Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Coping with Intimidation and Jealousy





This past week found me at a couple different small gatherings with close friends while also meeting some new people as well.  I realized it's been a while since I've met and really talked with new people and I loved it!  It really was a breath of fresh air.  I am so lucky to have some amazing friends here in San Antonio.  So it only makes sense that I would love meeting their amazing friends right?

But I have to admit that on more than one occasion during these gatherings I found myself being intimidated and feeling insecure about myself.  Some of these women drove fancy cars or had designer bags.  Other women were starting new businesses, some doing that while also raising a respectable number of children.  Frankly, I was judging them.  Judging them by assuming they were judging me.  Perhaps they noticed  the mini van we drove up in (that I love BTW) or the fact that I was wearing a homemade skirt, or if they asked where I lived they would know it's not really a posh part of town.  But as conversations kept going, connections were being made.  Once I got past these ridiculous insecurities I was really enjoying myself and found that I had much more in common with many people than I initially thought.  Later I felt bad for the assumptions I had made and realized it had nothing to do with them, they were my own insecurities.  Kinda the idea that no one else can make you feel insecure, only you can.

At the last gathering a woman and I talked for a long time about our kids, work, blogging, etc.  She was telling me about her company (which I'd love to feature sometime!) and what they do to give back to the community.  It's an exciting time for her as her products are going to be in some major stores starting this week!  As we talked she told me about the time she came across another woman who had also started a company that gave back to the community, but her contribution was even better and more noble than hers.   At least that's how she felt.  And she was jealous.  Not only did they have the same idea, but maybe this other woman's idea was even better?  And then she said she decided that there was room enough for both of them--she didn't need to be jealous!  She reached out to the other woman to form a bond and root for her and her companies success as well.

I said, Yes!  That's exactly what I try to do!

And this my friends, is my secret formula for dealing with jealousy or insecurity, which can leave you feeling depressed, annoyed and even angry.  When I find myself jealous of someone else the first thing I do is recognize it and admit it to myself.  That's an important step.  Sometimes we might try to justify our feelings toward someone else by pointing the finger at them--"they're obsessed with fitness" "She's such a show-off" "They're really into designer names" etc.  I've thought all of those things before but try as I might to justify my feelings the truth is,  I was jealous.  Then I think about it--what specifically am I jealous about?  It helps me to be specific.  I eventually realize that I have gifts, blessings and talents that might not be the same as theirs, but that are wonderful in their own right.  There are just too many ways to lead an amazing and fulfilling life.  My life doesn't have to look like anyone else's to be awesome.    

THEN, and this is the important part, I decide to become a fan, a champion, a supporter of whatever amazing thing this person is doing, becoming or having.  And then I am no longer jealous.  I'm happy for them.  I'm excited for them.  I tell other people about their accomplishments and talk about how amazing they are.  The jealousy melts away and I sincerely become a fan of whatever they're doing.  Additionally, I can return to focusing on my strengths, what I want to accomplish and gratitude for my life in general.  I swear it works!   My new found friend totally agreed!  We both found this to be the best way to tackle our insecurities and funny because she's probably someone I was subconsciously intimidated by before our conversation.

What about you?  Ever find yourself feeling insecure around new people or even old friends?  Do you have a way to combat these feelings of insecurity or jealousy?  I'm going to try and keep this in mind in about a month when I head to Alt Summit for the very first time!  Eeek!  I'm super excited.  I know it could be easy to feel intimidated by all these amazing women and bloggers, but I'm going to choose to be myself and feel confident in what I do and who I am, AND if I'm tempted to be jealous by someone else I'm going to become a fan and just appreciate what they do.   Anyone else going to Alt?  

art

17 comments:

  1. Athena12:15 PM

    Oh yes, you've really hit the nail on the head. Sometimes I feel like you and I are always on the same wavelength. My oldest daughter is about to graduate from high school and her longtime best friend (who seems perfect in every way, as do her parents), just found out she got into Harvard next year to do pre-med. My daughter, who has always gotten excellent grades, has decided she wants to go to hairdressing school. She has always loved cutting hair (she was probably the only 6 year old who cut bangs for her sister and everyone loved it!) and making people feel good about themselves. In fact, I thought of you recently when she made a prom dress for a friend who couldn't afford one. Anyhow, my husband and I and many of our extended family have been thinking, "what a waste for this brilliant girl not to go to college." But you know what, she's happy and excited about the future and I know she'll be successful in anything she sets out to do. So I am not jealous of her friend's parents who are going to have a doctor in the family. I'm just proud of who we've raised.

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    1. Good for her! And for you! Even though my kids are young I can totally see that parental jealousy would be easy to creep in. BTW does your daughter read the blog Hairdresser on Fire? A friend of mine from NYC--she's awesome, inspiring and totally loves what she does. Best to your daughter!

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    2. Athena7:13 PM

      Yes, we love Reagan's blog, though we've never met her. My daughter Daphne showed it to me several years ago and I think Reagan really inspired her to follow her dream. We used to read Reagan's blob as well, and my daughter and I both are wondering if Piper is doing okay?

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  2. My dear friend always says, "What other people think of you is none of your business," and I think about that almost every morning as I drive my kids to school in a clunky old Toyota and wait in the car line surrounded by Lexus minivans (when did this become a thing?) and BMWs. My kids are too little to notice that the other kids/parents have nicer clothes, nicer cars, nicer houses, etc. But I never complain out loud to my kids because I am hoping that they won't notice for a long, long time, and when they do they won't care.

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  3. Hello Miggy, I'm a longtime reader and I just wanted to share a weird coincidence with you. My husband has the same very unusual first name as your husband. He started an Instagram account recently to make sure our 13 year old is posting appropriate things and he tried to use the same name (----dawg) and wasn't able to use it. So he looked at your husband's profile and showed it to me, I was like, "That's Lamp!" He had no idea what I was talking about, but anyhow, it made me smile. I always imagined your husband was a Byron.

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    1. Tess--Ha! Not only the same name, but he wanted the same instagram handle as well. Funny! Get this... So my husband was named after a dentist that my husbands dad went to dental school with. Years later at BYU he moves into a new complex and someone tells him, "Hey, a guy with your same name just moved out. He was named after some dentist in Idaho." They were named after the same guy! WELL, my husband just met this name twin this past year when he was delivering a lecture to a roomful of military dentists. Yep--his name twin is also a dentist in the military. Is that crazy????

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    2. That is wild! My husband was named B----- because it was his mom's maiden name and she was so determined to put it on his birth certificate as a middle name (with John as a first name) that she wrote it down first on the form and in the wrong place! So he became B---- John and everyone has always called him B----. I can't believe there are so many of them walking around. My husband is an accountant, but he spends a lot of time at the dentist!

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  4. Annie Cal1:10 PM

    Who is the artist of that beautiful painting? It is stunning. Thanks for showing it to us.

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    1. Siobhan1:18 PM

      He (yes, he) is an Irish artist named Marty Kelly. Check out some of his other gorgeous paintings by searching his name. And, if I may be so bold, he is pretty fun to look at too!

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    2. Thank you for answering!

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  5. Anonymous6:16 PM

    I am an extremely insecure person who struggles with believing I am created just how God wanted me to be. There is a person in my life who is "golden". Everything they touch/do/say almost always turn out the way they desire. They have a magnetic personality and can manipulate many situations with their words. I do not have a way with words or a winsome personality and sometimes feel quite envious and wish I'd have been blessed with just a tad of "golden". I have not arrived at the place yet where I can feel truly grateful for how I was created. But, I am working on it. Sometimes there are moments when I don't mind who I am and I believe God will help me to reach that place.
    So, thanks for this post, I surely needed that! I shall become that person's biggest fan (hard words to say), God being my Helper!!

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    1. Anon--Ugh. The Golden person. I think a lot of us can relate to that golden person. It can be hard not being a little jealous. You may not have the winsome personality or have everything turn out just the way you want, but I know you have something--some talent, some trait--that you are good at. That is you. Develop it, nurture it and whatever you do...resist the temptation to become bitter. I'm a big believer that life just isn't fair. It's really not. At least on the surface...but there is hope for the unfair. I wrote a series of posts on grace (you can find them in lamp links) those are some of my thoughts about unfairness. Best!

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  6. cool post - hit the nail on the head for me :)

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    1. Thanks friend. Love you.

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  7. Beautifully written, I do the exact same thing when I am jealous. As an architecture student, it's easy to be competitive with peers about out projects and whose is 'best' or whose is 'coolest' (which are ridiculous, subjective ideas that don't really mean anything). And I hate the person I become when I am jealous, so I tried to figure out some positive way to combat that jealous monster. I wrote a post about it on my blog and came to the same conclusion you did, that "the time and energy spent envying others... can be so much better spent encouraging others. Because I really think that if we stopped being jealous all the time, we would learn so much from each other and then the possibilities to create/make/write/do something amazing would be endless." Check out the whole post here if you'd like: http://justasymmetricenough.wordpress.com/2014/01/29/overcoming-jealousy/.

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  8. I love the art on this post. Always love a good glaze wash, matched with a flat finish. I got to tell you I thought this post was great.
    Emotions wise The minute I went from NYC fashion designer to stay at home mom of four with tired face and ponytail hair. I decided motherhood was the great equalizer. Something I realized as moms we dont do that women do in business in network….similar ideas are means to collaborate not shun or be jealous of. Man I had so many fall start ideas and projects when my kids were younger I needed help!! But instead i had so many woman say to me aren't you doing enough? seems like alot of effort for not much payback.

    It deflated me all the time :(

    When one gets past of the fog stage of motherhood (after kindergarten) connect, network collaborate, and support someone who are still in the fog. I know other women are better than me and can do this in the fog or they don't even experience the fog…but for me there was fog.

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  9. Stella7:30 PM

    Oh Miggy! THis post reminds me of the book I'm reading (have about 30 pages to go) called You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz. It's about a woman with the perfect life who realizes that her carefully constructed life is not at all what she thought it was. When you find a little quiet time once you've settled in in Cincy, you must get this book. It's the best book I've read in ages. Sit outside with a glass of iced tea while baby naps and Lamp and PSP play in the sprinkler (Look I've got your whole life figured out for you!).

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