“So yuh porn star win!” Those were the words that greeted me, as I got to work on Friday morning. My male co-worker was referring to Anya Ayoung-Chee, who had just won “Project Runway”.
Having just come off a night of feeling exceedingly happy for a young woman I barely knew, a woman who I felt had given Trinidad and Tobago another reason to feel proud, I was not tame with my comeback; but it left me wondering what was it that motivated some of us to, so quickly, pull another person down.
Time and time again, you see people taking the opportunity to diss, criticize and ‘bad talk’ people they barely know. There was even a show called “Haters” where celebrities were confronted by people who well… hate them.
So what are the real reasons behind the crab-in-a-bucket syndrome? What causes some of us to immediately jump on the ‘hater train’ the moment someone attains some level of success? Is it jealousy? Is it envy? Is it something we can’t control? Let’s face it; we all get a little jealous and envious at times.
Now some of you may say that these two emotions are pretty much the same, but according to diffen.com, “the main difference between envy and jealousy is that envy is an emotion related to desiring what someone else has, whereas jealousy is the emotion related to fear that something you have will be taken away by someone else”. I thought that this was an interesting perspective.
So let’s start the discussion by taking a look at the two emotions that may be the main contributors to this type of behaviour.
When we make negative comments about others, the first thing the experts say is “yuh jealous”. The biblical story of David and Saul tells us that Saul grew jealous of David, for after David killed big old Goliath, Saul was fearful that the people were growing to love David, and would then want him to be king, and Saul wasn’t about to lose his kingdom to some stone throwing sheep herder. So he spent much of his life trying his best to out David’s light. He thought David would take away what he had – rule over a kingdom.
According to charminghealth.com, envy demonstrates spite and resentment at seeing the success of another. I believe that one contestant on “X-Factor” best exemplifies this. The young lad looked like a Ken doll, and when asked if he was a fan of Justin Bieber, he replied, “No I don’t like Justin”.
When asked why, he said, “Well I think it’s because I want to be like him. I want the life he has. I guess I just wish I were him”.
Honest to the core he was; too bad he couldn’t sing or dance.
We may say that jealousy and envy bites both sexes the same way, but some psychologists suggest that women are inclined to feel jealous more often than men, simply because they tend to be more honest and in touch with their emotions. Maybe this would explain why, when being interviewed by Sampson Nanton, on CNC3, Anya said that during her darkest moment of the sex-tape scandal, she received more negative comments from women than men. However, the negative comment I got that Friday morning came from a guy, so go figure.
When someone succeeds, and all we can think of are negative comments, and reminders to all that they are not perfect, is this a sign that we are really wishing that we were the ones being congratulated? Are we envious of what this person has achieved? Does their success remind us of our own inadequacies?
Shouldn’t the success of others motivate us to look at our own lives, and be encouraged to follow our dreams? Does pulling another down give us an excuse to be stagnant? Or does it simply make us feel better about ourselves?
Admitting you’re jealous of someone isn’t always easy, especially when you don’t really want to be. Although it may never be possible to completely avoid these feelings, if we want to be better people, and to stop consciously or subconsciously ‘hating on’ the accomplishments of others, here are some helpful tips from thinksimplenow.com to help us tame these little monsters.
If you go around telling yourself, “I’m not a jealous person”, you’ll never be able fully deal with the issue. When negative feelings arise, take a good look at why you’re feeling what you’re feeling, and embrace the emotion. Are you feeling sad, ashamed or inadequate? Whatever the feeling, embrace it, and then dispel it. Remind yourself that your time will come, and commit to continue the hard work of achieving your dreams and ambitions.
You know the saying, “there will always be someone brighter, prettier, smarter… (and the list goes on)”? Learn to appreciate that you are unique. Remember the song we sang from “Sesame Street”? “There is only one me…” Tap into what makes you tick.
Find what’s threatening you
What makes you feel threatened? What are you insecure about? What does this person’s success say about you? Once you figure this out, move on to plan your own way forward.
When a person is successful, be it a friend, a co-worker, or even someone we barely know, instead of letting the need to diss or gossip rule, let’s take a moment to be inspired… to say well I wish you the best… to send the kind of energy that we would like sent to us, when we get a promotion, find a new lover or finally buy a new car. Whatever the accomplishment may be, let us strive to send out blessing instead of curses, because Karma’s a b*tch, and what goes around usually comes around.