Just as we are downing tools in readiness for the typical holiday pursuits of relaxing, eating, drinking and hopefully making merry, an unbidden thought or two can sneak in.
A young female client of mine recently said: “I feel sick and even angry as I watch friends plan lavish holiday celebrations and pack up for their baches. I never let it show, of course.”
And there we have it: envy, one of the seven deadly sins, comes marching in to spoil my client’s well-deserved break.
Sloth, lust, pride, greed, gluttony and wrath – they can stalk us at any time. But envy particularly likes the holiday period, and sits there listening and muttering.
Thinkers like philosopher Bertrand Russell suggest it is one of the key and most potent causes of unhappiness. Comprised of inferiority, hostility and resentment, we tend to keep our experience of it quite private. But hidden or otherwise, envy is right up there with the most commonly felt emotions.