We associate with many people over our lifetimes. Some of them for a short time, some of them because of life stages, some of them forever.

Life has its ups and downs. You can win some, you can lose some, but you can’t be top of the heap all the time in every arena. There will be times when something you truly wanted will go to someone else – the job, the love, the glory. This is disappointing.

There will be other times when you gloriously, surprisingly, miraculously win. Sure, you put in the hard work and made the effort, but we all know that doesn’t always lead to the winning of the prize whatever it may be. You won. Your competitor also put in the hard work, but lost. Your success could be in large part because of all the effort you put forth, but there is always that little frisson of luck. You were in the right place at the right time, and that is not always a planned thing.

Look around when you win and notice the people who are glad for you. Not everyone can manage this, even if it is only a façade. Their jealousy is too great. This is something they may get over or it is something to watch out for in the future. Those who are not or cannot be happy for your success have issues to work on – which leads me to the other side of the game.

What are your reactions when your friends accomplish something? Can you be happy for them? When someone gets the promotion you were seeking, can you still work well with them? What benefit do you gain by holding on to your anger? Make sure you understand what envy can do to sabotage your own position.

Even more important, can you be happy when your neighbor gets a new car while you are driving a beater? Can you be content while your friend gets engaged or married to a great person and you seem to be stuck in lonliness? Can you rejoice in milestones or even small victories your friends enjoy?

Some people have a terrible time trying to manage even the slightest goodwill toward others who achieve something, minimal or life-changing. It is unattractive, at best. There is no reason to withhold congratulations. Even if your own life is in a slump right now, withholding your good wishes will not make it any better.

The basic problem with not applauding other people’s victories is that it is an indicator of how much envy lies within you. If you simply cannot muster any enthusiasm for anyone else’s victory, you might want to engage in some introspection to find out what it is you are so lacking that it is interfering with your enjoyment of vicarious thrills. You aren’t going to win them all, but if you can celebrate your friends’ victories with them, you get a lot more enjoyment out of life.

And be cautious with the people who will not help you celebrate your own victories. There is a message in there.