I’ve been meaning to write about jealousy for a while, particularly jealousy between friends. It was not until Clara blogged about a comic she saw on Tumblr, along with its response, that I finally felt like writing about it.

Clara said that she relates very well to the original comic, more so than the response. You can view the original post with the response here.

This is the original comic:


The reason I wanted to write about jealousy in the first place is because of my personal experiences with jealousy towards my friends. The comics accurately describe my feelings a lot of the time. I love my friends, absolutely and without a doubt, but I will get jealous of them because of things they can do.

I’m going to make this easy and boil it down to two things:

  1. Perfectionism.
  2. Comparison.

The first is less of an issue than the second. Not everyone is a perfectionist. Not everyone thinks that they have to do everything to the best of their ability, or even beyond. Some people are happy with “done is better than perfect”, or at least use it as a motivator to get things done. I will admit that I used to like that motto, but even though having something “done” is something, doesn’t really matter if it’s perfect – I will always go back and say, “No. This can be improved.” or “No. I cannot call that thing done”.

Being a perfectionist is difficult because you notice the flaws in things. Not just in things that you do, but yourself, as a person. As a perfectionist, I want to be proud of what I do, and I often am, but other times I fall short. I could simply be hard on myself, which is easy to let go of, and step back from, but when it’s teamed with comparison, it’s an envy bomb.

Saying that something can be improved is alright. Saying it’s “not done” is alright. You can work on it. But it’s when you think of other people, who you spend a lot of time around, who you love, or adore, or admire – for whatever they do – you realise that sometimes, someone can do it better. For me, it’s that turning point that turns into jealousy.

It can be stupidly, and unnecessarily, unhealthy.

There are some really stupid, silly reasons I am jealous of my friends. It’s really embarrassing to admit a few of them, but here goes:

  • James has a dog. I want a dog. I want my own dog. James goes on walks every day, walking his dog. I’m jealous because I don’t have a dog I can walk, and having a dog would motivate me to walk, like I have when I have gone to James’s house.
  • Lilian reads so much. She finds all the latest books and reads them before me. Sometimes I want to read more books than her, but I will never catch up. She will read all the new books before me. I’m still trying to read the same book series I have been for a year.
  • Seb seems to go out a lot. He has more friends than me. He tells me he doesn’t go out much, but I feel like he goes out more than me, and I get jealous that he has the opportunity to go out more often. I hardly even get invited to things and my friends don’t often socialise.
  • My brother Brandon plays games. He has played Minecraft more than I have, and I feel like I’m the one who’s supposed to play Minecraft. He’s built more things than me and all I’ve done is make a hundred underground maze-caves.
  • Tristan goes to the gym. Every time he tells me about how he goes there and does so-and-so bench-presses at my weight, I get pissed off that I can’t bench-press much more than half my own weight, and only about ten times.

I find myself saying it’s not fair. It’s not fair that X can do Y and I can’t do Y. But there is no reason to be jealous of my friends just because they can, or will, do things that I cannot do. I cannot compare myself to others when it’s a very unreasonable comparison. Am I really that jealous just because I have a different career path from my friends? I don’t have the things that they have, but it’s not possible for me to obtain those things now, or there are other contributing factors that stop me from doing so. I’m in a situation where having, or getting, what they have, that I’m so damn jealous about, is not actually realistic. Am I really so jealous that I almost scorn my friends for their acknowledgement for working hard? It has gotten to the point where something like gaining muscles – which isn’t really top of my priority list or something I care much for right now – is suddenly something I’m jealous of my friend for having.

In the end, I’m constantly comparing myself to my friends, even in situations where a comparison just isn’t justifiable.

And when I look over the comics, it almost makes my friends out to be snooty, arrogant characters, who help me when I fall, and when I fail, but will still selfishly excel above me, making me feel small. My friends will always be better than me. That’s what I think.

But jealousy is unhealthy, and in this case toxic.

There is also the likely possibility that my friends feel the same way about me.

It’s something I’ve been trying to filter out lately. It can be hard. Instead of staying quiet about it, I try to be open and honest to my friends. I love them all the more for understanding. Because my jealousy isn’t their fault.

Comments on this post

It always makes me happy whenever people acknowledge things like this – flaws that you’re willing to admit to, explain, and still not blame it on anyone. No one’s going to be perfect (unfortunately, haha) and addressing insecurities like this is so much more mature than trying to ignore them or “cure” them or deny them.

Unfortunately I’ve actually never been able to relate to this sort of jealousy; usually the jealousy I experience is more in relation to attention and closeness among people than credit and success from outside people. I think people experience all different types of jealousy – yet, the same as well. I’ve had a lot of friends tell me that they’re jealous of my passion/talent for coding and writing (which is only two things, really) and that they’re not good enough compared to me? But it just makes me sad because I’ve always wanted people to genuinely enjoy themselves and find their niche and usually when I see someone who I think is super talented I usually get really happy for them! (Although I’m actually kind of competitive when it comes to writing, but uh. Flaws and all that.)

I definitely think it’s okay to experience jealousy as long it’s not obsessive ♥ There are always going to be people who have things that we want but don’t have, like in that Good Charlotte song “Something Else.” (a. This comment is getting too long b. I just pulled an all nighter so I’m kind of rambly sob, and c. I don’t know why I just referenced a super old song.)

Anyway, you know that I think you’re superwoman and I’ve admired you for years if you want that to boost your ego /mwah Jealousy’s a cycle around people. Sometimes it’s best to acknowledge it, and other times it’s like, “go away what are these feelings doing here” because sometimes it’s just one of those Human Flaws™ that we’ve gotta polish over with eradicating pride… or some cheesy shit like that.

I think it’s normal for people to feel jealous towards their friends or people who are close to them. I know when I was in high school a few years ago I would always compare myself to my friends. One of my friends has a very “curvy” body that I was jealous of, another friend had a tiny frame like me but I was still jealous of her because her mom was SO easy on her, letting her go out til midnight and go places and I was rarely allowed to go anywhere, and when I WAS allowed, I had to be back home by 9pm. 😢

I think as long as it doesn’t turn into an unhealthy obsession or hatred, jealousy between friends is fine and normal. Thankfully now I am very comfortable and love my body exactly how it is, and now I am married and can go out wherever I want and stay out til 3am if I wanted. lol

Thanks for sharing that comic! As a fellow perfectionist (with sprinklings of OCD, Asperger’s, and other weird mental disorders), I deeply associate with the first comic. However, I can also see how *many* of my friends associate with the second.

I grew up in a school with – frankly – low-achieving individuals. Many of them had teenage pregnancies, never went to college, and still work at fast food restaurants or groceries stores full-time. I, on the other hand, went to a “top-tier” college and have had relative success in my career. I’ve been told many times that it’s difficult to speak or hang out with me because I’m “intense” in everything that I do.

At the same time, I feel like my “intensity” stems from the need to constantly be the best, to fit people’s impression of me, and to satisfy that Mean Little Voice in my head that says, “You can’t do anything.” It’s a major struggle, and I still don’t have any solutions yet :/