Being Happy for Someone Else


Written by Classmate

Feeling hard done by is a¬†unpleasant feeling. It was also something I felt for a lot of my time in condition. Of course I felt the other extreme too, like I’d gotten something I didn’t deserve and didn’t earn, but that’s for another post.

The thing about feeling this way is that it comes from THINKING hard done by. If you think someone else got something belonging to you, or they got something they didn’t earn, or your work has gone unnoticed while others get praised, then ok, is this a helpful way to think about any of life’s situations?

Maybe someone else DOES always get the good thing, the best cup, the best seat, all the praise, etc etc. But is that what you want to focus on?

I used to feel quite resentful that I was held to a different standard than my siblings. It felt like no matter what age I was, when we got into mischief as a group, I would be blamed, and told I should have known better. The flip of this is I could choose to feel grateful that my parents held me in such high regard, and they believed I was capable of better.

In college I remember feeling jealous of those that didn’t have to work, while I had two jobs and went to college full time. The thing is, I can now choose to see this as a gift. Instead of THINKING that I got a raw deal, it’s more life enhancing to see the growth that came from this. I learned to respect money. I learned time management and how to be a responsible employee. I learned that no job was below me, and I learned how to muck in and get stuff done.

Sometimes I fall into thinking of myself a fool. Slogging away in a job with demanding hours and unrealistic expectations, while other people I know choose not to work. But I’ve realised that we all make choices. We decide what to do with our lives. And by having this job I am in a position to buy nice things, live in a nice house, and do enjoyable things with my money. I feel fulfilled at times, and get the chance to do interesting things with my day.

What I’m trying to get at, is that there’s no need to compare to someone else and decide they have an easier life or get better stuff or opportunities . We really do make what we want of life. Feeling resentful is such a waste of time. To feel happy for others is a worthy goal. If you get short changed, then search for something positive in it. (You had change to lose!)

In specific relation to recovery, there’s no need to waste energy feeling as though you got dealt a crap hand. Look for the life and love in any situation and you’ll find some. For example, if you’re reading this, then there’s a good chance you attend MTC. You can’t tell me you haven’t met at least one person in MTC (between staff and attenders) that hasn’t in some way made you feel better about life, your situation, your future. You would never have been exposed to those people if ED hadn’t landed at your door.

I think the ‘at leasts’ are a tonic in situations where you feel left behind or on the periphery of life. Something good always comes from grabbing a pen and paper and making a list of the things that are going right in your life, and the list of things you are grateful for.

There will always be cheats in this world. People who don’t pay their way. People with selective hearing when a call goes out to help do the yucky job, empty the dishwasher or *insert something you don’t like doing*. Maybe that other person didn’t “deserve” the good fortune that befell them, but choosing to be happy for them means you can share in their happiness. Maybe next time you’ll get lucky! It’s also not very nice to spend your time judging other people, deciding what they earned…

Her success is not your failure. And nothing is taken from you when someone else is happy!

I’ve realised that being mad when other people got stuff they don’t deserve, only hurts me. Wishing my life was different doesn’t actually bring me any closer to what I want. And if I want something, I may as well ask for it. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Life is too short to be anything but grateful for our own situations, and to be happy for the people around us. Chanting “it’s not fair” brings nothing but discontent. When you decide to be happy with your lot, it’s much easier to be happy for other people.

I used to feel so guilty or silly when I was jealous of other people. But jealousy is just a signal telling us what we want in life, so if you find yourself jealous of someone, then yay, you have information about yourself and what you like!

And finally, I want to share one of my favourite quotes of all time. I have no idea who said it, but it’s mine now:

Don’t worry about the people who aren’t happy for you. They probably aren’t happy for themselves either.

Classmate xxx