Why aren’t you happy for me?
When someone accomplishes a goal or task that they’ve planned and put into action for quite some time, it should make everyone who knows this person personally extremely happy and excited. We all know how hard it is to achieve any goal. We all know how many late nights, early mornings, tears, upsets, and ‘NO’ one must endure before the big bow breaks. So why do some folks seem jealous when someone else makes it out? It’s the total opposite of the happy emotion that the achiever would expect once he divulges that a goal or task has been successfully completed.
It’s the learned ‘crabs in a bucket’ phenomenon, and I’ve seen it so many times from family to those who I thought was a friend to those who I’ve only met through social media. Being a self-published author who isn’t signed or affiliated with any of the e-book publisher brands, I’ve always found it hard to be respected by my author peers who started at the bottom with me as well as make readers believe in my pen game enough to support my work. It weighed down so heavy on me until I almost decided to walk away from this industry and career altogether. It took several moments of reflection to regroup and realize that people don’t support when they feel threatened. I just couldn’t understand why the need to be threatened by anything that I create or stand behind. I settled with those fake smiles to come from those who hate me for whatever I’m doing that they’ve not been able to accomplish. According to the Urban Dictionary, a “hater” can be defined by:
• A person who feels anger and/or jealousy for someone who has succeeded in something they have worked hard for.
• A being that speaks badly, and/or takes negative actions in attempt to create problems for a successful person.
But why the need for hate when it’s easier to congratulate and support? Unfortunately, for some, hate is all they know. Being raised in environments that showcased no cohesion amongst the family is where a lot of this disconnect stems from. The black family isn’t bonded enough to be proud of their family member’s own successes, hence the quote “Your biggest support will come from people who you don’t know”. Nathalie Thompson asked “why would your family – the people whom, you’d think, should be the ones most likely to be in your corner, be so quick to shoot your dreams down?” It’s simple: it comes down to the fact that they stopped living for their dreams and seek “to prevent you from reaching your own dreams”.
For example, when LHHATL reality star, Bambi, started a hair line, LHHATL fans flocked to buy the same grade of hair from her yet when a cousin or best friend opened up an online hair boutique, these same ‘fans’ asked and begged for discounts or free items, often times not ever buying one item at full price. Or when I dropped my books and provided gifts to readers to provoke reviews, my efforts weren’t appreciated by the receivers of the gift, and reviews weren’t left nor were my books shared for others to read. The fear of rejection and the pain of seeing someone else close (friend or family) doing or achieving something when they had to give their own dreams up is causing people to hate your success from a distance yet smile in your face as if they’re happier than you are. It’s a very common form of hate, and in order to annihilate it, we’d have to reshape the minds of those who refuse to see your worth and congratulate your success.
The Huffington Post believes that “if you master generating genuine happiness for other people, not only will you find a cure for the envy, which can sabotage your success, but there are additional benefits as well. Those benefits include:
• Freedom from frustration and worry. When you see another person’s win as a loss for you, you pave the way for discouragement and resentment to set in. Instead allow other people’s success to ignite hope for the success coming in your time of harvest.
• More opportunities to be happy! Rejoicing with others creates an opportunity to multiply the good times you get to celebrate. By seizing every chance to sincerely congratulate others on their success, you are creating an atmosphere for others to be willing to celebrate your successes.
• Improved relationships with others. Healthy relationships involve sharing both ups and downs. People are more likely to respond positively to you if they sense that you’re truly happy for them.
• Good karma. You reap what you sow. Giving unselfishly creates a win for everybody.
Now we know the benefits of being genuinely happy when someone other than yourself wins, but until you accept that you cannot win EVERY TIME and others will win every now and again, you’ll be stuck in your miserable state of mind, wishing for someone else’s downfall yet causing your own. Smile! If your best friend, cousin, sister, uncle, mother or father made it before you, trust that they’ll bring all of those who were genuinely happy with them in due time.