I have just graduated from University (*applause*) and so begins my longstanding career in unemployment and as a Centrelink line occupier. A Uni friend of mine posted a Facebook status announcing that he had successfully obtained an amazing job as a director of news in another state, it was met with over 100 likes and comments. This mainly annoyed me for two reasons:
1. That is more Facebook comments and likes than I have ever received
2. Suddenly I got rabidly depressed about how I hadn’t been offered a job
I caught myself before I threw too big of a pity party, I didn’t have enough food and drink for depression’s friends Paranoia and Secret Weep to come along. I sent off my congratulations in a text message that contained far too many capital letters and exclamation marks almost mockingly indicative of an impossible event. My secret jealousy could probably be detected in the fact that no event man made or otherwise could possibly be as exciting as the amount of exclamation marks utilized in the text. To be truthful I was incredibly happy and proud of him but there was something about looking at the success of someone in a similar position to you that flicked a switch.
The immediate reaction to seeing someone of similar stead succeeding ahead of you is to think ,’Why not me?’ You then secretly plot their downfall, involving some espionage, a wild night out, a girl whose name is Candy but she spells it with two ‘K’s and an asterisk, a pony and some tooth floss…. Just me? Fine. Usually we’re smart enough to not reveal our feelings to the person in question, but too often I find conversation will be littered with jokes about how ‘I hate them! (for being sucessful). And we all know that jokes are just giant insults disguised in laughter.
Luckily I wasn’t alone in my position of success-jealousy. Conversations that followed with friends over dinner and coffees conveyed a similar experience. Rarely was the conversation anything like;
“Did you hear about so-and-so? They are going on a trip all over Europe. How exciting for them!”
it usually went something like
“Did you hear about so-and-so? They are going on a trip all over Europe. Bitch.”
One of them was relenting the fact that all of her friends were leaving the city and going elsewhere around the country and overseas. “They’re all leaving me!” she exclaimed. We must all sound like selfish, petty bitches; and while that’s generally true in this case I feel like there is a deeper psychological (read, psycho, yet logical) reason behind our knee-jerk reaction to be jerks about other peoples success.
Genuinely I just think that most of us get caught up in life too much that someone making a giant change or moving forward with their lives forces us to look upon ourselves and think about how we never went through with the plans we made, or how life would be different if that had worked out. It’s a simple case of not wanting to be left behind in life while everyone else goes off and is awesome. The snide comments are manifest of our insecurity that things may not work out for us in the future, and while petty, it’s perfectly human. So while there’s nothing wrong with secretly plotting to frame your friend for flossing a dead stripper’s teeth after stealing government secrets and making a getaway on a pony we should really be happy for the people who have worked hard for their achievements, because they probably had the same doubts and insecurities as you and I. My friend slaved years and years in volunteer positions and was focused during hard times on his future goal and luckily it’s paid off for him. So Tim… Congratulations, you dick.