This article was co-authored by Tasha Rube, LMSW. Tasha Rube is a Licensed Social Worker based in Kansas City, Kansas. Tasha is affiliated with the Dwight D. Eisenhower VA Medical Center in Leavenworth, Kansas. She received her Masters of Social Work (MSW) from the University of Missouri in 2014.
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It can be difficult to be happy for others at times, but overcoming those jealous tendencies can lead to significant improvements in your professional or social life, as well as your emotional wellbeing. You can free yourself from the stress and anxiety you experience when others succeed by focusing on the things that you’re grateful for and on the reasons it’s good for you, and for them, that you share in their joy.
Method 1Method 1 of 3:Changing Your Attitude to be Positive and Grateful Download Article
- 1Use positive affirmations to change your thinking. Positive affirmations are simply the method of repeating a positive statement to yourself regularly to help you change your outlook and perspective. This practice can reduce stress and the defensive associated with threats to our sense of self.XTrustworthy SourceAssociation for Psychological ScienceNonprofit organization devoted promoting trustworthy research and education in the psychological sciencesGo to source .
- Repeat a simple statement about being happy for others every time you are faced with a situation that makes it difficult.
- Use declarative statements in your positive affirmations.
- Try a statement like, "I can be happy for others and appreciate their hard work," or "I am happy for my friends and family because I want them to be happy too."
- 2Don’t let yourself be competitive when there’s no need to be. Feeling as though you need to compete with those close to you can be exhausting. It’s hard enough to build a life you can be happy in without seeing the victories of others as losses for you. Strive to celebrate their successes and you won’t have to experience the stress and frustration of seeing their victories in the wrong light.XResearch source
- A victory for others is not a loss for you. Share in their triumphs and they will learn to share in yours.
- Use other’s accomplishments as inspiration for your own.
- 3Ask yourself if you want to be happy. Feeling jealous others can be extremely stressful and often isn’t necessary. Instead, take a step back and ask yourself if you would rather be happy.XResearch source
- By holding on to a negative frame of mind like jealousy, we are choosing to be unhappy. Instead, choose to close yourself off to negative emotions.
- Much like pushing out negative thoughts, push out negative emotions by focusing on positive ones.
- Making the choice to be happy is symbolic, but the commitment to change your thinking must be real.
- 4Make their victory your own. It may be easy to see other people’s victories in a way that makes them seem to compete with your own; instead consider the ways they are also yours. Give yourself the opportunity to make it all about you (inside your head).XResearch source
- Think of the ways you helped your friend or coworker in the recent or extended past.
- Think of the times you answered questions, listened patiently or gave a reassuring word. Those were your investments in their success, and now you can share in it.
- 5Don’t think anyone succeeds to spite you. Everyone is going through their own journey, and for most of us each journey involves a fair amount of highs and lows. When someone reaches one of their high points, don’t assume it has anything to do with you, but rather is a part of the journey they started long ago.XResearch source
- Remember the success of others is not personal, nor is it directed at you.
- Remove yourself from the equation and look at the situation again. You likely play a very little role in the person’s motivations.
Method 2Method 2 of 3:Using Your Actions to Shift Your Thinking Download Article
- 1Exude positivity. Being happy for others can be difficult when you allow jealousy to skew your perspective. Instead, focus on being positive. Even if you are unimpressed by the success of your friends, appreciate that their accomplishment means something to them.XResearch source
- By being positive toward your friends when they succeed, you will help establish a supportive relationship with your friends that will benefit you both.
- Projecting positivity can help make you feel happier. It feels good to share in the joy of others, and you may find the positive feeling alone makes it worth the effort.
- 2Make a list of things that you’re grateful for regularly. If you have trouble overcoming feelings of jealousy when you see others succeed, it may be because you are under representing your own accomplishments, successes or possessions in your mind.
- Make a list of all the things you have that you should be grateful for.
- Review the list from time to time and add to it when you can.
- Think of your list whenever you feel the urge to be jealous of someone else.
- 3Fake it until you make it. You may have decided to make the shift toward being happy for other people, but that doesn’t change the way you feel. Instead, control your outward appearance to indicate that you are happy for others.XResearch source
- Sometimes it’s okay to say something nice artificially, the gesture is still meaningful.
- You may find that you enjoy the act of celebrating other’s accomplishments, making it easier to transition toward genuine appreciation.
- 4Share in the happiness of others. Allowing the happiness of others to make you happy can build strong relationships. Relationships develop or shift based on the way you interact with one another, and by demonstrating your happiness for others, those people are more likely to advocate on your behalf in the future.XResearch source
- Sharing in the happiness in others is a great way to make friends and establish strong professional relationships.
- The good impression you make on others can benefit you both socially and professionally.
Method 3Method 3 of 3:Using Positivity in Conversation Download Article
- 1Only use positive words when talking and push out negative thoughts. You will find it much easier to be happy for others if you gain control of how you speak and what you think about. Don’t allow yourself to focus on negative aspects of anything and manage your dialogue in a positive fashion.
- Don’t let negative thoughts overwhelm you, focus on positive things. With practice, controlling your focus will get easier.
- Choose to say positive words to your coworkers and friends to place you in a more positive mindset and demonstrate your happiness for them.
- 2Give straightforward compliments. You don’t need to be particularly creative in how you demonstrate that you are happy for others. Try giving them a straightforward compliment about the effort they’ve put forth or the situation they find themselves in.XResearch source
- Give them the compliment face to face when possible.
- Keep it simple. Try something like, "congratulations on your promotion, I know how hard you worked for it!"
- 3Shine the spotlight on others to share in it. One of the best ways to demonstrate that you are happy for others is to draw attention to their accomplishments or successes.XResearch source
- By shining the spotlight on the successes of others, you share in the spotlight and establish yourself as a team player.
- The people you point out will likely appreciate the gesture, strengthening your relationship with them and encouraging others to do the same.
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