Posted by Tim Stobbs on December 16, 2013
Envy is an easy emotion to feel. Depending on the person all sorts of things can cause it: a nice house, a good meal, that perfect coat or a nicer piece of technology that you want to have. So while I’m used to feeling it at times, but I have to admit I’m not that used to causing others to feel it. I live a fairly frugal life, so I don’t usually have much that would cause others to feel it. Well at least that is what I thought.
Until the other day when I realized I caused it for entirely different reasons: my financial situation. I think the problem has been that while I’m open about talking about money with people, some people that I know obviously thought this entire early retirement plans was a vague dream or something. Then to hear I’ve paid off the mortgage and have nearly a quarter of a million in investments by the time I’m 35 sends some people around the bend and they just look at me with envy written all over their face.
I started being open with how I deal with money in order to help others along the way, but it didn’t occur to me that I would also cause envy in some people. I have to admit I don’t know how to deal with causing envy in others. I suppose the fact is I can’t control what others feel, but never the less I feel bad for causing it. Mainly I suppose since it really didn’t occur to me before.
In the end, I decided I can’t really do anything to help others not feel envy. Either you do feel it or you don’t and I can’t really stop another person from feeling an emotion. It’s a bit of hard realization to come to, but I have to forgive others for feeling that way and myself for causing it. That is really my only option for dealing with the emotion that I’ve come up with.
How about you? How do you deal with causing envy with others?