I have received an email from "D." Her issue, not really a problem, but definitely a concern, is something I think we can all relate to. See for yourself:
My best friend, who I've been best friends with since second grade, just got a really great job. She is making $30,000 more than I am. We had a little party to celebrate, but inside I really hate her. She doesn't deserve this. She's really lazy, she never did her homework in school, and she went to community college. I went to real college. It's not fair, and I hate myself even more for hating her.
Well, "D," I don't blame you. People that are happy for the success of their friends are lying. It is a natural human emotion to feel envy, in fact envy, and comparison to others, is what drives many to success. The trick is to not beat yourself up about it. Worse than the envy, is the anxiety you create by trying not to feel envy. You'd be better off just saying, out loud, "Congratulations on the awesome new job, I am seething with jealousy, and hope you get fired just so I don't feel like such a loser." Chances are your friend would laugh, and you would have gotten over this by now. In the meantime, have some Chicken Picatta.
Begrudging Chicken Picatta
You will need:
Chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
Using pencil and paper, write down at least five things you have accomplished in your life. If you can't come up with five, you may as well skip ahead to the wine. Melt butter in a skillet with some olive oil. Toss in chicken breasts in skillet to brown on both sides. Remove chicken from skillet and poke at it with a sharp knife, not imagining it is your friend, of whom you are insanely jealous, but imagining it is your jealousy itself, in chicken form. Drain off excess oil from pan. Pour one glass of wine for yourself, and then about half a glass in the skillet, then add a chunk of butter. Throw in the olives, season with salt and pepper. Place chicken on a plate with some rice, and pour on the sauce, also dabbing a little bit behind your ears to attract good fortune. Using pencil and paper, write down one realistic goal for yourself, such as, "Find underachieving friends of whom I can feel superior," or "Finish eating chicken."