So, I’m not actually a jealous person, but I am rather prone to bouts of envy. Unfortunately (?) my ‘E’ blog post was already claimed and I needed a J post so… Yeah.

(The difference between jealousy and envy)

It’s not that I think other writer’s successes somehow take away from my own and I don’t want to take them away. I am honestly and truly happy for my friends when they reach a goal or have good things happen to them. Sadly, however, I usually feel a little twinge of ‘I want that too!’.

It kinda sucks because it gives me a weapon to beat myself up with, and frankly, I do that far more often than I should already. I’m trying to learn to use it as a motivational tool though. I’ve had mixed success so far, because sometimes telling yourself ‘They achieved that goal because they did the work. They didn’t take the afternoon off last week to go raiding’ is a double-edged sword. It’s true enough, but it’s also really close to being that weapon again.

Someday I’ll either learn how to stop envying people for what they have that I don’t (Heh! Small chance of that, really), I’ll learn how to use their victories to motivate myself toward my own, or, more likely, I’ll just have to keep feeling the twinge and going on. One step at a time. It’s how they earned all their achievements, it’s how I will too… even if I am a little bit behind them. That’s okay as long as I keep moving.

…or that’s what I’m telling myself this week, anyway 🙂

How about you? Do you get envious or jealous of other people’s achievements?

I did a quick google before I started this blog post and this seems to be a rather common problem. Writer’s Relief has a blog about how to deal with jealousy, Absolute Write does also and even The Rumpus. Their advice mostly seems to be (though you really ought to read all the articles if you struggle with this) not to let yourself get too hung up on what other people are doing, sincerely wish your colleagues well and  trudging on, so I guess I’m doing the right things. Sometimes it’s stinkin’ hard though. Not the wishing people well part, I truly do, but the not getting hung up and trudging on bits.

Do you have anything you do to help you deal with jealousy? Any words of advice to pass on? I’d love to hear them. You never know what’s going to help until you try, and frankly, every little thing I can do to boost my productivity is a good thing. A very good thing.


This blog post is part of the Blogging from A to Z challenge over the month of April and was brought to you by the letter J. Tomorrow I’m going to tell the story about the time I was kidnapped by Klingons. You don’t want to miss that one, right? 🙂

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12 thoughts on “Jealousy”

  1. Lord, I know JUST what you mean. I really, really don’t begrudge anyone her happiness/success. I just want some too (not hers! My own!). I think it’s human to want to reap a reward for one’s labors.

    ::sighs:: Anyway.

    I think all we can do is push ourselves on. One of my favorite quotes is attributed to Churchill: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” Let’s keep running up that road, shall we? 🙂

    Some Dark Romantic

    1. A friend of mine (who I am occasionally envious of), Beth Cato, often says (and I’m paraphrasing) ‘Keep climbing the mountain, and when you get tired of climbing, use dynamite’. I think that’s great advice, and pretty much what you’re saying. So yes, let’s keep running up that road. One step at a time.

  2. I might get envious. Like a parasite, I live on other people’s accomplishments. I have a tendency to get depressed and when I do, the accomplishments of others lift me up out of the doldrums. Presently, I’m in the clouds because Myspace friend Jessie J has hit the big time. That inspires me to work harder. And when my writer friends publish something, I want to buy the book which I will start doing soon since money is trickling in. As for Jealousy. It is a horrible feeling to have someone jealous of you. I’m in that situation with a cousin of mine who used to be my best friend. I dare not speak of my achievements. To be honest, more enemies have praised me than family and friends. Now, this lonely (not loner) person continues to strive for success because the fires of anger drive me.

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your cousin and lonlieness *hugs* I think it’s fantastic that you can use other people’s accomplishments to keep your spirit fed and stay motivated 🙂

      ETA: …after hitting reply on that comment I realised how really trite my sympathy about your cousin’s jealousy and your own lonliness sounded. I apologise. It’s not. Family issues and especially lonliness are horrible things for anyone to have to deal with.

      I don’t know if it helps to hear, but you’re not alone, even if you feel that way. You’re really not. I’m here for you if you need me.

  3. This is such an honest post. Envy and jealousy seem to be hard-wired into us–probably came in very handy as survival prompts way back in the distant past. Right now, though, they don’t feel particularly adaptive, and when we get those twinges we start piling the guilt on top of the self-doubt that the jealousy has ignited, and it all becomes a vicious circle.

    I try a couple of approaches. First, I’ll say to my mental image of the person who has inspired the envy, “If I were a medieval prince, I would stab you in the heart with my dagger of rage.” And then I make a couple of stabby motions with my imaginary dagger.

    When that doesn’t work–and surprisingly it NEVER does–I focus on the feeling, write it down, commit it to memory, and add it to the writing stew. That honesty and self-awareness will make your writing sing, even if it’s currently making your life suck. 🙂

    1. Oooh I’ll have to try the whole stabby stabby thing with my imaginary dagger next time.

      <.< >.>

      What? Just because it doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean it won’t work for me!

      *sigh* Fine. Fine. I’ll keep going with the baby steps. It’s a painful process but I’m sure it will make me a better person in the end. 🙂

  4. Thanks for your comment on our blog!

    We can both relate to the envy/jealousy you feel at times. As hard as we try sometimes we just do not get the results we had hoped for and then we hear stories of others having exactly what we want just sort of land in their laps. It makes it hard to understand why we can’t get a bit of that in our lives too.

    Then we realize how much we really do have in our lives to be grateful for and then the guilt of even feeling the envy/jealousy sinks in…a vicious circle!

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