Not Everyone Wants To See You Succeed…And This Includes So-Called “Friends” and “Family”


Have you ever been to Red Lobster, or any market where you can see the lobsters in the tanks? If you look closely, you’ll notice something interesting.

Often, there are 10-15 lobsters in the tank, maybe more. Most of them sort of just hang at the bottom and don’t do very much. However, there may be one or even two who attempt to climb out.

As these lobsters attempt to climb out, you would notice that other lobsters are trying to drag them back down into the tank. This one or those two lobsters trying to climb out are doing the same as the other lobsters in the tank wish to do, but just aren’t doing. So, rather than following the example, the stagnant lobsters would rather just pull them back in.

Jealousy is such an ugly thing. The one thing about it is that it can be disguised in so many ways. One way being hidden under the guise of “friendship.”

We all have our own definitions of the word “friend,” which means we all make our own determinations of what allows someone to be our friend. It can be after you have a nice conversation with them, if you decide you have something in common, or that person you’ve known for many years who remains as your friend.

Now let’s talk a little about success. On second thought, it really needs no introduction. We all know what it means.

I think it’s safe to say that pretty much everyone wants success in some way. Whether it’s short term or long term, large or small; we all want some form of it.

We also have our ways that we want to achieve that success. Those of us who are looking to be successful in any way know that it takes consistent hard work, dedication, sacrifice, determination, drive and will to get it done.

For the most part, people can appreciate a hard-working person…however…

…not everyone can or will.

As we’re working toward any goals we have, there are “checkpoints” along the way in which we can measure and even celebrate our progress. Especially when it comes to what we know are the longer-term goals; reaching something like that can be very taxing and those checkpoints give us not only a bit of a break, but possibly some motivation to keep pressing on.

Often, we like to share our success with others. Nothing wrong with that. Personally, I do it because I want people to see the result of hard work and what it means to really put your mind to something. I want them to understand that it CAN be done. You’ll have to put in some work, but it IS possible. We may share our successes because we simply want to rejoice in the results of our hard work. After all, we deserve to be able to do that if we choose.

However, as I implied above, not everyone takes kindly to those who want to share or even achieve success.

As for our enemies, well that’s a little too easy. Of course, they don’t want to see us succeed. But how about our “friends”?

Yes, some of our friends do not want to see us succeed, despite what they may tell us. It may be hard to determine right away as to who they are, but what I’ve noticed is that they always eventually show their ugly faces. The further along you progress, the closer they get until it happens.

These friends are not limited to just new friends or those you haven’t known for very long. They could be anyone. Hell, they could even be family. People throw the words “friend” and “family” around so much and I’m beginning to wonder what these words even mean anymore…because it seems so few people actually act as one or the other.

Again, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve known these friends. If you are going somewhere and they’re not, that’s all it really takes before the ugly jealousy comes out.

This does not mean that everyone who isn’t doing much is automatically jealous of you.  Of course not. They may have already reached any goals they’re looking to reach, or they simply are truly not jealous. Everyone will jump on that bandwagon, but keep your eyes open and you’ll see the truth, many times, quite easily.

Again, we make friends for different reasons. One thing I’ve noticed is that often, we’re friends because we share similar interests. While pretty much everyone claims to be a “leader,” that simply isn’t the case. There are a LOT of followers out there and there’s no limit to just how much following they’ll do. This includes keeping themselves in the same state of mind or life as their other friends.

What I mean by that is this…if their friends aren’t looking for jobs, they aren’t looking for jobs. If their friends stay up late drinking, that’s what they do. If one drives a certain way, so will the others. And so on, and so on.

Peer pressure, pretty much.

Now comes that friend who decides that they want to do something a little different. They want to do a little more and a little better. Personally, I think that’s great. That person wants to grow and mature a little bit. Nothing wrong with that at all.

Ah, but this is me saying this. Those friends that you always hung out with, always drank with, always figured that you’d be in the same “place” in life forever with, now them on the other hand…they have plenty wrong with it.

Some of these friends aren’t and won’t be happy for you because of the fact that you’re choosing to do something productive with your life and they’re not. It’s really that simple. You want to move somewhere and they don’t. You decide that you want to be about something and they have not. This is where the jealousy sets in.

Without rambling on forever, I’ve learned to be more weary of those who call themselves my friends than my enemies when it comes to jealousy of any success I may see in the near future. I’ve noticed this with quite a few of my friends and even better, some eventually cave and let me know, in so many words, that they aren’t crazy about my success.

If your goal is big enough, many times, people will try and ride with you, whether they fully enjoy it or not, just so when you do reach the promised land, they can piggyback off it, saying they were “always there.”

As for me, I’m an aspiring screenwriter. I have very big and lofty goals, and the more I work toward them, the closer I am fortunate to be. Many people know this. Some are fully supportive, others are so-so, and others really don’t believe it will happen or don’t want to see it take place. At this point, it’s very clear who those people are in my life.

But back to people “riding” with you so they can try and enjoy some of your success; I think of it like this. Imagine taking a road trip somewhere. Now the supportive ones will hop in the car and enjoy the whole ride. However, others will reluctantly hop in, hoping that you reach where you want to go for their sakes and their sakes only. In the meantime, they realize they’re not driving their own car and it eats them up.

Anyway, as time goes on and you continue to drive, your supporters are having fun with you. Those “friends” who do not support you are becoming agitated. You were supposed to have failed by now so they can have a chance to drive their own car. You’re “throwing” your success in their faces. They’re bothered because they have to ride with you, since they’re not driving themselves anywhere. Each time you reach a checkpoint and celebrate, the supporters are there with high fives, unlike the haters.

Eventually, you’ll reach a point where the haters (who are still attempting to call themselves your friends) will expose themselves as to who they really are. That’s the thing about success, again, especially when it’s long-term as it is with me being an aspiring screenwriter. Some people simply can’t hang while faking it and they eventually let me know how they feel.

Had a few former friends do that yesterday. It didn’t surprise me because I always knew, along with the fact that these former friends aren’t doing much with their own lives. One minute, they try and give me the impression that they want to hear about my progress as I work toward my goals, calling it “inspirational,” but it’s become clear that they really don’t want to hear it, because it’s just a reminder as to how truly empty and stagnant their own lives are. That’s what I determined the bottom line to be. We’ve talked many, MANY times over the phone and while I understand that some medical issues are involved, there is more that can be done and the choice has been for them not to do it. So to an extent, they are able, but choose to not want to do more. I guess I was supposed to just sit here until they figured it out. Not happening.

I conclude by saying that when it comes to success, watch yourself. The enemies are easy to figure out. The friends…maybe not so much. Luckily, most of the time, you won’t have to figure anything out on your own, because they will let you know it themselves. When the jealousy eats away at them long enough as it has with my former friends, it will come out.

The beautiful thing is that chances are (just like with me) you’ll already know long before then.

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15 Responses to Not Everyone Wants To See You Succeed…And This Includes So-Called “Friends” and “Family”

  1. splashofindigo says:

    I’ve had “friends” get irritated with me for not buying into their definition of success. It does mean different things to different people. Also, people (friends) like you to know “your place” and can’t stand to see a friend succeed, like it takes away from them in some way.


    • pplscrt79 says:

      Very true. Too many people out there are like this. They want you to remain stagnant just because they are. If you want better for yourself, then they think you’re thinking you’re better than they are, and they take offense to it. But it’s not your fault that you want better for yourself, you’re working toward it, and they’re not. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Trenna Sue says:

    Reblogged this on Niches, nooks, and crannies and commented:
    I am lucky to have some true friends


  3. Trenna Sue says:

    I have a handful of truly great friends and try to be a good friend as well. This make me look at myself.


  4. Tom Kovach says:

    Hmmmm…. That lobster story seems familiar, Robert. 😉


    • pplscrt79 says:

      Tom, I did tell you way back when I wrote it that I would add it here. I also said it was a good “reminder,” as you telling me wasn’t the first time I heard it. I’ve known about it for years.


  5. hewhocan'tspell says:

    Funny, I found this article when I searched under “People Who Want To See You Succeed” instead I was directed to a full page of links directing me to the opposite. I guess perhaps it’s so obvious when someone wants to see someone succeed that there is no reason to define this type of person. Or, there’s a lot of depressed writers out there… 🙂


  6. C says:

    Well written. In the past, I had often observed a good portion of those who I called friends eventually outed themselves with hatred and insecurity toward my success. Or at least toward my “idea of success.” Seems like it is going to happen very soon or is already happening to me now. As you said, there is no surprise becuase they already let you know. No matter how well-prepared you are to confront the reality, it still doesn’t feel quite comfortable or natural to know someone close to you is suffering because of your success.

    Well, might as well take it as part of the journey.

    “People will stare. Make it worth their while.”


    • Carlos says:

      Yeah, that’s where I am. I guess I am disappointed because I thought we were true friends, and maybe we were – at that time – as long as I stayed within the status quo. smh. It’s a shame.


  7. Rodney Rushing says:

    Very good article! I have found this to be true in my case, as well. I recently published a novel that I had been many years in the making! Amazingly I found many “Friends and Family” members reluctant to buy it, and still haven’t to this day! These are the same people that if I asked them for $5 they would hand it to me without question and tell me to keep it. However, if I asked them to support me and spend that same $5 and purchase my novel, they won’t do it!


  8. Pingback: No one becomes disgruntled overnight - Joe Khiu

  9. CRG says:

    Thank you for writing this. Today, I was feeling a bit low. I noticed that couple of “friends” started drifting away after I shared the news that the venture I’ve been working to pursue is finally getting some traction. I moved into a new office and am beginning to see results from the work I’ve put in to my new business. I’ve asked them to come by the office to visit, and for some strange reason both of them seemed to become stand-offish. They don’t know each other. Both I met through previous jobs. They were both supporting and interested when I first told them my plans of leaving the corporate world to do my own thing. But now that I am doing my own thing, they seemed to have changed their vibes. One hardly respond to my texts, when before she was always so responsive and excited. The other one only would reach out if there’s something to be gained. For example, she mentioned she would only visit my new office so she can network for a new job. I explained to her that my office location is mainly for startups and entrepreneurs, but sure she can stop by and meet new people as it would be a great opportunity for her. Then she said ok, never mind because she’s looking for a job and did not feel like she will benefit. She then started flaking/rescheduling lunches and other plans we had before. It sucks to realize they are not “real friends.” But I suppose better to know now than later. Lesson learned: be more cognizant on picking long-life friends. Not everyone will be happy for your success. So accept it, move on, and pay more attention to those who will stick by you through thick and thin.


  10. Carlos says:

    Great article and so true! It really blew my mind when I realized this. Like you, I am genuinely happy for the success of my friends and assumed the same of them. I now realize I am better off without them.


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