Say Congratulations like You Mean It

Tracy just got a fancy new job. Michael found the girl of his dreams. Anna just moved into a big new house.

These are your friends and family, and their success stories. You’ve got to admit you felt that little pang of jealousy when they told you the good news. But guess what, it’s completely normal. Walking over to them and handing them a congratulatory chocolate box with that fake smile is the best you can do.

Maybe you can do better?

You hate yourself for being jealous of someone else’s success. You wish you could feel differently. Here are a few things that might help put things in perspective:

Understand their Journey: They didn’t just wake up to success one fine morning. They worked for it. Tracy wasn’t handed her dream job on a silver platter. She went to college; filled her resume with all the right internships; ran around dropping CV’s and giving interviews. Even attended an interview practice workshop. Researched on what skills are the most sought after, and made sure she mastered them. So her new job is a mixture of late nights, hard work, persistence and sacrifice, with a little bit of luck thrown in the mix.

When you look at how hard she worked, you learn to admire her for the effort. And that is when your congratulations will come out genuine and honest. So a coffee mug with the inscription ‘Always Earned Never Given’ would strike a chord with her. She would understand your sentiment and appreciate it.

Let their Journey Inspire You: If they got it, why can’t you? Learn from their experiences, where they went wrong and what they got right. Draw out conclusions from their success stories, morals that you can apply to your own life. Michael found the girl of his dreams after a series of failed relationships. What worked for him this time around? Maybe it’s not the right girl, but the right kind of attitude that turned things around for him. Find that moral in his story. And let it motivate you.

Now that you are looking at your friend’s story as an inspiration for your own life, you can congratulate them honestly with a personalized gift that walks the walk. A hearty gesture could be a wooden recipe box with a fine engraving, something on the lines of ‘Cooking up Love since 2011’containing their favorite recipes. On the bottom of the box, you could write a small message about how their love speaks volumes to you.

There’s Enough Pie to go around: It is quite natural to think that because someone got it, you can’t have it. Their success doesn’t take your piece of the pie away. In fact there isn’t even a pie to begin with. The world is full of endless opportunities. Anna moved into a big house. Doesn’t mean all the big houses are gone now. Carl got that promotion. He won’t be the last person to be promoted ever. Your success is not dependent on others achievements. You have your own set of opportunities to pursue. It shouldn’t be a matter of comparison. So if Anna moved into a new house, don’t show up a week later with a doormat that says ‘welcome’, you may have to face the exact opposite. Get her something to personalize the new space, fill up its empty walls, and make the new house into a home. A set of black and white photos, framed individually to be hung along the staircase would be a lovely gift. Include pictures of her childhood, her family and her spouse. The amount of effort you’ve put in will go to show the honesty of your well wishes.

So whether it’s a new job, or a wedding or perhaps a new home, follow the right thought process, kill that jealousy and be honest in your sentiments. Appreciate the story behind their success and let their journey inspire you. And if you really can’t find anything that would convey your sincere sentiments, a box of chocolates with the right message always works. The smile that was just a fake curling of your lips, is now glowing with honesty. And to sweeten the moment, give them more than just plain chocolates; give them a whole festive assortment of chocolates, candies and gourmet biscuits. Don’t just say congratulations like you mean it; gift it like you mean it as well. Honest sentiments certainly go a long way. Make yours as honest as possible.