As Featured on News Cult: How to be Happy for Someone

Let’s face it, we’re never happy for anyone—we want them to be just as miserable as we are. But, as Oprah would tell us, we should really work on that. If only because it will benefit us—it’s just easier to not be jealous, bitter that someone else has something that we want, or hold a grudge. So channel that laziness that you’ve worked really hard to perfect and attempt to actually be happy for someone. Whether they’re getting married, or got the job they wanted, or think their new haircut is really cool even though it’s just not personally your taste and looks a little tacky. Here’s how you do it.


Ok so maybe you don’t have to genuinely be happy— I think Hillary Clinton put it best when she said, “a little lying never hurt anybody, right?” What difference does it make to the other person, anyways? They won’t know that on the inside you’re seething with rage and picturing them as the protagonist in Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Pit and the Pendulum.”

Focus on all of the pathetic things about the person

It’s so much easier to not begrudge someone their good fortune if you take time to meticulously inventory and bask in every one of their deficiencies.

Convince yourself you don’t want what they have

I mean, unless what they have is a lifetime supply of leggings, ice cream, and a memory foam couch, I see no reason to let jealousy get in the way of your happiness for them.

Remember the benefit to you

Cling to it—when you feel like letting go, remember that we’re only doing this because it will make us feel better. Come back to your center and remember that everything revolves around it.

Life’s not a competition

Contrary to every elementary school track and field day ever, the point is not to win, or beat anyone, or even measure up to them—someone has to be the loser, so it may as well be you.

Remind yourself that happiness breeds happiness


Listen, if you want a shot in Hell at ever feeling remotely happy, you’ve gotta spread the love, man. I feel like if you walk around hating everyone and everything, it’s just a self-fulfilling, prophetic cycle of cynicism and negativity. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great way to live and I embrace it fully, but if you believe in ‘what goes around comes around’—and, how could you not, when Justin Timberlake has said it—maybe you have to give a little happiness to get a little. Or don’t, and continue living your miserable life—I don’t give a fuck.

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10 thoughts on “As Featured on News Cult: How to be Happy for Someone

  1. Josh Wrenn says:

    Points for the Scmidt gif. The rest of the post could’ve sucked (it didn’t) but I’d give you points because you used my role model in a gif. (No Schmidt is not really my role model, but it would be funny if he was, right?)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. peckapalooza says:

    I have the pretending step down cold. Example… Had a kid today with a tick firmly attached to his shoulder and he was screaming and crying any time the nurse even considered removing the thing because he thought it would hurt too much. As a counselor, I spoke calmly and encouraged him to be super brave and even bribed him with what passes for a really lousy reward at the end of it, promising that it wouldn’t hurt anymore once the parasite was removed. Really, I wanted to strap him down, tell him to suck it up, and yank the thing out before he had a chance to shed another tear. But, apparently, that would be a human rights violation of some kind. And someone, somewhere, would probably sue me for not taking the tick’s rights to suck that child’s blood into account, as well. So I pretended to be super understanding of his pain and fear for the entire half hour it took to coax the tick from his shoulder. Seriously, my mother had her gall bladder removed in an outpatient procedure that took less time than this kid’s tickectomy.

    I love my job.

    Liked by 2 people

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