We were hangin’ at the barn. Coach Courtney was talking to me and one of the kids, age approximately 15. Coach C said something along the lines of, “X is great at shows.” Then looked at kid. “You are good too.” The specifics are not important. The idea is two individuals described by value-laden words of different weight.
Kid said, in a joking tone that indicates underlying seriousness, “Oh, I see. X is great, but I’m good.” I took her response to be insecurity and a concern for status. I had noticed the word choice on the way by. Had the comment been aimed at me, I would have thought exactly the same thing, for the reasons indicated.
I would not have said it. The one thing I have learned in the intervening years is the wisdom – when I can remember – of keeping my mouth shut. To my mind, true maturity would be not having such thoughts in the first place. Looks like the best I can hope for is to be petty, spiteful, and jealous … inside.
Update, per comment below: I may not have explained the situation sufficiently. It was more about being around that person at the shows than riding ability. Taking it personally was not out of the question. Over-sensitive and not intended, but not outside the realm of interpretation.
Thank you for reading,
8 thoughts on “Jealousy”
But Coach C made no comment about you. Did you feel jealous? Left out? Neutral? Above it all?
Smug and superior, until I realized I was that kid.
At a riding school many years ago, after the initial observation – and I had let them know I hadn’t ridden in 7 years before that – the director took all of us and set me and one other girl to the side. To the others she said ‘you’re the caliber we’re looking for’ and to me and the other girl, ‘I suppose there’s something we can do with you.’ I felt hurt, as did the other girl. There were plenty of ways she could have phrased her comments. I left shortly after that. I felt unwanted so why stay? I know I can cut someone to shreds with my words – in one case the person deserved it and I received a lot of praise from people who said they were afraid – hey, I was a temp, didn’t have to worry about being fired! But I’m a lot older now, and try harder to be more careful about what I say, even if I’m seething indside. You can’t always control your thoughts. You can control what you do about them.
Chocolate ice cream seems to help, LOL.
“First, do not harm.” Works in situations other than medicine.
IMO, there is no room for insecurity in competition. If you are aiming for the top and your coach says you’re not there yet, but someone else is, then a good competitor uses that as fuel to work harder to improve. Unfortunately, today everyone wants a trophy just for showing up. Life doesn’t work that way and neither does competition.
I never wanted a trophy or even ribbon just for showing up, that’s ridiculous. Just some positive reinforcement for what i did do right, and not comparing me to anyone but myself because that was my toughest competition.
My comment was not directed at you, but at the example given in the post. A teenager feeling “less than” because they are called ‘good’ and someone else is called ‘great’ needs an attitude adjustment. If your instructor says you are good, you don’t get to be automatically elevated to “great” simply because your feeling are hurt. Suck it up and work harder to make that complement happen instead of expecting the honor just so you can feel better about yourself. That was my point.
True about competition.
I may not have explained the situation sufficiently. It was more about being around that person at the shows than riding ability. Taking it personally was not out of the question. Over-sensitive and not intended, but not outside the realm of interpretation.
Still, the same applies. You are who you are. Change, or accept it & move on.
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