Monday, June 9, 2014

How Green is Your Envy?

If there’s one thing I believe needs some positive, constructive attention, it’s how we handle the Green-Eyed Monster. Yeah, I know, it's a sticky subject, but it's something that needs to be addressed from time to time as a reminder. Unfortunately, I've seen jealousy come out in spades regardless of the profession. And it's especially prevalent within the writing community.

I’ve always been happy for people when they’ve landed a big contract, hit the bestseller list, gotten the promotion, or made tons of money. And when I congratulate that person, I’m truly happy for them. And they can be sure I mean it from the bottom of my heart.

Am I jealous? I swear to you, I’m not in the least. But I won’t deny being envious and wishing I’d had the same success. See, there’s the difference! I’m not saying I don’t want them to have that success. I’m saying I want it with them.

So is it okay to be envious? Absolutely!  It’s healthy. It’s human, and it can even be motivating. When someone lets jealously get the best of them, it can become unhealthy and lead them down a path of destruction. Jealousy is like a disease. It spreads like a fire and comes out in unflattering ways. If you're one of those people, please, whatever you do, don’t air your discontent out in a public forum. Playing the victim card only lasts for so long and people will eventually turn a deaf ear. Maybe not all, but the majority will. No one wants to be around someone who's filled with negativity.

I wish I could tell you none of this happens in real life, but the truth is, it does. I’ve seen it destroy friendships to the point that it's no longer salvageable. So the consequences are not trivial, nor easy to repair.

When emotional energy is spent resenting the success someone else has achieved, you lose. It’s a waste of valuable time because you’re using up your energy to find ways to degrade the person’s success, not to mention, you’re spending less time on your own career.  Your career is your responsibility no matter what your profession, so use that time wisely and pay attention to the person who has succeeded. You might just learn something. Understand though, this is not a part-time gig folks. It’s a constant.

As I mentioned above, jealousy and envy are real emotions. It's up to you as to how you respond to these feelings. But just in case you're at a loss, here are a few suggestions.
  • ·      When you’re alone, stop and acknowledge the bitter feelings
  • ·      Wallow in it for a day or two in the privacy of your own home.
  • ·      Tell it to your pet. He’ll understand and he’ll kiss you afterward.
  • ·      Type a letter to that person, then tear it up and toss it in the round file. You’ll be amazed at how much this relieves the bottled up anxiety.
  • ·      And above all, eat something gooey or chocolaty. Chocolate releases endorphins. Endorphins give you a pleasurable rush, and for sure, will help you when you're feeling down!
And lastly, remember, we’re all in this together. Let’s work as a team to help one another. I promise you, you’ll be glad you did.