It is natural to feel disappointed if friends or loved ones fail to show interest or excitement about our successes. Many clients have expressed feeling crushed when they excitedly shared good news and their partners have simply grunted or immediately switched the focus to something else. Celebrate your partner’s success!
When something good happens for your partner do you feel happy for them or do you envy or resent their success? Is your relationship about competition or teamwork? The more you can behave as if the two of you are a team the better.
Little things like acknowledging and celebrating each other’s wins or successes are crucial to strengthening your relationship. Whether it is a new job, promotion, or sports victory, your reactions and actions will either bring you closer or put a wedge between you.
If you find yourself feeling envious or resentful at your partner’s successes, it may be time to take a step back. Be compassionate toward yourself. It is okay to feel however you feel and is especially important to be honest with yourself. It can be tempting to deny those negative feelings.
The problem with denying how you are feeling is that the negative emotions have a way of oozing out toward your partner either openly or sneakily. A better choice might be to be honest with your partner, “I am feeling a little envious of your success right now;” and then choose to enjoy their success anyway, “but I am super happy for you!”
Do you find yourself competing with your partner? Ask yourself, are you comparing yourself to your partner; are you allowing their success to make you feel worse about your accomplishments or lack thereof?
Consider the possibility that their success simply belongs to them and does not reflect badly on you. Consider letting go of the need to compete and allow yourself to accept and appreciate your partner’s success.
Pay attention to what you are saying to yourself. How are you spinning their success? Is it negative, “Of course, things always work out for her; they never work out for me”? If you are feeling angry at the success of others, some personal insecurities may be surfacing.
Perhaps it would be helpful to dig a little deeper. Ask yourself, “What is it about my partner’s success that feels threatening to me?” And, “What can I do to let go of any feelings of inferiority and be more accepting and compassionate toward myself?”
Moving from a scarcity mentality, where the success of others means there is less for you; to an abundance mentality, where there is more than enough for all, will make enjoying your partner’s success much easier. Remember that your partner’s success in no way diminishes you. Choose to not go to the place of envy.
The next time your partner shares good news choose to:
- Smile and show some excitement
- Show interest and ask questions
- Offer congratulations
- And help them relive the experience by being present, listening and sharing.
If this does not come naturally to you, remember it is a skill that can be learned and with practice will become easier. Choose to become your partner’s biggest supporter.
Photo credit: (Unsplash)
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