October 25, 2013 - submitted by Mia, India
Q. TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #141
I have been in a whirlpool of thoughts for quite sometime now due to jealousy. This feeling has developed since the time my best friend, who is a poet, has started writing for a band. I am a writing enthusiast too and this sick feeling that I can write better than him is creeping up and making it all very negative. Of course I don't have the courage to share it with him and at the same time I am all frustrated inside. All the time, I feel like proving him that I am better. It's blocking my thought processes and I am doomed. How do I get rid of this feeling. Am I really worth nothing or is this just jealousy making me feel like that?
The Oracle replies:
Jealousy really is a green eyed monster.
In your opinion you're better than your friend but you don't say what - if anything - you are doing with your talent. I prefer to say you are different rather than better. Who determines what constitutes being better? It's surely subjective.
I can empathize as have been in a similar situation on more than one occasion and I can tell you yes, it was hard and felt unfair but it's how you CHOOSE to react and what do about it. You can either sulk and be resentful or you can be supportive & subsequently creative.
Sometimes in life opportunities come along but sometimes you have to make those opportunities. It's not your friend's fault that they have been chosen to do something on their own merit.
Part of being a best friend is sharing the joy and being happy at their successes. It's rational to feel a little bit envious when it's something you covet, but it sounds like you've been consumed with your negative feelings which if they haven't already, are going to seriously harm your friendship.
If you tell your friend that you're really pleased for them, drop in that you'd love to do something similar. You don't have to share just how deep your envy runs. If you're not pleased AT ALL for him though, I am worried for you.
Now, it's natural to wish things for yourself and jealousy - to a degree - is fine. You're in danger of becoming very bitter and full of hate and that's not so fine.
Ask yourself, who are wanting to prove you're better to? If it's to your friend - or the band - I'm sorry to say, you're not being a good friend. If it's to yourself, you don't need to make it competitive, just get on and do it.
You are both blessed at being good at the same thing, but that doesn't mean it's him OR you. You can both share your experiences.
You need to work on your confidence & self-esteem as you have contradicted yourself by saying you think you're better yet feel worth nothing.
Just because the band chose your friend, doesn't mean he's better than you - he may be, to some but not to others. They chose him so they obviously like what he does.
If you already know you're good you probably don't need validation, you just feel you do. Go and carve your own niche and do your own thing. Write a blog or whatever and get it out there. Hopefully your friend will support your efforts and you will find a way to reciprocate.
Over to you.
First of all I'd like to say that I understand you completely. The feelings that you are trying to deal with are very natural. This is a part of being human actually. I believe that everybody in the world can feel the same if they have to face this kind of situation. You feel it is not fair, you are better than your friend but he gets the better opportunities, this feeling of injustice distracts you and it is quite normal, firstly you should accept these feelings and stop blaming yourself because you feel like that. Then you should ignore your friend’s success. You and him are different people, just because he gets good chances right now doesn’t mean you’ll never get better chances. Try to be happy for him and keep on trying, working for yourself. Don’t compare yourself with him, look your own way. Jealousy is an obstacle for you but you can deal with it. If you really believe that you have talent, you can show it to the world. The only thing you have to do is keeping your self-confidence and stop thinking what your friend is doing, it is not important. Don’t forget that nobody is more valuable than you, you are not worthless and you can do anything you want. I think time is your side and in the end you get rid of this negative feeling and take what you deserve with your talent. Ozlem.
I decided to join Team Oracle this week because your feeling is one I had many times. I'm part of a band and there's no real singer so we're 3 girls, we're sharing songs and we're also playing an instrument when we don't sing. At the beginning I didn't really like to sing but then growing up I realized it was what I liked the most and I couldn't help noticing problems or technical details that went wrong when others were singing. Especially when it was a song I really would have liked to sing. But for the band well-being I have to give up songs to others and try to help them figure it out when they don't succeed. You should try to ask your friend if he would matter if you just proposed one of your songs to the band he's writing for. To see if your work is worth it. If he really is your best friend, I guess he's gonna accept. If writing is a common passion you have, you could maybe share your texts just together and tell the other one what you think to make you both progress. I also think that the fact he is your best friend could be great because you wouldn't have to really explain your texts, he would normally understand them if he really know you. I know it's sometimes hard to share what you write. I sometimes keep songs for myself during months because it is too personal. Claire.
Jealousy is an emotion that can twist your emotions in crazy ways and destroy even the strongest relationships. Jealousy is just a lie we often tell ourselves. Seeing someone get what you have been wanting can be a terrible feeling, and I have experienced that myself. However in your situation, concentrating on who is the more talented writer is the wrong way of looking at things. Perhaps the best way to solve your problem is to change your perspective. Instead of seeing yourself as the better writer, see yourself as just a different kind of writer than your friend. It is impossible to prove that you are better. I personally believe that no one is "better" at anything; everyone has their very own special way of doing things. Your writing is special because it is yours and you should never forget that. Your friends writing is equally special, he is just using it in a different way. Personally, I make music because it makes me feel good inside, sharing it with other people is just a perk that comes on the side. I don't see any reason why it would be different for writing. Strive to do what you love; don't strive to be the best. The best thing you can do is be honest with your friend because telling him the truth will make you feel much better. See this an opportunity to share your writings with each other and learn from each others work.
God Bless, Jeremy.
It's okay to feel jealous once in a while. But if you think about it, you should actually be really proud of your friend! You'll be an awesome writer. Some people just aren't as lucky as others. Trust me. I know how you feel. The longer you wait, the more professional your writing will be. And never try to prove how much better you are. It will all just go down hill. Evan.
You are experiencing a bit of angst over another's success. This could be because you secretly have a desire to do something similar , or it could be because you feel regret over never having taken the opportunity. You need to isolate what is holding you back , fear of rejection perhaps ?? Could you be feeling a lack of confidence in your abilities ??? In life there will always be people who are better than us and people that are not . You are who you are . If who you are is a frustrated poet, then perhaps get your work published and then show it to your friend , don't measure your own success by the success of another . Be prepared for a critique and don't let it discourage you , but learn from it. I am curious though, if your friend's poetry had not been a success would you still be wanting to write yours??? How you answer gives a clue to whether or not this is jealousy. You are I am sure, a capable person, so go for it , and see what happens !!! Best of Luck with it , Laurie.
There is no need to be jealous. Maybe your friend's style of poems appeal to the band he's writing for, it all depends on what you like. What you need to do is find the right person who really likes your work, there will be someone who thinks your work is great. Plus, if it's a band, they may write songs from your work. Practice is always good! Carry on writing poems but try to widen the audience you write/perform them to because I can practically guarantee there will be someone who really likes your work. People often are scared to be proud of what they do, that is what you should do. Be proud and be grateful that you have the ability to write poems! :)
Kind regards and best wishes, Joe.
I think it's good for you to be happy for your friend and, how hard it is, talk with your friend about it. Share how you feel about it and I think your friend can help you! You're someone with talents, so you don't have to think you're worth nothing! If you talk with the friend about your jealously feelings, you will understand each other better and I believe it will help you!
I understand your thirst to prove yourself, but I wouldn't worry about your friend. His time came to him, and yours will, too. You are not worthless. Just keep those creative juices flowing, write whatever you like, whenever you like, and I'm sure that you will get your chance to show it all off. If writing is something you really enjoy, then focus on that good feeling you get.
When it comes to friendship, you shouldn't let your pride get the best of you. Let him have his moment, and really try to ignore that nagging feeling. If it seems absolutely impossible to do that, then maybe you could offer your friend some help. That way, he might recognize your talent and you wouldn't feel the need to show it off as much (make sure you get credit for your writing, though!). I hope all goes well for you and your poetry!
I think the best thing to do would be to talk to him about what you're feeling- or if you don't want to do that, you could always express this feeling through your writing!
Jealousy doesn't make you worth nothing, it's just another emotion and proves that you're human. I hope this helps! Good luck, and try not to worry too much :) From Rachel.
What you've got to realize is that your friend's writing has nothing to do with you. The only way you should be involved is by being proud and impressed. He couldn't have gotten there without hard work, and despite the fact you may have more talent, you need to consider the effort he has put into getting where he is now. Want to prove that you're a better writer? Prove it to yourself. Work your way up and your raw talent paired with a good attitude will get you where you want to be. You can't achieve anything by observing and criticizing your friend's work. If you were meant to be doing what he does, you would be in his position. Find something for yourself that makes YOU proud and forget about what your friends are up to. Whenever he mentions it and it starts to bug you: smile, tell him how impressed you are, etc. Although it may be fake at first, it will become genuine. After all, when you land your kick ass job, you'll want him to be proud of you. Isabel.
Mia, sometimes it is a part of life that you get jealous over things, but if that feeling has gotten worse, its a different talk now.
Firstly, is he competing with you when it comes to writing? If not, then you shouldn't get jealous. And life is not always about competing with others.
Second, maybe try to show him your work so that you two could work on it and stop being jealous. Try it maybe it will turn out very positive.
Thirdly, every person is worth living I mean it. Its just that the jealousy is making you feel like that. You really need to block out that jealousy feeling. Try to be positive at all things.
I hope this helps you Mia. Kristine. Manila, Philippines.
Jealousy is one of the worst muses you can find, even sadness, loneliness and fear would be better. You did realize that it blocks your creativity and now shake it off, then you are not doomed anymore.
Some competitive feelings can be helpful to work: who has started or finished his new work first, something like this - without comparing the contents though. Although your friend seems to be more successful at the moment, this never means one of you both writes better or worse lyrics. There is no general “better” in arts, it’s always a question of taste or times, everybody likes something different. You don’t need to love his work, but you can be respectful to him being a writer, another one.
If you want to write for a band then search for one, or publish your work in limited editions, create a lyrics’ website, do anything to reach people. Don’t hide your talent, if no one reads you no one can discover and appreciate your poems.
Finally your creativity is a very private thing and there is no matter of being successful or not. You call yourself an enthusiast, and that’s it: having fun and just doing it for its own sake, your act of writing is your very own success story. Keep on and be inspired. L.Q.
Thank you everyone who replied to this week’s question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you'd like to take part, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.