Rethinking congratulations

Please don’t congratulate me. At least not all the time.

We are taught to congratulate people on which socially deem as celebratory events, such as getting pregnant, starting a new job, your birthdays, etc. That is what nice people do you would think. You are socially inept if you do not express your joy, whether genuine or fake, at others’ apparently wonderful achievements. They must be very happy and excited, right?

Photo by Eilis Garvey on Unsplash

I feel disingenuous when I need to return others’ congratulations with little enthusiasm because I think what happened is not an achievement, or that I am ‘meh’ about it. It seems cruel to tell them that — Yeah, that happened, but I don’t really give a damn. Thank you for your good intentions, but also no thanks.

We are socially conditioned to behave in a certain way. It has become natural and reflexive. Then, we stop thinking about it. I am not going to tell anyone not to say congratulations to me ever. I am not going to change society. Just know that when I say thank you but do not sound like it, don’t be disappointed.