Being happy for others

Today I wanted to put some thoughts out there that I can’t get my head around. It’s something I have experienced far more as an adult, and something that I’ve chatted to my sisters about over and over again (because none of us can fathom it). Here it is: ‘People are not always happy for you’. I don’t think that I will ever understand it. It has taken me years (and many conversations) to work out, because for so long – I didn’t believe it was true. Why wouldn’t someone be happy for me? Why would people think I’m competing with them? Or why would people respond in a defensive manner?

As a result, I often won’t share successes, or things I’m pleased about with others, fearing that it could come across as competitive or boastful – neither of which are true. For me, I am genuinely over the moon for people if they have done something brilliant, and I now know that I (naively) assumed that people felt the same way. I know the people I can share these exciting things with (which thankfully includes my entire family), and I know the people I avoid sharing them with…and that’s fine, but isn’t it sad? Sad that people can’t put their own feelings aside to celebrate, support or uplift someone.

The phrase: ‘Blowing out someone else’s candle doesn’t make yours shine any brighter’, comes to mind whenever I think about this, because this is absolutely true. And I also believe that surely this means we all shine brighter together? Why blow someone’s candle out when you have the opportunity to light it? To me, there is room for everybody’s successes, talents and beauty in the world. Our world has an infinite capacity for positivity, and let’s face it – the world needs more of it.

‘Competitive parenting’ is a phrase I hear thrown about more and more. Something else I don’t understand. Parenting is a far too important to compete with others. The truth is; I’m not really interested in what other people are doing. I’m only interested in how well Jared and I are doing, compared with the parents we know we want to be. I compare myself to my parents, and to parents that seem to ‘get it right’  more often than not. They inspire me, and it would be silly to compare my children to others, when they’re an individual, like no other.

Win is really quite talented at drawing, reading and writing. He’ll never be the world’s fastest runner (ok, I shouldn’t rule it out), he’s not very patient (we’ll blame it on nature not nurture) and he lacks compassion (again, it must be nature), but isn’t it fantastic that he’s good at something? I think so.

So, if you’re near me and you want to tell me how brilliant your child is at something, that you bought the dress I’ve been stalking, that you bought the house I wanted, reached your perfect weight, or you got the job I didn’t…then go ahead, because I’m genuinely happy for you.


E xx



  1. 9th August 2016 / 8:17 pm

    I really like this post… and was chatting to my sister about this recently. I also talk to Nathan a lot about it, as in some respects i feel the same on certain things. I know I personally have had to practice this but love the more you can celebrate others the more you light up. I just think it doesnt come naturally to some or they are rather bitter or have grown up with examples of never being happy in themselves or for others so it’s hard but not impossible to possess it.

    I can’t stand competitive parenting. I guess I am guilty of sharing what funny or great things my kids have done. But criticising others kids or elevating your own makes me uncomfortable and for a long while second guess myself or feel inadequate… it’s hard to parent especially when you feel your being judged or compared. X

  2. 9th August 2016 / 8:37 pm

    fab post Esther and i feel the same. So glad to have friends like you.

    • Esther
      16th August 2016 / 8:20 pm

      Thanks Ang xx

  3. 9th August 2016 / 8:43 pm

    Love this, I get where you are coming from. We have some issues with people where I don’t share things that the boys do as often it gets compared to someone else and I feel like I’m being boastful and forced into a putting my kids against someone else’s which I hate! Other parents can be totally inspiring and part of the reason I love reading blogs, seeing people who I think may have a similar outlook to me and how they tackle things can be really interesting. I do think though, especially after three kids, we’ve reached a place where we are happy-ish with how we parent and we know what works for us, I’m sure you are too! I think it’s great to celebrate that for yourself and to celebrate what others do too, nothing makes me happier than hearing lovely news about someone, it must be exhausting if you can’t just be happy for others xx

    • Esther
      16th August 2016 / 8:19 pm

      I agree Hayley, and I definitely try to find people that have a similar outlook. I do think that often people can’t be happy because they feel insecure or unhappy with themselves…and then I always try to be aware of that too. Also, a lot of it is to do with upbringing. My parents are people that don’t really care what people think and are so happy, and I’ve realised that it is such a good thing! xx

  4. 9th August 2016 / 8:57 pm

    Lovely post! I like to think that I could always be happy for another person’s successes, it’s not like they can use ‘being successful’ all up and I like to see other people doing well! X x x

    • Esther
      16th August 2016 / 8:08 pm

      Totally, totally agree Kerry! Things like that can never be used up – just like smiles xx

  5. 9th August 2016 / 9:16 pm

    I totally understand this, you’re absolutely right. I don’t talk to many people but even the people I do talk to, I don’t tell them about things I’m proud of, you’re right people don’t like it. I know Sarah at Mum of Three World blog has a linky called loud and proud, about sharing the things you’re proud of in life that week. You should get involved, it seems like a really safe place to share your triumphs and know that people will be pleased for you.xx

    • Esther
      16th August 2016 / 8:07 pm

      Thanks for letting me know about that one Nat and glad you enjoyed reading it xx

  6. 10th August 2016 / 2:49 pm

    YES YES YES. Love this so much. We should never stop celebrating each other’s successes.

    • Esther
      16th August 2016 / 8:06 pm

      Agreed! Thanks Chelsea! x

  7. 27th August 2016 / 2:37 pm

    Love this… just love it! You could have walked inside my head. I love hearing people shout about the great things in their lives. It helps me keep focusing on the good in mine. But there are undoubtedly a lot of people who don’t feel like that. A friend of mine wrote on Facebook the other day that she was taking a break from social media because she was sick of “Bragbook” and people banging on about how “blessed” they are all the time when she’s pretty sure everyone else’s lives are just as tough as hers. It made me really sad. And has actually stopped me from posting stuff on my Facebook over the summer because I hate the thought it might have been targeted at me. Why can’t everybody just see the lovely things other people have and feel happy for them? I think too many people focus on what they haven’t got instead of what they have. x

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