The Thin Line between Disgust and Envy

‘That guy is such a pathetic little creature. Always whining about his “Baby, baby, baby oooh”. It makes me sick.’ I guess you know who I am talking about? That’s right: mister J.B. a.k.a. Justin Bieber. One part of the human species loves him (primarily the young and female part) while the other part wouldn’t mind seeing him quit the music business. But why is that we ‘just happen’ to dislike some people? Is it pure and utter disgust, or is there a sense of envy luring around the corner? Do we secretly wish that we were Justin Bieber? And is our sense of disgust in fact nothing more than a mask disguising our true feelings of insecurity?

Envy is best defined as ‘a resentful emotion that occurs when a person lacks another’s (perceived) superior quality, achievement or possession and wishes that the other lacked it.’ What we can infer from this definition is that those who envy others find themselves to be less than others: either because (1) they are insecure about themselves or (2) they’ve got a “deluded” (read: too positive) image of themselves. (1) because “wishing that the other lacked it” – as stated in the definition of envy – comes forth from a feeling of relative insignificance, a feeling of you being relatively little compared to the person you envy, a feeling of you being overlooked because of the alleged perfection of the other person. In other words: you are not at peace with your own capabilities and therefore wish that the capabilities of those better than you will tumble down, thereby making you a relatively better person. Note word “relatively” here, it’s important.

What about (2)? Well, if you believe that you are just as good as – let’s say – Justin Bieber, then you will envy Justin Bieber for being the big star that he is while you are still sitting there in front of your webcam waiting for Jay-Z to give you a call. If you find yourself to be amazing, it doesn’t seem fair that someone else is being appreciated and you are not: after all, you are just as good, right? So you should be appreciated just as much, right? It is this perceived unfairness that makes you envy those who “just happened” to be more lucky than you: delusion –> inadequate comparisons –> feelings of unfairness –> envy.

So, what’s the moral of this story? The moral is to stop hating those who are better than ourselves, to accept our position within society and try to change ourselves instead of trying to destroy others, because the latter merely increases our relative value. I say: fuck relative value. Go for absolute, status-independent value. If you find that you deserve more, if you find that “those idiots becoming famous” are shit, then you should work on yourself: blow them away by your superiority instead of trying to whine them down. If you can, then show it.

But what do you think?

P.S. I am not a fan of Justin Bieber’s music. I don’t know him as a person so I can’t judge him to be a “little self-centered prick” or anything of that sort.

Written by Rob Graumans

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