The XX Factor

Do People Succeed In Groups?

My sister works in L.A. as a TV writer-a notoriously competitive, jealous, back-biting industry. A few years ago, one of her friends won an Oscar for screenwriting. I called her and asked, “Do you have the funny feeling?” The “funny feeling” is the term I use to describe the uncomfortable feeling you get when a friend or peer scores a big success. You feel happy for that person, but also envious, insecure, and anxious about your own success.

She answered, “Maybe a little bit, but I remind myself that people succeed in groups . It’s great for him, and it’s also good for me.”

What do you think? Is it true that people succeed in groups-so that the success of a friend is likely to help you succeed? (Whether or true or not, it’s a thought that makes it much easier to feel magnanimous about a friend’s success.)

Photograph of people celebrating victory by Pinnacle Pictures/Digital Vision/Getty Images.