Being Happy For Others: What’s In It For You?
You’re working so hard every single day, trying your best, giving the last drop of your energy to achieve something you want. Only to hear that that friend/colleague/neighbor of yours has just been promoted, bought a new car or even a small thing such as new shoes you`ve secretly wanted for a while now. So how on Earth can you be happy for them?
The question makes total sense and I think everybody has asked it at least once (or hundred times). How can I be happy for others? Why should I be happy for others? What`s in it for me?
See, not being happy for others is actually a tricky subject to talk about because we’re afraid that not feeling good about someone`s happiness or success will make us look like a bad person. Well, we’re breaking the taboo and, not only will we talk about how to be happy for others, I`m going to show you what`s in it for you and why it pays off to be happy for others success.
But before we dive in, let’s just get one thing straight.
You can’t really say that you`re happy for others if, by others, you mean people who have less than you or recently achieved something you did a long time ago. Because, of course, we´re all ok with someone’s success as long as that person didn´t reach our `level`. But how would you feel if they achieved something you want? Or you think you want.
Are you jealous for no actual reason?
The one and the biggest reason we don’t feel joy for other people´s achievements is, simply put, jealousy. As much as we know that we should be happy for them, that jealousy in our head just doesn`t allow us to.
And no one will ever admit that they are not happy for someone who accomplished something great, has a great life, a nice house etc.. You`ll never hear a person actually say: I`m not happy for her.
But, in most cases, there`s really no reason to be jealous. Why? Because it is very rare for someone to want to copy/paste some other person`s life.
Sure, they might be very successful at their job, but what did they sacrifice? Are you ready to do the same?
We jump into saying we want to be like Beyoncé, Oprah, Michele Obama, Meryl Streep, Kate Middleton etc., when not even 5% of us are ready to live such lives: being in front of the eyes of the whole world, working 24/7, being judged by people who woke up that day ready to offend you publicly and, the list goes on. Sure, that has a lot of advantages, but the point is: what do we really want?
Jealousy is a natural feeling. Just as happiness, sadness, loneliness… If it makes you move forward and inspires you to take action and to make something better for yourself (and not make someone feel bad along the way), then your only task is to control it and not let it control you.
No one is successful to spite you
If you have even the least desire to be happy for others, you need to be aware that no one is successful to spite you. They didn`t achieve something to make you feel bad. Actually, their success has nothing to do with you. It is just something that`s happening around you and it`s up to you how you`ll react to it.
“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it.”, said Charles R. Swindoll – the founder of Insights for Living, a radio program that airs around the world.
Whatever you`re doing in your life, you`re doing it for yourself. The amount of happiness and success in the world is not limited. There`s still enough of it for you, the same as it was before you heard about someone`s accomplishment.
That being said, other people`s success isn`t a reason and it can`t be an excuse for you not achieving your goals.
What`s in it for you?
Since this question unconsciously drives almost every decision we make, no matter how selfish it sounds, we`re going to answer it. Now that you see that other people`s success has nothing to do with you, it`s much easier to have an objective point of view.
So, what we`re dealing with here is that someone achieved something you think is great (and it keeps on going) and now you have 2 options:
1. You can be mad and feel sorry for yourself (which you`re allowed for only 10 minutes) or
2. You can learn from it
The first option won`t take you anywhere you want. On the contrary, if you`re doing it too often, it can only take you to depression.
On the other hand, the second option will work in your favor. If you feel like you`re doing everything right but somehow other people seem to accomplish more, let it inspire you. Learn from it. See what they did and try to do the same. Explore their mindset. Find out their point of view. See what you can implement in your life.
Trust me, if they did it, there`s really no reason you couldn`t.
Why it pays off to be happy for others?
Just as other people`s success has nothing to do with you, being happy for others has very little to do with others. Of course, showing compassion and happiness can only stimulate positive emotions, which is a wonderful gesture, but that`s it.
The emotion you show is the emotion you`ll continue to live with.
So, why it pays off to be genuinely happy for other people`s success?
- With the right point of view, you see that you can learn from it
- It can inspire you and motivate you to pursue what you want
- You`ve just made someone happy
- They`ll be happy for you, too
- If you do it always, you`re growing as a person and become more satisfied with yourself