Why Can’t I be Happy for Others?

· May 15, 2019
It's normal to be envious, indifferent, or even to really dislike that others are doing fine. However, sometimes you might find it hard to feel happy about other's happiness and this could mean there's an underlying issue. Most of the time, depression is the usual culprit.

It’s normal to be envious, indifferent, or even to really dislike that others are doing fine. However, sometimes you might find it hard to feel happy about other’s happiness and this could mean there’s an underlying issue. Most of the time, depression is the usual culprit.

In this article, you’ll find some clues relating to this and how to face this problem and help you feel happy for others. Without envy nor bad blood, you can make other’s happiness, your own.

woman that can't be happy for others

Why can’t I feel happy for others?

Maybe you’ve noticed that anytime someone brings good news, you might feel a bit uneasy about it. Or, maybe, you’ve seen this happening to someone else.

In a flick of the eye, you can see anger, envy, injustice, and other negative emotions. In short, you’re expected to share the joy but there’s an invisible force that, for just a second, keeps you from being truly happy for others.

It’s quite possible that this wasn’t always the case. You must stop and think what’s keeping you from being happy. As the old saying goes:

“How can you be happy for others, if you haven’t found your own happiness?”

a woman who can't be happy for others

This tendency to feel annoyed about others well-being is in some way dysfunctional social conduct. Also, depression can affect your relationships with others. Likewise, low self-esteem is also associated with this.

In a way, this can also be a curious situation. Low self-esteem makes it likelier to notice what others have, that you don’t. Naturally, thinking like this can have a negative effect on any circumstance that implies remembering what you, supposedly, lack and how bad you feel about yourself.

On the other hand, outright hostility is related to feeling envy. This feeling is the nexus between a broken affective state and the tendency to negatively value what others have.

Likewise, just feeling envy isn’t a sign of a pathology. In fact, professor Richard Smith highlights envy as part of your survivalist instinct. You use comparison to others to measure your own success.

Now, if seeing others happy makes you feel bad or it has a negative effect on your life, that might be a problem. It’s a problem in need of a solution, and you can use the following strategies.

woman riding bike freely because she's learned how to be happy for others

What can I do to change this?

Stop negativity from taking form and making you into a bitter person, unable to feel empathy. Remember, the more you live life, the better you live. Some of the best strategies you can use are:

Be grateful for what you have

Try to focus on those things that make you feel good and change your perspective to stop attaching to whatever makes you feel bad.

Your worth doesn’t depend on others

You should value yourself for what you are, rather than for what you own. Your potential and what’s deep inside of you makes you valuable. Also, you don’t need anyone to tell you how much you’re worth.

Try to find inspiration in others’ successes

Other people’s triumphs can be a demonstration of your chances to succeed and you could use them as a guide to reaching your goals. Instead of feeling envy, try to use their success to motivate you to do better.

Realize there’s enough space for everybody’s happiness

This includes your own happiness. Don’t let yourself feel limited by other people’s success. The world is a very big place and can hold millions of winners.

Be confident in the future

Be confident that you’ll find a happier place for you. You’re not entirely at the mercy of randomness. Work on you and that will bring you happiness. And finally, find solace in yourself and motivate yourself with good thoughts.