Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Being happy for others...

When I was working on getting my Master's Degree, I worked at a small clinic that treated the chronically and severely  mentally ill.  There were only 5 counselors and 2 case managers.  So needless to say we worked pretty closely with one another.

I worked with a guy named Mark.  Mark had worked at this clinic for about a year longer then I.  Mark and I were what I consider pretty good friends.  We had hung out on weekends and worked well together at work and were - I thought - pretty supportive of one another.

I can remember this day CLEARLY.  We were all on our lunch break and were eating in the cafeteria.  One of the case managers was asking me about how my classes were coming and asked how close I was to getting my degree.  I responded that I actually was taking my last class and that, come October, I would finish and would have my Master's in Psychology!  The case manager expressed how happy she was for me and Mark looked up from eating and said "You better not get a raise for getting that!!  That would be really unfair!"  

Both the case manager and I looked at each other and she made some comment to him about what a dick he was and stormed off.  She was really pissed on my behalf.  I was more hurt then anything.  I mean this guy was supposed to be my friend and instead of being happy for me, he was concerned I was going to make more money then him.  And, of course, I had started my Master's well before I worked there, and was getting my degree as a personal goal - not because I thought I would get a raise.

But I guess looking back on it I can't judge him, because I have been guilty of thinking things along the same line in my life.  I really admire people who can be unconditionally happy for people when they have successes and not be jealous.

I have encountered both supportive and negative people during and after my weight loss.  Some people are really genuinely happy for me.  And then there are others who are NOT.  I have been surprised at some of the women especially who have turned snarky and snotty - some of whom I even considered friends.  Usually the animosity does not happen to my face, but you know how it goes - a small town, word gets back.  

I have been surprised on both sides of the coin - people who I didn't know or barely knew going out of their way to sincerely congratulate me or tell me how great I look.  I don't handle compliments well, so this makes me uncomfortable, but it is flattering.

And then there are those who seem to resent my weight loss.  I don't feel as though I flaunt myself and I try to be really supportive to others, especially ones that are struggling.  But they seems to resent me nonetheless.

But, as they say, no matter what, there is someone who appears to have more or be more fortunate that you are.  So I admit that I get jealous at times of other people's successes or when they - at least appearance wise - seem to have it better then me.   There is a woman on the weight loss site that I am on.  She is 4 inches taller then me and weighs the same as me.  And, she posts all the time about how she ate CRAP and her weight will spike for like 2 days and then she's right back down to the same weight that I fight like hell to be at.  And she doesn't exercise as much as I do which makes me even more jealous.

The last thing we need is more people being unsupportive of one another - this journey is hard enough as it is.  So I am making an effort to be more caring and supportive of people and to try to put any jealousy and any urge to be nasty aside.  Will you do the same?


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