Monday, February 13, 2006

Ask Counselor Shelley

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,
Counselor Shelley


Problem Child said...

I think this kind of thing bugs everybody. You want to be happy for your friends, but at the same time, you want the good things to happen to you, too.

Good to know that those feelings are normal.


Playground Monitor said...

Uhm... we won't mention how the inner b*&+h escaped last week and threw a fit. I've got her under control now thank goodness.

Now if I can just get my back to stop aching. Does Counselor Shelley do accupunture? *g*

Problem Child said...

What does the word "awfulize" mean?

Did you make that up, CS? :-)


Counselor Shelley said...

Although I have been known to make words up, "awfulize" is not my creation. The word "awfulize" was coined by the father of Rational Emotive Behavioral Therapy, psychiatrist Aaron Beck.