Social Question

mazingerz88's avatar

What do you usually feel when you see people who are happy for having things you need and want but don’t have?

Asked by mazingerz88 (24897points) June 11th, 2019 from iPhone

Do you instantly feel happy for these people? Do you feel a bit bitter first and then happy for them? Or do you wonder how they got what they possess and whether they deserve it or not?

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22 Answers

Yellowdog's avatar

There are so many factors involving how people got what they have, which I don’t have. I often look for a reason to like the people and be happy for them. But sometimes, I chalk it up to life either being unfair—or maybe they tried harder.

One thing I’ve learned is not to take anything for granted: stable income, housing, health, and general well being. Some sucky things happened to me in, say, High School, but I never worried about where to spend the night or IF there was anywhere, until 2015 and 2016.

When a family or individual wins big, especially those who already had things I never will, I tend to try to find a reason to like them ftom afar and be happy for them. If it is someone I know and don’t like, well, their success or failure at least does not effect me.

ragingloli's avatar

You mean like happiness?

longgone's avatar

I might feel wistful if it’s something big that I really need myself. I don’t ever think about whether people ‘deserve’ what they have.

My first thought was a bathtub. A hot bath is my favourite source of relaxation. Still, I wouldn’t call it a ‘need’. When people talk about taking a long, hot bubble bath, I usually just become nostalgic. I don’t feel bitter, and it’s likely that I’ll quickly mirror the other person’s emotions.

JLeslie's avatar

Mostly, I feel very happy for my friends and family who have the things that they want, or even that I want. I’ve been very lucky to have had many things I wanted, sometimes more than what I wanted, so that probably helps. Still, many people have more than me, and I just feel glad for them. I perceive most people who have a lot of money and things as having worked hard for those things. I also thing a lot of people who don’t have much work very hard and don’t get compensated enough.

My husband feels uncomfortable around people who have many things that he wants. He feels envious maybe? Or, inadequate that he couldn’t achieve it. I don’t feel that way. I enjoy seeing beautiful houses and boats and clothing, and I don’t care that I don’t own them.

I read a study once that basically concluded that people who live in communities where their house is the smallest, and they have less than most of their neighbors, tend to not be happy. The study said most people compare themselves to others and care about how they measure up.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I don’t compare myself or situation with others like that.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I feel it unlikely that their happiness hinges on such things whether they know it or not.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Keeping up with the Joneses” suggests differently. Many people don’t feel good unless they keep up. Some financial advisors say to not buy into very expensive neighborhoods, because it can be a wealth zapper, because of pressure to buy lots more expensive things. I have mixed feelings about that.

A house can be a good investment, but more risk up and down with an expensive home. Plus, if you have kids sometimes the schools are better where the houses are more expensive. Plus, sometimes there will be good possibilities for networking with neighbors. But, it’s true there will also be more luxury cars, expensive landscaping, and expensive flooring and cabinetry where the more expensive homes are, and when surrounded by these things that becomes normal. Having less can feel below par, and most people like to feel at least at par.

Statistically, the majority of multimillionaires don’t own very expensive homes.

stanleybmanly's avatar

That’s what I mean. The down side in the fact that most of us probably never have enough money, is in missing the revelation that there are some things money can’t buy.

JLeslie's avatar

Plenty of people realize that and still desire material things. They are not mutually exclusive.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

Well first off there is a difference between “need” and “want.”
If someone has a nice house that I want I just have to shrug because I didn’t live my life in such a way that I can have that.
If someone has something I need but don’t have I guess I have to do the same thing. My fault.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

In university those who had cars where heavy in debt to buy and maintain said cars. Or had rich parents.

josie's avatar

“If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.”- Desiderata

ucme's avatar

No one has anything I need or want, so this doesn’t apply to me.
That bitterness & crass envy I leave to the peasants…you know who you are :D

raum's avatar

The premise of the question is problematic. Most people aren’t happy for having things.

Did you mean happy to have?

SaganRitual's avatar

I try not to bother myself about what’s going on in people’s heads. Their thoughts can’t hurt me. What matters is how they behave. What would I feel if someone were to openly gloat about their new toy? I would feel annoyed at first and think he’s being a prick, but with any luck my better self would step in, and remind me to have compassion. This person has a reason for gloating. He/She is managing some need in the only way he knows how, or in the most effective way he knows how. A need that he can’t control, that he didn’t ask for.

My better self would feel sad for him, that he hasn’t gotten enough therapy in his life to understand what “violent communication” means, that he hasn’t found any more effective way to get his emotional needs met. I would feel sad for myself, being in a relationship that causes me to suffer. If my better self had come online by now, I would take some time to ask myself why I’m in such a relationship. If my better self’s better self were nearby, we would take some time to ask why it bothers me when this person gloats.

Often, when we ask “Why?” concerning our feelings, there is some annoying voice implying that we shouldn’t be having the feelings, that we should just try not to have them. Don’t do that. Have your feelings. Never try not to have feelings. It’s unhealthy. This is a real “Why?” that has an answer, perhaps many answers. Look really closely at the insides of your head, see what’s there. And don’t feel bad about anything you find. If there’s jealousy all over the walls, don’t judge yourself about it. You didn’t ask for that jealousy (or whatever) to be in there. On the other hand, you have to own your feelings; your gloater isn’t causing them. Someone else might enjoy his gloating, or at least, they might not be bothered by it.

As for feeling happy, I feel happy for anyone who gets enough to eat. Given your linear presentation of emotions, I’m going to guess that you’re a man, probably a young man. As you will discover in life, it’s possible to have multiple emotions at the same time. It’s possible to be simultaneously angry at your person for gloating, happy that he is having a happy life, and bitter that your life seems less happy than his. It’s possible to feel simultaneously compassionate for him, and annoyed that he’s doing this thing again.

It’s also possible to be wrong—if he’s not openly gloating, but rather you’re interpreting his behavior as gloating, then you must allow that you could be totally misunderstanding his intention. In which case, same as before, consider having a look around inside yourself to understand why it bothers you, but further, consider the possibility that you could be misinterpreting his behavior. Ask other people who know him, do they sense the same thing you sense? That he’s actively trying to manipulate your emotions? It can be good to get the perspective of others and compare it to yours.

And here’s an idea that might surprise you. Tell him, kindly, that you feel bad (or whatever) when he does such-and-such, and ask, is it his intention to make you feel bad. You might be surprised at his answer. If you decide to do this, be sure not to blame him for the feelings you’re having. They’re your own feelings, nothing to do with him. Also, be very specific about “such-and-such” above. What exactly does he say/do that causes you to have your unpleasant feelings? Tone of voice? Facial expression? Etc.

Now, deserve. Allow me to suggest that you put that toxic concept entirely out of your mind. It doesn’t mean what you think it means. It’s not a factual word: it’s strictly opinion. You think he doesn’t deserve it, someone else thinks he does. So “deserve” is about you, your feelings, nothing to do with him. Once again, an opportunity to go spelunking in your head: go find out what you mean when you say he doesn’t “deserve” it.

Also consider that you don’t “deserve” what you have either. You get enough to eat. There are plenty of people in the world who don’t. You didn’t do anything special to be born into your ample circumstances, nor did the starving people of the world do something bad to earn their lot. Don’t use all this to beat yourself up. Use it to learn about yourself, to learn how to be more compassionate, with yourself and others.

Believe it or not, I tried to keep this short!

Peace and luck

Patty_Melt's avatar

How I feel or react depends upon many things. What they have, how they got it, and how they treating all come into consideration.
There are times when I feel deeply jealous, and I rarely feel guilty over those feelings. Often, however, I am genuinely happy for someone else. It used to make my daughter angry to know of those times.

KNOWITALL's avatar

It doesnt really register with me as material things are not what I value. Sometimes I feel sorry for people who buy into debt like McMansions and the best cars, etc… My old Ford gets me where I need to be, my ranch home is a home, not a showplace for my ego. The need vs want conversation has been had with many friends and family in over their heads and stressed. So in some ways, I feel sorry for the fancy folks, for what they value, for emotional depth, etc..

Members of my own family have taken lavish vacations with extravagant lifestyles, seemingly uninterested in anyone elses situations. To me, its a bit gross to see such selfishness. Its weird how they seem to believe money makes them better than other people, I dont get it.

Aster's avatar

I’m too old to be jealous of things. When I know people intimately I find that regardless of what they have they always have something going on that I would not wish to have!
I do admit to feeling envious when a woman my age is super happy. I don’t resent her for it; I just feel jealous! I was so happy most of my life and I miss it a lot.

flutherother's avatar

People who have things that I would like are only part of the story. There are many more people in the world who would like the things that I have but they will never have.

Inspired_2write's avatar

” What do you usually feel when you see people who are happy for having things you need and want but don’t have?”
I never had the desire to live lavishly or have material wealth.

I watched a Business show that disclosed that “all those people who have more” have not paid for those things in full and probably are in debt for life.

Society is lulled into buying into “wanting to live the Dream”???

What they don’t understand is that commercials are created to incite the public into continually“but, buy, buy”!
Credit cards are maxed out to the full,mortgages are not fully paid off ( lifetime debt),and so on.

Noooo I don’t envy the rich or those with mounting debts just for validation and acceptance.

Live with what you have and be glad that its paid for and earned by you and your careful budgeting and NOT living beyond your means and you will be happier for it than a “fake” person who has to put on “airs” to look rich.
The real Billionaires of this world are tightwads with there money and wear well made clothes that last longer , therefore not buying into every fad. Well most anyways.

Patty_Melt's avatar

Some of us are visualizing differently to the question. To me, it meant everything, from goodies like a nice home paid clear, jewels, cars, boats. I was also thinking, ability to go for a walk, dance while doing housework, finish any one project the same day started, hug someone without fear of jerking and falling. I have no car, fancy or clunky. This is partly because of expense, but mostly because the jerks have gotten so bad I can’t drive; I don’t dare try.

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