Who is saddened by the happiness of others?

Be jealous: when other people's happiness hurts you

Last update: August 18, 2020

Nobody dares to say out loud that they are jealous, but it happens very often: We are not happy when others are happy. All people are susceptible to it because envy is a natural human trait.

When we love someone, we should be happy for them when things go well for them and cry with them when they are sad. Yes it should be like that. But in reality things don't always work out that well. We want to be happy for others, but sometimes we feel just the opposite.

"Our envy lingers longer than the happiness of those we envy."

François de La Rochefoucauld

Most of the time we can't even admit it. We just congratulate the other while we simmer inside. Or we even try to share his achievements with one "But…" or "It may not be what you wished for yet" to belittle.We know deep down that we are somehow frustrated by their success.But why is this happening? And how can we change that?

When other people's happiness hurts us

It doesn't always bother us when other people are happy. Sometimes we are really proud of their successes. It's a wonderful feeling that fills us with joy and strengthens our relationship with them. Therefore, in other moments, we ask ourselves why we have to be jealous.

First of all, let's get something clear: We are all human and can feel any emotion, whether it is good or bad. While it's not something we are proud of, we shouldn't punish ourselves for being jealous of someone we love.

It bothers us that the other person is happy when we are not happy ourselves. Maybe we worked hard to get a similar result, but this other person got their goal and we didn't make it. We value them, but it is impossible not to think about our unfulfilled wishes. Without wanting to, we compare their happiness to our unhappiness and decide that life is not fair.

Other people don't reflect who we are

All of this happens to us when we see the other person as a reflection of ourselves. In other words, we perceive their life as if it were our life. Being jealous usually means disregarding someone's path to success and only focusing on the results they achieved because we wanted them for us.

Broadening this perspective is the key to overcoming envy. Let's not just look at what this person has achieved, but analyze what they had to go through in order to arrive at this result, which we have not yet achieved. This is one way to defuse the situation and find the elements that set us apart from this person.

When we look at others as mirrors, we create a narcissistic image of them in our mind. This makes our ego feel hurt and the happiness of others disturbs us. However, if we choose to have our story and path in life entirely different, we can understand and acknowledge their achievements. And then we feel really happy for her.

Being jealous as an opportunity for growth

It's normal to be jealous of someone you love. It doesn't make us a bad person. What we absolutely must avoid, however, is that this feeling turns into anger. Otherwise, this could damage the bond we have with that person, from whom we can actually still learn a lot.

It's time to grow. There are things that we desire deep down but never get. There are others that we long for and only get when we work really hard for them. And of course we get to some goals more easily than we thought. This is exactly what happens to other people too. The difference is that it can happen to them faster or more often than us - or slower and less often.

You can stop being jealous when you recognize and accept the feeling. Recognize envy and know that other people deserve their success and that your love for them extends beyond these small and insignificant thoughts. Do not judge yourself for their success.That would be a big mistake, because one person's personal development has nothing to do with that of another.

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