Everyone needs one ‘happy’ friend
How a college friend proved to me that birds of a feather do not have to flock together
Writer’s note: This post was originally published on Medium’s “We Need to Talk” on February 13, 2020.
I watched it happen in stages before I realized this seemed to be a pattern. Some people really don’t like it when you’re happy.
Example 1: The person who is irritated by compliments
I checked my phone and saw a family member was downstairs waiting on me. We were headed to a company Christmas party, and I was excited to see her outfit. I knew she’d look really cute and wanted to show her my new dress. Our company receptionist stepped off the elevator as I got on. My eyes lit up when I saw how pretty she looked in her Christmas attire, makeup and hair done. I told her I was getting ready to change, too, and it was great seeing her all jazzed up.
Her response? A scowl. “You know you are way too extra, right? Just doing the most. It’s just a Christmas party.” Just like that, my smile fell. I stared at her coldly and responded, “I just commented on what I observed. Trust me. It won’t happen again.” By the time I got downstairs, I was frowning at the family member and mumbled for her to follow me. I complained about my shoes not looking great with my dress and didn’t say a word about her attire.
If you are the happy friend in your crew and find yourself becoming the unhappy friend, this may indeed not be the flock you want to be with.
Example 2: The person who makes you need a vacation — again
I’d just gotten back from Maui, glowing and speaking to everyone. When I asked “How are you doing?” to passersby, I really wanted to know. I’d been on vacation for about a week or so and was still daydreaming of the West Maui Mountains, fishermen offering me beer while they waited on lunch, pedicure massages and sand between my toes.
A boss walked by, glanced down at me smiling as I typed away on my computer, and said, “You look so … happy.” I looked up at him and grinned. “I am.” His response? “That won’t last long.” And then he laughed aloud and kept walking. I watched him as he walked away. Just like that, the visuals of island water fizzled from my head. By the time the next person walked by to ask about my trip, my response was “fine.”