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Psychology of Misjudgment #8. Envy/Jealousy Tendency


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8. Envy/Jealousy Tendency

 

A member of a species designed through evolutionary process to want often-scarce food is going to be driven strongly toward getting food when it first sees food. And this is going to occur often and tend to create some conflict when the food is seen in the possession of another member of the same species. This is probably the evolutionary origin of the Envy/Jealousy Tendency that lies deep in human nature…

 

Envy/jealousy is extreme in myth, religion, and literature wherein, in account after account, it triggers hatred and injury.

 

Swap food for anything — money, love, power, recognition, material possessions, investment returns — someone has what another person wants and you get the seeds of envy and jealousy that can lead to resentment and hate.

 

As I have shared the observation of life with Warren Buffett over decades, I have heard him wisely say on several occasions: “It is not greed that drives the world, but envy.”

 

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Envy is a really big one that will mess you up.  It really messes up thinking rationally in a big way. 

People can do all types of stupid things that are contrary to their goals and interests.

It is almost like an invisible force that pulls you towards what others are doing whether logical or not.

 

I think FOMO might be a form of envy because by participating it is a way to avoid the pain of envy/regret in the future (maybe - I am still thinking about this)

 

One antidote is to see, read or watch someone who has much less than you.  Hard to feel bad/envious of not getting that big fancy house

after driving by a homeless person.

 

 

 

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Guest cherzeca

another antidote is gratitude.  if you develop gratitude for what you have (are, can become...), imo you will be less inclined to seek out the next thing that someone else has (envy).

 

developing gratitude is a skill that requires attention and practice.  you have to work at it.

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This is an interesting topic to me. Envy comes from comparing yourself to others which is a survival instinct. If you compare yourself to the best version of yourself, it's a growth instinct. So, envy is simply a matter of perspective.

 

My personal view is that our society is designed such that we are "trained" to compare ourselves to others. When you attend primary and secondary schools, teachers and parents focus on grades as a measure of success. Grades are a relative comparison of you and your fellow classmates. For those who are top of the class, you get credits from everyone. For those who are bottom, you want to just be like those top students. As a result, we are step-up to develop an "envy" mentality. For those who are fortunate, you will come across a mentor/parent who will value your uniqueness and start planting the seed that life should be about the growth mentality (competing with yourself).

 

This is probably one of the hardest weaknesses to overcome as it is ingrained in every one of us and it's a matter of "unlearning" it over time. Unfortunately, not everyone would reach that stage earlier in life.

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This is an interesting topic to me. Envy comes from comparing yourself to others which is a survival instinct. If you compare yourself to the best version of yourself, it's a growth instinct. So, envy is simply a matter of perspective.

 

My personal view is that our society is designed such that we are "trained" to compare ourselves to others. When you attend primary and secondary schools, teachers and parents focus on grades as a measure of success. Grades are a relative comparison of you and your fellow classmates. For those who are top of the class, you get credits from everyone. For those who are bottom, you want to just be like those top students. As a result, we are step-up to develop an "envy" mentality. For those who are fortunate, you will come across a mentor/parent who will value your uniqueness and start planting the seed that life should be about the growth mentality (competing with yourself).

 

This is probably one of the hardest weaknesses to overcome as it is ingrained in every one of us and it's a matter of "unlearning" it over time. Unfortunately, not everyone would reach that stage earlier in life.

 

Envy isn't unlearnt. The antidote, is all about subtly 're-setting' game decision matrices.

Many a shepherd/women knows that's all that's required to break up a 'bromance', is to parade an attractive/available women in front of them. Competition will do the rest, cause both bro's to become available, and put both women first in line. Everybody wins.

 

Of course - the trick is to recognize when YOU are being gamed!

Talk to your significant other - you'll soon discover that you haven't a clue  :)

 

SD

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest cherzeca

I think envy can be unlearned, in fact the only way to reduce envy is to consciously work on whatever method you think might work.  I distinguish between envy in the situation where you have a long ways to go to reach your objective (so harness envy if that works for you), and envy in the situation where enough proves to be not enough once you have gotten enough, and you (irrationally) move the objective goalposts that you previously set for yourself just because more is more and therefore better.  the latter is in my view a (mild) form of mental illness.

 

we get full after a satisfying meal, and very few of us would voluntarily induce vomiting just so we can have another plate of the same.  and yet with many material goods and human comforts, we achieve our goals only to discover that we need to bump our goal-setting ambitions.  we dont have to go full buddha in order to attain greater satisfaction, if not enlightenment...just realize enough is good enough.

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