Its Ok If They Are Not Happy for You
It ‘s hard to be happy for people when good things happen to them, or when they are brave and do something you could never do. I know. I have both received this treatment and handed it out.
It is not easy to share in other’s joy.
It’s easier to be there for people when they are down and harder when they are up.
Recently I experienced this treatment from my family. My partner and I are doing something brave and wonderful. We are immigrating overseas. We are moving to Europe and both pursuing Masters Degrees in subjects that satisfy and interest us.
But my family has not always been supportive and kind towards us.
They have passed judgment and are only interested in pointing out the negatives or possible cons of our decisions. They seem incapable, at times, of being happy and supportive without agenda or strings attached. And I have learned a harsh lesson.
I have to keep repeating this mantra:
its not about you, its not about you, its not about you…
who cares what they think, who cares what they think..
I don’t care… but alas, I do sometimes. Their wounds and expressions wound me. Make me want to scream out in frustration:
“Why can’t you just be nice?! Why can’t you just be happy and supportive!?”
Why do I always feel like I have to prove myself to my family members ? Why do I feel like their judgement of my life is crushing?
I don’t know why? Perhaps it is a hangover from childhood and the desperate need to always seek approval of my parents.
However, while talking to some family members recently, I had an epiphany. And the epiphany was this: they are envious.
When we finally managed to immigrate to Europe after many delays, sleepless nights and tests for Covid, we faced a setback (not uncommon when moving overseas). It was not a major setback but it did hamper our plans somewhat. We were upbeat and happy to continue as we were not suffering too much.
However, when relaying the story to my family, they jumped on this downfall and made a comment that lacked all sympathy and care, “Worst for you. Shame that totally sucks.”
At first I got upset. They seemed happy that we were suffering. They showed no care or thought for our well-being. But then I realised something and this tiny thought formed in my head and has since grown to a giant thought:
“They are jealous”.
It could not have been more obvious. No, they did not care about our wellbeing. They were happy that we faced a setback and were forced to put our plans on hold again, although temporarily.
Their pleasure in our displeasure could only be a sign of one thing: envy and the green eyed monster.
Sadly this monster often rears its ugly head.
Because this is a universal truth: it is infinitely harder to be happy for someone when you are envious of them and too easy to rejoice at their downfall when things don’t work out.
You want to be happy for them but you grit your teeth and say, “how wonderful for you!”
Even though inside you want to say, “how dare you do something so wonderful! I wish I was you.”
Some people are able to put their jealousy aside and think of the other person. They are able to show true compassion and share in their joy. These people are rare, I have discovered.
So when my family cannot share in my joy, I will remember in future, it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with them.