I can think back to at least five conversations where one of my friends was excited to tell me some news and my response was less than enthused. I somehow was able to come up with every reason in my mind why they should tone down their excitement, as well. Why was this? Because I was overcome with jealousy. I wanted what they had: excitement, joy, something to look forward to. I let jealousy speak for me, and it manifested into trying to manipulate others to become as low as me.
Jealousy wants you to believe that you're victim. It tries to convince you that another person's success is meant to highlight your shortcomings. That's why it feels nearly impossible to be happy for someone when you're feeling so low yourself.
This played out most obviously in my life right after I graduated college. I was really struggling to find a job and my two closest friends were working full time in jobs they really loved. To be honest, I was really jealous of them. I was happy for them, and I wanted them to have jobs they enjoyed, but I wanted a job, too! I deserved to be happy! That want for a job turned into self-pity. My best friends were really sensitive to the time I was going through, and I'm really blessed to have people in my life who care so deeply for me, but I regret the way I let their success make me feel. I really regret not putting aside my feelings for a few moments to celebrate in their happiness.
Looking back, a year and a half later, all of our timelines are perfect. They found their jobs at the right moment and I found mine when I needed it. If I could go back in time and say anything to myself during those months, I would explain that everything is going to work out the way it's meant to be. I would remind myself that I don't need to be jealous of someone else's happiness. I can, instead, take part in their celebration and be happy with them.
See, jealousy is such a liar, that it not only tries to damage our relationships, it tries to make us thing less of ourselves. It tells us that we will never have what someone else has, and that will be an issue. The truth is, you may not have what someone else has, but you will have something else that is designed perfect for you.
I'm not dismissing hurt that people feel when something is missing in their lives. That pain is so real. When you have to watch someone gain the thing you've been hoping and praying for, it honestly sucks. But it may be time to push the pain aside and celebrate others, just for a moment. Hopefully, you have people in your life who are sensitive to your feelings, like my friends were. Recognize when pain turns into jealousy. When you can't be happy for someone, simply because you don't have what they have and if their success makes you feel less, check your heart.