Envy and Competition? What?

S. E. Wigget
5 min readJan 7, 2022

In future, whenever someone seems abnormally envious and/or competitive, I shall ghost them.

Like a shy cat, I want to go hide from aggressive humans.

Chapter 9 of Communion: The Female Search for Love by bell hooks brings up envy and competition. According to hooks, it’s extremely common for women in patriarchal society — even feminist women — to envy other women and be competitive with other women. This surprises and disturbs me. It also reminds me of certain Ani DiFranco lyrics. “Allies,” not “competitors” — I agree with Ani DiFranco that this is what women should (obviously) be. Fortunately, hooks writes about how women can refrain from… doing that.

Hooks writes of women talking among themselves and criticizing other women… because they’re envious and competitive with other women. This conjured a memory — I was probably twelve years old — of listening silent, shocked, and confused while my narcissist mother and her narcissistic sociopath sisters denigrated my Aunt Barbara — my dad’s sister, and of course anyone on my dad’s side of the family was a scapegoat. They were criticizing her because… she had money and a condo and — horrors! — she got a Ph.D.! I could not understand how getting a Ph.D. could be bad. Remembering that incident years later, I pictured the word “ENVY” glowing green on their foreheads.

I don’t generally relate to competition and envy — including competition and envy between women. So weird. I associate those traits with narcissists and narcissistic sociopaths, the ultimate in unappealing.

Who knows, maybe this is one of the reasons I’ve always connected with so few people. If the vast majority of people are envious/ competitive… and if most people I’ve met are envious/competitive and resent my not taking the bait, well…. no wonder I connect on a deep level with so few people.

And I don’t need to try wrapping my head around that. Observing how others replace me with their twisted version of me is depressing. I’ve known since childhood that most people think very differently than I do, never mind that I didn’t figure out I’m something called an empath until my late forties. The notion that most people go around all envious and competitive and assume you are, too, and that because you refuse to play their reindeer games they label you “a wimp” just because you’re not an asshole like them… and/or they get even…

--

--

S. E. Wigget

Outside Medium, I mostly write fiction, especially paranormal and historical fantasy, under either S. E. Wigget or Susan E. Wigget. WhimsicalWords.Substack.com