The confession I’m about to make is something I don’t think I’ve ever admitted out loud. I have this terrible vice and I’m sure people close to me have always known this about me despite my efforts to hide it. I just have the hardest time feeling happy for people. I don’t know if I can call it jealousy because usually it’s not about anything I’m jealous of. I have a happy life, I feel extremely lucky to lead the life I lead, to have the family I have, to be able to work from home, to own a house, I could go on and on and on. My life is great and I wouldn’t call myself a depressed person. But it just rubs me the wrong way when someone is taking a step in their life like getting a job, getting married, having a baby, moving in with a boyfriend/girlfriend. I just cannot be happy for them.
Now, I’m not like this about every single thing or with every single person, but it’s extremely common for me to hear about something positive about someone else and have to put on my best fake happy face and make nice commentary all the while being secretly angry or annoyed. Does this make me a terrible person? Probably. Am I the only one out there like this? I doubt it. Maybe it’s just my competitive side being like “No, whatever exciting thing just happened to that person just one-upped you. You better *insert exciting life event here* so you can be better.” This is just the way I’ve been for years and years and I try so hard to be genuinely happy for people, but that grumpy, bitter side of me always surfaces before I even realize it’s happening.
There isn’t much I wouldn’t give up to be a better person, one who can be so excited for a friend or family member with good news. I’ve literally googled “can’t be happy for others” and read a dozen articles. There are so many people who blame social media because people can portray themselves however they want. Ten terrible things could happen to me today, but if I only mention the one good thing then that’s all anyone thinks exists. I get that logic, but I don’t know that the answer is to delete facebook. That doesn’t fix me, that just reduces interaction that may or may not induce bitterness.
Please don’t tell me I’m the only one who struggles with this. I’m still on the path to trying to find a way to work on this part of myself and I can only hope that I can get there soon. In 2013, I want to be the person who can be happy for everyone else’s strides in life, the one who realizes that just because something amazing happened to someone else doesn’t mean the universe is running out of good things that could happen to me or take away anything good that already happened to me.