If you think about it, life seems to be a competition (Actually, it isn’t. But in case you are from an Asian heritage like I am). And there are usually two ways to win competitions:
2) Making the other person lose
Even though you may end up with the prize with either manner, both are inherently opposed to each other.
If the competition is about growing trees,
1) You won because your tree is bigger, more beautiful, and produces sweeter fruit
2) You chopped down the other guy’s tree, then used the resulting timber to make paper
If the competition is about restaurants,
1) Your chef is actually better than Gordon
2) You dropped poison into the other guy’s food during dinner service
If the competition is about promotions,
1) You actually came up with new systems to make things better and implemented them
2) Some rumours spread about how the other candidate watched porn in the office
If the competition is about life partners,
1) You actually proved that you pay attention and that you are actually devoted to their happiness
2) You somehow convinced your partner that nobody can “love” them like you can
See, even when it comes to something stupid like competition, one way actually creates more value than the other. As members of society, I’d expect you to do things that advance it.
Now, when it comes to happiness, which isn’t even something resembling a contest, what feels better: Actually adding to someone else’s or taking it away?