I can’t help it; I’m human.
I look at other people’s feeds, posting the best edited version of them and their lives, and I can’t help getting momentarily stuck in self-pity, in the what-ifs and what-could-have-beens of mine. I think it happens to everyone – “social media envy” – and the funny thing is we’re all both its greatest victim and proponent.
There seems to be no obvious solution for this, so the least (at the same time, the most) we can do is disrupt the vicious cycle. The next time you find yourself mildly paralyzed by self-pity from (what should have been) a casual news feed update, try this out for size: find in yourself, the capacity to be happy for others. Delight in other people’s joys and celebrate their small victories. Moving the locus of your happiness is an exercise in transcendence and that always helps get you out of sticky introspective situations. The answer to social media envy isn’t participating in it, but finding the good in it and working from there.
The Capacity to be Happy for Others must be consciously practiced
When someone you always thought yourself better than posts about a job promotion or a new apartment/car, think about how happy that person must be and how proud he’s making his friends and family. When a friend announces his or her engagement, smile big and be genuinely happy for the couple – imagine their joy – wherever you may be in your relationship now. When someone else lands your dream job, don’t hold back on your congratulations – say it with all your heart — and feel that heart swell as it grows to include more people in your personal happiness.
The Capacity to be Happy for Others applies to real life
Go out and do it in the real world too. In situations where there’s a clear winner and loser, try to share in the victory of the winner, even if you’re the loser. Your win will come. For now, be happy for the other team. In everyday situations, no matter how busy you think you are, watch out for other people’s small victories and smile, clap, do a little dance for them.
Then you can be Instrumental in Others’ Happiness
Once you’ve trained your eyes and heart to watch out for others’ happiness opportunities, you can take part in making them happen. Simply put, if you’re aware of what makes a person happy, you can set them up for these everyday small victories Play cupid, Santa, then take a step back and see your friend just light up.
Be Vocal about it.
Whether online or in the real world, be happy for others out loud. Encourage the fulfillment of other people’s dreams with likes, comments, emoticons, pats on the back, high fives, woo-hoo’s, and the biggest of smiles. Be generous with compliments and hugs, without expecting them back.
Envy has no opposite. It’s a vacuum. Turn it off and be the person you’re meant to be, not the one you wish you were or could have been.
Be the reason someone smiles today. 🙂
This article was written by Dazzle Ng Sy
Follow her on Instagram: @mrsdazzy