When envy unsettles us in a season of thanks

Nov 27, 2022 | Columns

The day after Thanksgiving a friend texted me, “I need to talk.” I called her back. “I feel envy,” she said, “and it’s gross; I’m envious of someone’s house.” She had been a guest for dinner the day before and envy attacked.

envy scrabble letters

Now, my friend has a very nice house but I understood. Over the years I have felt envy’s acidy pain and the way the shame of feeling it silences us.

Most of us can talk openly of our sadness or even resentments, but envy? It’s embarrassing. Especially now when we are counting our blessings and listing our silver linings: We are grateful for health, shelter, and safety. Who wants to admit to envy? But envy has little to do with having enough.

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