Why Do We Despise Success?

Success is such a funny thing. And how people respond to success is even more peculiar. Why do so many people despise successful musicians, businesses or sports franchises?

Celine Dion is the best example of a musician who is despised for her success, particularly by Canadians. Which is odd because she is a Canadian. Wouldn’t you expect Canadians to rally behind her, puff their chests out with pride and proclaim, “She’s Canadian and we love her!” But no. She leaves Canada and sets up residence in Las Vegas where they buiild her a mansion to live in so that she can sing for them every night. And Canadians sit back and look at her with scorn for what? Being successful? Being a good singer?

Same concept applies to successful businesses. For one reason or another I follow this guy on Twitter and on Facebook called Coffee Nate. He talks about, no surprise, coffee. One day the conversation with Coffee Nate turned to Starbucks. One respondent said that he would rather drink some kind of window cleaner than Starbucks coffee. This because a character in a movie that he had seen liked to use that window cleaner on all sorts of bizarre things. Another respondent did point out that the character in the fictional movie never drank and never suggested drinking the window cleaner.

But the conversation began and a poll developed about whether people would rather drink Starbucks coffee or window cleaner. And you know, people were voting for the window cleaner at a very steady pace while making disparaging remarks about the quality of Starbucks. I happen to like Starbucks coffee (if Starbucks wanted to send me some free coffe for saying this, shoot me an email and I can tell you where to address the package…thank you very much). But the point is, people hate Starbucks why? Because they are uber-successful?

And sports franchises…there is no logic in this realm. None. An otherwise sensible buddy of mine used to be a fan of the Edmonton Oilers. But now if they even get close to being in the play-offs…he goes berserk. Same with the Montreal Canadiens (the greatest hockey franchise in the WORLD). In basketball he despises the LA Lakers and Phil Jackson their coach. The common factor all these franchises have? Success. He chooses to be a fan of the Phoenix Suns. A team that never progresses into the world of success…and probably never will.

So what is it people? Why do we despise sussess? Care to add you thoughts?


  1. I’m surprised there are no comments for this. Here’s a thought:

    If we embrace the success of others it calls upon us to make more of a success in our lives. To denigrate others and their “good fortune” allows us to play victim. Circumstances put that person in the limelight or flow of the money river, but left us to the side. Whine, whine, nothing we can do about it.

    Let’s us off the hook in terms of creating our own lives and reality.

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