How to Be Happy for Your Friends
Hey Queen!!! Yes, I know this is a tough topic. I hope you’re here to stay the whole way through, even if I’m coming down your street! This post is on how to be happy for our friends when their dreams (whatever they may be) take off before ours.
What’s challenging about this topic is these are feelings we all struggle with, but not everyone is comfortable with talking about it. The ebbs and flows of feeling threatened, lonely, lost, delayed, left out, comparison, etc!! All of those feelings are REAL!!!! We live in a society where people are always judging and you may be thinking “how might everyone feel if I were to admit these feelings,” even to yourself. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m here to tell you that sometimes when our friends are “doing” better than us we tend to feel some type of way. Sometimes it’s not even material things, this extends to how well someone is liked by others, a person’s ability to say things that others only wished they would, etc. I don’t believe that it is always malicious, although there are some malicious people out there, but this isn’t for them! This is for the Queen who is struggling with emotions around this area, but does want to be happy for her friend(s)! Have you ever been here? Are you currently here? I hope that at the very least you can be honest with yourself regarding these feelings. I know I’ve been in this place. The real question is how do I show up for my friends when life has knocked me down or when I’m just behind in the game? Because we still have to show up!
I feel that by helping normalize that these feelings take place we can work on then correcting the energy that we may be projecting onto other people because we are able to acknowledge that its our “own stuff.” Sometimes we want to be happy for others and we just can’t shake that feeling and those questions of “why not me?” We may say things such as, “I’ve done everything right why can’t I be there?” Maybe it goes something like, “I want to be happy, but WTF.” These are conversations that we may have and they don’t mean that we aren’t happy or that we don’t want to be happy! However, I do believe that because we are suppressing these feelings, there are times when our feelings do project onto others where it may become evident that we are feeling some type of way. The suppressed feelings may result in silent competitions, resentment and so forth! Silent competitions are the worse because both people are in a competition and don’t even realize what started it!
These situations and feelings can arise from different milestones in other peoples lives, such as a engagements, marriage, homeownership, higher education opportunities, new business, new jobs, interviews, etc.
So, what can we do to get to a place where we are happy for our friends? Again, here are some suggestions which aren’t the end all be all! I would love to hear from you in the comments!!
Acknowledge the Feelings Are There
Queen, you have to be real with yourself and admit the feelings exist. I know that its hard because we don’t EVER want to be jealous, right? I get that! Once we acknowledge it then it becomes real for us. All the times that we SCREAMED, “I ain’t a hater” would just go out the window! Trust me I get it. I don’t call these feelings being a hater, but they can turn into that if you don’t address them and it won’t matter how much you yell to the world that you aren’t one. Being a hater is more synonymous with being envious, which I too believe is completely different than the conversation we are having here. I am here to say though that, as mentioned prior, if you’re too scared to admit this now and work on it, you will turn into someone you don’t recognize and it’ll seep out from your pores. Let’s take some time with ourselves. I like to journal. When I journal, my pen writes what my subconscious mind is thinking and what most of the time I won’t say right away or cant process for that matter! All of this takes bravery though! It takes being brave to face yourself! You can portray one thing to the world, but remember you always go home to you and then you have to deal with that! This is a bit off of subject and I won’t digress too much, yet, that’s why these days my goal is to achieve joy!! For so long I sought out happiness and happiness is situational. Therefore, if you’re comparing your journey to that of another person’s journey it’ll cause you to feel like you’re behind and there goes your happiness! When in a practice of joy, we can learn to give thanks in everything! It doesn’t mean we won’t feel those feelings, only that we can learn to be grateful for where we are and remind ourselves that peace and joy, “aren’t the absence of noise” in our life, as Pastor Keion Henderson said!
Rebuke the Lies
Once you can acknowledge that you are having those feelings, then you can move on to the next step of rebuking those lies! When we fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others, we begin to tell ourselves lies and those lies if not held captive in that moment will destroy us because they are what lead the way to everything we discussed in the beginning. This aspect is important because we can’t control the thoughts that come into our minds. Its just the way it is; however, we can absolutely control what we do with those thoughts, how we view those thoughts and how we move forward with those thoughts. We have to be very careful because if we miss the first step, we will be in denial that the thoughts/feelings are even there! I get it! It requires more work to confront these things, but in the end, it’ll be less work than trying to compete against something that only you are competing against, which will drive you crazy!
This is where the lies come in because since you already feel some way then you rationalize in order to make yourself feel better. This then places blame on the other person when it was YOUR STUFF to begin with. And let me tell you that if you are reading this and it isn’t for you, then you can keep it moving, but if you’ve been here, like me, or if you are currently here, I hope that this is helping! Every time you have a thought about someone being ahead of you, being better than you, being in competition with you, etc. think about how much of that is your ish and then hold those thoughts captive and move on! DO IT EVERY TIME!
Analyze and Be Real
Really think to yourself when you’re mad about where you are in comparison to others. Have you done the same things this person is doing? Are you comparing yourself to this other person and are threatened, but you haven’t even done half the work that they have? By analyzing and being real with yourself regarding these feelings and the answers it’s easier to pause, call out your own BS and choose to work harder. The world doesn’t owe us anything. We have to be able to put in the work. Often times we want what other people have, but we haven’t even scratched the surface of what they’ve done. I always like to say, just like in service, they see my glory, but don’t know my story. So many times, people we are looking from the outside in, just noticing what people have and the outcome of hard work that we may not have witnessed. But we don’t see the struggle, the late nights, what the others were delivered from!
I remember having a conversation with a friend about something that I say often which is, “you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.” We expanded on this conversation because it was something that she indicated that she didn’t like. To her it suggested insensitivity to others’ feelings. We were able to have a conversation around that and I told her that I wouldn’t dismiss anyone who asked me a question on why I made a certain decision/comment, but what I did mean by my statement is that I don’t have to explain myself to people before making decisions due to being afraid on their opinion of me or what threats I may pose to their ego! I appreciate her for bringing this matter to me because she approached me on how she felt versus creating her own story and running with it. I mention this conversation because after thinking about the conversation and processing, I realized that a lot of my ways are due to growth from the person whom I once was. Those who enter my life after a certain season won’t be able to know what I was delivered from and why I have certain mind frames. So, the moral of the story is that people are who they are because of things they have been through, things they have endured and/or pain points in their lives that have contributed to their growth. We can’t be mad at that!
Be Inspired by the next Queen
There is a notion of healthy competition. It’s the equivalent of using the next person as a motivation and inspiration to get to where she is! How great would it be if we studied what that Queen is doing and follow in her footsteps? We are so afraid to voice that we are inspired by other women that we’re scared to ask questions. Now don’t get me wrong, there are women out there who WILL NOT answer your questions because they too don’t want to risk their advancement by offering you help; however, that doesn’t change the point here! Some people will help you and others won’t. Remember that most of what people do is about them and not you, including YOU! It applies to all of us. The way we behave toward others is mostly about us, our own doubts, own insecurities, own failures, own experiences, etc.
When we can look at one another as partnering and collaboration among women, then and only then can we all truly grow in all areas. I’m a part of a couple of Facebook communities and one of the group members, Alexandra, likes to say, “individually we are great, but together we are unstoppable.” This speaks volumes. We need to start seeing the power that is within each and every one of us and how it can be multiplied when we work together. Again, sometimes these feelings will come to your mind, but once you know better, you do better. As stated before, I have been guilty of this in my lifetime and I won’t sit here and lie that I sometimes don’t get overwhelmed with doubt and my own insecurities, but I’m currently in a space in my life where I can tell myself that those are lies I’m feeding myself and then rectify. Basically, call myself out!
I challenge you to Be Brave and confront those feelings when they come, to Be Brave and admit when you have those feelings, and to Be Brave and tell yourself that they are lies! I challenge you to not allow your own ish to stop you from building with other Queens! I like to call those blessing blockers aka things, behaviors, situations that block our blessings. Sometimes we are so focused on the next person that we miss the opportunity to be creative and advance in out craft.
Please let me know your thoughts on this piece! If you haven’t already, please join my community of Brave Queens on Facebook called Empowered Women Collective-All Things Bold. It’s a community in which we DO All Things Bold in order to create the best versions of ourselves. We invite you to be part of that and show case all the greatness you have to offer.
As always, be encouraged, be unstoppable, be brave and most of all Be All Things Bold!!