We’re encouraged to try to become outstanding. Being outstanding is supposed to be a good thing. It’s valuable. It’s a unique quality that enables you to create a life, as an artist, because you provide something that simply isn’t available elsewhere. However, there is a cost associated with achieving a level of performance that marks you out as plainly different to other people and I don’t mean the struggles and effort it takes to get there. This is a hazard associated with having become outstanding.
What does it mean to be extraordinary? Sometimes, it’s being the most competent or the smartest person in the room. Other times, it’s being the most beautiful, desirable or popular person. If you happen to be the most productive, the most lovable, the most imaginative, talented, successful, accomplished or the most creative, that can mark you out. Simply having experienced some measure of good fortune, in your life, can put you into that category, too. Having obvious physical or intellectual advantages tends to make you extraordinary, as well.
Everybody loves to be loved. In fact, I would go as far as to say it’s a fundamental human need. Being loved, appreciated and liked by people around you is necessary for a healthy psyche. By the same token, we are acutely sensitive to “bad vibes” emanating from other people, especially if they do so, on a sustained basis. Why might somebody think ill of somebody outstanding? Why might they want to “do them down”, bring about their downfall or decrease their performance to the point of ordinariness? Why attack their reputation for excellence and try to bring them into disrepute? Why are tall poppies mown down with such monotonous regularity?
Think about the most creative, gifted and talented artist you know, or the most beautiful woman you are friends with. What is their life like? Are they universally accepted and admired, everywhere they go or are they frequently the target of spite, hatefulness, intimidation, jealousy, pettiness and other forms of direct attack on their psyches? I think you know the answer. The most outstanding people often live a life polluted by a constant barrage of assaults on their very being, whether express or implied, simply for being who they are. Even the most modest of outstanding people attract enemies and detractors for no other reason than they inadvertently cast ordinary people into unfavourable comparisons with them, by doing nothing other than existing and being in their presence.
If an ordinary person is in the presence of somebody obviously extraordinary, they resent the fact that they have been made to look obviously ordinary. They may have thought of themselves as relatively high fliers, prior to coming into contact with the real thing and now feel a loss of their status and recognition for their own achievements and qualities. It is often the nearly great that take the fiercest dislike to the actually great.
How does it feel to be on the receiving end of all that ill will and to be aware that people not only despise you for your talents, but want to bring you down, taking away from you whatever small comforts you gain from being outstanding?
People that find themselves in this situation will tell you that they can sense a stream of pure malicious energy directed toward them. They become aware of whispering campaigns of lies and distortions, aimed at undermining their good standing. Somehow, they become aware that there is gossip, sleights, smears and slander circulating about them, or they begin to suspect it, because of the small clues that alert them to the likelihood. Most frequently, they report that they feel as though they are being watched or are under scrutiny, all the time.
If you find yourself in this position, you know that the green eye of somebody with a black heart has cast its gaze upon you and that people wish you ill, not well. You become vaguely aware of plots and machinations, all in the shadows and supposedly secret, to destroy you, take away whatever status you have earned and cast you into oblivion. Your jealous detractors will destroy your career and livelihood, if they can find a way. Rather than improving themselves, they would prefer to dismantle you. In short, you begin to experience a sort of psychological torment.
This leaves the victim of the psychic attack feeling drained, devoured and consumed. Their life force feels like it is being sucked right out of their body. It’s as if their enemies are feeding on their outstanding qualities, hungrily and greedily eating them, until there is nothing left. More often than not, the person under attack is entirely innocent and has done no harm to their attacker. They would not wish them any harm, either. Sometimes, the person under attack has shared their gifts generously, for the common good and been all the more resented for it. That’s extremely unjust.
Pretty soon, the attack begins to produce physical manifestations in the victim. They might experience a loss of motivation, sleep disturbances, depression, lethargy, brain fog, loss of concentration, heartbreak, actual bodily pain and eventually physical illnesses. The feeling of being unwanted, unwelcome, disliked, undermined, slandered, unloved or otherwise resented eventually takes a physical toll. These vicious, malicious, unwarranted, undeserved, psychic attacks of the jealous on the outstanding can destroy a person. The subject of the hatred becomes unwell, unproductive and can lose touch with the very creative powers and characteristics that made them outstanding in the first place.
If you are under such a relentless attack, you may become consumed and distracted with the injustice of it all or spend time trying to understand why you are being attacked, when all you wanted to do was share your talents and make good things. You might get sidetracked trying to understand the rational reasons for the jealousy and spite or on how you might appease your detractors, but there is no rational reason for it or any way to appease them. Their attacks on you are infantile, irrational, psychotic and meaningless, ultimately. Sometimes, they attack you just because they can and you’re their most obvious target – nothing more. Their attacks on your psyche can be sustained, personal and vicious, yet easily and plausibly denied, because they are seldom physical assaults.
The only effective defence against jealous detractors is to remove yourself from the line of fire of the psychic attack, or attack on your psyche. These psychotic haters aren’t going to stop until you are no longer of relevance to them and fighting back just makes you into a monster too. That will destroy who you are. The best thing to do is to remove yourself from the situation and let the small-minded, petty attacker find some other way to comfort themselves for their lack of courage to better themselves and for their rank, fetid mediocrity.
It’s a sad fact that small minded people find it easier to hate than to act with compassion, understanding and kindness. I don’t know why this should be so. It seems like an evolutionary aberration. Unfortunately, it’s the reality that outstanding people must daily confront. There are an awful lot of very hateful, average people out there and they can’t stand to be in the presence of people that are, in their perception, better than them.
Should the possibility of becoming susceptible to sustained psychic attacks and malicious streams of pure, jealous hatred put you off becoming, or just simply being, outstanding? I don’t think so. The application of creative talents and one’s gifts are just too important to give up. The world badly needs those contributions. However, it is important, for self preservation reasons, that the outstanding individual is aware of the possibility of attacks, knows their enemies and takes steps to remain out of their line of fire, whenever possible. Sometimes it comes down to a battle of wills, but that’s a dangerous and psychologically costly war to wage. It is far better to sidestep the detractors and move on.
If you happen to be somebody outstanding, for one reason or another, wear your talents lightly, be on the alert for jealous detractors and do whatever you can to avoid them. Default to agility and fleetness of foot and leave the mediocre to stew in their own mediocrity. You shouldn’t have to endure constant malice for the terrible sin of being who you are.
I wish jealous detractors would spend even half as much effort and energy in becoming outstanding individuals themselves as they do in destroying those that already are. The world would be better if they did.