Dear Counselor Shelley,
I'm in a critique group with several writers I respect. I think I'm just as good a writer as they are, but they're getting contest wins, contest finals, and requests from editors --- and I'm not. I want to be happy for them but it's hard. I don't want to be jealous, but I am. How can I get over this?
"The Green Eyed Monster"
Dear "Green Eyed Monster,"
First of all, quit thinking of yourself as a "monster." Experencing feelings of jealousy or envy is normal and inevitable. You can't stop yourself from feeling jealous, but you can decide how you are going to behave and for how long you are going to remain jealous. Here are a few tips to help get you on the right path.
Take some time to process your feelings. Allow yourself to experience your emotions instead of immediately trying to stuff them. Secondly, practice talking to your friends about their successes. As we all know, when we are emotional we often say the wrong things. This is why rehearsing is important. Lastly, don't awfulize. Think about all of your accomplishments and successes. Remind yourself that there will be many opportunities for your own successes in the future.
Experiencing jealousy is common and dealing with this feeling is often a difficult and complex undertaking. For this reason, my March article will focus on this topic. I hope this gets you started on the righ track. Don't forget to come back in March for more. Thanks for the great question.
Good Luck & Best Wishes,