Appearing better than others is always dangerous, but the most dangerous of all is to appear to have no faults or weaknesses. Envy creates silent enemies. It is smart to occasionally display defects, and admit to harmless vices, in order to deflect envy and appear more human and approachable. Only gods and the dead can seem perfect with impunity.
Wisdom in a nutshell:
- Never underestimate the power of envy. Occasionally reveal a weakness, defect, or anxiety, or find new friends. It is the people in your own circle of peers who will be the first to envy your success.
- Envy is often a problem for people who have great natural talent. You may think you are charming people with your natural talent when in fact they are coming to hate you for it.
- To deflect envy, employ a display of weakness, or a harmless vice.
- Envy is disguised sometimes as excessive praise, or slander and criticism. Win your revenge by ignoring the envious.
Display the utmost disdain for those who envy you. Instead of hiding your perfection, make it obvious. Make every triumph an opportunity to make the envious squirm.