Bring it to Barb

Barb Rock

Dear Barb,
Whenever I take up a skill that takes lots of time and effort, others seem to support me at first, but as soon as I master it and become accomplished, they begin to find fault or are jealous of me and are no longer acknowledging my accomplishment. Am I looking at this wrong?

Why Even Try Anymore

Dear Why Even Try Anymore,
This is human nature and you are not imagining this at all! Let’s face it: We all are looking for appreciation, attention and approval deep down. Some people adopt the philosophy that if someone gets more credit than them, that somehow it diminishes their worth, which is completely illogical.

I like to remind people of a great axiom: “Don’t envy the rewards that you weren’t willing to sacrifice to acquire.” Learning a skill, getting a degree, buying a house or starting a business all come with much sacrifice. Most adults, young and old, don’t want to be uncomfortable or inconvenienced and ultimately want appreciation for it when they mustexercise self-discipline to achieve it.

I, myself, played drums in professional bands 10 years and few would know the hours of setting up, taking apart and practice that was involved with playing on stage in a working band. A huge sacrifice to ourselves and others is involved for any accomplishment.

Whether you have lost four dress sizes and entered a room of struggling dieters or acquired a master’s degree online, there will always be those who are jealous or have animosity and corroborate it with their own reasoning, sometimes even hurtfully sharing it with others.

You may be thinking wrongly about this because you have expectations of others. Expecting others to be willing to praise you or even acknowledge your success as your validation is self-defeating. It should never really matter what another individual thinks of your accomplishments, but graciously accept any compliment given. Don’t expect a compliment. We can have nie compliments in a day and only one criticism and guess which one you’ll remember?

When you really don’t care about another’s opinion, it gives you the power. You are doing so for yourself and only to prove to yourself. There will always be nay-sayers with their own agenda, so don’t stop trying to better yourself. Nay-sayers are just noise! Ignore them!


Barb Rock is a mental health counselor and the published author of “Run Your Own Race: Happiness after 50.” Send any questions related to mental health, relationships or life issues to her at



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