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 marvellous 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 to. Moreover, there are people (sometimes in our circle of friends or family) whose reaction will not be alike. These can get jealous from you and even wish you failure, albeit they will not gain anything by doing so. These are bad persons.

However, the people’s reaction to great news is not binary. There is another possible reaction which might not be malicious, but that has some traits of selfishness. I 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 really smart.


Who cares about friends’ friends?

Instead of greeting you and asking you more about your new life move, about the reasons that made you choose this path, about your expectations there etc. this Someone decided to talk you about a third person instead. It certainly was not premeditated, but this response shows that this Someone wants to make clear that what happened to you is not something new to her/him. That you are not bringing anything new to her/his life; That what is danger zone to you is comfort zone to this Someone.

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