long as you look at a person from a distance. Like you, there used to be this one girl I felt resentful towards because I thought she was smart, beautiful and accomplished. I wanted to believe that I had my redeeming qualities but being in her presence inadvertently led me to make unnecessary comparisons.

However, she was on my course at uni and we started getting to know each other better. For at least a year, we were 'friends' but I felt passive-aggressive deep down. In time, we grew closer though and I learned of her own deep-seated insecurities. She showed me how her ears stuck out something awful - which she hated but I'd hardly noticed because of how well she covered it up. I saw that she was smart but that she had her weak moments too, like any of us. She was still pretty, had a great social life and nicer pictures on FB but the more time I spent with her, the more I saw her as an ordinary human - one with bad hair days, wardrobe malfunctions, clumsy habits...the lot. Today, we're actually best friends. Looking back, I'd never have believed it was possible.

Sometimes, it seems to me that we put people up on pedestals and see them as being extraordinarily better than us. So even if we don't want to be like them, we feel envious. The best way around it is to really get to know a person. See them for who they are. The truth is very freeing.

2) Learn to look away from them and towards you. I don't know your story but one of the reasons I fell into the trap of comparisons is because I was compared a great deal during my childhood. Amongst other things, my mother used to compare me unfavourably against other girls my age - in terms of looks, personality and intelligence. This set me back a little, emotionally... (haha).

Knowing what types of triggers lead you to feel and think along certain patterns shall help you address them. Please know that no one can make you feel insecure or like a lesser being, unless you allow them to. So begin building your own sense of esteem. It will take your focus away from something as unhealthy as these emotions of resentment towards your bf's sister and towards an investment in yourself. So, for e.g., take up a new hobby, volunteer, pick up a new skill. As your life becomes richer, her life will have less of an allure.

3) Determine for yourself that you will master this emotion. In life, we will always come up against those who are superior to us in some way. There's always something. They're taller, stronger, more assertive, better dressed, you name it! We cannot live our lives feeling inadequate every time someone 'better' comes along. So determine within yourself that you will not entertain envy. As you feel it rise up in you, remind yourself of how counterproductive it is. How it is based on false premises. How it is a product of X, Y, Z experiences. How you have plenty going for you. Speak to yourself in affirmations - be your own best advocate, internally. When you have a strong understanding of yourself and a generally good relationship with YOU, then the external world becomes far easier to navigate.

Trust me on the above...they're the hard-won lessons of personal experience :)

Blessings,

Chara

by  
Thank you for your kind words of wisdom :) I will certainly keep your advice in mind. There were actually a few points you mentioned which I never considered before, even though they are so simple in essence. For example she is only human and probably has her own flaws which I am not aware of. It makes me realize how easily humans judge others when we know nothing about them.  
I am sorry to hear about your own experiences with envy and unfavorable comparisons that were out of your control...very unpleasant. However I am glad that you and this other girl have become best friends. I hope that all is well and once again thank you :)
Profile Photo by Eliah ANGEL2000+ (2.7k points)   2 9
I'm glad to have helped :) It's a big reason why I don't mind having gone through some of the things I have - after all, once you've 'beaten' something unpleasant in yourself, you can share your experience with someone else and they can beat it too.

I'm really quite struck by your maturity and genuine desire to be a stronger, better person...it gives me every confidence that you're going to do just fine. Not only with this but everything else that lies ahead.

But should you ever need a word of advice, just drop a line :)
+1 vote
Profile Photo by bowser ANGEL500 (810 points)   6
I think most people would envy your brothers sister. Seems like every aspect of her life is going well. Who wouldn't want that? I want that. I used to be envious of all the rich clients I worked for, but I was also envious of people who gave all their money away. Since I couldn't be rich and give all my money away, I learned what was most important. Having the intelligence to know what you need and what is important. Now I envy people with time. The time to wake up in the morning and do what they want, the time to never miss birthdays, plays, or your child's sporting events and the time to live and enjoy life. I now use my envy to drive me to get the things most important to me. Turn lemons into lemonade as they say. Fortunately you have the intelligence to overcome obstacles much larger than envy. I hope your confusion and resentment pass. Its not her fault everything works out in her favor. Its not your fault you feel envy. They are things out of our control. Best of luck and may god be with you. P.S. I am envious of your grammar. Know I don't resent you for it. I only hope that in the future my grammar is as good as yours.

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