About Me

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Beauty Of Envy

The 'eat-like-there-is-no tomorrow' gang

Though most of us wouldn’t like to admit it, envy between friends is an archetypal emotion. It is not a female or male domain, but this particular deadly sin is intimately connected to notion of competition and unease between friends. Especially woman. Envy underlines many of our relationships with other women, and yet we find it difficult to understand or diagnose.

When I start doing what I do now 5 years ago, my supervisor at that time was a psychology graduate from a local uni. How I landed in this job was a pure luck at first, where I have no idea what job I was applying, and I told my interviewer that time that what made me answer the ad is because it is just interesting. Nampak sangat yang aku ni sucker for advertisement kan? Apa orang tulis percaya aje. It was a Zimbabwean guy who interviewed me (and he later asked me out, wonder why lah kan, I got the job) with this Scottish woman. I have worked so hard to be where I am right now, and without any degree and training in psychology, I can now sit in a board meeting with bunch of shrink.

Back to this line Manager of mine, she actually is younger than me, but we East Asian, always blessed with younger look kan? She often treated me like a stupid teenager but often wonder why I am not like the rest of the youngsters, whereas I am so laidback and speaks with a bit of insight. (Ceh...puji diri sendiri ni) Well, what is there to explain? When you have a bit of maturity in you, of course, bila bercakap tu, tak guna perasaan but more likely, to think before you open your gob and what is obvious is that the way we react to things are probably slightly better than the young ones. I must say that this supervisor of mine is very good at what she does but although armed with the right qualification, the only thing that she is lacking is a life experience, where else I, being 4 years older with far wider experience in dealing with people, will depend on what I have seen or experience in my past life in many of my decision-making. She was simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by me, drawn to me, yet hostile. My competitive nature is bothering her as being immature that she is, the feeling is so obvious. On the other hand, what she don’t realised that I often feeling ‘little’ by her knowledge and although I was doing what I was paid to do, I continue to learn more about the business, not because that I want her job, but merely because I am not qualified. And the only way to conceal my insecurity to learn more and more. I often feel dampened when I saw how well she was doing (although most work was done by me)

For me, this unfamiliar emotion was permeated by shame. When I saw her beaming with pride after every review meeting she attended, I recognised my reaction as the age-old emotion of envy. But, was I envious of her? Look at what is shown on TV or magazines nowadays. The perfect standards of femininity we can’t possibly achieve; and advertisers exploit our envy of the other women’s lives to sell everything. We are so fascinated by them and at the same time, feel so envious of their show offy perfection if lives.

My psychology graduate Line Manager has now gone to pursue another similar brighter posture in America and while me, with still no intention to get a psychology degree, is now doing her job. When she left the company 2 years ago, both of us when for a drink. Although we don’t really have a good working relationship, I always have respect for her as my supervisor. That was the first time I spend time with her outside work and get to know the real her. With an aid of a few litres of alcohol, she opens up to me. She said, from the day one I was recruited, she knows that I will be the one that she should watch out and knowing that we have different attitudes and attributes in work, she says that I have made her feel that I am the person she will never be and she hated it. The wonders of alcohol eh? People say the effect of alcohol made one harbouring their real feelings.

Like her, I feel like that too (only I didn’t tell her this) The past experience of always being the second choice contributes to the already insecure feeling. I’m not sure what I feel of her but for sure, the feeling is such a discomfort one. After a year of working under her supervision, I got promoted and work alongside her but not having any qualification of the same always making me feel incompetent. I was able to recognised my own envy that time and feeling the painful realisation of the issue.All the time that we were working together, I was so envious of her but the feeling was generated by by own insecurity.

While many of us want to believe that ‘be yourself, don’t ever change who you are’, there is a possibility that we may want to be like someone else who we thought perfect. Comparing their lives with us and later, inundated by unwanted distressed. However hard we try to define it, the object of our envy remains elusive and can be confused with jealousy (although I strongly believe that jealousy is more concrete and involves possessiveness and covetousness of someone else’s things)

We can also envy on something that we don’t even want. Especially towards people that have done so much in life and how you wish you done the same, but tend to forget the reality that we may have no interest at all of things that they’re doing.

I spent a day long with bunch of people I hardly knew yesterday. Well, I was supposed to be a driver to this friend of mine that is visiting from KL and I got to meet his friends and friends of the friends. I often got introduced as a person with high flying job and what is assumed as ‘successful living’. I can see few jaw dropping and I can really see that the envy is coming. The last thing I want is to draw attention to myself. Well, is true that I’m working and holding a better post and there’s plenty other people too. I wish people can just see this as a path that I choose, not base on my location and how I live. I guess, by right I should really be envy of you, who still have the fortune to go and makan nasik lemak at 2am, live within driving distance from your parents and can go shopping until 10 pm at night.

Til then, you take care.


Belladonna said...

Emm, envy... envy tu actually bagus kalau we look at it on a positive light, it spurs us to work harder, better ourselves without any malice. It motivates us to become a better person gittew :) *Matilah Dr. Phil

:: samasam :: said...

uols, just take a positive side from the envy thingy tuh. like me, mmg i envy sgt tgk org lain yg berjaya dalam bidang masing2. even though i dlm hati selalu je cakap alah, kalau mcm tuh aku pon boleh buat just to nak legakan hati i tapi tulah deknon, dlm hidup ni kena ada sacrified. manala kita mampu nak dpt apa yg kita nak 100% kan? maybe org tuh berjaya dalam hidup dia tapi love life dia? famili dia? happy ke dia dgn life dia deknon? so, be urself, always seek for improvement and yg penting uols happy dgn apa yg uols buat. *matilah Pembimbing Rakan Sebaya!!

Hjh Esah Jolie said...

Tapi..I nak jeless jugak..camne tuh?