Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Frenvy (Friend Envy)

I like to be the best or at least good at what I do. Doesn't always mean I am good at it, whatever it is. But I don't like it when I enjoy doing something and someone, who I think is at the same ability level as me, can come out on top. 

Ladies and Gentlemen I introduce to you frenvy aka friend envy.

I don't like to tell people my Uni marks in case they have better marks then me and get that look, oh I am better than you. Though I am happy to ask what other people got so I know where I'm at with my ability.

I read an article the other day by Dan Rookwood who does some writing for the Australian GQ, Dealing with Friend Envy. And it got me thinking about this ongoing feeling of great frenvy I have towards someone I've never met before, yet hear about all the time.

I think it's fair to say everyone will suffer from this problem of frenvy. And as best I like to think I can, I congratulate those that do well, I can't help but feel I'm doing it to cover up how I really feel.

Which brings me to this ongoing problem I have been having with a good friend of mine, Rob. Now the problem I have with frenvy isn't directly related to Rob, however it has everything to do with the frenvy Rob is growing inside of me.

I will see Rob at least once a week to work on our radio and podcast project. For the last month Rob has been getting into a habit of telling me about this new guy he has hired at work. Let's call him Taylor, as that's actually his name.

Now I'm sure Taylor is a lovely guy, and being that I don't know him I do feel bad at times for not liking him. But frenvy has taken over which results in me not liking him a lot of the time. Let me explain.

Rob will see me once a week as I said and tell me something new Taylor has said or done. One such time Rob told me that Taylor had listened to all our podcasts and wants to be a part of them.

Then Rob will insist on telling me again that Taylor is doing the same course as me though at a different University.

Rob also likes to tell me what Taylor is doing at Uni. Now that wouldn't be a problem, aside from that fact that I tell Rob everything I'm doing at Uni as we are friends and that's what we do. So I'm never sure if Rob is comparing me to Taylor.

Rob told me that Taylor had managed to get an interview with a high profile Perth sports person/politician/someone I don't care about. BUT, I couldn't help but feel as Rob was saying it, how much I should be stepping up my level of effort at Uni and aiming for a higher profile person for an interview for assignments.


Now I work for a small not for profit community radio station in the northern suburbs of Perth. It's small, it has old equipment, the computers crash a lot and almost everyone has something to complain about. I love working there, it's great experience.

Taylor however is being trained up at a community radio station that broadcasts to the entire city of Perth. It has a huge following and some great announcers.


Rob and I are trying to build up some great radio working together. And once we feel we have got it down we want to approach a commercial radio station and pick up some work with them.

Taylor is already working for a community radio station. Not on air, he is driving their promotional cars, but it is a step in, and a step further than me.


Taylor is tall. I'm not.


I have blue eyes. Taylor has piercing blue eyes.


Rob talks about Taylor all the time.


Taylor wants to join us on our projects. But I don't like that he is better then me.


So how is it that I can not like someone; who I have never met, have no idea how good or bad they are at what they do?

According to the column by Dan Rookwood, envy is a healthy way of measuring success. Pushing yourself to be better others.

So while he may be taller, have nicer blue eyes than me, already be establishing himself in the industry better than me. I...have...okay... So I can't think of anything I do that is better than him. Might have something to do with the fact that I don't actually know anything about him probably because I've never met him.

It's healthy, it's pushing me to be better at what I do. Pushing me to know that there are people better than me. And they are most likely thinking the same about someone else that's better than them.

So if and when I see him, aide from looking - okay gazing, up to his piercing blue eyes, I will congratulate him on his success.

I'd like to think that maybe he needs a little pat on the back as well. Or maybe he will pat me on the back and tell me I'm doing a good job.

Or I will continue to be frenvious of him and listen to his stories from Rob every week.

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