Some People Want You to Do Well -- But Not Better than Them

22 February, 2018

It’s true. Some people want you to do well, but not better than them. This kind of person may appreciate you and love you and might even be happy for your success. Of course, as long as your success doesn’t surpass their own.

This very common phenomenon happens in all areas of life: with coworkers, family members, friends, even relationships. Now you’re probably thinking, how is it possible for this to happen between people who supposedly love each other?

I’ll tell you. The world is full of people who rejoice when things aren’t going so well for you. Unfortunately, many people can’t stand the success of others. They’d rather belittle or ignore your accomplishments instead of sharing in the celebration.

A crowd of paper cutouts is criticizing one red figured.

The trap of social pressure: seeking approval

It’s clear that none of us is immune to social pressure. After all, we are human beings and live in society. Thus, it’s normal to feel “pressured” by the opinions or expectations of others.

Let’s look at a typical situation. You’re telling someone you truly trust about one of your goals or ideas, something you feel good about. A realistic goal, a good idea, and you have what it takes to do it. More often than not, the kind of person we’re talking about won’t seem very interested. They probably won’t encourage you to do it, possibly even trying to talk you out of it.

When you harbor a fear of rejection or a need to meet other people’s expectations, you will only aim to please. Immediately afterwards, you’ll start a vicious cycle that goes like this:

  1. I look for other people’s approval.
  2. If they don’t give it to me, I don’t do that which I truly want to do because I begin to believe that my desire is stupid.
  3. My self-esteem goes down and, with it, my self-love.
  4. I go back to step 1 because, since I have low self-esteem, I sacrifice my opinions and adopt other people’s opinions.
A carton of eggs has silly faces drawn on them.

Toxic friends 

Let’s learn how to interpret this type of situation so you don’t fall into the trap. You can be sure that the envy of a loved one does more harm than the hatred of an enemy.

A friend that tries to outdo you is a friend that wants to control you. And a friend that wants to control you is a slave to envy. So what causes this envy? Well, there are many different motives: your relationship with other people, your ideas, your aspirations, etc.

In my opinion, the word “toxic” should be an incompatible adjective with the word “friends”. The antidote for toxicity between friends is to learn to join them in their happiness. Learn how to be happy for them and celebrate with them.

A woman with a scarf on a windy day: not seeking the approval of others.

Learn to shine without feeling bad about it 

Now, I may not know you, but let me tell you that there are certain people who seem to light up a room as soon as they walk into it. And they do so simply because they are humble beings. Creatures who have learned how to admire others without feeling threatened.

Stop walking through life making bad decisions just to please people and get their approval. Learn to turn a deaf ear to the world and listen a little more to the voice inside. Don’t allow anyone to destroy your uniqueness and  dreams. Even if they want to tell you they’re ridiculous.

Don’t allow yourself to settle on “dreams” you don’t even want to make come true. Especially not because someone you trust has made you doubt your strength. Don’t pay the high cost of becoming fake in order to fit in. You deserve to fit in just as you are.