All Articles Tagged "envy"
People really know how to press your buttons.
This week I received an interesting email (to say the least) from a “close” family member of mine. I use the term close loosely considering this person and I don’t really talk let alone see each other. It was hard to tell what I was reading… and if she was trying to give me a “read” about my life.
“I know you think you have it all together, but you don’t,” part of the email read. Where the heck did this come from?
There was more to the email that mixed in other randoms and ended with a “love you, be blessed.” I sat in my chair for a few minutes dumbfounded about what I read. Why does this family member think I have it all together? Do any of us really? Do I give off the aura of arrogance? After going through a round of questions in my head, I gave my response and then dismissed her email as well as her beliefs about me.
Don’t get me wrong, I can take criticism and think it can benefit us all–provided it comes from the right place. This made me think about envy and how all of us at some point in our lives are guilty of it. I have a feeling her opinion festered in her mind for a few weeks considering she came to visit not too long ago. My husband, one-year-old son and I relocated from the East coast to the South almost a year ago that affords us the opportunity to make our dollars stretch. We’re no longer in a two-bedroom condo but have a four-bedroom home with a ton of property for our growing family. Considering I’ve never heard these comments before, I can’t help but assume they came after she saw our home.
At the end of the day, you’re always going to have people in your life who see your blessings but not your struggle. Whether it’s a jealous co-worker or loved one who you think has your best interest at heart, you simply can’t help how other people feel. Yes I’m a work-from-home mom who calls a room in the house her place of business, but it’s no walk in the park. Did you think I had it all together years ago when I was struggling to drum up business and do what was necessary to pay bills? Do I have it all together because I’m happily married–or did you forget the past hurt from prior relationships? With so much divorce in our family one would think you of all people would be thankful there are relatives trying to rewrite history.
Part of me can’t get mad because I too am guilty of being envious of other people. In my industry are standouts who appear to have it all and make their jobs look easy. Rather than focus on them and try to tear them down, I have learned to make it fuel for my own hustle and congratulate them on their accomplishments. I was always taught to celebrate others and their blessings as it means God is in the neighborhood. It’s only a matter of time before my hard work pays off. Lord only knows the battles they had to deal with behind closed doors to get to where they are. You never see the full picture or the blood, sweat and tears that goes into success, so stop judging the end result. Envy robs you of your joy and belittles the progress you’ve made. It also doesn’t pay the bills.
It’s important not to allow others to cast an image of who they think you are on you–especially when they do little to nothing to change their own situation. I guess it’s easy to throw bricks at others instead of working to build up your own house.
With the ubiquity of loose women spreading their goods all around, and doggish men chasing every bone they can get, it can be hard to find a good companion and maintain a healthy relationship. But when you finally find that one; that man who makes you feel like you are the only woman in the world (not to be corny), one who erases the pain caused by all the guys you knew before him, you’re like a cop in a donut shop: happy as all hell! And boy, do some people hate to see you in relationship bliss…
They get in your ear, repeating rumors and telling you everything they heard your man did with this one, that one, and the third. But when one of those envy-filled, joy-snatching naysayers happens to be a friend, then things can get messy.You’d think that those closest to you would want nothing but the best for you. Well, unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out that way. So how can you tell if one of your best buds is also one of your top haters?
If everything that comes out of honey child’s mouth regarding your man is a negative remark, chances are, she’s jealous. Now I know our friends can be a little hard on the people we date in the beginning; throwing jabs, analyzing their behavior and doing everything they can possibly think of to test them out. But if your friend is always coming down on your beau for no good reason at all, then there’s something more than innocent good-friend motives possibly fueling her negativity. Just say his name and she’s rolling her eyes and her teeth, looking like her arch-nemesis just crashed her party. You can damn near feel her blood boil and see steam blowing from her ears. And when she’s dogging your relationship and/or your man to other people, it’s really clear that she has a problem. Yeah, it’s true that your friends will not always like who you date, and she may genuinely not like your man as a person. But he’s in a relationship with you, not her. And if she was a real friend, then she would hold her tongue and tame her animosity for the sake of your happiness.
But if you really want to know if your homegirl (or boy) is praying for your relationship’s downfall, observe her behavior the next time you’re around you’re boyfriend. Invite a group of friends over for a game night, or plan a fun get-together at your favorite restaurant or bar—whatever you do, make sure there is a group of people around so when you get into action with your boo, it’ll be less awkward and she won’t feel like a third wheel. Show your man a little extra love this night. Adorn him with kisses, squeeze him up—girl, just be all up in his face! In the midst of all the lovey-dovey moments, watch your friend’s reaction to all the action. If you catch glimpses of pure disgust (and not the usual get-a-room face), along with nasty looks and green eyes, then Bingo! You’ve caught her slippin’.
There’s no way to excuse it. If you’re with a good man who’s treating you right and everyone around you knows you’re happy, then there’s no way a genuine friend would be repulsed by your contentment. She should be happy that you’re happy, not shooting your man down, bad-mouthing him around town, or condemning your relationship. So if this sounds like someone you know, maybe you need to reconsider calling this person a friend.
Death to Facebook and their invasive notifications! Seriously! Not too long ago, I was scrolling through my news feed and realized another one of my “friends” was engaged, and the comments kept rolling in.
“Ah man, I’m so happy for the both of you.”
“When’s the wedding? I better get an invite!”
The comments continued for God knows how long. So I did the polite thing, hit the “LIKE” button and kept it moving. I logged off and checked Instagram, and I was only two or three pictures in, and what do I see? Another college buddy of mine who posted pics of their wedding.
“You look gorgeous!”
“So proud of you two! Congrats again.”
“That dress is everything!”
By this point, I was scared to check Twitter because If I saw an I’m-expecting-my-first child-Tweet, I don’t think I would’ve been able to handle it!
I’m six years removed from college and I feel like I’m just getting started in a lot of aspects of my life. I’ve finally found my dream gig, working in the entertainment-media industry after years of trying to climb through the back window. But now that I’m finally here, folks are starting families and buying homes. It makes me wonder–Am I behind in life?
Read more on HelloBeautiful.com.
A few years ago, I was invited to attend a promotional event that focused on African-American authors and relationships. The atmosphere was filled with laughter, intriguing conversation, and a number of single, attractive men and women. At about 9:30 p.m., an extremely handsome gentleman walked through the doors of the venue with his business partner and took a seat just as I was getting ready to speak about my book. Shortly after my presentation, the event ended and instantly turned into a “mix and mingle” networking session. As all of the authors and attendees engaged in conversation, I started gathering my things to head home.
Before I could finish putting my things away, the handsome gentleman made his way over to me and began what was his form of flattery. He began the conversation very casually and smoothly by complimenting my presentation and the concept of my book. He then shifted the conversation toward discussing several marketing strategies with me. Before long, we exchanged information. Shortly after our initial conversation, I contacted him to gather more information about marketing; and then soon after that we were emailing, calling, and texting each other almost every day to discuss everything but marketing. We repeated this pattern for about two to three weeks, and before I knew it, we were in an intense relationship. During the beginning stages of our relationship I was on the path of starting my writing career, so there were a number of events I was invited to attend to speak, book signings and invitations to provide commentary or other articles for various magazines, etc. So of course, while all of these wonderful things were happening to me, I shared them with my new significant other. Initially, he celebrated with me, but as more doors opened for me in my professional career, he seemed to be happy, but he expressed it differently.
While my then-mate congratulated me on my small victories, he would say things like, ‘Let me see what writing I can do for this magazine,’ or ‘you know how I do things…I spend my evening with stars and meeting all sorts of people,’ so on and so on. It also seemed as though every time I shared something with him, he would say what he was going to do next, or what he was planning to do. Initially, this didn’t bother me because I simply thought he was sharing his small victories and plans with me, but as time went on and he consistently mentioned all of his victories to me, I noticed how his attitude towards my success changed. He suddenly became disinterested in hearing about my accomplishments (not that I shared all of them or threw them in his face), if he couldn’t make it to an event he wouldn’t ask me how things went, and if he did ask about the event he would say things that were demeaning and discouraging. As I started noticing these changes, I thought I was being overly sensitive to the fact that he wasn’t as interested and excited about my small victories as I was, so I gave it some more time and more observation of his character; and sure enough I was right…he was trying to compete with me.
Did he openly admit that we were in a competition…no; but the signs were all there. He wouldn’t celebrate with me as much, nor would he even try to motivate me as he once did, amongst other things. I initally thought to myself, maybe he’s intimidated by me, or maybe he just wants to focus in more on his career because as my career grew, I noticed that he worked hard at getting his career off the ground and stable. Who knows? But at that time in my life I felt as though I was involved in a miniature battle of the sexes, and I hope this never happens again because when I’m in a relationship, I want to motivate my mate to do better and support him wholeheartedly, but I want and deserve the same in return. I once heard someone say that some men are intimidated by strong or successful women, and I often thought that that was the case with my then mate; but then I realized that if a man is truly a man he will not be intimidated by any woman. Whether he is as successful as she is or not, if he is a real man he will be secure in who he is and who he’s not, what he has and what he doesn’t.
How may relationships have you been involved in that turned into a competition?
It was that great poet laureate from Brooklyn, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter, who once poetically avowed in the song, “Heart of the City (Ain’t No Love)” that, Males shouldn’t be jealous that’s a female trait.
For some reason, it is an accepted belief that women, and women alone, succumb to the enticement of the green-eyed monster. If you ask most folks, be it woman or man, they will probably confirm that in general, women tend to be more catty and jealous than men and are more likely to act out of malice towards other women because of our envy. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard this sentiment casually roll off the tongue as if it were fact, and how many times, in turn, I have rolled my eyes as a response. I’m always amazed at how many people are willing to believe that women are the only gender capable of acting out badly based upon their inability to check their emotions.
Well I am here to tell you that unless he has been diagnosed with some sort of anti-social personality disorder, you can bet that men do indeed have emotions. I know, shocker right? Well let me blow your mind even further: that envy, which men might feel over an individual, can too be directed at other men. I’ll give you a second to process that point…
…got it together now? Okay good.
Show me a guy that is extremely gorgeous and happens to attract lots of attention from the opposite gender, and I’ll show you at least a dozen guys ready to pounce on him like Nino Brown did to the poor beautiful delicate flower Kareem Akbar in New Jack City (we know that was because he was light-skinned and pretty, right?). You might think I’m exaggerating, but if you want to witness true shade in action, pay close attention to how some men will speak of other men, whom they find threatening in some way. Men might not be as direct as women and attack a man over his physical appearance (i.e. shoes, body type, hair, etc…), but he will execute a well-aimed yet subtle hint about this man’s sexual preference and sit back as all his personal insecurities, fears and anxiety are transferred onto the back of the poor unsuspected schmuck.
Like for instance, I posted a promotional picture of the Kenyan Rugby “futbol” squad on my Facebook page. All the players in the picture were shirtless and were either in a pair of shorts or had a towel wrapped around the waist. And while all the men looked different, what was noticeable was how deliciously fit and toned their bodies were. I posted the picture a few months back so I can’t remember exactly how I captioned it (and I’m too lazy to search my timeline for the answer), however, I do recall writing something tongue and cheek and suggestive about orchestrating a real single ladies tour back to the Motherland (In my Beyoncé voice, singing, “If you like me than you should have put that thing on me…”). Anyway, the picture got lots of attention from the ladies in my network, who “liked,” shared and co-signed their newfound appreciation for international rugby. And the hens must have been having way too much fun because in the midst of us cackling about this fictitious voyage we were mentally embarking on, a male Facebook friend of mine decided he needed to offer his thoughts on why we were wasting our lustful time:
“I’m pretty sure that at least two of the guys in the picture are sweet.”
“Sweet” as in lacking in masculinity and/or bravery. Also used to describe a man with homosexual tendencies. And with that, all the chuckling and virtual hi-fiving had come to a screeching and uncomfortable halt. How my male Facebook friend was able to gauge individual sexuality just from looking at a single picture of men standing around pretty innocuous – with the exception of their missing shirts – is beyond my scope of understanding how “gaydar” actually works. Nevertheless, my Facebook friend was certain of this fact enough and felt compelled to cue us ladies in – just in case we were thinking of getting a little too carried away in our mid-day fantasies.
Although my Facebook friend may have felt that he was just poking fun at these brothers (and indirectly at us women), what I found very telling (and annoying), was how he felt that just putting out questions about these brothers’ sexuality would be enough to add insult in hopes of detracting away from the attention they were receiving because of their physical beauty. Nope. Sorry. For one, it’s a damn picture. I don’t even know any of these guys’ names, what positions they play or even how the hell rugby is played (I’m guessing there is a ball involved somewhere…). So why would I give two craps if these guys in this picture are gay or not? Matter of fact, when did being gay and being aesthetically pleasing to the eyes become mutually exclusive?
Anyway, this is what I told him in the comment section below the picture. And of course, this sparked an unnecessary debate in which he accused me of being sensitive and angry. But I swear I wasn’t angry, although I will admit to being a bit annoyed. I know how it goes when men want to make another guy look bad in front of the opposite sex. After all, jealousy and envy are emotions that both genders share. However, just as more women are becoming more conscious about how hurtful and counterproductive body-snarking is among women, I wish that more men would too stop the hate and understand that your insecurities and anxieties are no reason to be borderline homophobic.
Most men and women long to have partners who love and care for them, help them out from time to time and inspire them to be better people. But sometimes, gently nudging your significant other out of love in an attempt to “help” can suddenly turn into something else. One minute you think you have a loving boyfriend, the next minute he’s trying to control your every move. I’m not talking about violent or abusive men who use force to try to dominate you. I’m talking about emotionally or mentally manipulative men who try to convince you that he’s only looking out for your best interest and who are simply overly protective of you. If you’re not paying attention, you may miss his subtle attempts to try to control you. If you can’t tell the difference between a truly genuine person who only wants the best for you and the relationship and someone who is deceptively trying to control you, look out for these warning signs.
I really hate when I, a music junkie, am made to suffer because members of my favorite groups cannot seem to get along. Selfish? Perhaps but when you’re in a group, you have to realize that there is someone who’s the better singer or performer and you cannot let the group suffer because you’re all up in your feelings. Check out some of our favorite groups who have let ego, pride, anger, jealousy and anything else you can think of get in the way of us enjoying them together.
I nervously fidgeted in the hard classroom chair. It was finally my first day of graduate school and my professor had just requested that each student stand up, one by one and introduce themselves as well as the business that they would be looking to develop during their time as an MBA student. After apprehensively scanning the room, I gulped. Every student sat confidently and poised as if they had it altogether. I swore my rapidly beating heart could be heard by everyone in the room as each student spoke of their business plan with assurance that it would change the world of media as we know it. After hearing business idea after business idea I realized that not one student was working on anything even close to what I was working on. Failing to realize that this was a gift instead of a curse I quickly made an appointment with my professor, hoping to pick her brain to see if I should shift gears and change direction of the company that I was seeking to build. She quickly reassured me that I was fine and that many successful and unique businesses were birthed out of our program. “Don’t allow what everyone else is doing to cause you to doubt yourself. One student has absolutely nothing to do with another, it’s like apples and oranges,” she said to me before shooing me out of her office. I learned a valuable lesson that day.
We all face the temptation to compare ourselves to those around us, it is human nature. It is sometimes how we measure our own progression, successes, and failures. While this may be a natural behavior, it isn’t always a healthy one. Making a habit out of trying to appraise your own self-worth by paralleling your life against that of another can be detrimental to your mental and emotional well-being. This behavior will often place one on the road to feelings of unhappiness, inferiority, inadequacy, failure, envy, and a host of other undesired emotions. Living in the age of social media, with platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which give us the ability to voyeur into the lives of others with the mere click of a mouse, only intensifies the ever present temptation to compare. We’ve all sat in front of the computer at one point or another and while innocently scanning through one of our social media timeline’s, have come across a distant (or close) friend’s major life announcement that has caused us to question the place in which we are in our own lives. Whether it be a graduation announcement, a sonogram photo, new business venture, or a relationship status update, and so on.
So here’s the thing, one of the most enthralling things about life is that we were all created to be individuals. No two people are exactly the same. We all move at our own separate paces. Consider your life an unfinished work of art. How can it ever be considered a masterpiece if it is a mere copy of something else? Dr. Judith Orloff, author of Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself from Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life said it best in an April 2012 feature she wrote for the Huffington Post, ” Your life is explicitly designed for your own growth. Every person you meet, every situation you encounter, challenges you to become a stronger, more loving, and confident person.”
Social comparison can be a pretty difficult habit to break because it comes so naturally, but here are some things to remember that may help you out along the way:
1. You are one of a kind. There is literally no one walking this earth quite like you.
2. Life isn’t a competition so pursue what makes you happy in a pace that you are comfortable with.
3. Remind yourself of how wonderful you are.
4. Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem to others.
5. Realize that you won’t always be the best at everything and that’s okay. Try focusing on beating your own best score instead of someone else’s, it will help measure your growth in a healthy way.
6. Be grateful for what you do have and what you’ve already accomplished, instead of harping on what you don’t.
7. Realize that everything that glitters isn’t gold. Just because a person appears to have it all on the outward doesn’t mean they actually do. You’ll never know a person’s full story until you’ve actually walked in their shoes.
8. It is cool to learn from the successes and failures of others, but don’t dwell on them.
9. It is impossible to keep up with the Joneses! They can’t even keep up with themselves.
There’s this wicked little rumor that has been floating around for decades. The rumor implies that black women are incapable of supporting one another. I call it a rumor because I highly doubt that we are unable to support each other, I just believe that we have allowed ourselves to be fooled to an extent. We’ve fallen victim to what Rene Syler refers to as the “there’s only room for one” phenomenon, which she explains as “the idea that whatever the field, it’s a zero sum game and another woman of color is competition.” Although this sounds like a very foolish and simple way of thinking, it is an ideology that has been subconsciously embedded in our culture. It makes perfect sense when you think about it, though. The black woman is the poster-child for oppression in America. Taking history into consideration, we were not only oppressed because we were black, we also had to fight for our rights as women. Decades later the scars still remain and we still walk around with this idea ingrained in our subconscious: I gotta get mines, good luck getting yours…
The latest cat fight erupted in the form of Twitter beef a couple of weeks ago between Nicki Minaj, who is undeniably the dominant female presence in hip-hop right now, and rising star Azealia Banks. As Banks tweeted about her competition, ““I don’t believe ‘Rap Game’ hierarchy …….. Sorry. Studio !!! Just wait until I drop this album…..LMFAOO just wait !!! You b***hes are gonna f**king GAG!!!!!!!!!!!” Prior to that it was Azealia and Lil Kim, Nicki and Kim, and so on. Of course, female rappers are infamous for going at each other’s throats, but what about Lisa Raye and Stacey Dash? Or the blatant shade that Keri Hilson has thrown at Beyonce and Ciara in the past? Or better yet, the other black woman that works in your office who has been going out of her way to slight you all year?
I understand that many industries are male-dominated, which can make it difficult sometimes for women to get ahead, but tearing each other down certainly is not the way to change that. It may help us to make progress in our own current situations, but what about the little black girls coming up behind us? If we are constantly at war with one another because we carry the “there’s only room for one mentality,” it will continue to be just that. We will be leaving them to duke it out for the position that meets the “one black woman quota.” But, imagine if we decided to become allies in the workplace instead of enemies. What if we chose to support and empower each other to get ahead? What if we took the Dominique Dawes-Gabby Douglas route instead of the Lil Kim-Nicki Minaj route? Imagine how much further we would get.
I’ll never forget the day I finally got to speak to one of my absolute favorite authors. As I sang her praises she sucked it all in. Once I spoke of my own goals and aspirations to be a writer as well, she threw me shade. On the flip side of that, I’ll forever remember my first real interview. One of my interviewers was a black woman who had my absolute dream job. As we neared the conclusion of my interview, she looked over my resume once again and gave me a few pointers on how I could make it better. A few weeks later I received a phone call from her. She had called to let me know that one of their interns also applied for the position and they had to give her a chance since she had already paid her dues, but told me how well I had done during my interview and referred me for another similar position within the company. Many would say that if she really wanted to help me she would’ve pushed for me to get that job, but honestly, her feedback and encouragement was one of the best things she could’ve ever done for me, the reassurance that I was on the right track. Support. As a young woman on the come up, I cherish every pointer and encouraging word from other black women as if they are rare jewels. I realize that everyone will not take the each one reach one route, but we can all help each other by choosing not to behave in a derogative manner towards other black women. Trust, there’s enough people doing that to us already.
Sound off, ladies: Do you think black women struggle with supporting one another?
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“Wonder Woman Files” is a weekly career column on Madame Noire. Stay tuned for more topics, comment or write us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions!
We all know there’s bound to be someone one rung above us on the career ladder, someone who is a step or two ahead on the way up. But what happens when the heel you’re staring at is on your girlfriend’s foot?
No woman wants to admit it out loud but seeing friends making big career moves can leave us unsettled and insecure. Instead of helping each other along the way, the race to the top can have sisters acting like crabs in a barrel. And if we all know better, why do treat each other this way?