Day 40 – Happiness is not a Zero-Sum Game

I’m feeling a little down at the moment; it hit me just a few minutes ago. It felt completely out of the blue, because I’d been having a pretty good day: I slept in until 6 and woke up in a good mood; I had a pretty productive day at college; submitted two assessment items early; hung out with my friends; came home early and played video games with my housemate; discovered a funny TV show (Portlandia); ate some delicious curry. A good day.

So, why the blues?

I couldn’t figure it out, until I traced back to the last moment that I felt good, and it was while I was on Facebook. A friends brother had posted how excited he was to be moving in with his girlfriend. This should have pleased me as they are a both great people and a beautiful couple.

The fact that this made me sad (and it is in no way to do with any romantic feelings I have for either of them, which I don’t) made me realise; other peoples good fortune and happiness makes me feel bad. This probably isn’t uncommon at all, but I think it’s unhealthy.

I’ve been seeing happiness, good fortune, success and love as a zero-sum game. It makes me scared that when others experience these things, there is somehow less chance that I will. It makes it near impossible to be genuinely happy when a friend shares good news, and there is a shameful little sense of satisfaction when things go wrong for them.

I know this is awful, and completely backwards. And if the law of attraction (like attracts like) is true, then it’s probably a contributing factor in the shitty quality of my life.

Logically, I know that there is no well of happiness somewhere that is in danger of running dry. I need to keep telling myself this, until I feel it, too.

This is one of the first traits that I want to work on changing. Perhaps when I can start thinking of happiness as a positive-sum game, I will be able to feel genuine happiness at the good fortunes of my loved ones, and bring a little more happiness and good fortune into my own life.

4 thoughts on “Day 40 – Happiness is not a Zero-Sum Game

  1. Hey, I just noticed we have the same theme. Don’t want to sound weird, but I noticed your font is really small which makes reading kinda hard. I had the same problem, but now I know how to edit it, without purchasing the wordpress upgrade ha ha. Let me know if you need help and you an t to make it bigger too.

    P.S. I love your blog

    • Thank you!
      I guess the writing is a bit it easy to make bigger? People can always zoom in a bit too, if it’s hard to read.
      I’m enjoying your blog too…sometimes it feels as though I wrote it myself! 🙂

      • Hey, Sparrow. Yes, you can make it bigger this way. When you type a New Post, above the boc where you type, on the right you have two versions: Visual/Text. So when you type in visual you see how your post will look when posted, right. In order to change the font, after you type the post in visual, click on Text, and there is the code for your text. So type this, or copy paste it like I do:

        YOUR POST
        so the first part goes before every new paragraph, absolutely close to your text and then just this:
        Then you update and post 🙂 It’s really easy. You can change the font, by typing any number your want. I chose 18 points as it’s big enough for me this way 🙂 Try it out, good luck.

        Thanx for reading my blog. I enjoy yours too!

  2. I recognise the feeling, as I too have problems being happy for other people’s happiness. I’ll put on a brave smile and say my happy words, but inside, I get sad and glum and sometimes quite jealous. It doesn’t happen with everyone, only some of my friends and family, which I find strange. I intensely dislike the feeling…no one wants to feel unhappy about other people’s happiness, least of all their loved ones’.

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