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How To Cope With Friendship Financial Envy

How to Cope With Friendship Financial Envy

If your social media is filled with your friends buying new homes, going on far-flung holidays and buying extravagant handbags, when all you've managed that month is to not reach your overdraft limit, then it can be hard not to feel slightly jealous.

Financial envy can be a hard pill to swallow, but it's a completely normal reaction, "Jealousy arises from a sense of competition," explains Georgie May, a wellness activist, social media strategist and author of new book Lucky Girl: Unveiling the Secrets of Manifesting a Lucky Life (out now). "Humans are naturally competitive, and we often compare ourselves to others," she tells POPSUGAR UK.

Navigating the ups and downs of money and friendships can be tricky, especially when everyone's earnings seem to be on different scales. If you find yourself feeling a bit out of step with your friends' financial situations, you are not alone. According to the ONS, the average salary in the UK from 22-29 is £30,316pa and from 30-39 is £37,544pa, but it varies by a considerable amount.

If you're struggling to keep on top of your feelings and want some advice on how to not only cope with friendship financial envy, and possibly even use those feelings to help boost your own bank balance then keep reading.

What is Financial Envy?

In simple terms financial envy is the feeling of resentment towards others based on them having, or being perceived to have, more money than you. This can happen at many stages of your life but it can feel more prominent in your 20s and 30s as this is the time people are making key life changes such as buying a house. "When someone seems to be effortlessly living the life you could only dream of, it can be difficult not to feel a small portion of jealousy," says May.

According to May, jealousy is a natural emotion, and the key to working through your feelings is to acknowledge and accept them. "Reflect on the source of your envy and try to identify if there are underlying insecurities or unmet desires," she explains. "When we see someone else manifesting their desires easily, it can highlight our own shortcomings and failures. We may become jealous because we are afraid that we will never be able to achieve the same level of success. This fear of failure can be paralysing and can prevent us from taking risks and pursuing our own goals and desires. Don't beat yourself up when you do feel a flare of jealousy."

How to Cope With Financial Envy

Sophia Lerche-Thomsen, CFA is a financial advisor who specialises in helping you make smart decisions with your money and believes we need to stop trying to keep up with the Jones and be more open about our financial situation. "It's totally acceptable to talk about money!" she tells POPSUGAR UK. "I am on a mission to help break the stigma as we can all learn from each other." She also believes that discussing money can actually help us feel less insecurity and competition, allowing us to get in control of our financial envy. "Open conversations about finances can lead to a better understanding of different economic realities and encourage mutual respect and support within your social circle," she explains. "It also provides an opportunity to learn from each other's financial experiences and wisdom, helping you make informed decisions about your own money management."

How to Discuss Financial Envy With Your Friends

It may sound all well and good to be honest with your friends, but in reality how do you start this conversation? May has this advice: "There's a time and place for a conversation like this - so choose wisely," she says. "Share your feelings without placing blame, expressing that you're working on managing your emotions. Be clear that your intention is not to diminish their success but to seek support and understanding."

Of course, there may be some cases where sharing isn't possible, "If this is the case it's important to take the time for yourself to process accepting and working with the emotion and understanding the root cause," she continues. "Then you can try and redirect your focus on your own goals and achievements, creating a positive mindset. Remember, everyone's journey is unique, and comparing yourself to others may not accurately reflect your own success."

"Use their success as inspiration, understanding that success is not a finite resource, and there's room for everyone to thrive."

How to Use Financial Envy to Boost Your Earnings

Shift your perspective by recognising that your friend's success doesn't diminish your own potential. "Celebrate their achievements genuinely, as it can strengthen your relationships," recommends May. "Use their success as inspiration, understanding that success is not a finite resource, and there's room for everyone to thrive. Consider the positive aspects of their accomplishments, and be open to learning from their experiences."

Lerche-Thomsen also recommends changing your thought process from envy to gratitude. "Being grateful for what we earn, regardless of the amount, helps cultivate a positive relationship with money," she explains. "This gratitude can attract more positivity and abundance into our lives, as it acknowledges the value of our efforts, and the opportunities money provides."

It's important to then create realistic goals based on your aspirations and take proactive steps towards personal growth. "Use their success as a reminder that success is achievable through dedication and perseverance," says May.

Lauren Ezekiel is an associate editor at POPSUGAR UK, where she writes about all things beauty and wellness. With a degree in journalism and 12 years' experience as a beauty editor at a leading Sunday supplement, she is obsessed with skincare, hair and makeup, and is often found offering advice to innocent bystanders. Her work has been published in Grazia, OK, Health and Beauty, The Sun, ASDA, Dare and Metro.

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