How I Stopped Sitting Around All Day Seething With Jealousy of My Peers

I learned the hard way: There are better morning routines than Googling people you envy and hating yourself as a result

Mandy Stadtmiller
Human Parts
Published in
39 min readApr 8, 2019


Credit: Jutta Kuss/Getty Images

I. On Jealousy

“So full of artless jealousy is guilt,
It spills itself in fearing to be spilt.”
―William Shakespeare,

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt,
This is My Story

There’s a story I like to tell about the moment my life hit a major creative crossroads in 2004.

At the time, I was 28 years old, stuck in an unhappy marriage, unfulfilled in a PR job at my alma mater, ashamed of the burgeoning career I threw away after fancy stints at the Washington Post and the Village Voice, consumed with trying to promote my husband’s band — which he never wanted me to do in the first place, so that worked out really well — and perhaps most pathetic of all, obsessed with Googling peers who were my age but far more successful.

It was a great recipe for self-loathing and paralysis. The guaranteed one, I think.

Search. Read. Hate myself. Repeat.

This was my routine. This was my workout. This was the place where I deserved to be: on the sidelines, watching and falling farther behind with every keystroke.

My self-hatred — and my certainty that I deserved said self-hatred — was my new favorite hobby.

So, what was that guy up to now? Oh, he’s on TV regularly. What’s that one girl doing? A star reporter at the most prestigious newspaper in the country. Yeah, that makes sense. What about…? Oh, of course. A major book deal.

I couldn’t not scratch the itch, could I? That would mean assuming control of my destiny, which is a heavy burden indeed. Because if I were to try — I mean really try — and I still couldn’t achieve all these great things I saw others achieving, then I would be the only one to blame. Wasn’t it safer to not try at all? I could control envy. I could control hate. I could control resentment.



Mandy Stadtmiller
Human Parts

Editor of Un Yourself. Author of Unwifeable. To support my message of hope, you can donate across platforms at @mandystadt. Keep going.