Most of us have that one friend (or two or three or TWENTY) who just HAS to find fault in the fact that you’re doing well. They can never say a simple “I’m happy for you.” Nope…that would be too easy. “Doing well” doesn’t even have to mean rich or well off. Just the fact that you aren’t broke all the time is enough to get under the skin of some people for whatever reason. And then every time you buy something nice for yourself, even without having to brag about it, that just irritates them more and more. So here are 10 reasons you should NEVER feel bad about where you are in comparison to them:
1. Opportunities don’t come for everyone at the same time. This is probably the simplest one that it seems more people have a hard time understanding. It’s bad enough that we always feel a need to compare ourselves to everyone, but in terms of opportunities, they will NEVER hit everyone at the same time. Now some people know how to act when they get those opportunities and others don’t. If taking advantage of an opportunity has put you in a better situation, how do you know that the person running his or her mouth didn’t have an opportunity come their way at some other point in their lives? How do you know that they didn’t just blow that opportunity, meaning their time has come and gone? You DON’T know…and you don’t need to worry about it. Keep doing your thing. Of course they’ll claim they “never” got those opportunities. That just SOUNDS better.
2. Your work ethic is most likely MUCH better than theirs. Of course, we’re not necessarily talking about those who come into this world with money. I’m referring to those of us who work for what we have. Some of us work harder than others, which is no surprise. That’s another concept some people don’t seem to understand. Everyone’s work ethic isn’t on the same level and many times, it shows in the results. Don’t feel like you’re wrong because you worked harder than someone else, which most of the time is VERY obvious. If they spent more time working and less time in your business, maybe they’d be further along, too.
3. If they have time to run their mouths and try and minimize your accomplishments, they’re obviously not serious enough about their own. That goes back to what I said about work ethic. Some people simply don’t have it. Why they can’t understand that THAT is the reason they’re where they are is beyond me. These friends and family feel like they’re saying something clever, but at the end of the day, you’re still where you are and they’re still trying to play catchup, whether they admit that or not.
4. If the opportunity to be where you are was handed to them, they would take it in a heartbeat. They’re not fooling anybody. As long as they aren’t where you are, they’ll boast all day about how it’s “not that important,” but you and I both know good and well that if they could be where you are, they’d be all over it. And they know it too. Next…
5. Jealous people will always be jealous, no matter what. “Robert, don’t you mean ‘haters gonna hate’?” No. That’s not what I mean. I suppose that’s what people say today, but that’s not what I say. I’m about to be 35 in a few months; I’d feel silly saying that. But that’s about right. Some folks get out of bed jealous about anything someone else has that they don’t. They don’t even have to WANT whatever it is; it’s just the fact that a certain person has it. Even if it wasn’t that person, it would be someone else. People like that spend all their time comparing themselves to everyone to the point that they’re just miserable. Don’t even bother fighting with people like that.
6. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are. Period. You don’t need to compare yourself to these folks. As long as you know you’ve worked your hardest and the results show, it’s not your responsibility to feel bad for everyone else who exhibits different results. Besides, you’re doing this for YOU, not them.
7. Some people in your lives simply haven’t learned how to grow up. That’s not your fault or responsibility, either. For whatever reason, they just stay in that same mindset they had 10-15 years ago and it seems they have not matured much, or very little. They expect you to wait around for them to come around. You don’t have to. You shouldn’t. Sometimes you have to do what’s best for YOU and not them; no matter how long you two have known each other. Of course, that’s when they tell you in that nasty tone that “you’ve changed,” but your answer can be this: “Yes, I’ve changed. It’s called growing up. You should try it sometime.”
8. This will help you weed out the toxic friends and family members. As we go through life, we learn that not everyone who is there is intended to be there. Many of us have the tendency to try and force people to remain in our lives and WE’RE the ones making all the effort. However, there are a lot of ways you can tell who deserves to be there and who doesn’t. This is certainly one way. I’ve heard so many stories from friends that the people they thought were friends turned UGLY when that person either moved away, got married, had a child, got a new job and the list goes on. A real friend or a real family member would NEVER try and make you feel bad about those things. When you see that they are, you may want to go on and hand them their “eviction notice.”
9. You have more discipline and are more committed than they are. I simply look at the times people do things and what some are willing to sacrifice to understand this one. For example, I’m a writer. I’ve written a few books and completed a few screenplays (still working on finding an agent). Now I don’t expect everyone to do everything early in the morning or late at night, but sometimes, if you really want to make something happen, that’s the kind of time you’ll have to put in. I can’t tell you how often I’ve worked at this early in the mornings at about 2-3 o’clock or how many Friday and Saturday nights I would just shut off the TV and go to work until 1 or 2 in the morning. Some people have no discipline, aren’t committed and don’t sacrifice a THING. The funny thing is, whenever I mention that I’m working on my writing at these crazy hours to these folks, while they’re at the club, hanging out, or doing whatever else, they largely don’t care. I say that they don’t have to care. But when I make it as a screenwriter with movies out or as a staff writer for a television show, these same people will act surprised or as if this opportunity just fell into my lap. Of course they will.
10. If you felt bad every time you encountered someone who wasn’t doing as well as you, you would NEVER MAKE IT ANYWHERE. This one is self-explanatory. I’m one of those people who tends to have sympathy for folks even when they don’t deserve it, mostly because I understand that nothing is guaranteed. However, just because I was once there doesn’t mean my mind has to STAY there, and for you, it shouldn’t mean that, either. You can’t hold yourself back or spend all your time feeling bad for people who aren’t better off than they are. It’s not your job to have sympathy for them (of course, unless they’re in bad shape and most of it is NOT their own doing, such as medical issues and things like that). You weren’t put on this earth to feel bad for everybody. Sympathy is NOT a bad thing; but understand that there is way more of them and not nearly enough of you. You simply were not made to feel sorry for everyone.
Again, REAL friends and people who call themselves family should NEVER try and make you feel bad about your accomplishments or to try to minimize them with the fact that THEY aren’t where they’d like to be. And trust me…they’re NOT where they’d like to be, whether they tell you that or not. If they were happy, then what you’re doing would be no concern of theirs. But they’re not and that’s why they’re speaking ill of you, or whatever spin they want to put on it. Just remember that you don’t have to feel bad about it. It’s not your job to. Most of the time, they don’t deserve it anyway. Just keep doing what makes you happy. They can either keep up or SHUT up.