Envy is a very powerful thing. Whether on the receiving end of it, or dealing it out yourself, making people want something can be more powerful than any insult you can put on them. It’s like waving a steak in a dog’s face and putting that dog behind a glass barrier. He sees something in front of him that he wants, something someone else has that he just can’t get.
We all probably possess something other people wish they had. Whether it be good looks, good grades, a big house, you’ve got something somebody dreams of having, I’d bet on that. I’m not saying that to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about your material or genetic possessions; I’m saying that because we all tend to rub them in people’s faces, just like children brag about their new toys on the playground.
People talk a lot about insecurity, as though a normality is simply established among people when it comes to various factors of living. That’s obviously silliness, as we aren’t born wanting to be a certain way.
Envy inspires us to want to change ourselves, for better or worse. Studies have shown that, for example, when a student has friends with higher GPAs than he has, he’ll make his best effort over the year to catch up to them and typically will come close to them.
It works for nearly all things. Hang around a certain group, and you will become like them. People are clay and will naturally want to be like the big things around them. We soak in things from what’s around us, and when we can’t soak things in, that’s when we begin to get irritated with ourselves, or people will get angry with us if they sense this.