THE BLOG
11/15/2013 08:26 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Stop Hating: Five Reasons It Pays to Get Happy About Other People's Success

According to the Urban Dictionary, a "hater" can be defined by:

  • A person who feels anger and/or jealousy for someone who has succeeded in something they have worked hard for.
  • A being that speaks badly, and/or takes negative actions in attempt to create problems for a successful person.

Clearly, being a "hater" is not a good thing. And how we handle other people's success, especially when things may not be going so well for us, is an indicator of our maturity and belief in ourselves.

So what do you do when you see someone thriving with the opportunities, recognition, clients and wins that you want for your life or business? You learn to celebrate other people's success.

If you master generating genuine happiness for other people, not only will you find a cure for the envy, which can sabotage your success, but there are additional benefits as well. Here's what you open the door to as you welcome and express joy for others:

  • Freedom from frustration and worry. When you see another person's win as a loss for you, you pave the way for discouragement and resentment to set in. Instead allow other people's success to ignite hope for the success coming in your time of harvest.
  • More opportunities to be happy! Rejoicing with others creates an opportunity to multiply the good times you get to celebrate. By seizing every chance to sincerely congratulate other's on their success, you are creating an atmosphere for others to be willing to celebrate your successes.
  • Improved relationships with others. Healthy relationships involve sharing both ups and downs. People are more likely to respond positively to you if they sense that you're truly happy for them.
  • Good karma. You reap what you sow. Giving unselfishly creates a win for everybody.

I know, it all sounds good, but how do you actually pull it off -- and do it sincerely? Here are seven ideas:

  1. Proactively look for opportunities to shine a spotlight on someone else. Keep in touch with what's going on in the lives of the people around you. Others may be bashful about mentioning their own victories but still appreciate having their efforts recognized.
  2. Create a daily gratitude list. It's difficult to be happy for other people when you are dissatisfied with your life. Remind yourself of all the wonderful things you have to be grateful for. Go one step better and share one thing a day with someone.
  3. Be aware of your jealousy. Weigh the consequences of jealousy and envy. Be honest with yourself when you notice your thoughts and feelings heading down a negative path.
  4. "Fake it till you make it." Or as Karen Salmansohn says -- "Faith it till you make it." It's okay to use some artificial gestures to get started. Even if you're not purely happy that your ex-husband got an award, you can say something gracious.
  5. Start with the people you love. Charity starts at home and so should the celebration. It might be difficult to get instantly excited about the lives of strangers. However, you can start by focusing on the people closest to you. For example, cheer with enthusiasm when your cousin wins an award, your brother gets a promotion, or a friend successfully closes a deal.
  6. Work your way up to dealing with the hard stuff. For example, celebrating with someone that got something you wanted for yourself or being happy for someone you believe is undeserving.
  7. With practice, you'll be able to tackle the more sensitive issues. When you find the techniques that work with the people you love, you can use those same strategies with more challenging opportunities.

So the next time someone you know gets great news, don't hate -- celebrate with them. Remember, you reap what you sow: You can look forward to welcoming more joy into your own life as you celebrate other people's success.