Ways to feel joy about someone else’s happiness

Being able to be joyful at someone else’s happiness is a wonderful human value. Some call it vicariously living in that job or otherwise known as appreciative joy. The Buddhists know it as Muditā, as it’s an example of a sublime state of mind.

You can show someone you are happy for their accomplishments via giving them a genuine good word, doing something nice for them, or at least thinking good thoughts about it. The majority of folks try hard to be successful in their lives.

No matter if that success is getting a good grade on a test, being hired for a job, or purchasing your first new home, there’s a lot of hard work that went behind those accomplishments. When someone else appreciates our endeavors, the joy magnifies.

What does appreciative joy mean?

Appreciative joy is feeling sincere joy when someone else prospers. It can be felt no matter what your status in life is. We ought to be able to give congratulations to another person even if we ourselves are going through a bad time.

It’s a cure for jealousy.

What are the benefits of appreciative joy?

  • Appreciative joy uplifts the mind
  • It creates a sense of appreciation of what others have achieved
  • Sympathetic joy helps come out of negative emotions such as envy, jealousy, anger, etc.
  • You can make others happy by joining in their happiness
  • It is a good human quality to be cultivated in your mind
  • Despite the status quo of your life, you will learn how to be happy for others

Why do I have a hard time being joyful for other people?

·        Adverse emotions:

The two main adverse emotions that keep someone from being happy for another person are anger and jealousy. For instance, if someone else accomplishes something you yourself were not able to accomplish, you begin to feel jealous.

At the same time, if your adversary accomplishes something in their life, you may be upset and hate them. You need to face those adverse emotions in your thinking. If not, you’ll have other evil thoughts such as hoping something bad happens to them or you may even work to make sure their happiness is ruined.

·        Comparing your life to others’ lives

Normally, comparing things is a normal occurrence. People often compare their lives to others’ lives no matter if they are at a higher status than you or are at a lower status or are in your same league.

When you compare yourself to someone else in a positive way, it can help you establish new objectives in your life, like improving or changing your behavior, etc. But, it could be a negative experience if it makes you feel horrible about your own life and then you get very jealous after comparing yourself to someone else.

·        No appreciation of others’ efforts:

This totally keeps someone from being happy for someone else. A few folks will even sabotage others’ hard work and aren’t willing to accept someone else’s success story.

·        Self- criticism

Whenever you aren’t happy regarding your status, you’ll end up criticizing yourself. Thus you won’t be able to feel any true joy for anyone else’s accomplishments.

What adverse effects can jealousy cause?

  • Whenever your mind is not able to feel happy for someone else, you’ll begin to see the flaws of the people who have accomplished something
  • Additionally, you’ll attempt to express that unhappiness via words, acts, or behaviors
  • You’ll attempt to convince people that their success wasn’t deserved
  • If you totally can’t stand the fact someone else has accomplished something, you may also try to ruin the other person’s character or downgrade their accomplishment.

 Ways to experience appreciative joy

·        Appreciate others’ accomplishments

Firstly, you must learn ways to appreciate others’ achievements. Everyone tries to achieve things in their life. Whenever someone accomplishes something, you ought to recognize that achievement. Then, they will try to do things that are even better.

·        Learn from the winners

It’s possible to learn a great deal from someone else’s success. For instance, I like reading about people who have been successful as it showed me the best way to develop goals, to constantly strive to accomplish them, and then the best way to at last accomplish that objective.

Additionally, I learned that everyone has to face life’s realities like getting old, being sick, or eventually dying even if they have been very successful in their life so far. Consequently, you must try to have a life that’s balanced between being happy about your own successes and assisting other people in achieving their own successes.

·        Assist other people to share in their successes

Assisting other people is a great way to share in their accomplishments. Whenever they attain their goals, you too can feel pleased. You can do this by giving them your time, donating money towards their goal, or doing some sort of service to benefit them. Two examples of people who do this are parents and teachers.

·        Be mindful of your inner feelings

If you find out some good news regarding someone else, check to see how that makes you feel. Are you truly happy for them or are you angry and think they don’t deserve it? If you have negative emotions, then you need to deal with them instead of hoping they will keep being prosperous and happy.

·        Feel joyful regarding your own successes

By doing this you can learn to appreciate yourself. It helps you get rid of those negative feelings you may have about yourself. If someone else is successful, that has nothing to do with whether or not you will be successful. So, you need ought to be happy about your current accomplishments instead.

Keeping a gratitude journal is one way to help you remember the things as well as the people who have assisted you in your accomplishments. Every day you should write about two or more good things which have happened that day. This helps you see just how good your life is going right now.

For more details, read Mindfulness-based self-care

Ways to perform appreciative joy meditation

Whilst applying additional tactics to nurture appreciative joy in your thinking, you can try meditation methods to assist you in developing a different way of thinking.

Different from loving-kindness types of meditation, the techniques used for appreciative joy aren’t widely known in our society.

Nevertheless, it’s just as vital of a quality which ought to be developed in your thinking.

First, think about something you accomplished in your life. This could be things like education, wealth, or your status in life. It can be whatever makes you happy. Of course, people want to stay prosperous in their lives and retain good status socially.  

Make it a goal to think to yourself, “may I remain prosperous, increase that prosperity and never suffer any losses.”

Now picture someone you love, whether it is your parents, spouse, siblings, or friends.

Think “may this person remains prosperous, increases that prosperity, and never suffers any losses.

Then imagine someone whom you do not like to prosper.

Think “may this person remains prosperous, increases that prosperity, and never suffers any losses.”

At first, you may not feel like wishing for everyone to be successful. Humans tend to lean toward jealousy, so it’s difficult to have appreciative joy automatically.

But if you try every day, you’ll soon be amazed at the way you can feel happy for the accomplishments of other people.

Photo by Nqobile Vundla on Unsplash


Rathsara (Sara) is an attorney-at-law who holds a Diploma in Buddhist Studies in ITBMU. She has engaged in community service in Sri Lanka and the United States helping many individuals. She is interested in reading, writing, and researching areas related to mindfulness. Inspired by spiritually developed individuals around the globe, Rathsara is keen to learn and practice mind-developing techniques. In the meantime, she would like to share her experience and knowledge for the well-being of others.

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