Being pleased for others

high fivesI’ve had a week hearing about good things happening for many of my friends. These are people I love. Why does my mind take a brief detour on the way to being so pleased for them? Why is there that flash of envy? Fortunately, it’s only a flash and then I can genuinely enjoy their good news. But it’s still unsettling that it happens at all.

@jacintatynan wrote a fabulous piece last year about realising that good friends celebrate your successes as well as being there in the dark times. There are people who are fabulous comfort when we are struggling, but keep a wide berth when we do well. Hopefully our closest friends can do both.

Back to that flash of envy? Is it normal? Yes. Can we stop it from happening? Not really. Can we use it for good not evil? Most definitely. The way I have come to cope with this unpleasant reaction is to remind myself that if I am feeling envious, then what’s happened for my friend is truly fabulous. That’s because I don’t envy material things (well maybe the odd holiday or two). The stronger my reaction, the better the news must be and that’s what I try to convey – genuine happiness that something wonderful has happened to a fantastic person. Because let’s face it, bad things happen to good people all the time so we need to celebrate the occasions when the world seems to make sense.

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