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When Professional Jealousy Shows Lack of Professionalism

Updated on May 2, 2020

Managing Professional Jealousy

Talent, Skill and Experience Cause Jealousy

It happens in every walk of life. The individual who goes along their merry way loaded down with natural born talent and skills they are not even always aware of. Then, as the years pass, they follow those natural inclinations and pursuits that urge them in a specific direction or directions.

These are the individuals who pay no attention to anything but the goals they set for themselves. They are usually the ones loaded with self-discipline that they utilize as a means to expand their natural born talents.

An Affront to Underachievers and the Lackluster

Unfortunately for the underachievers, these individuals are a major affront to their lack of talents, skills and experience. Which is not fact. Few humans are born without a unique set of talents and skills. Some just cannot seem to dig deeply enough into themselves to see what those talents and skills happen to be.

Natural Talents are Born Not Made

Ever notice how a child seems to gravitate toward certain things in their toddler years? It may be building blocks, their parents computer devices or they may exhibit a tendency toward risk by grabbing Dad's shaving razor or the keys to the family car. Then, there the kids who cannot resist moving to the sound of music, singing at the top of their little lungs or imitating hip hop dancers.

As they grow, those inbred gravitations remain. The kid with Dad's shaving razor can't wait till he is old enough to shave. Those toddler building blocks evolved into building bird houses and tree houses. The toddler who loved risk is constantly pushing the envelope in high school and college

The musically inclined feel starved unless they hear music as if it was their main source of nutrition.

The reality of natural born talent and skills is that there is no way to erase them. Yet that is what happens every day in any career or social situation. It may be said that the professionally jealous feel malnourished for the lack of equal attention their lackluster attempts to compete with naturally endowed talent and skill.

Envy: One of the Seven Deadly Sins...Even for the Holiest

Everyone remembers, the famous Catholic TV theologian, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen. His eloquence and wisdom was such that Catholics and non-Catholics alike found his spirituality comforting.

As the popularity of his TV programs grew, it did not go without notice by then, New York's Cardinal Francis Spellman.

Or should we say that perhaps, the "sin" of envy got hold of the illustrious Cardinal who was not above giving subtle, ever so slightly negative comments on each of the Bishop's TV sermons.

This led the Bishop to comment to the Cardinal one of the most famous of his responses: "Jealousy is the tribute mediocrity pays to genius."

This is a response those who suffer the slings and arrows of professional jealousy should memorize for future references.

The other saving grace to memorize is "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."

When Imitation Is Envy

A genius will always be envied. They may not even be consciously aware of their genius so propelled into the reality of achieving their goals are they. A world that cannot create originals becomes nothing more than an imitation of someone they subconsciously envy for being the first to create a new idea or innovation.

In the music world, there is an old saying, "Good composers copy. Great composers steal." (Igor Stravinsky) One example of this professional jealousy in music is also ne of the most notable alleged thefts by Bach is the Concerto for Four Pianos; BWV 1065 that is actually the original of Vivaldi's and Concerto for Four Violins; RV580

Competition is Healthy ...and Dangerous

There are times in the business world when competition, born of professional jealousy is healthy and when it is dangerous. One of the most famous of these is Nicola Tesla and Thomas A. Edison.

Nicola Tesla had an eidetic memory that allowed him to recall images and objects precisely . Thomas Edison was more an auto-didactic who could teach himself many things.


These two are credited with numerous inventions Tesla would be considered "geeky" today where Edison would be considered sloppy. There are conflicting opinions on which of these two were the more talented, skilled and experienced.

Here again, there existed a modicum of envy between both men.


Why are they Jealous?

Jealousy is an enormous waste of time. The downside is that those who are most envied are made to feel regret for their achievements by those who are grossly insecure about their lack of achievements.

In order to equalize the status between the envied and the envious, the envious individual fabricates distortions and when that doesn't work goes all out to stop any further advancements of the envied out of fear of never being able to reach the same heights of achievement.

In the presence of the most talented, skilled and experienced, the grossly insecure develop a massive sense of inadequacy. These individuals fear being inadequate to such a degree that even their own achievements seem to pale by comparison to the individual they envy the most.


The Race is On

And so, the race is on for the professionally jealous. This happens most often in the literary world. Writers and poets find their work copied so often by their jealous counterparts that they find they must resort to legal means to stop the stalkers who collect their work like it was a gold bar headed for Fort Knox.

The race has only one entrant. The professionally jealous. They huff and puff and try to outrun natural born talent and skills they simply cannot compete with.

To their credit, they are quite adept at stealing their envied's work and altering it just enough so it passes the smell test of "literary license." This usually forces the originator to seek a copyright or trademark as their safety net from plagiarism.

What to do About Professional Jealousy

We know that when we do not want horses to panic or be distracted, horse owners put "blinders" on their steeds.


This is the best advice for those who feel they cannot avoid those who are jealous of their professional talents, skills and experience is to keep the blinders on, keep your eyes on your goals that satisfy you the most and let the grossly insecure and inadequate move on to their next target.

Jealousy is an acquired habit for some. The amount of time spent on jealousy could be spent far more productively on reaching goals.


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