How Can We Stop Thinking Other People’s Success And Happiness Is Our Loss?

I came across an excellent quora post. In fact several excellent quora posts. If you see something you written in here, just know I saw myself in your writing.

Here’s a story from Naomi Bleier.

So imagine you go to a party. It opens with a buffet, where the food is spread for everyone across a few tables. The food is plentiful: there are fruit platters spilling with melon and berries, sushi stacked in all shapes and sizes and colors, cuts of meat artfully arranged on rectangular trays, vegetables cut to snacking sizes, salads, cookies, and drinks lined up for duty. But as you casually mill about, you can’t help but attempt to cut ahead of people to reach the platters, trays, and bowls. You overstock your plate with the worry the food will run out, artfully shove people out of the way to get to the sushi before it runs out, and fill your cup up the top with soda in case it’s gone.

The hosts have planned to make sure there is enough food for everyone, but the buffet style meal creates a panic in which we can’t help but believe that other people filling their plates will take away from the portions we can select for ourselves. It’s as if the entire concept of food as we know it will be gone within minutes! We frantically stab the last few chunks of pineapple, drain our glasses so we can top them off again, and refill our salad plates before we’ve finished all the pieces of lettuce. We compete with the other guests - despite our friendly conversation - to ensure we get the portion we deserve.

When the buffet is over, the event continues - perhaps with a speaker, a performance etc. When it’s time for dessert, waiters come around with individual plates for each guest. The same people who were elbowing to get to the front of the buffet table before their friends now elegantly say, "please, you take the first portion. I can wait."

Where has the worry and panic and hurry gone? Why is everyone so patient and generous all of the sudden?

Because it is much more clear that there is a plate reserved for everyone. If the hosts informed the caterer that 208 people are coming, there are 208 plates waiting in the kitchen - there is definitely one for me, so I’m happy for you to get first. I’m feeling magnanimous. I feel secure in the knowledge of the portion I will receive, and there is no frantic competition between us.

According to Bleier, we have to understand something about life: Life is not a buffet. It’s served up on individual plates for each of us.

When we come to recognize this, our friends' successes and victories and possessions will not faze us. We know that we can work for whatever we want, and what our friends work for does not affect what is coming to us. If the guy you want lands up with a different girl, he’s not the guy for you! If someone else got the promotion you wanted - it wasn’t meant for you. Work a little harder, and if you deserve it, you will get your own promotion.

In recognizing that there are portions of happiness, wealth, and success in reserve for each of us, we would be much less resentful of others' success, and lead more secure, happier, satisfied lives.

I believe this full heartedly.

My thing is.

#1. I realized early in my life (around 7, 8 years old) that I could enjoy other people’s success by imagining how I would feel if that was my achievement. I can live vicariously through them and let them have their moment. I’m no lesser of a person because of their success. When I see my favorite singer like Ariana or Taylor sing, I visualize myself doing the same thing, so it’s almost like I’m experiencing the moment with them.

What this does is each time you see these successes then it inspires and lifts you up to try greater things.

Then from this space you can realize that your success in turn can inspire someone else.

#2 I like doing things solo. But I’ve always loved and desired close set of people who would stand by me through thick and thin. I’ve always admired from a far closeness between friends. I can love these people having these friendships and see myself in them. At my schools, no one really defended me, so I had to defend myself. It would be amazing if I had more loyal people that would stick up for me instead of playing both sides of the fence.

I’ve always wanted some people I can confide in truthfully and know that my secrets are for safekeeping. I found this harder in my earlier days. I didn’t want to be a gossip queen or change to fit in, so I didn’t. I do have a defense mechanism to protect myself from psychological harm and I’m VERY careful with my trust. To make myself clear: Forgiving does not excuse the behavior, be a doormat or mean I will be friends with them. People won’t hurt you if you don’t give them the power to do so. I do/did distance myself from them so they won’t have the chance.

#3 Instead of comparing and envying other people, the more you focus on discovering the activities, works and relationships that make you happy, the easier it will be to be happy for others.

#4 I never compared myself to others as a youngin, and I don’t do it now. Because the only person I’m competing with is myself.

#5 I have seen many relationships. And there is so much pressure to be in one that I’m turned off by the marriage question. After observing my friends and family for a while, this does not mean that they are automatically happy.

I’m not great at opening up, but I’m a great listener and a great keeper of secrets. I have been with them through multiple heartbreaks, sad periods, and hard times that made me realize a few things.

(Saw this on Quora, but I redid it and made it my own).

A- I’ve seen people fronting appearances claiming they are in happy relationships but they are getting abused physically, emotionally, psychologically, and so on. Being single is better than being in an abusive, unbalanced, or unhappy relationship. Once you see through the sike, status quo and pressure and really, REALLY start to think for yourself, there’s no turning back.

B. You can be single and happy that others have found their significant other because your time will come too. If it doesn’t it’s not meant for you.

C- Being single means that I make my own choices and do not have to think twice about a spontaneous thing. Comes in handy when you want to go on a last-minute trip or just do something adventurous. I don’t like answering to no one, and I have a tendency to be on the independent side of things sooo….

D- Life has multiple phases, if you’re unhappy about a phase you’re in now, change it. If you can’t then don’t let it define this stage, you define your own happiness.

#6 You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks. Not everyone wants to see you succeed, and some people do start to feel small because they don’t think they can compare to your accomplishments. It’s not your problem (they need to do some soul searching on why they envy), and you probably shine the way others don’t. They can’t handle your shine. I’m also saying don’t be an asshole and rub it in people’s face either.

#7 I admired my friends in school for doing better in many aspects. (I really didn’t want to attend college classes after some friends passed away amongst other things, it just wasn’t the same.) They got in a lot of organizations I didn’t get into.

But I get the impression now since I appear to have the upperhand many of them distance themselves from me. It was never about competing or trying to out do anyone. I find it interesting how some people act and attitudes change when financially, socially, or generally you move up or you are doing better. There’s a down time and up time. The test of a real friend? How they act when your sun is glowing. Are they genuinely happy for you or jealous of you?

#8. I helped girls in school get into the organizations and sororities of their choice despite them not wanting me. I could have easily said “you can’t get it because I didn’t.”

I got the impression especially in Indy that many people loved to see you fail. When people in my life passed away, I noticed more people distancing themselves instead of being there. I secretly tested others to see where they stand. Some were like “they just didn’t know what to say,” just to make up an excuse for them. Just be honest and say they were probably happy to see that happen to me, and they want to see how far from grace you can fall to make fun of you. Sounds awful but I’ve come across more cutthroats in Indianapolis than a lot of other places.

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