Do you know something... I recently realized that if you aren't happy, you don't really want anyone to be happy. I think I have always known this deep down, but I, like many others, liked to assume I was exempt from such a superficial state of mind. At the heart of it however, if we are truly honest with ourselves, most of us have a hard time with this.
If you are struggling in your career and you feel like your friends are all excelling, it becomes increasingly difficult to feel happy for them, because you don't have that edification in your own life.
If you are having a hard day and a friend just got a major opportunity (hell it could be a free mocha[cue chocolate craving here]... you get the idea) it is hard to share in their elation, because all you want is to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over your head, never to emerge again... too dramatic?
If you can't seem to create anything worth while and a pier launches a new line, designs an amazing piece, or works with the "dream client", it is hard not to shrivel into a ball, crippled with envy to the core.
This plays out in a million different ways. Relationships, life goals, living situation, diet, exercise, talent, skill, work, play, possession (I found myself coveting [and resenting] a strangers entire life based upon their outfit the other day!). These things create a gnawing in your soul, an ache, a twinge of jealousy welling up inside of you, and then, if you are like me, an intense flood of guilt washes over you instantaneously. Why can't I just be happy for them? Why can't I support them and put my own feelings aside? Why can't I say things like "You deserve it!" (and mean it 110% of the time)?
Not that this happens with everyone, all of the time, but there certainly are days where I feel myself talking about someones success like it is a bad thing. Where do I get off? Success and/or happiness is rarely ever a bad thing! CONGRATULATIONS ARE IN ORDER! A celebration, pat on the back, smile, or a hug at the very least! Essentially, I just need to get over myself, grab a bottle of bubbles, and pop it in their honor (if I can't feel happy on my own, perhaps champagne will help [don't worry mom, this is a metaphor, I swear I'm not drinking to cope with my internal emotional issues]).
No one is out to get you (maybe they are... but I would hope they aren't), no one is trying to cut you off at the knees (unless you work for the mob). A little bit of grace goes a long way... especially for yourself.