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I would say “practicing gratitude” to convey the thought of focusing on what one has in life and ruminating on little things in a positive way, the glass half full. What would be the opposite word or phrase for when one habitually focuses on what they do not have. Not necessarily in relation to someone else as in envy or jealousy.

Edit:

As suggested in the comments, here’s some clarification:

Ingratitude just implies a lack of gratitude, I think. I’m looking for the other side of the coin. Someone who would practice gratitude might take note of the small things in life, even keep a gratitude journal, or look for ways to express such to a friend. But I’m looking for a word that describes someone who focuses on what’s missing, as if the person is almost making a list of what he doesn’t have and complaining or ruminating over that.

  • Hello, John, and welcome to EL&U. You need to flesh this out a bit: include some research into words that might come close, and please provide a sample sentence showing the usage of the target language. – Cascabel Jul 22 at 18:11
  • Two words: negative outlook. – Weather Vane Jul 22 at 18:34
  • You use 'gratitude' in a way that doesn't directly invoke a benefactor. Can't 'ingratitude' be used the same way? – Edwin Ashworth Jul 22 at 18:34
  • "Pessimistic" almost works, I think. – StardustGogeta Jul 22 at 18:35
  • @EdwinAshworth Ingratitude just implies a lack of gratitude, I think. I’m looking for the other side of the coin. Someone who would practice gratitude might take note of the small things in life, even keep a gratitude journal, or look for ways to express such to a friend. But I’m looking for a word that describes someone who focuses on what’s missing, as if the person is almost making a list of what he doesn’t have and complaining or ruminating over that. – John Jul 22 at 19:01
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Wishful thinking.

Definition of "wishful thinking" : the attribution of reality to what one wishes to be true or the tenuous justification of what one wants to believe [M-W]

Doris's dream vacation home in Hawaii was just wishful thinking.

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Maybe envy

envy NOUN
1A feeling of discontented or resentful longing aroused by someone else's possessions, qualities, or luck.
Lexico

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The phrase that came to mind was negative Nancy.

A person who is considered excessively and disagreeably pessimistic.

Other names beginning with N are sometimes substituted, such as Nelly or Ned.

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Negativity

A person who focuses on the least attractive or desirable areas in their life is expressing negativity.

https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/negativity

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