Sunday, April 27, 2014

Fiction Friction (#5): On Jealousy

These posts are meant to bring about some conversation, discussion, and perhaps even a debate. These discussion posts can occur at varying days of the week, mostly depending upon what's scheduled on the blog and what I feel like discussing.

In part inspired by Nova @ Out of Time's post on jealousy, in part inspired by my personal experience lately, today's post is about jealousy. Not just book jealousy but all different kinds of jealousy.

First, I'll start off with book jealousy. I'll bet that most of us book bloggers have at least been jealous of other book bloggers once. Maybe they got an ARC that you were dying to get, maybe they have an awesome blog you just can't live up to (in your opinion), maybe you're jealous of the amount of followers they have or the number of contacts they have. The list could go on.

I'm a victim of book blogger jealousy too! But recently, I've learned to keep it more at bay. Sure, there are books I really want to get, but the thing is, I know that there would only be a few that I could reasonably get to. Adding more books would just make me even more stressed out. I have enough going on in my life outside of blogging. And I can always borrow or buy the book later on, right? But again, I still get jealous sometimes. It's hard not to! I just try to look at the practical side of it too.

Other things I'm jealous of in terms of blogging are a little harder to deal with and see practically, but I constantly remind myself that I'm doing this for ME. I'm doing this so that I can read more and so I can learn more about awesome books, the authors that write them, and the publishers and publishing companies that publish them. I remember that I'm still fairly new to blogging and that who cares if there are newer bloggers that have been more successful than I've been. I have too many other things on my plate. Again, it's still hard, but sometimes, you just have to remind yourself why you're doing this.

It gets a little harder when you're jealous of friends, particularly those you see offline. When they're friends you've made on the internet, you can remind yourself that they have grown up in and live in a different environment and with different backgrounds and all of that. Plus, it's not like you HAVE to see them or talk to them or anything like that if it's overwhelming you, you know?

I've always been someone that could potentially be really jealous of people, particularly my friends and those close to me. Part of it stems from old wounds and insecurities, making me feel incompetent. I don't want to single out anyone that I know, nor do I want to seem conceited or self-centered, but. Okay, so you probably know that I dance. I've danced since I was young (from before the age of 5). Again, not to brag, but I became one of the better dancers at my current dance school (which I've been going to since I was 5 or 6). I was one of the better dancers in my age group, but even some of the older dancers complimented me, whether truthfully or to be kind I don't know. But a few years ago, some new dancers started dancing at my dance school and some of the other girls started to become really good too. For many of them, it's because they go to Catholic schools that have special dance programs, meaning they dance more than I do. Another part of it is that they were taking classes in multiple dance disciplines. I was only taking ballet (and pointe) up until 2 years ago, when I started taking modern. Now, I've never really meant for dance to become my profession because I know how unrealistic it is, but it was so nice to feel that, just for once, people were looking up to me. It felt amazing. But now? Now, I often feel forgotten about when those other girls are there. I know I probably don't have the right to complain because there are still so many other dancers that will probably never get the praise I once got, sadly, but it hurts a bit to feel this way. Yeah, part of it is that I'm much more introverted than those girls and that I tend to keep to myself, but it still makes me feel jealous. Because I've been where they are. Because I remember how awesome it felt. And sometimes, I'll feel that again, but sometimes, I feel like it's just unfair. But most of it comes down to jealousy.

And I know it's not fair for me to feel this way because those girls deserve it. They deserve all that praise. They truly are better dancers, at least technically. They dance far more than I do. They're my friends, and I should be happy for them. But I'm also jealous.

So how do I deal? I remind myself that they may be great in some aspects but that there are aspects of dance that I excel at too, even if it's not considered as important. Because it's important to me. But also, I dance because I love it, not to show that I'm better than other people. Dance means so much to me, and I won't let anything get in the way of that. Yeah, I still feel badly sometimes, but other times, I remember how the little girls still look up to me, whether I'm the best or not. I remember that in the long run, dance isn't something I plan to pursue professionally (though I'd love to). I remember that it's not just about being the best. It doesn't matter if they're younger than me but are better than me. I can't control the situation I grew up in, which is very different from the one they grew up in (which had different views, parenting styles, values, etc). Besides, what matters is that I've personally improved and that I continue to strive to improve. It doesn't how good you are if you never get better. You may still be better than me, but I think that working hard and improving is much better than staying at the same level.

In the end, how you deal with jealousy is really up to you and the way you think. Does it ever completely go away? I don't think so. There's always going to be someone that has it better than you, but remember that you're your own person and that your experiences are different from the experiences of others. I don't think it's bad to feel jealous so long as it doesn't get in your way. It's hard to deal with when jealousy leads you to feel incompetent, but if you can change your way of thinking, it'll help.

What kind of jealousy have you experienced? How do you deal with jealousy?


  1. Agh, gosh I feel for you with the dancing. *offers chocolate* I "used" to be quite the household musician. Haha! I have horrible perfectionism, though, so I never thought I was any good. know, things happen, I stopped being my teacher's star-pupil and all of that, didn't progress as fast, got other interest that I concentrated on more. It's HARD not to be jealous. Particularly when other people look like they have it all together. Total feeling this post. :)

    1. *gratefully accepts chocolate* Oh, I'm the same way. I don't think I'm good, but I will acknowledge that I'm better than many people. ;) I totally understand! I used to be okay at music (violin) myself, but it just wasn't a priority for me anymore, and I stopped being the best.

      Thanks! So glad I'm not the only one (not that I was expecting that). :D

  2. I'm also a dancer. My college major is actually Dance. I went from a studio where I was top dog, to college where I am just mediocre. It's hard to watch all of those "better" dancers get praised while you stand off on the sidelines. Personally I just try to remember that even if you aren't as good as the girl standing next to you, that doesn't make you any less of a dancer than her.
    I'm hoping to teach dance someday, and my biggest goal is to make sure my dancers never feel inadequate compared to another dancer.
    Good post. :)

    1. Nice! I've thought about minoring in dance, but I'm not really sure.

      Exactly! I mean, I would still argue that I'm near the top at my studio, but I'm also much quieter than the other top girls, so I don't get noticed as much, you know?

      Awww, that sounds awesome! I wish you the best of luck. :)

  3. I've always been a perfectionist and very hard on myself when it comes to school and artistic stuff. I used to dance when I was growing up (actually for the infamous Abby Lee), and for a while I wanted to be the best.... but then I realized that dancing could just be fun if you want it to be and that's more where I headed with it. How many girls actually make it on a professional level. But I know what you mean about feeling like you were the best at something and then feeling like you aren't anymore... it stinks. I've been there with other things. And with blogging, I get jealous... but not so much anymore because I've learned where my place is in the blogging world and I'm happy with it (for now). So keep dancing. And when it's not fun anymore, do something else. It's not worth doing if it's not giving you joy :)

    1. Yes! I'm such a perfectionist, but I've learned that perfection isn't possible in dance (and in most things). Oh wow. Abby Lee! I don't watch Dance Moms, but I always hear about the show. :P

      Exactly. I know that some of the girls at my studio actually want to go pro, so it makes sense that they'd be better than me. I dance because I love it, and that's enough.

      I'll definitely continue dancing, and I totally agree on blogging. I get jealous all the time, but I'm learning to take it slow and not think about it too much. If I'm enjoying it, there's not much more I can ask for. :)


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