Every once in a while envy peeks is ugly face into your metaphorical picture frame of life. You begin to compare and contrast. Even if you are happy in some aspects of your life, you seem to only be able to focus on those things you do not have. You ask yourself questions such as: Well how does she have a man and I don’t? How was she able to get that salary? How did he get a promotion so quickly? Why haven’t I purchased a home yet? This happens to most people. It is human nature to compare yourself to the next person, especially when that person is around your same age. It becomes difficult to listen to their thoughts and experiences of happiness without feeling a sense of sadness come over you. Is this considered hating? Perhaps not, but by definition this is definitely envy and really is the very root of the ubanized definition of “hating.”
Psychology Today offers some ways we can navigate and manage letting other people’s happiness affect us in a positive way.
Don’t be so hard on yourself! While it is difficult to keep thoughts from creeping into our minds, it is not impossible to keep those thoughts from becoming negative ones of ourselves. We sometimes blame ourselves for not having the things that some of our friends may have. We emotionally beat ourselves down and in some ways view their successes as our failures. Speak compassionately to yourself about those things you may desire but do not have, allows you to accept a circumstance of which you have no power to control. So, while you may not be able to have that home, you can enjoy your friends happiness in purchasing their first home.
Joy for Others
I know, this is easier said than done; however it is possible. Yes, it is difficult to be happy for someone who accomplishes something you so desire or crave; however, just got with it! “Fake it ’til you make it.” Just at least try to pretend that you are happy for your friend, family or someone else. According to Psychology Today, eventually, that feeling will become a genuine feeling.
Putting together self-compassion and joy for others makes for the perfect recipe for being happy for others and in return being happy for yourself. While it may take some practice and effort, it is very possible. Talk to yourself, speak positive words over yourself. This will allow you to accept your life as it is, and accept your happiness and whatever that happiness looks like.
This article was written with contribution Psychology Today’s article on How to share in other people’s joy.