When Coveting Goes Too Far

by jennine on November 10, 2008

There’s something that’s been going on for a while, and I need to talk about it. In the past six months or so, I’ve been noticing a lot of interesting shifts in the blogging community. It’s certainly different now than it was two years ago, much of it is great, as it’s gained popularity, quality of photos, etc. With that popularity, I’ve noticed a certain amount of envy/comparing and even negative comments.

I’ve never compared myself to models or movie actresses, but in the blog world it’s different.. when we’re talking about ‘real people’ the lines somehow get fuzzy.

I can’t say that it hasn’t affected me… these days it’s been very difficult to post personal style pictures. I used to do it almost every day, and now (aside from the Halloween Series) it’s gone down to once a week, and I’ve even thought of cutting out the today’s attire series completely, had it not been the very backbone of the blog’s humble beginning.

On the surface, I really think it is because in effort to ‘keep up’ with all the other blogs, who are younger, prettier, thinner, richer than me I get really uncomfortable, when I compare myself to them. I think about how hard I work to be ‘half as good as they are’… I don’t want to do it, but it happens, and it’s the worst feeling.

I’ve never compared myself to models or movie actresses, but in the blog world it’s different.. when we’re talking about ‘real people’ the lines somehow get fuzzy. It’s strange because in reality there is always going to be someone younger, prettier and more stylish than you/me and everyone else. I’m not old. I’m not overweight. My closet is overflowing.

Let’s just stop here, draw the line, because the problem isn’t outside it’s within.

The good news is, if the problem is within, then it can be changed.

Envy is never a good thing. I see it all the time, both on and offline. And when I feel it, it’s like a burning poison. It taints everything around it, where there is beauty turns ugly, and where there is happiness is anger.

The truth is, everyone has their own path.. no one has things easier than another person, and we each have our own gifts to bring to the world. It is however, important to look at why these jealous feelings are surfacing, is it insecurity? is it fear of failure? What can I do to change those feelings…oh yeah, that’s right, look at all the things I have to be grateful for.

Perspective

Envy/jealousy/cattiness whatever you want to call it, often comes from this idea that somehow love is somehow limited, when in fact it’s unlimited, it’s everywhere and in everything.

Envy/jealousy/cattiness whatever you want to call it, often comes from this idea that somehow love is somehow limited, when in fact it’s unlimited, it’s everywhere and in everything.

It’s really easy to have a distorted vision of reality when everyone is young and pretty and impeccably dressed, when all you see is the happy side of things… the reality is that it doesn’t really exist. People are photoshopped, they get hangovers, they have credit card bills. Everyone has their own obstacles.

When it comes to measuring success, it’s also important to realize, that though there are people who experience success quite quickly, early successes doesn’t always equate with real success. And in this day of instant everything, the truth is that the worlds greatest successes didn’t happen over night… and they didn’t occur without setbacks and temporary failures. Real success occurs over a lifetime, it’s a journey, and if you really look at it, there are multiple ways of measuring it.

So instead of being judge, jury and executioner in my own mind, it’s important to take a step back and look at what’s really important.

Gratitude

With all the world’s problems…taking an inventory of all the wonderful things in my life is never a bad idea. My family, my friends, my loving boyfriend… the roof over my head, the time I have to dedicate to this blog, the woods outside my house, running around trying to catch falling leaves. My health, my relative intelligence… all of which are things to be grateful for, and those I just thought off the top of my head. Even when times look really tough, the good thing about gratitude, is there is always something to be grateful for.

Further reading:

Here are some things I like to read whenever I am going through periods of self-doubt.

Malcom Gladwell : Late Bloomers
How to be an Expert
Dealing with Envy/Jealousy about Beauty on Steve Pavlina
Dealing With Jealousy (Buddhism)

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{ 55 comments }

Thom November 17, 2008 at 2:19 pm

I feel that way every time I see someone with a billion comments, and wonder what I have to do to get there.

And then I realize what a disservice that is to all the people who do read my blog and comment.

And then I feel like a tool.

Edith Purdy November 18, 2008 at 5:10 am

Your blog is one of my favourites, Jennine. The way you write, put outfits together and generally think really interests me and makes me consider my own choices.

I don’t get envious of the way others look, I’m very happy with my own appearance. That said, I never do outfit posts. I think there are enough people out there doing that and it’s great and inspiring but becomes a bit samey after a while (with a few exceptions - yourself included).

I am often envious of other bloggers wardrobes though - Suzie Bubble’s especially! She has so many amazing clothes. Would love to win a trolley dash round her flat. However, I’ve never felt the need to write negative comments as a result of this. I don’t understand that kind of reaction. If you don’t like a blog for whatever reason, just don’t read it anymore.

I guess, one of the positive things to take away from negative comments is that if you are getting them it probably means that your blog is becoming quite successful (in terms of hits).

jennine November 18, 2008 at 5:53 am

Wow… I just have to say thank you for all these comments, thank you for being so honest and so open to talk about what you’re feeling too. It’s really nice not to feel alone in this, and from all this… it’s hard to feel isolated.

thank you

<3

R.D.C. July 31, 2009 at 7:22 am

Wow… Your post was incredibly true AND inspiring! Thank you for remembering us the real message/purpose of blogging.
:)
.-= R.D.C.´s last blog ..Sun in the amazon… =-.

crystal * @ Watermoolen May 3, 2010 at 11:42 am

This definitely was written with a lot of heart and courage. I applaud you for that because with the increasing bloggers that there are nowadays it’s hard to draw the line. I often too compare myself with other bloggers (and even before when I wasn’t a blogger and was just a fellow reader).

There would be times where I think, “hey my style is just as comparable (or even better), yet I don’t get noticed.” It’s a tough world out there especially when you think that these girls are “down to earth” and more “real” than the celebrities.

However, what people don’t see is the “behind the scenes.” When real people start getting press or interviewed, they start to become celebrity status - so you’re no longer being compared to a “real person,” instead a semi-”faux” celebrity.

Thanks again for this article,
<3 Crystal
.-= crystal * @ Watermoolen´s last blog ..Monday, May 03, 2010 =-.

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