What makes people so disgusted by others’ happiness? People are constantly rooting for the failure of others and when we see someone who has attained something that we desire, why aren’t we pleased for them instead of silently wishing them ill?
My boyfriend David and I are incredibly happy together and madly in love. We’re both very affectionate people and can’t help but be so in public. Let me be clear – we are loving, but not inappropriate. We never full on make out, never grope anywhere that shouldn’t be groped in front of others, never do anything when we are in close proximity to others. And yet we constantly get dirty looks, and comments of the “get a room” variety. People hate that we are so happy. What’s that about? Why is my happiness in my relationship offensive to you? Why does it bother you that I’m in love?
The only reason I can come up with is that by seeing others happy, it brings up feelings of loneliness within the bystanders. A reminder that they are single, or unhappy in their own relationship. So it’s all projection then? Because you are unhappy with your life, you want me to be unhappy in mine? I think that’s incredibly childish.
This sort of projection doesn’t just apply to couples, of course. Whenever we hear a story of incredible luck or success – winning the lottery for example – people are outraged. They think the winners are undeserving and that they should have won. Why? Where does this hatred of happiness stem from? What is it about human nature that makes it pleasurable to watch others fail?