And of course as you’re finding out, there are times when the emotions of the moment are paradoxical. For example…
People can appreciate and resent in the same moment about the same action they see.
People can admire and be irritated by the same acts of kindness.
Let’s get specific. Imagine that you donated to a worthy charity in significant amounts for 3 consecutive years. In year four, you simply weren’t able to do it. The charity will understand, right? Nope. Charities budget based on the previous years numbers. Your being AWOL can cause a lot of nasty conversations about you.
Could you be seen as a traitor if you fail to “come through” this year?
Research show the speed of which the majority of people FORGET what was done for them, but you as the “giver” or “benefactor” remember very well.
The fact is that the majority of people love pretty good guys who help a LITTLE, donate a LITTLE, give LITTLE gifts, help out around the house or the office, and when they are in the proximity of the guy who helps/performs a little AND the guy who helps/performs a lot.
Research has the answer:
When a group of people watch a person perform in an almost ideal fashion, like researching a project for the team, cleaning the office, staying until 8 PM instead of 5 PM, going more than an extra mile…they like that person LESS than the co-worker who stays until 5:15 PM or cleans his own office space.
What happens is the group feels INFERIOR to the person’s excellence. You got it, they resent the achiever. They think something like this, “Now after THAT performance what will be expected from everyone else here?”
It makes sense actually. Imagine the boss works typically until 8 PM. John stays til 8 doing an 11 hour day a few times per week.
EVERYONE else in the office knows this, sees this and instead of appreciating John, he is possibly seen as a “suck up” (one who seeks a favor from someone else).
The social equivalent of this is that many people resent and even hate the 1%. The 1% are those that cumulatively have half of the net worth of a country or of the planet.
I was in a deep conversation with another friend in Sofia in 2017 and he told me through an interpreter told me that the only way a person could have a million dollars is if they had committed crimes. This was a common belief in their culture. And the person REALLY believed it and his discomfort reconciling me and what I was saying, with his current belief structure, was a moment I’ll never forget.
People who don’t have x quite often resent those who have x.
Envy or Resentment or is it something else?