YOBcast Episode 009: Male Envy

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What does it mean to envy another? What do we envy in men? And why exactly are we envious of other men? In this episode, Tom and Elliott discuss the trap of envy — as well as envy’s antidote — from their Enneagram Type 4 perspectives.

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Finally, don’t forget to comment below on this episode: how have you experienced male envy? How do you counteract your envy of other men? Enjoy the episode!

Show notes for Episode 009:

Tom’s posts: http://yourotherbrothers.com/author/tom

Elliott’s posts: http://yourotherbrothers.com/author/elliott

Riso/Hudson’s The Wisdom of the Enneagram: http://a.co/8MAAJjs

C.S. Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters: http://a.co/85HtVAo

Charles Spurgeon’s Faith’s Checkbook: http://a.co/dGiuvIp

  • Dave


  • Dave

    I just wanted to say thank you for this blog. It means a lot to me, knowing that I’m

  • Dave


  • Dave


  • mike

    Excellent dissection & discussion of envy from type 4s who are likely the experts on envy! I’m thinking many (most) gays are type 4s and their struggle with envy the bane of their existence…
    It is ironic that Enneagram Type 4s are the “individualists”, yet because of envy they are hardly that! Envy mars their disposition of being comfortable and at peace with being their true selves as individuals different and unique from everyone else. It’s okay to be yourself with God’s grace saying: come as you are.
    The big E (envy) is the idol I struggle with. Thanks for the reminder and the impetus that your discussion is to work against envy.

    • I don’t know if I’d say most homosexual-leaning men are Type 4s, as I’ve unquestionably met a ton of other types. But maybe a higher percentage of male 4’s are SSA? Generally more creative, sensitive, envious, emotional types who are perhaps more prone to same-sex attraction.

      • mike

        The nature/nurture causation isn’t sharp scientifically and there may be multiple reasons why people are SSA’d. In my work I differentiate two types: those born that way who may well be mostly INTJs or E4’s and those who were made that way because of sexual trauma pre or peri-puberty. The latter have different personalities often more extraverted, athletic, heterosexually married, or see themselves as bisexual.

  • Alan Gingery

    Wow! You guys really hit envy in the face. At least you did for me. Your discussion of pornography and envy is so accurate to my experience. Cannibalism and Vampirism describe perfectly the underlying motivations that drive this addiction for me. It is all about getting something to make me feel better about myself–and about using others with no regard for their well-being. It is completely selfish, not selfless at all. It is not love. It is lust. For me, like Tom said, it is not sexual lust…the sex in pornography doesn’t interest me, it turns me off. But there is the lust for those male characteristics that porn actors seem to have and I wish I had and somehow want to acquire. Of course, it is all illusion whether it is pornography or simply noticing the good looking guy walking down the street. The images on the screen end and that handsome hunk ignores you and walks away, and nothing is changed.

    The most significant help for me in the struggle with envy–has been to come to grips with accepting my own male body as good, desirable and attractive. It has been tremendously freeing for me. And I have come to appreciate that I am not perfect, but I am good enough. I have more confidence, and less fear in new situations. All of this goes a long ways to conquer that green monster of envy.

  • Christian

    This was my favorite podcast so far.

    It is amazing how much of what we talk about is not necessarily unique to SSA. I continually fall into the trap of thinking I am so messed up that I can’t relate to anybody, and this isolation can fuel my envy of the unattainable “normal” I see in others. But the truth is that we are all sinners in need of grace, and I am not that much different from any other guy out there.

    I also think more could be said about how being content with what I have and the way God has made me is crucial in the fight against envy. Do I really believe God has put me where I belong and made me who I am? It gets into tricky territory when we try to figure out the WHY question and how far to go when we say “God made me this way” – but God does claim responsibility for the deaf, the mute, the blind, and thorns of the flesh (Ex 4:11, John 9:3, 2 Cor 12:7), even though these also, obviously, are results of sin as well. So I try trust in God’s sovereignty – the natural result of which is not compatible with envy.

    Also fascinating about how envy can actually be a good thing when it means we desire the things of God. Do I desire these things as much as I desire those masculine qualities I usually sulk over? I pray that I head that direction.

    • Glad you enjoyed this episode, Christian! I realize now that I’m at my healthiest when I understand that I’m just like any other guy with problems and baggage; I’m at my least healthiest when I think I’m all alone in this world of struggle.

  • Bradley S

    I think this was one of your best yet! Envy easily drives most of my SSA and this was an extremely insightful podcast.

    It just keeps on getting better and better!

  • Steve Boyer

    Great podcast guys. Couple thoughts. You mentioned it was a guy thing, comparing ourselves to other guys and not just an SSA thing. True, and yeah! We are just like other guys! More than we realize. As 2 of my friends often tell me and I heard it here with you 2, we need to focus less on our differences and more on where we’re alike. When we do that we begin to see we don’t need their acceptance as much as we think because we are just as much men as they are.
    I think you both mentioned being attracted to their “confidence”. Me too, probably one of the biggest ones for me. The truth of the matter is they exaggerate their confidence to cover up their own insecurities. I have a good friend who went to West Point, 2 tours in Iraq, all the real manly things you wish you had done and very confident. Yet, 2 weeks ago we had lunch and he spent almost the whole hour talking about his shortcomings and how he couldn’t move on because of them. I thought dude, I wish I had half your ability and experience I’d be doing great stuff. So, we really aren’t all that different. They are just as insecure as we are.

    • Thanks for sharing that story of your friend, Steve. It’s always good (and helpful and needed) for me (and I’m sure other SSA guys) to hear stories like that that “level the playing field” with other men. Good stuff.

  • Eddie

    You guys brought a good point distinguishing between physically attractive men like professional athletes. This is in opposition to intellectual and successful giants like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. I am not a raging fan of Dr. Phil McGraw, but he says “men fall in love with their eyes and women fall in love with their ears.” Whether you’re gay, SSA or straight this seems to be true across the board with guys. These physical and desired attributes are “on the surface.” We can see them and even touch them (I know that’s a bit creepy) to know they are real to us. We desire and envy such attraction for ourselves. The physique also sends an underlying message that this given specimen of a man exudes self-confidence, assureness and focus which are also desired because we lack them ourselves. We also can postulate that we don’t have the same degree of success as Gates and Zuckerberg. However, we might unconsciously believe we can achieve it IF we manage to harness our own self-confidence in our respective professions. Furthermore, monetary success is nice, but I just don’t think historically it has the same attachments to masculinity or male identity as the physical attributes of a man. In the corporate world, personal drive and ambition seem more align to the male identity than one’s bank account. These are “deep” attributes that require time and attention to see them clearly within a person.