01 May I’m Sooo Happy For You



JUAN SAYS: When somebody we know has achieved a milestone in their lives – say have a kid or got engaged or well, simply got a new job, we are all obliged to utter the words: “I’m happy for you.” If with our full knowledge, we know that the person receiving this blessing really deserves it, we have no qualms about saying the magic words. But these words become bitter when the people receiving the blessings are “frenemies” or those who we know do not deserve these in any way.


We harbor ill feelings towards people, that is quite normal to many of us. Maybe they have done us wrong, or maybe we just don’t like the way they roll. It is quite normal not to care about these people, even not to be happy for them at all. But when we are forced to say the magic words, when we are forced to feel good for them, then how can the words be true? If we feel that people we care about are making a mistake in their decisions, if we can see a disaster in the near future (surely we have become experts in predicting outcomes of wrong decisions, since we have made a good number of them), how can you truly say, with all your heart and soul: “I’m happy for you.”

If you’ve watched the movie “Made of Honor,” this has become a pivotal scene where Tom, the lead male character, was asking Hannah, her best friend what to say to his father on his 6th marriage. Tom know that this has all the red flags and all the signs of a disaster in the making. What then will he tell his father, the expectant groom, who will be married to a gold digger (in the last minutes prior to the ceremony, the lawyer of the bride was still negotiating the prenup)? Hannah replied: “Just say, I’m happy if you are happy.” Similar to our magic words, don’t you think?

We can be truly happy for people even if we know they making the biggest mistake of their lives. We can be happy for their happiness, that moment when they are getting their “blessing” so to speak. But to wish them long-term happiness is too much to ask for.

We care for people too much to actually reward them with the “blessing” of being happy for them when we know that this is another roundabout of the past mistakes. And while it hurts us to say we are happy for them, we feel that we are obliged to say it anyway. Because to spoil their momentary happiness, to rain on their parade is really NOT a good thing to do. We are forever branded as BITTER when we are actually not. We just hope that it doesn’t kill them. We can only hope that we are wrong this time around. But then again, when were we ever?




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