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What? Someone’s Jealous of Your Travels?
If you love to explore the planet so much that jetsetting turns into your hobby, then you’re eventually gonna encounter people who are jealous of your travels.
Ahhh, yes, the big elephant in the room!
I hate to break it to you, but not everyone will squeal and high-five you when you confess you’re hiking Manchu Picchu this summer or skiing in the Swiss Alps this winter. If you travel a lot, you’ll occasionally hear jealous comments, both obvious and subtle, thrown in your general direction. Unpleasant but true. You may even find yourself on the receiving end of full blown hate.
So how do you deal with people who are jealous of your travels? How about people who may even “hate” your travels?
First of all, we need to make a distinction between a jealous person and a hater.
These terms are often used interchangeably, but honestly, I divide “jealousy” and “hating” into two separate camps.
A person who is jealous of your travels isn’t always a hater. This envy can come from family members, dear co-workers, or even close friends; dealing with jealousy stings even more when it springs from close sources.
Furthermore jealousy itself takes many forms. A passive-aggressive comment. A “missing” invitation in the mail. Smirks in the middle of your travel stories. A faux-concerned email about terrorism happening in your next travel destination.
To summarize, a jealous person may like you and have a decent relationship with you, but your travels make them see green.
As for the “hater,” I’m going to rely on Urban Dictionary’s definition to help me:
A person who simply cannot be happy for another person’s success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person. Hating, the result of being a hater, is not exactly jealousy. The hater doesn’t really want to be the person he or she hates, rather the hater wants to knock someone else down a notch.
As you see, the hater’s intention is to bring your confidence down a couple of pegs. While some haters are jealous, envy isn’t always the driving factor behind a hater’s motivation. Being a hater goes beyond being jealous of your travels.
Anyway, I’m not going to shame particular replies, but I wanted to point out these “hate” comments share a common trait: a claim that all these travelers have “flaws” and shouldn’t be admired for their behavior.
They have “trust funds” so their travels couldn’t possibly result from hard work and savings.
They have “dream jobs” that allow them to travel, and these jobs couldn’t possibly result from relentless job hunting, entrepreneurship, personal talent, and strong organic connections to others in the field.
They – especially young women – rely on daddy’s money to fund their trips (hello, sexism).
They don’t have crippling student loans or work two jobs to care for their families so they are selfish and therefore have no idea what true struggle feels like (Note: this variety of “hate” annoys me most of all due to its glorification of Noble Poverty. I mean, come on).
Anyone who reads travel blogs knows haters’ assumptions aren’t rooted in the truth. Many travel bloggers discuss their student loans. Yes, student loans. Others travel the world in a wheelchair. Or travel with other disabilities such as legal blindness and deafness. And plenty of travelers take take their families along for the ride. There are also awesome travelers from Non-Western countries.
The list goes on.
Tips for Dealing People Who Are Jealous of Your Travels
- Reflect on your own behavior. It stinks to realize you may be fueling a lot of these jealous flames. So embrace this moment of uncomfortable truth: examine your attitudes and behavior, and determine whether or not you’re encouraging this person’s jealousy through your words and actions. No one likes a braggart. Even I feel irritated when I encounter fellow travelers who will not quit talking about themselves and their awesome adventures.
- Address it. If a family member or close friend seems hellbent on making jabs at your travels, then it might be best for you to stop dancing around the issue and mention the problem. Firmly state everyone makes choices when it comes to time and money, and you’ve chosen to travel. Remember to give your family/friend time to talk too. Respect is key in this conversation.
- Make some difficult choices about friendships. If you have a friend who is so jealous that it’s impacting the quality of your interactions, then it might be time to allow the friendship to run its course and die. Don’t answer texts. Always have “plans” when this person wants to meet. Avoid any deep conversations. The friendship will eventually fade especially if the feelings are mutual. It hurts, but you’ll find new friends who share your interests. Jealousy creates toxic friendships. Trust me, your mental health is better off if you surround yourself with positive and supportive people.
- Invite your friends or family on a trip. If you usually travel solo, maybe offer to plan a trip that includes your friends and/or family. The other person may be willing to save money and experience firsthand why travel is so special to you. Maybe s/he will also realize that you didn’t win the lottery at life and travel is within reach. I realize this solution isn’t always possible, but still worth a shot!
- Realize another person’s jealousy is not your problem. I’m sometimes jealous of people who are in better shape than I am. Should people who value fitness stop working out and eat endless junk food because my feelings are hurt? Of course not! Do what you love and don’t ever let anyone guilt trip you into changing!
Tips for Dealing With Haters
- If you’re a travel blogger or photographer, then honestly I wouldn’t waste time replying to hateful comments. Your response, whether it’s snarky or informative or angry, gives these people a platform to spew their nonsense. Don’t give it to them. If you’re self-hosted, then you pay a fair bit of money for your website and shouldn’t have to share that space with trolls.
- Establish an anti-abusive comment policy on your blog. If you look at my disclaimer, then you’ll see I moderate each and every comment, and thus I don’t approve hateful comments. While you should accept comments that disagree with you or promote constructive discussion (this gives you credibility), there’s no reason to allow unfiltered hate to flood your own comments sections. You’re not the United States government and not obliged to offer Freedom of Speech to every idiot with an internet connection. Let these people go to youtube instead.
- Don’t take hate personally. Haters are looking for a flaw in you to decimate your self-esteem. Don’t fall into their game and allow their nasty comments to ruin your day. Honestly I would just laugh. I always tell myself that people who are content in life don’t have time to attack other people – especially behind the cloak of anonymity. Personally, I enjoy Young Adventuress’s way of dealing with haters.
- Find support. I’m a member of Travel Blog Success’s facebook community. I’ve noticed people share their hate comments and rally support from other travel bloggers. We put ourselves online so we’ve all experienced some degree of hate. Even if you never respond to the hater (which you shouldn’t), it’s always great to hear other people reaffirm said-hater’s jerkishness.
Have you ever experienced a jealous reaction because you’ve decided to travel? How about a hater? How do you handle people who are jealous of your travels? Share you advice and experiences!