Monday, October 17, 2011

The Other Side of Jealousy

“Are you ever jealous of friends who make the publishing process look like eating a Twinkie?” my friend asked.

I didn’t even need to think about my answer. “Oh, of course. I feel like, ‘What is wrong with me, that it’s taking me twenty-ten years and sixteen moons to birth one baby, and they are cranking out three books a year while homescooling five kids and training penguins to juggle for their church’s fall extravaganza.?’”

Her sigh of relief was thick. It does feel good to know we’re not alone.

In addition to friends who understand, we have the Word of God, blog posts, magazine articles, twelve-step jealousy recovery groups on Facebook (well, maybe…). to help us overcome those jealousy vipers.

But what if we find ourselves on the other side of the latte from someone whose soul seethes with jealousy because of our success? And what if that someone is a dear friend or family member? How do we overcome the hurt, confusion and feelings of betrayal when another is jealous of us?

1. Pray for them

We know from our own anguish during jealous times how awful it feels to covet someone else’s success. If we pray for the person who’s jealous of us, it will open doors of blessing for them and shut doors of resentment in our hearts.

2. Brag on them

Insecurity and lack of trust for their future success can trigger jealousy. If we affirm the person who is jealous of us, it will help them relax and trust the Lord that He has good plans for all His kids, not only a select group.

3. Help them

Are there ways we can aid fellow-travelers in their own journey? Introduce them to someone who can help them in their career, loan them a book, share a trade secret. It will diffuse their jealousy, and make the devil mad he ever messed with us.

And if there’s anything I love,
it’s ruining Satan's day.

  • Have you experienced someone being jealous of you?
  • How did that make you feel?
  • What did you do?
  • Any suggestions for diffusing jealousy that I missed?


  1. I don't know that I've experienced someone being jealous of me. If I have, they didn't let me know it, LOL! But these are WONDERFUL tips, Jeanette...and things we can do for anyone, whether jealousy is involved or not. (By the way, my 4-year-old was looking over my shoulder as I read your post and loved the pictures!) :)

  2. As a teenager I lost friends over jealousy. I still struggle sometimes over wanting to shine, staying in the shadows, fearful that I'll lose important relationships due to jealousy. Having a core group of supporters of all that we do is helpful in keeping the green from hiding our gold. These are all great tips. Thanks!

  3. Oh, Sarah, it's the largest compliment of the week that a four-year-old loved the pictures on my blog! Thanks for sharing that with me, dear.

  4. Lynn: Oooooh, I love the green hiding our gold saying. Did you invent it? Very profound!

  5. These are wonderful, encouraging points, Jen. I've been on both sides of the fence; neither is fun. But like you said, we can be proactive and beat the enemy at his own game. Good things to ponder, thanks!

  6. I have seen some of this lately in my life. Since I started directing a conference, I sense a spirit of competition coming from some old friends and new ones. In trying to convince people to come to the event I have to "name drop". Sometimes that feeds seeds of jealousy that are already festering in some people. I have also felt jealousy, especially knowing that I got such a late start at writing seriously. It's hard to always be the bridesmaid and never the bride. :) but knowing God will exalt us at the proper time is comforting.
    Thanks Jen....good post.

  7. Love this post! The idea of helping and bragging on others! It goes along well with the post over at the Writer's Alley today.
    ~ Wendy

  8. I don't think I ever have cause I have never done anything much to be jealous of! LOL I wish! NO not really. I am SOOOOOO proud of you and happy for you and would love to be there in any way I can for your journey:))

  9. My former best friend was jealous of me, and she didn't hide it, and then she started to get very snarky in regards to me. My method was to ignore it most of the time, and I also would encourage her. Eventually the friendship just kind of dissolved. If I'm ever in that situation again, I'll confront it head on, and use your tips!

  10. I like the topic Jeanette.

    I like your approach here in starting with prayer. We may think we know what to do or say, but remembering that prayer allows us to be grounded so that we can be open to what the Spirit tells us--now that is a characteristic of a good approach.

  11. Ha! I like nothing more that ruining Satan's day. He need a dose of his own medicine!

  12. I haven't sensed anyone being jealous of me. Hopefully that isn't because I haven't done anything. I pick up offenses from others but probably wouldn't notice jealousy. Maybe my friends hide it well.

    I would be jealous of you, but you have worked very hard and deserve all of your success. It just isn't in me to feel that way about you.

    By the way, that baby picture and caption made me laugh out loud.

  13. Jen, what a great post. When I finally got my first contract, I had a writing friend honestly admit that she should be jealous, and I knew exactly how she felt, I like how you flipped this to how it feels being on the other side. And like Nancy, had to LOL at that adorable last pic.

  14. I've found sometimes Not thinking abt. certain ppl is best. Although your suggestions are awesome too! I love that little boy at the bottom of ur post too! Totemstrio

  15. Nice look at the other side of jealousy, Jeanette. I don't know that I've experienced the affects of another person's jealousy, but I have of their sadness or anger.
    All still apply.

    Great reminders!!

  16. Very helpful post, Jeanette. I think you're right about affirming and encouraging that person.

    Love that line about ruining Satan's day. :)

    Blessings to you this week.

  17. I needed to read this, Jeanette! Thanks for the great post. It is very painful when a friend aims open jealousy in our direction! I experienced this recently. But I'm trying to have a good attitude about it, and I can say, I do feel sorry for this person and I am praying for her.

    I've encountered this a little bit since I got published, and it stinks, but I have to admit that I understand it. I feel sorry for anybody caught in the throes of jealousy. I hate that feeling and I have to repent and pray for God to take it away, because it is awful! We just have to not compare ourselves to other people. When I pray for forgiveness for comparing myself to someone else, the jealousy tends to disappear, especially when I turn on the gratitude and thankfulness for all God has done for me! And there isn't a person alive who doesn't have mounds of blessings that they could thank God for.

    But still, I understand the jealousy thing. It's something we have to fight, especially in this business!

  18. Jeanette:
    Thank you for this post. I remember hearing a preacher tell of a parishoner complimenting a pianist on her skill at the piano. The parishoner said, "I always wanted to play the piano like that. Do you think I could?" The pianist said,"Yes, if you are willing to practice at it."

    All writers have to put in time to learn the craft. Some are more willing to do that than others. You, my dear friend, have put in the practice time and learned the craft.
    People who are jealous of anybody have a problem. It's called prIde. Sometimes referred as an "I" problem.

  19. Jeanette, love the "brag on them" idea. Your hints are always so helpful. Thanks

  20. I've had friends make cutting remarks about my writing, but most have been supportive.

    I'm genuinely happy when someone succeeds, but wonder when my time will come. It's more a, "have You put me on a shelf Lord?" kind of thing than begrudging another person's blessings.

  21. Not really, may be I missed or can't think of one as of now :)


Oh, it's YOU! I'm so happy to see you here today, and look forward to reading your comments.