How To Turn Jealousy Into Jubilation

Joseph P. Kennedy once said, “more men die of jealousy than they do of cancer”. Although I can’t comment on how true that saying is, I can say that jealousy has rarely done anyone any favors. The truth is no one is ever one hundred percent detached from that green-eyed monster. If you are, I’d love to meet you.

When a colleague gets that promotion we’ve been starving for or a buddy keeps getting fitter and stronger in the gym, it’s hard not to feel the monster’s sting. However, there’s a new method that’s come to light recently on how we can actually benefit from other people’s successes.

The method is called sympathetic joy, and the way it works as follows:

1. First, is self-reflection.

We need to identify why we’re more perturbed than excited by someone else’s success. By stopping and reflecting on why we react the way we do, we’re able to better identify our own vulnerabilities. For example, an artist might be bothered if his friend’s recent art installation gets raving publicity. Though, when he stops to understand why he feels that way, he might realize it’s because he’s self-conscious towards his own art.

2. Second, is self-compassion.

After reflecting, it’s important we be kind and patient with ourselves rather than getting upset with ourselves for not sharing the joy in our friend’s success.

3. Third and last is sympathetic joy.

Here we challenge the thought that these things we want so bad for ourselves are in limited supply. By asking the questions “is there more, is there another, another promotion, another competition, another chance”, almost always the answer is yes.

In a nutshell, sympathetic joy is the reflection upon the abundance available in this world. When we open up to this realization, we share in the happiness of others with ease because we know we can achieve the same result.

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Transcript provided by YouTube:

00:00

We also do Mudita

00:04

trickier! it took years for me to get this one too

00:07

Mudita is feeling joy for other people’s success

00:14

and I found this interesting because it didn’t make very much sense to me

00:20

until I saw a story of a blind man who I follow

00:25

he has a rather funny YouTube channel

00:29

talks about going to football matches and things like this as a blind person

00:34

and he said something like

00:37

when people say congratulations

00:41

because he’s highly attuned to the ones of their voice

00:44

he hears an undercurrent in their voice

00:47

that means that they don’t really mean it

00:51

and I’ve seen it with myself too

00:52

like when people have attained something or achieved something

00:59

a little bit of me feels like they didn’t deserve it

01:07

on the surface I’m

01:09

congratulatory – ‘oh that’s nice you got that good thing’

01:11

but underneath I’m kind of like …. well…

01:15

it’s researched in psychology it’s called the Fundamental Attribution Error

01:19

look that up if you want to look it up

01:22

basically it means when something good happens to you

01:25

you think that’s down to your good qualities

01:28

If I pass an exam – that’s because I am smart

01:32

if something bad happens to me

01:34

that’s because of the world

01:37

so I failed the exam

01:38

that’s because of the stupid teacher that didn’t teach us properly

01:41

or because he set the wrong kind of exam

01:44

or the wrong exam questions

01:46

and with other people it’s the opposite

01:48

if something good happens to them

01:50

we say ‘yeah well everybody passed that exam’ ‘everybody got that thing’

01:54

and if something bad happens to them you think ‘well that’s because you’re a bit too …’

02:00

‘z…y….or z’

02:01

it’s called the Fundamental Attribution Error

02:03

there’s a lot of research that has gone into this

02:07

this is why thieves and burglars think ‘well….’

02:10

‘if my friend gets caught and goes to prison

02:12

that’s because they were not careful enough and not smart enough’

02:16

‘but I get away with it because I’m smarter and cleverer’

02:20

until of course they get caught

02:22

and then they say ‘well, it was bad luck’

02:23

that this person had an alarm or something like that

02:27

so there’s quite a lot of research into this

02:29

it’s actually true – we feel that other people’s success

02:33

somehow isn’t deserved

02:35

so Mudita – one of the 4 Brahma Viharas

02:39

is feeling happiness and joy for other people’s success

02:44

when I first started doing this

02:46

When I finally figured it out

02:48

I really started to enjoy this

02:50

because it’s so lovely

02:52

feeling good for other people

02:55

‘oh this person is so beautiful’ or ‘has such a lovely car’

02:59

or ‘has such a nice life’ or

03:02

anything good – it’s really worshiping and praising the good things that happen to other people

Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood

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