I don’t know what it is that makes it hard for us to be happy for people, like, genuinely happy, when things are going good in their life, but sometimes it is. Good news is often greeted with giant smiles and congratulations, behind which there is a touch of seething jealousy, or a wish that person would fall flat on their face. Is it just human nature? Why is it that sometimes our happiness for others is conditional?
A comment was left on one of my posts recently saying I’d become smug, they preferred it when there was more variety to my blog and that I should remember things fall apart. It made me giggle. When I started this blog, I was in a pretty dark place in my life. I found it hard to see the good in anything because my life was pretty crappy. When I moved back to the UK and was back around my awesomely supportive family, I knew it was time for me to turn things around. I was tired of living that way. I started to exercise (which I massively credit with pulling me out of the depths of sadness I was in), I moved back to London, a city I love, I made tons of new friends, my blog took off – slowly but surely I changed my life. There were now far more rainbows than dark days. Naturally, that was reflected in this here blog. I was thinking of things differently, more positively – I don’t feel the need to constantly bitch and moan about things because you know what? I have it pretty damn good.
It’s only natural that when you go through a series of major life changes, if you’re a creative person, your work will reflect that. So when that person says they preferred it when there was more ‘variety’ to my blog, what they’re really saying is ‘I preferred it when you were miserable, because I’m kind of miserable too and I could identify more.’ Well, I was going through my darkest of times at that point – I definitely don’t intend to go back there and certainly not for your entertainment. The grim reminder in the comment that ‘things fall apart’ is a classic case of someone resenting others’ happiness and success. Don’t get too comfortable in your happiness – it could all be whipped from under you. It almost seems as though they’re wishing that on me, because I’m far too positive, far too happy, so I need to be taught a lesson.
I won’t lie, I occasionally get these pangs myself. Sometimes I hear of someone’s success in something and a feeling will rise up in me, a little voice saying ‘they don’t deserve it, you’ve worked harder.’ But then I shut that voice right down. I don’t know what they went through to get where they are so I can’t begrudge them the happiness they have now. It’s something I’m conscious of and I keep myself in check. I think it’s obviously easier to be happy for people when you’re happy in yourself. When you’re not quite where you want to be in your life or things aren’t working out for you, maybe it is natural to have a little pang of resentment or jealousy.
I don’t know that there’s any great answer to this other than I know I feel better when I share in someone’s happiness rather than quietly wish they didn’t have it. I guess the key is just getting happy in yourself. And you know what, ain’t no shame in being glad that things are going well for you – when you’ve pulled yourself out of the depths of sadness, you damn sure want to sing it from the rooftops. Get happy y’all!