Happiness only real when shared?

From time to time, you receive good news. It might not be as often as you would like to, but sometimes you get to know something that makes you feel happy. A job offer, a marriage, academic achievements, winning a prize are some examples of such great things.

When this happens, we all know that these wonderful and marvelous feelings are better when shared with someone. Someone typically being a close friend or relative.

Happiness only real when shared
Quote by Christopher Mccandless according to Jon Krakauer’s 1996 book Into the Wild

Good friends will be happy for you and will likely celebrate it with you if you ask them to. However, there are other people (sometimes in our circle of friends or family) whose reaction will not be alike. These can get jealous of you and even wish you failure, albeit they would not gain anything if that happened. These are just bad persons.

People’s reaction to great news is not binary though. There is another possible reaction which might not be malicious, but that has some traits of selfishness. We could denote these manifestations as “mini-egoisms”. Let me pose an example.


You: “Hey! I finally got the response from the company! They are hiring me!

Someone: Oh! Great!

You: I am moving to Wellington next month!

Someone: I know a guy who is working there. She is doing great.


Instead of first greeting you and then asking you more about your new life move, about the reasons that made you choose this path or about your expectations there this someone decided to talk you about a third person instead. It certainly was not premeditated, but this response shows that this someone might want to make clear that what happened to you is not something new to them. That you are not bringing anything new to their life; That what is danger zone to you is comfort zone to this someone. At least in their minds.