Jealousy & Envy in the Blogging Community
By: Taylor Davies

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Perhaps it’s not the most festive topic this time of year, but after reading Ashe’s post from a few weeks ago on Blogging Sins, I’ve been thinking a lot about jealousy and envy in the blogging community. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s felt more than a tinge of one or both of these things in my blogging days…

Let’s start things off with a refresher on the difference between jealousy and envy:

Jealousy: “the result or fear of losing someone or something that one is attached to or possesses to another person.”

Envy:  “the resentment caused by another person having something that one does not have, but desires for oneself.”

(Thank you, Wikipedia.) The two terms are often used to mean the same thing now, but when you think about it, there’s a big difference, and I think that difference is important when talking about these emotions as they relate to the blogging community.

Personally, I have suffered more from envy as a blogger. I don’t so much fear losing anything to another, but I have definitely felt those moments of resentment. From the biting wit of Leandra Medine to Aimee Song‘s perfect hair – I’ve caught myself in moments of spiteful envy when cruising some of my favorite blogs, even those of my friends!

Then, I feel terrible. I feel lacking personally, and I feel bad because I’m projecting my own perceived shortcomings onto my talented peers who I actually want to support – not resent!

British social critic Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. Do you agree?

If you’re someone who’s able to keep perspective as you navigate this crazy experience we call fashion blogging without feeling jealousy or envy, I commend you and your (ahem, enviable) attitude. But if you’re one who falters, who feels envy, who feels the desire to have what someone else has… Let’s talk. What can we do to combat these feelings? I think Russell really was right in his thinking that envy breeds unhappiness, so here are some things that might help:

  • STOP comparing yourself to others:I’ll be the first to admit this is all but impossible sometimes. We set standards and goals for ourselves based on what others have achieved, so measuring up is inevitable. Just keep in mind that your individuality will trump your ability to mimic the success of another. It’s always better to be a first-rater version of yourself than a second-rate version of someone else.
  • Empathize, don’t criticize:When you feel those pangs of envy or jealousy, try and put yourself in the shoes of the other person. Remember that just like nobody knows everything that you’ve been through to get where you are, the same is true for the rest of the world. As hard as it can be, sometimes it’s better to just say, “Good for them,” and move on.
  • Let it fuel the fire: Okay, so maybe you can’t quite control your feelings of envy. Fine. Channel those feelings and do something positive with them: let your desire for whatever it is you want inspire you to GET IT. Work hard, visualize yourself getting what you want and then feeling satisfied. Just make sure this is something you really want, not just a one-up to best someone else.

Do you feel envy or jealousy as a blogger? How do you deal with it? Share your experiences in the comments.

Comments

  1. Oh, I definitely envy other bloggers! There are some that inspires me while I’m still envious of them. I want their page views, their Facebook likes, etc. I don’t understand why some hit it big and others of us struggle. I think that’s what drives envy the most. The lack of understanding about how and why we are where we are.

    • Jana Carrero says:

      Well-said Erin @ Loop Looks!! Sometimes no matter how hard one works and sweats over their blog and other social media outlets, things take a while to get moving. And it’s impossible not to wonder and drool with envy at other blogger superstars, “How does he/she do it? How did they get that partnership with that designer/brand? How did they get noticed? How did they get so much exposure??”

      OrangeJuiceAndCigarettes.blogspot.com

    • Avatar of Jana Rose Carrero
      Jana Carrero says:

      Well-said Erin @ Loop Looks!! Sometimes no matter how hard one works and sweats over their blog and other social media outlets, things take a while to get moving. And it’s impossible not to wonder and drool with envy at other blogger superstars, “How does he/she do it? How did they get that partnership with that designer/brand? How did they get noticed? How did they get so much exposure??”

      OrangeJuiceAndCigarettes.blogspot.com

    • SweetJessC says:

      Am totally with you!!!

  2. Avatar of sacramento
    sacramento says:

    I find them good to learn.
    I feel jealous of the ones who are invited to the fashion shows, lol
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  3. Salha says:

    Good article again, thanks! :)

  4. Donna says:

    My blog was featured on a radio segment that I listen to this morning, on why you should wear good activewear. When they started bashing it, I called in to defend myself, and was met with jealousy from the female hosts. They had read my blog and assumed I was a “skinny, fashion girl who didn’t have to work out, and obviously just goes to the gym to pick up guys.” Wow…seriously? So envy and jealousy are everywhere blogs are concerned. I envy other bloggers, for sure, but use that to push my blog because if I want it, so will my readers. Envy can be a source of inspiration, jealousy can be the downfall of anyone.

    Donna
    YogainHeels.com

  5. Ummm YES I feel this all the time, and then I have to remind myself I am still in college (1 more semester baby) and do not have the same income. I know that sounds bad but it’s true, I compare myself to people who have full time jobs and have many years on me. When I stop I think I realize these people are not comparable and we do not have the same experiences….but then a few days/hours later I circle back around and want their shoes.

    • Avatar of Tali
      Tali says:

      Well if you think that whoever has a full time job has also the time to blog and be socially active – you’re wrong. That’s why I left my full time job to become a full time blogger. For 2 years I gave my blog all the free time I had (I mean ALL the free time) and still it was just a hobby blog. Now things start to change, because I’m able to invest the time in it.

  6. Mary says:

    Could the fashion industry survive, as is, without Envy? How else would they get us to purchase their overpriced toilet water?

  7. Avatar of Pinksole

    Great article Taylor. I have felt some envy towards other successful bloggers, why is it so easy for them? Why do they get all those great deals with majors brands? But one thing I do realize is that the best bloggers are not trend followers, they are original/unique. So I decided to focus on myself and the things that I like in the hope that the people with the same mindset and aesthetic will found my blog appealing. I try to say true to myself and don’t want to be like anyone else. I mean why would I want to be a bad copy of somebody else? And when you are envious most likely you will not be happy and a blogger’s mood always translate into their blog.
    xo
    Rachelle
    http://pinksole.com

  8. Rap says:

    Getting over envy has been one of my biggest struggles. Great topic to bring up Taylor. I found it also helps to turn envy into inspiration. Look at someone else’s success and analyze what it took for them to get to where they are.

  9. Addison says:

    I love this article! It’s so true that we always want we don’t have. And when we let envy take over us, we no longer appreciate the beauty that is US!! Appreciate yourself and notice your own strengths… it’s way easier said than done.

    Spectacular post!
    willcodeforclothes.com

  10. I blogged about being jealous of The Blonde Salad ( http://www.aprettierplace.net/2011/05/jealous-of-blonde-salad.html) more than a year ago and I still get comments on this post. Unfortunately, I think it’s something that every blogger has to overcome.
    - Marie

    • Avatar of Manuela
      Manuela says:

      Well, the simply fact of being jealous is a negative feeling that will keep you down in your life and work in general. And, when you spend your time in spying on others, you lose the time of being yourself!

      They are successful because they do not care about others, they are being themselves, that’s all. World doesn’t need duplicates!

      Wow Mary, that’s just a good idea of advertising the “salad”, you just create to her blog even more traffic, I hope you get some money for that :)

  11. Donna says:

    I always thought that envy meant wanting what someone else had, but not in a resentful way. What word would I use to mean that? Hmmm… must find out and change my vocabulary.
    Whatever that word is, I certainly feel that. There have been 1 or 2 bloggers that I did like following until I noticed that almost everything they were wearing was “c/o”, and many of their posts were about collaborations with some brand. I feel that at that point they’re writing their posts to promote whatever brand sends them the most things. They don’t seem to have their own style anymore. IF I ever get to the point where brands send me things, I hope that I will either make it into my own style, or reject it. Or if I’d decide to be mostly a promoter, I’d reflect that in my posts (ie: being a PR person is my job).
    Now I’m off to find a dictionary!
    Donna
    http://www.prettysparklythings.blogspot.com

  12. I appreciate your definition of Jealousy in contrast to Envy, first. I have a different opinion of the definition with that said. Regarding Envy, I can envy someone but there is no malicious intent. I recently browsed a new fashion blog. A luxury style blogger who’s has impeccable taste. I have a Proenza Schouler PS1 black on my wish list. I stumbled a post where she showcased not, 1 but 3 of the Proenza Schoulers satchels. Jealousy Envy call it what you will, I wanted that damn bag! LOL I still want the bag, 9 times out of 10 I will eventually score one. I had those feeling momentarily. As I think and write I am experiencing those feelings again. But I don’t hate her, I don’t wish her ill will. Matter of fact, in her blog she stated she was visiting the city I live in. I wish I could meet her for lunch and befriend her. We have things in common. Those feelings of wanting to meet her and befriend her out weight my moment of dang, She has 3, I just want one! To be honest my feelings are more directed toward the bag than any feeling about her. I actually like because she likes the bag so much she brought 3. Anywho, I don’t wish or think any bad thoughts other than damn I want the bag!

  13. Julia says:

    I don’t know how you can’t be envious of other more successful bloggers. I also think that some huge bloggers just got lucky and received their place in the spotlight and others just never get even a chance.

  14. Avatar of Rhythm and Ruffle

    Interesting comments – I guess everyone has that thing that makes them a little green eyed; however speaking for myself I’ve never felt either emotion within the blogging world. There are a handful of “top” and not so top bloggers I admire based largely on their personal style – not the brand name or cost, or even the gorgeous photos – I look at a persons ability – to make almost anything look incredible, a real stylist type who is an original brand. It’s easier to free your mind of negativity when you value your own natural talent and what that brings to the table. If you’re struggling with these feelings, try to steer clear of trends and aspirational blogs that seem to, for as lovely as some are, scream “look at me, look at me; now tell me, is your life this good – please in the comment section, because I might read it while en route to Bali” We know it’s all fun and loads of glitter at the end of the day, but it can be crushing to a person who may not see that at the moment or ever. There’s just so many positive elements to put in and take out of fashion blogging – we’re all super special and should set the goal to be ourselves, because that’s where lasting success lies.

    http://rhythmandruffle.com <3

  15. Catharina says:

    this article is sadly really true, but instead of jealousy, i feel more like envy. many blogger looks so effortless with their looks and they just have this kind of natural beauty and lots of opportunities. i think you guys are my role model. :)

  16. Belinda says:

    I remember when I first started blogging I would always compare myself to others, I think I still do a little bit more now. But I’ve just learnt to enjoy what I do and not concentrate so much in numbers. I’d rather have a small readership that actually take an interest over my posts than a massive list of subscribers and maybe half of them don’t even bother to read my blog :)

  17. Avatar of Nasreen
    Nasreen says:

    I agree with Bertrand. We always wan’t the things we can’t have and things others have. Basically everything…you just have to accept it and do those things that you’ve suggested.

    http://lazyobsession.blogspot.ie/2012/12/get-taylor-swift-i-knew-you-were.html

  18. Avatar of Tali
    Tali says:

    Girsl who just started, stop comparing yourself to bloggers who started 4-5 years ago. It was a totally different story back then.

  19. Most of the bloggers that come to mind have been doing this for years and they didn’t always dress in designer clothing/shoes. Rumi started off with some higher end street style brands but was able to work her way up to those pieces after the sponsors came rolling in. Even now, there are new bloggers rising to the top (brands always want a fresh face) it just takes longer to find them because there are tons and tons of other blogs.

    Kayture comes to mind. She started fairly recently and has built a great brand. It’s certainly more difficult now, but it’s possible with the right support system.

    And, yes, the Blonde Salad is the exception to the rule. Leave her be.

  20. kristina says:

    O most def! Even in the plus size community, where we are all spreading acceptance and supposedly supporting one another, it happens most. I look at all types of fashion, but b.c I am a plus blogger, I feel more pressure than possibly a thinner girl fashion blogging. I’m different than most other bloggers…I wear my pretty clothes while riding my bike! Sometimes I feel I can’t be as chic as some of my fav. +writers. It usually is more profound during that time of the month(thanks hormones!), and goes away quickly. I accepted long before I blogged that I’m different…MIGHT AS WELL OWN IT!

  21. jCa says:

    WOW.

    Taylor, this is something I’ve thought about so much in my life, and even more so since starting my blog. You know how they say men think about sex every 20 minutes? I probably think about the jealousy/envy thing at least 6 times a day.

    But not because I’m feeling jealousy OR envy.

    I’ve thought about this throughout my life.. that there’s something not normal about me. That I don’t think that way. When I started posting streetstyle shots, the feedback I’d get a lot was ‘I’m so jealous of her shoes.’ And I’d think: who thinks like that? And.. okay, I’m gonna toss this one out there:

    I wonder if it has to do with the position in one’s family? Because whenever I meet another woman who doesn’t have the envy gene, I ask if she’s the eldest of her siblings and she’ll always say ‘yes, how did you know?’ That’s my theory: my sister (bless her) who is two years younger – and blonde, and was always so cute as a girl, as a teen – is someone who has let her life become poisoned by envy. Never mind her blog – she doesn’t do social media – it has informed all her relationships, it runs through her life. And I’ve realised that what I’ve developed in my personality is just as counter productive: I’ve become a woman who is afraid of jealous – or envious – women. I’ve become an appeaser.

    My husband – also an eldest, of 5 siblings, four are male – is the same way. I asked him once why he was so self depreciating around his sibs, or males who are clearly ‘inferior’ in one way or another, and he considered, and replied ‘I guess I’m just trying to even the playing field.’ It’s as if, growing up clever, attractive enough.. okay, really cute (he looked like a young Mick Jagger when I met him: a devastatingly sexy heartbreaker, with an English accent, in NY) charming, we each developed this personna of ‘please don’t hurt me, look, I’m flawed!’ and then pointing out the reasons why they shouldn’t envy us.

    I could go on and on about this – it’s all tied in with why I got bullied as a blogger (btw: Kate Middleton, when she was getting married, chose in lieu of gifts to give to her charity of choice: an anti-bullying group, because of how deeply the envious classmates at her first private school affected her. Simply because she was smart, pretty, talented, and nice.) And I don’t know what to suggest to those who are wired to wish they had what their (virtual) older sister has, but your advice is exactly what I’d say: put yourself in the other person’s shoes. From where they stand, they know they’re not perfect.

    Or – a phrase I love – try not to compare your own insides to someone else’s outsides.

    I can’t believe there isn’t a limit to these comments! My husband is calling me in to watch the Newton news, but I found this fascinating. I never understood the distinction: I knew I could be jealous if a pretty girl was flirting with my boyfriend or husband, but I knew it wasn’t because I wished I was her. I was just scared she’d take him away. So I guess that fits the definition.

    Thank you – and I can’t wait to read the rest of the comments. And I’m extra moved by the courage of people like Erin of Loop Looks. Because the minute you admit – to strangers – that you’re feeling something that you know you shouldn’t, you’ve conquered it. It’s the ones who run from those ‘bad’ feelings that are in trouble. We’re only as sick as our secrets.

  22. jCa says:

    p.s. Can I say something else? I will, anyway.
    I want every one of you to know: in my years as a blogger, I have gotten to know – real life know – a lot of these ‘big’ bloggers who get all the free stuff. There are one or two who are genuinely nice. But the majority are the most jealous and envious people I’ve ever met. They have clawed their way to the top, and it is never enough. So trust me: you’re much better off where you are.
    And Donna – and all of you lovely women who have commented here – when you get to the top – or somewhere higher up above the treeline than you feel you are now – if you find your stats are big enough to earn the free stuff I know that you WILL keep not just your own voice, but your integrity.
    It is so heartened to see such lovely women – even with your envy or your jealousy, for it is those ‘flaws’ that make us human – creating a legacy for the next generation of bloggers. I have faith that you will be gracious, and kind, and compassionate to those still on the way ‘up’.

  23. Avatar of Manuela
    Manuela says:

    Well, the simply fact of being jealous is a negative feeling that will keep you down in your life and work in general. And, when you spend your time in spying on others, you lose the time of being yourself!

    They are successful because they do not care about others, they are being themselves, that’s all. World doesn’t need duplicates!

  24. vanda says:

    I get jeaulous in a ”good way”,basically I envy the gifts these girls get from the sponsers, and the shows! If I was 20 years younger, I would fight to be a professional blogger. I am happy that I am a simple amateur who has fun. I would NEVER change my life , just to have what they have! I am so happy with my family, my 2 children and the man I love.That’s my BIGGEST success!!!

  25. Kalyca Romeo says:

    Instead of following other bloggers and doing what they did, I decided to do what I do best. I’m great at dressing others in looks that compliments their figures. I’m good at finding style tips within the clothes and accessories or the season, I’m good at hidden agendas with my titles. In other words, focus on what you’re good at and stop following the marching band. Those bloggers that some of us envy or are jealous of, post to the best of their own drums.
    http://romeostyle.com/

  26. Inez says:

    I don’t feel jealous or envious of bloggers I rather live vicariously through them. Some bloggers are so glamourous I view their pages as I’d view the pages of a glossy magazine. You certainly don’t envy the models who advertise products in magazines like Vogue. For the other bloggers I admire their style and aspire to get my blog to a decent comparism with theirs. I never hate on or resent what they have or who they are. I do not also placate myself with the thought that they must have struggled to get where they are. Some of them didn’t, Kayture is an example. It is what it is. Ain’t nothing Envy can do about it. Like I always say, I am me and nobody else. I grow because I want to I buy because I can, I blog because it makes me happy, if blogging begins to complicate my life I will quit.

  27. Angie says:

    thanks for this insightful article! i was inspired to reflect on what makes me envious of my fellow bloggers and to pick apart what’s making me get the green monster twinge when i view others’ success. i realized a lot of it is because i feel stagnant about my progress and a lot of it starts feeling like work instead of play. i wrote a blog post about it here with tips on how to fight the feeling: http://www.pandaphilia.com/2012/12/confession-blogger-jealousy.html

  28. Marsha B says:

    I don’t really get jealous or envious of the actual blogger, I envy the time they have. I work fulltime and have a family, so I have to squeeeeeeeeze in the time. I want to be a full time blogger. I have, however, experienced other ones being jealous. I don’t see why. We are soo unique and individual in our blogging and how we want it to come across there is enough room for all bloggers! I love to see all the different bloggers. It gives me great ideas!

  29. Avatar of Katharina
    Katharina says:

    I caught myself being envious from time to time, too…of course. I guess, that’s normal. But I try to remind me that I started blogging only one year ago and that I have a full-time job and private life, too, which is sometimes more important! So, I can’t compare myself with anyone else…it’s just not realistic. But at the same time, it motivates me to strive for better things.

  30. Judy says:

    Perhaps it is jealousy that has prevented me from getting a mentor for the past six months. Fashion bloggers talk a lot about a sense of community, helping each other out, and the experienced sharing their knowledge with the newbies. However, I have not found that to be true. The standard responses are either no answer at all or I am too busy.
    So if anyone out there would like to reach out to me, I would be grateful.
    Sincerely,
    Judy

  31. Avatar of Anne Marie
    Anne Marie says:

    I’m on the same boat as Kalyca Romeo, I do what I do best when it comes to blogging. Not everyone has the leisure access of someone present to take photos of their OOTD, so I blog about what pieces go together to make a great outfit based on my style and taste level. No one wants to be a “me too”, do you and know that someone out there connects with your blog one way or another.

  32. Fashion-isha says:

    I never really understood the difference between the two so thanks for clarifying that. I definitely feel envy sometimes and I so appreciate you sharing this post it makes me feel a little more normal! I love your tips and always try to wish my fellow bloggers the best. There is enough success for everyone!
    xo
    Sharon

  33. Fashion-isha I love your sentiment! There is enough success for everyone, I have always hated being around super competititve people that are so wrapped up in the own success they can’t empathise with other peoples journey. That said a certain amount of drive is valuable and important. My envy of other bloggers is sometimes based in my lack of technical abilty, as while I know I write well I often can’t showcase my skills in a pretty package like some fashion bloggers who a lot more techy than me or have boyfriends that amazing photographers. I’m trying to learn more skills but it’s time consuming and when you work as well and have a family well you know the score, I’m sure . I’n the meantime I’m seriously thinking of having my first tattoe being the words -There is an enough success for everyone, it’s such a powerful statement for those who want to be responsible for creating their own success! :D

  34. Diata says:

    When I would see a fashion blogger who traveled more than me or who had the hottest story posted before I would get a chance, that made me want to seek other areas where I can feel as though I did it first. At the first instinct of feeling envy, I would immediately channel that feeling into a forced assignment of exceeding myself. While there are so many fashion bloggers out there, we are really all different, so why have envy in the first place? Although we may all want the end result of being front row at the fashion shows, constantly noticed at events, rubbing elbows with celebrities and stylists, and being at the hottest parties, their vision is not mine. I take it as a personal challenge to direct my brand into an area not touched…stay tuned…

  35. Avatar of friendsarefashion

    Woww !! I love this article is so true!!! thank uuu
    xoxo

  36. of course!!! i feel envy specially toward those bloggers who are single!!! they can spend everything they earn on themselves and buy/wear all the trends out there! Baroque?? They have it!!! Statement necklaces??? they got them! You name it, they have it!!! Something it’s annoying!!! :P But for bloggers like me having a family and living on a budget it’s hard to even think about getting new socks!, ok ok i’m being dramatic but on the brighter side I have come to realize that it has made me more aware of quality versus quantity and also to know myself and be true to my style!!

  37. I think it would be fabulous if we could eliminate envy/jealousy from the blogging community but I feel the two no more exist in our community than it does in any other. They are natural human emotional responses and I see it is a task of changing mankind, not just a few million bloggers.

    I would like to have hope though. I know I have felt both emotions during my time as a blogger but I would like to think it is how you manage those emotions that is key.

  38. Emma says:

    Sadly this problem is not just in the blogging community, it’s our gender that ‘s the problem. I own a clothing business & have constant problems with harassment from other owners, my competitors. I also see these same women posting fake bad reviews about other top blogs and clothing stores just to try to bring them down. The pretty and successful owners are the only ones that get attacked. If you would spend this energy and time making their stores/blogs better maybe they wouldn’t have to feel so bad about themselves. I used to be friendly and try to help new comers but now I ignore them after years of rudeness and back stabbing. If we women want to truly be equally successful to men stop being petty haters. Have some class and just be happy for others and work harder at being better than they are. That is how we got so successful.

  39. Breeny Lee says:

    It always help to compliment other people even if they already have a thousand compliments already, it releases you and also brings the same positive energy straight back to you :) xx

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