Should someone else’s happiness should affect your happiness? The obvious answer is no. Someone else’s successes or failures has nothing to do with you or your life.
I whole heartedly agree with this idea yet….sometimes I struggle.
I find myself scrolling Facebook and when someone I don’t particularly care for or feel inferior to has a positive thing happen it feels like a personal dig at me. Like, who does this person think they are that they can have great things happen and I’m over here watching my third hour of Dance Moms eating non organic peanut butter because I’m too lazy to make a proper sandwich. Assholes, that’s who.
So for me the first step is admitting there is a problem. Admitting that you can’t be happy for someone else’s success is hard because it means that you feel like your in competition with them and you’re losing. That something is going on in your own life making you feel less than or vulnerable and here’s the god’s honest truth: that’s ok. Life is filled with ups and downs, they just aren’t usually shared on social media. Ups only on the ole social media.
Feeling a bit lost or sad or ‘not where you should be’ is a hard place to admit to being. It’s easier to attack the other person: their bragging or being “fake” or inauthentic. That way one don’t have to examine what’s at the core of a reaction.
So the only thing that I have found to be helpful when I’m feeling this way is to talk about it/write about it/examine it. Get to the core. As my dead boyfriend/hero Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers to those who weren’t pretend dating him) said, “If it is mentionable, it is manageable.” If you can talk about it you can get through it.
I also know that this feeling is a kick in the butt to get working on myself. Focus on the only thing I actually have control over: myself and my happiness. So when I’m feeling a pang of jealousy, it’s a cue to get moving. Not because you are actually in competition with some Facebook bragger (that Facebook bragger is probably not as happy as they want everyone to believe) but because it triggered something in me that’s saying I’m not feeling right about my life. When I’m happy and things are going great, someone else’s happiness or successes is a blip on my radar but when I’m not; an Instagram post will make me rage eat a peanut butter sandwich.
So a gentle reminder: