LDS Singles

Thriving and Growing as an LDS Single


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Envy and Jealousy Among Singles

441px-Olmec_mask_802Everyone struggles with envy and jealousy, but I think that LDS Single Women, especially past a certain age, may struggle with it more. As the ratio of women to men increases as one gets older, it is more frequently a subject of jokes among Church members and also understandably a frustration for the women who are still single who long to get married. Of course, problems arise when anyone (men or women) succumb to the temptation to see this stage of life as more of a “competition” and less a matter of patience and serving one another. Understandable? Yes. But does it mean that we all end up hurting feelings from time to time, on top of dealing with our own hurt feelings, and making things more complicated for ourselves as well as others? Most definitely.

Something I learned today, from Vocabulary.com:

Envy/Jealousy

It’s no fun to feel envy or jealousy because both make you feel inadequate. Envy is when you want what someone else has, but jealousy is when you’re worried someone’s trying to take what you have. If you want your neighbor’s new convertible, you feel envy. If she takes your husband for a ride, you feel jealousy.

 Envy requires two parties, like you and that neighbor, when you want her new car and you wish you were the one riding around with the top down. You feel envy when you want something someone else has.

Jealousy requires three parties, like you, your neighbor, and your husband, when not only do you wish you had that cool car, but you’re worried your husband is going to ride off into the sunset in it without you. Jealousy is exciting because it shows up in lovers’ triangles and Shakespeare’s plays.

You can feel envy about something you don’t have but want, but you feel jealousy over something you already have but are afraid of losing, like that husband who’s always hanging out next door.

When are you envious or jealous?

In a dating context, or as a single, this list from author Carol Tuttle gives us some possible scenarios. Beliefs that limit us:

“I need to be special to a man to be loved.”
“I need a man to love me in order to feel beautiful.”
“I need to be special to a man to be worthy of love.”
“If I’m not with a man, I am not lovable.”

Other issues (It only takes one!!)

Do you often compare yourself to others?
Do you base your value on your outward appearance?
When you are around other attractive women, do you feel inferior?
Do you perceive other women as a threat?
Do you often feel overlooked or that no one really “gets you”?
Do you feel you really deserve something but it seems like others steal your chance for success?
How do you respond when another woman you know gets something you want? (A raise, a promotion, gets engaged, has a baby, etc?)

I think Satan will always tempt us with these, but we don’t need to be discouraged. Instead, when we find that the answer to one of these is “yes,” we can turn to our Savior and our Heavenly Father and those who love us to strengthen our fears and learn to be happy for each other instead of believing that the blessings that others have mean that there is less for us. This excerpt from a 2012 talk from Elder Holland is a great reminder of that:

 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: Avoid Envy. March 31, 2012

Full video and text here

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Want to drink some pickle juice?

 


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Sister Linda K. Burton on the Wait for an Eternal Companion

from her March 2, 2014 CES fireside address, “Tuning Our Hearts to the Voice of the Spirit.”

Author Corrie ten Boom’s observation seems applicable here: “Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for a future that only He can see.”

Perhaps some of you have had a similar experience to that which our six children have had as they have searched for worthy eternal companions. Because hindsight is 20/20, they can now see that they each needed to have certain experiences in order to be able to recognize the Lord’s hand leading them to their eternal companions. Some of those experiences required years of patiently waiting and moving forward in faith. At times the heavens even seemed closed to them as they prayed. When the Lord’s timing conflicts with our own desires, trust that there might be some preparatory experiences the Lord needs us to have before our prayers are answered.

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8 Little Ways Sadness Can Be a Good Thing: BELLA DEPAULO, PH.D

photo, "Sadness and Dreams," by D. Sharon Pruitt. Click on photo for link.

photo, “Sadness and Dreams,” by D. Sharon Pruitt. Click on photo for link.

While I don’t completely agree with her take on happiness and marriage (although she does have a point if you look at it in the right way…i.e. just marrying for the sake of being happier could be a problem!), I loved this reminder from Ph.D. Bella DePaulo that 100% happiness in life may not be all it’s cracked up to be, even if it did exist.  (the obvious gospel take on it being “Opposition in All Things,” no?

While we don’t want to wallow in sadness and we want to rejoice when it passes, what do we learn from it?  There have been loads of talks and books on this topic, but I love this new, slightly more scientific and clinical take on it that enhances well what we’ve already heard.  This is DePaulo’s take on an article from leading mood researcher Joseph Forgas:

So when I found an alert in my inbox about a just published article reviewing the benefits of being in a bad mood, I had to read it and pass along what I learned. The author, leading mood researcher Joseph Forgas, is not defending intense and sustained bad feelings, just the mild, temporary unpleasant feelings that we all describe as being in a bad mood.

Here are 8 ways a bit of a bad mood can be a good thing:

  1. People in bad moods have better memories. In one study, for example, they remembered more details about the inside of a shop than did people in good moods. People in bad moods are also less likely to get tricked by misleading questions.
  2. People in bad moods are more accurate in their judgments. Social scientists have had a field day documenting judgmental biases; now mood researchers are showing that people in bad moods are less susceptible to those biases than people in good moods.
  3. People in bad moods are less gullible. For example, they are less likely to believe urban myths and they are also better at detecting deception.
  4. People in bad moods are less likely to stereotype other people, and they are less likely to act on negative stereotypical judgments.
  5. There are motivational benefits to bad moods. For example, people in bad moods persevere longer at difficult tasks.
  6. A bad mood can have its interpersonal advantages (though it is not always beneficial). For example, people in bad moods ask for things in more polite ways.
  7. People in bad moods are more fair and more just. Allowed to allocate a resource however they want, for example, they are more likely than people in a good mood to distribute the resource in a fair way rather than hogging it for themselves.
  8. People in bad moods are more persuasive – they come up with better arguments.

Reference: Forgas, J. P. (2013). Don’t worry, be sad! On the cognitive, motivational, and interpersonal benefits of negative mood.Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22, 225-232.