We’ve all been there; trying our best to get by yet, everything seems to be going wrong.
As much as we’d like to support and celebrate our friend’s success, it’s hard to be happy for others who seem to have it all together when you’re experiencing a rough patch.
When you’re not exactly where you want to be, feelings of jealousy and envy can arise. Left unchecked, these emotions can negatively impact your well-being and friendships. Festering emotions have a tendency to leak out in ways others notice, such as you being unable to show up for your friends when they need you most.
Despite life’s curveballs, it is possible to be genuinely happy for friends when everything seems to be going wrong. Here are some steps to get started.
Focus On What’s Going Right.
It’s easy to dwell on things that are out of your control. Seeing your friend land a job in a week, when you’ve been applying for months, or learning that your friend who is getting married, when your relationship has just ended, can hurt.
Instead of focusing on what’s going wrong, challenge yourself to focus on what’s going right in your life. Even if things aren’t going according to plan, what are you grateful for?
- Maybe you’re running low on funds but at least you aren’t homeless.
- Maybe you didn’t get that promotion you wanted but you still have a fulfilling job.
Several studies have shown that expressing gratitude can make us live happier lives and be less depressed. And when you express gratitude, it becomes harder to fixate on negative experiences.
Remember, someone else’s success is not your failure. The next time a friend shares a moment of happiness with you, consider how lucky you are to have someone who thinks of you and wants you to be a part of their life.
Instead of looking at a friend’s success and wondering “why can’t I have that?” replace that thought with “how can I have that too?”
According to a 2011 study, researchers found that “unhappy self-assertion,” the belief you can be just as good at something as another person, but you’re unhappy because you’re not, can be a great motivator to want to improve. In other words, when you believe you’re capable of achieving something, you’re more likely to motivate yourself to make it happen.
Research has also shown envy can help us focus on the details of our competitors. This is useful because when someone succeeds at something we want, we naturally want to learn more about how they did it. When you look to learn from other people’s experiences, you’re able to learn more about yourself and what you need to work on.
Ultimately, the idea of success is different for everyone, including the timelines we expect to achieve our goals. Allow your friend’s success to fuel your fire and to inspire you to go after the things you want. Ask them for help and tips. Because if they can do it, so can you. Trust your moment will come.
Regardless if you and your friend come from the same background, are the same age, and worked at the same place, your lives can take completely different turns. It’s important to realize that you’re both unique and there’s plenty of room for both of you in this world.
Sometimes it takes getting out of our own head to realize how amazing you are. And the best way to do that is to practice affirmations.
In a nutshell, positive affirmations are mantras you can recite that help combat negative thinking. Stemming from self-efficacy, the belief in your capacity to execute behaviors necessary to produce specific performances, positive affirmations can help relieve stress, give you mental clarity, and inspire motivation.
In moments where it seems the universe doesn’t have your back, try out these 35 positive affirmations to keep you grounded. And while it may seem your friends have it all together, remember, “everyone is fighting a hard battle you know nothing about.” Give affirmations to help strengthen your friendship and to light up your friend’s day—you never how much they could need it!
When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s important to stay kind, be positive, and keep your friends close. The beauty of friendship is choosing the people you wish to be surrounded by. More often than not, your friends are a reflection of you. No one wants to be friends with someone who is jealous and envious of them. So, be happy for your friends and support them because that’s what friends are for.