The Artists Have It Right

Art mimics life and artists are themselves intuitive and emotional. So we find that many movies, fictional books and even fairy tales reflect the essence of real life, sibling rivalry, favoritism and jealousy. A perfect example is the movie East of Eden, where a father distinctly favors one son over the other, making his Disfavored son’s life miserable, arduous and painful. More good examples are found in fairy tales where a wicked stepmother favors her own children over her husband’s, such as in Cinderella, or is jealous of her stepchild as in Snow White, or otherwise tries to rid herself of the burden of caring for her stepchildren as in Hansel and Gretel.

Besides the issues of sibling rivalry, sibling jealousy and fighting that plague every household, these stories actually bring to light another real problem that is sacrilege to discuss – the taboo topic of parental envy and parental jealousy of their own children: mothers who are jealous of their daughters and stepchildren, and fathers who are envious of their sons and stepchildren! Soap operas supply ample grounds for these types of situations and the convoluted emotions they stir up that mainly center around Anger and Anxiety. As stated elsewhere on this website, the main 3 negative emotions in human experience are Anger, Depression and Anxiety, with Anger least dealt with in our traditional diagnostic categories and least recognized as a driving instinctual force in human psychology. Unbeknownst and unrecognized is that Anger is the emotion that is most closely associated with rivalry in any context, and can in fact be considered the behavioral aspect of personality, That is, when internal Anger, which is part of personality, is acted out behaviorally, it results in some kind of damage to the object of the Anger, whether this be overt fighting, conniving, accusing, stealing from, taking attention away, undermining, teasing, belittling or otherwise harming its target.