I had an interesting incident happen last week, one that still confounds me. Let me set the scene for you: a colleague was preparing for a big event, a wonderful and possibly one leading into a new career and I was happy for them. They sent out emails about the pending event and asked to forward the message on. As the date drew near, more emails were sent reminding everyone to reply back with numbers. In between all this, I received some good news and because this person was helpful in making it possible I shared it with them.
On the night of the big event, I approached the person to offer my congratulations. This person takes a step back and sticks out their hand to shake mine. Odd, was my first thought. After about a minute of conversation, they made an excuse and moved on. But that’s not all. About 15 minutes later they came up to me and said if I could ask the guests to sit down. I thought this was off-putting as I was also a guest. Putting me in my place maybe? Moving on to the end of the evening, I went to say congratulations again before leaving. Again with the stiff body language and handshake.
At first I didn’t understand what it was all about. My sister had come with me that night and was quick to pick up the vibes. We discussed the strangeness of the evening and that of the individual and narrowed down the behaviour to jealousy. All because I wanted to share this good news with them. In the scheme of things it doesn’t mean much to me because its their problem but it did remind of other situations I have been in.
It is a shame people cannot be genuinely happy for another’s success, or in my case good news. Nothing may come out of my ‘good’ news but for me it is momentous either way — it is a form of acknowledgement that I am moving forward. Achievements, success or recognition for good work should be lauded and not envied.
Anyone else been in a similar situation?