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  • We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful

       August 15, 2005

    Apparently Morrissey was right, we really do hate it when our friends become successful:

    The real secret to happiness isn't just money. It's more money. And not just having more money than your neighbor. You've got to be making more money than your friends and your work peers.

    "If a 25-year-old is making $30,000 a year, they're probably happy, but if you're 45 and making $30,000, you're not so happy, because your friends are making more," says Glenn Firebaugh, a professor of sociology and demography at Pennsylvania State University.

    One newspaper suggested that "one alternative strategy would be to "hang out" with poor people, according to the findings." So, if you want to be happy for the rest of your life, find those philosophy PhDs, seek out the sanitation engineers and befriend the busboys.

    Actually, I'm not sure that's the best strategy. Who wants friends that can't afford to do anything with them? Don't you feel slightly uncomfortable around those who are less fortunate than you? I think the ideal situation is to make lots of money and have friends who make lots of money but be better looking than those friends. I think a situation like that would probably make most people happy.

    In any case, I thank God every night that we have socialogists out there who can study these burning questions (with taxpayer money!).

    Posted by at August 15, 2005 12:54 PM

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    #  August 15th, 2005 1:54 PM      james
    "It's not enough to succeed. Others must fail."

    -Gore Vidal  
    #  August 15th, 2005 3:34 PM      thegameiam
    May I suggest that the term you're looking for is Schadenfreude




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