How Insecurity Leads to Envy, Jealousy, and Shame

Envy, Jealousy, Insecurity, and Shame
have been coming up frequently in Private Sessions.

Good article to reflect on and implement it’s suggestions. – Richard Taylor

How Insecurity Leads to Envy, Jealousy, and Shame

Envy, jealousy, and shame are inextricably intertwined. Envy and jealousy are primal emotions that frequently overlap. They’re commonly first felt in the form of sibling rivalry and Oedipal longings. A child innately wants mommy and daddy all to him — or herself and feels “excluded” from the marital bond, especially if there have been parenting deficits that have led to shame and emotional abandonment.

Typically, young children of heterosexual parents see their same-sex parent as a rival for their opposite parent’s love. They feel both envious and jealous of their same-sex parent. Similarly, an interloper in a marriage may feel both jealous and envious toward the spouse he or she wishes to replace, possibly re-enacting childhood feelings toward his or her parents.

Children are frequently envious and jealous of the attention showered on a newborn sibling. Belief that a sibling is favored can create lifelong feelings of shame and inadequacy.

Envy

Envy is a feeling of discontent or covetousness with regard to someone ‘s advantages, possessions, or traits such as beauty, success, or talent. It’s also a common defense to shame, when we feel less than another in some respect. When the defense is working, we’re not aware of feeling inadequate. We may even feel superior and disparage the person we envy. A malignant narcissist might go so far as to sabotage, misappropriate, or defame the envied person, all the while unconscious of feeling inferior. Arrogance and aggression serve as defenses along with envy. Generally, the degree of our devaluation or aggression is commensurate with the extent of underlying shame.

Bill was chronically resentful and envious of his brother’s financial success, but because of unconscious shame, he spent or gave away his money. He was on the road to homelessness to fulfill his father’s shaming curse that he was a failure and would end up on the street.

I may envy my friend Barbara’s new Mercedes, knowing I can’t afford it, and feel inferior to her. I might have the funds, but feel conflicted about buying it, because I feel undeserving of owning it. Or, I might emulate Barbara and take steps to acquire a Mercedes. However, if envy motivated me to copy her, and I ignored my values or true desires, I won’t derive any pleasure from my efforts. In contrast, I can think about my needs, desires, and how to fulfill them. I may be happy for Barbara, or my envy may be fleeting. I might realize that I have competing values or desires and that what suits her isn’t right for me. These are all healthy responses.

Jealousy

Jealousy also stems from feelings of inadequacy, though they are usually more conscious than with envy. However, whereas envy is the desire to possess what someone else has, jealousy is the fear of losing what we have. We feel vulnerable to losing the attention or feelings of someone close to us. It is defined as mental uneasiness due to suspicion or fear of rivalry or unfaithfulness and may include envy when our rival has aspects that we desire. By discouraging infidelity, jealousy historically has served to maintain the species, certainty of paternity, and the integrity of the family. But it can be a destructive force in relationships — even lethal. Jealousy is the leading cause of spousal homicides.

Margot’s deep-seated belief that she was inadequate and undeserving of love motivated her to seek male attention and at times intentionally act in ways to make her boyfriend jealous and more eager. Her insecurity also made her jealous. She imagined that he desired other women more than her, when that wasn’t the case. Her beliefs reflect toxic or internalized shame common among codependents. It’s caused by the emotional abandonment in childhood and leads to problems in intimate relationships. (See What is Emotional Abandonment.) Studies show that insecure individuals are more prone to jealousy.

Jill had healthy self-esteem. When her boyfriend lunches with his female friend and work colleagues, she isn’t jealous because she’s secure in their relationship and her own lovability. If he had an affair, she would have feelings about his betrayal of trust, but not necessarily jealously, because she doesn’t hold the belief that his behavior reflects a deficiency in her.

Shame

Whether we’re in the position of have or have-not, essentially, both envy and jealousy involve comparisons that reflect a feeling of insufficiency — “I’m inferior to X who has what I want,” or “I’m inferior to X who may diminish (or is diminishing) my importance to someone.” Feeling “not enough” is the common thread. Comparisons are a red flag for underlying shame. The greater is the intensity or chronicity of these feelings, the greater shame.

Thus, codependents take rejection hard, because of low self-esteem, toxic shame, and history of emotional abandonment. (See my post about breakups.) Typically, shame leads to attacking oneself or another. While some people blame themselves when rejected, others think, “He or she wasn’t really worthy of my love anyway.”

We may also behave in ways that drive our partner to leave, because it validates a belief that we’re unworthy of love. It may be a variation of “I’ll give you a reason to leave” or, “I’ll leave before I’m left.” Either way, it’s a defensive move to prevent getting too attached. It gives us a sense of control over the anticipated inevitable abandonment that would hurt even more. (See breaking the cycle of abandonment.)

Safety in Numbers

Envy and jealousy should be examined in the broader context of a relationship among the three actors — even if one is imaginary, such as in Margot’s case. Each person plays a role that serves a function. It’s more stable and less emotionally intense than a dyad.

A third person in a close relationship can mediate unresolved intimacy issues by siphoning off some of the couple’s intensity and help maintain the primary relationship. To do this, parents often “triangulate” a child into the role of identified problem child or surrogate spouse, which mediates problems in the marriage. The latter case foments Oedipal desires in the child that can cause dysfunction in later adult relationships.

A paramour can provide an ambivalent spouse a sense of independence that allows him or her to stay in the marital relationship. The spouse may feel torn between two loves, but at least he doesn’t feel trapped or that he or she is losing him or herself in the marriage. Intimacy lacking in the marriage can be made up for in the affair, but the marital problems don’t get addressed.

Once an affair is exposed, the homeostasis in the marriage is disrupted. Remorse doesn’t necessarily solve the underlying intimacy and autonomy problems. Sometimes, when jealousy subsides, new conflicts arise to recreate distance between the partners. When individual autonomy and intimacy are established within the couple, the relationship is stronger, and interest in the third person generally evaporates. If infidelity leads to divorce, frequently the removal of the rival spouse, who mediated the affair, gives rise to new conflicts in the once-illicit relationship that result in its eventual demise.

The unfaithful spouse’s continued contact with his or her ex may simultaneously dilute yet allow the relationship with the new partner to survive. The drama of it all also adds an element of excitement, that while stressful, alleviates depression typical of codependency.

Do’s and Don’ts

The best insurance against jealousy and envy are to increase your self-esteem. For jealousy, improve the intimacy in your relationship. If you’re suspicious of your mate, journal about any times in prior relationships (including same-sex and family relationships) when you were betrayed or rejected. If you’re still concerned, tell your partner the behavior that bothers you with an open mind in a non-accusatory manner. Share your feelings of insecurity, rather than judging him or her. Respect your partner’s privacy and freedom. Don’t try to control or cross-examine your partner, or sneak into his or her email or phone, which creates new problems and can make your partner distrust you.

This post was inspired by an insightful article:

Stenner, P. (2013). Foundation by Exclusion: Jealousy and Envy. In Bernhard Malkmus and Ian Cooper (Eds.), Dialectic and Paradox: configurations of the third in modernity. Oxford: Lang 53-79.

See also Buss, D.M. (2000). The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy Is as Necessary as Love and Sex. Free Press.

©Darlene Lancer 2015

Source: https://psychcentral.com/lib/envy-jealousy-and-shame/

Thank you Darlene Lancer.
_________________________________________

Richard L. Taylor Atlanta Anger Management

Owner/Director Richard L Taylor, BS CART, CAME
Certified Anger Resolution Therapist™
Certified Anger Management Expert™
ATLANTA ANGER MANAGEMENT
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Atlanta, GA 30342
Phone: 678-576-1913
Email: richardtaylor5555@gmail.com

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ANGER MANAGEMENT TIP – LOVE TODAY

Anger Management Tip: Love Today

To help dissipate anger…begin to love today.

Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.

Some are going to celebrate it tonight, Friday night.

A call out to love. To show the people in your life a special reach out; a special meal together, spending time together, a gift of flowers, candy, a box of chocolate, a teddy bear, some pajamas, some diamonds, a sweet kiss, a tender embrace or some other gift of love and appreciation. Enact love today. Show love today.

TIP:
To help dissipate anger, jealousy, envy, remorse, depression, anxiety, panic, impulse control and more negative emotions and destructive interactions embrace learning to love today.

Dare yourself to grow and become more human. For to love is to be human.

To love is to be more Divine like.

What is love?

What is love in a relationship?

Why do most relationships have their ups and downs?

Why do you feel stressed and angry sometimes, or all the time?

  • What is love?

 

  • God is Love
  • Love is Light
  • Light is God
  • Love is patient
  • Love is kind
  • Love does not envy
  • Love is humility. It is not proud
  • Love is self less, not self seeking
  • Love is not anger
  • Love is slow to high emotions
  • Love is not ill-natured
  • Love is courteous
  • Love is not hate
  • Love is joy
  • Love gives without expectation
  • Love does not keep score
  • Love seeks Truth
  • Love is Truth
  • Truth is Love
  • Love is Trust
  • Trust is Love
  • Love desires another’s happiness
  • Love delights in another’s happiness
  • Happiness is in the heart
  • Love is felt in the heart
  • Love dwells in our hearts
  • Love is polite
  • Love esteems
  • Love praises
  • Love blesses
  • Love is content
  • Love is consistent
  • Love perseveres
  • Love is Charity
  • Love troubles no one
  • Love does not complain 
  • Love does not fret 
  • Love does not whine
  • Love does not nag  
  • Love does not boast
  • Love does not curse
  • Love does not lie
  • Love is not falsehoods
  • Love is not irritable
  • Love wishes well
  • Love does not judge but leaves that to God
  • Love forgives
  • Love lets go
  • Love flows through you
  • Love is respect for others and oneself
  • Love is courteous
  • Love rejoices is another’s success
  • Love treats others as you want to be treated
  • Love submits
  • Love bears all things
  • Love protects
  • Love gives
  • Love is not held onto
  • Love is empathy
  • Love appreciates
  • Love has gratitude
  • Love honors
  • Love is tender
  • Love is mild
  • Love is not violent
  • Love does not hit
  • Love is not harsh
  • Love is affectionate
  • Love is pure
  • Love is not haughty
  • Love is not proud
  • Love is not inflated
  • Love sees true reality
  • Love is not delusion
  • Love is not narcissism
  • Love is not self glamour
  • Love is not self grandeur
  • Love is not conceited
  • Love is not rash
  • Love is slow to act
  • Love is not tumultuous
  • Love is not chaos
  • Love is order
  • Love is peace
  • Love is delight
  • Love is joy
  • Love is laughter
  • Love is joyful dancing
  • Love is babies
  • Love does not desire to be noticed or praised
  • Love is not ignorant
  • Love is high moral values
  • Love weighs consequences
  • Love is not hypocritical
  • Love transcends
  • Love helps us grow
  • Love heals

  • Love inspires

  • Love helps us want to do and be better
  • Love endures
  • Love is forever
  • Love always Hopes
  • True love never fails
  • Love never dies
  • Without love there is no life
  • Love God
  • Love your neighbor
  • Love your partner
  • Love yourself
  • Love well

  • Love defers wrath
  • Love is God
  • God is Love 
 

Have you loved today?

 

QUESTIONS

Have you loved today?

Have you decided to Love God today?

Have you loved your spouse today?

Have you loved your partner today?

Have you loved your children really well today?

Have you loved your family today?

Have you loved your neighbors today?

Have you tried to share yourself and love another?

Have you smiled today in joy?

Have you laughed heartily today?

Have you practiced kindness to a stranger today?

Have you decided to not be impulsive today?

Have you been patient today?

Have you let go of anger today?

Have you let go of jealousy today?

Have you let go of envy today?

Have you let go of counting right and wrong today?

Have you let go of always being right today?

Have you let go of “white” lies today?

Have you stopped being selfish today?

Have you let go of nagging today?

Have you let go of blaming others today?

Have you Respected yourself today?

Have you Respected others today?

Have you treated others as you want to be treated?

Have you stop judging today?

Have you decided to Love God today?

Have you decided to love today?

If not today? When?

Today is now. Tomorrow may never happen.

Death comes to all. When is your last day, your last hour?

Act today. Love today.

It is easy. Just begin. Act. Do.

Your life becomes blessed.

Love overshadows all other emotions. Let love dissipate or dissolve your problems and anger.

What is love to you? Comments welcome.

Note: If you make hateful negative comments then you are deleted… so do not waste your time…for some it is hard to love…

 CONTACT

Director Richard Taylor BS, CAMF
Certified Anger Management Facilitator
Diplomate American Association Anger Management Providers

Atlanta Anger Management 
5555 Glenridge Connector
Suite 200 (2nd Floor)
Atlanta, Georgia 30342 USA

Office Phone: 678-576-1913
Fax: 1-866-551-1253
Web: www.atlantaangermanagement.com
E-mail: richardtaylor5555@gmail.com

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A Certified Anderson and Anderson™ Anger Management Provider
The Best Of The Best In Anger Management & Emotional Intelligence

 

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