A Millennial Asks How to Avoid Being Envious

A Millennial Asks How to Avoid Being Envious

Aug 23, 2023

Dear FQ Mom,

I have been following you for years now. I graduated in 2018 and started working a few months after graduation. My starting salary was probably within the average for fresh graduates at that time and I have received modest increases over the years. I try to observe the basic laws of money, but honestly, sometimes I envy my officemates and friends who seem to be enjoying life more than I am with their travels and other activities. What can I do to remain focused on observing high FQ behavior? – Avoiding Envy Millennial via email

Dear Avoiding Envy Millennial,

Thank you for trying to observe the basic laws of money. I hear you when you say that you feel envious of your officemates and friends who seem to be enjoying life more that you do. You probably see their travels, dining out, purchases posted on their social media channels, or maybe straight from them when they tell you stories about their adventures, and you may end up feeling sorry for yourself.

While no one wants to admit being envious of others, we have all been there! What’s worse now is that we are exposed to the goings-on not just of our immediate circle but that of the entire online universe. There’s a joke I heard from comedian Victor Anastacio about “content creators.” Let me try to recall what he said. Here’s what I remember after laughing hard at his joke.“Yang mga content creators na yan. Wala namang ginawa kung hindi magpost ng mga masasayang bagay tungkol sa kanila. Mga travels, gamit, etc. Pagkatos mo silang panoorin, anong nararamdaman mo? Inggit, discontent yon di ba? So, hindi sila content creators, discontent creators sila!”

Envy is a normal emotion. Acknowledging it is the first step to dealing with it. It happens when we feel that someone has something we want that we don’t have. Sometimes, even if we already have it, we still feel envious because we think that we have it at a lesser degree.

One key factor to dealing with it is to acknowledge that the person did not take away something from you. To believe that other people’s success means less success for you is having the scarcity mindset, and this is not the best way to live your life. Shifting to abundance mindset is the way to go.

However, I must admit that this is easier said than done.

Here are some things that you can ponder upon to help you focus on staying the course in your high FQ journey.

1. Go back to your goals and dreams. Since you said you have been following me, I hope you have already done this important exercise. It’s the reason why we observe the basic laws of money. (Click these links to read some articles about it. Have you set your goals yet? (Steps in Setting Meaningful Goals), Reader asks for tips on how to achieve goals. You may also email us at FQTeam@FQMom.com to request for our excel template on this. Use the subject “Values-Based Goal Setting.”)

Once you remind yourself of why you’re observing high FQ lifestyle, the envy may go away, or at the very least, lose its grip on you.

1. Remind yourself that you don’t see their entire picture. Yes, you may feel envious of the great time they have during their travels, dining out, and enjoying their nice stuff, but you certainly do not know what goes behind those posts and stories. We all have our share of challenges and to remember this about them might make you feel happy that they are enjoying their adventures in life.

2. Envy helps us articulate something we want. Sometimes we do not readily admit to ourselves what we want. Sometimes we probably didn’t even know it, until that emotion of envy is triggered by someone. So, looking at it from a positive perspective, envy can actually help us understand ourselves more.

3. Let envy fuel you to work harder. What starts as a negative emotion may actually be transformed into a motivating factor. You feel envious because they have something that you don’t have. Now that it’s clear to you what you want, do something to have it for yourself. Then you can even improve on it, make it more suitable to yourself, and in accordance with your values-based dream life.

4. Protect yourself. If the effect of your envy emotions is too much for you to take healthily, apply the lessons of Choice Architecture in your life. Clean up your environment such that you do not follow accounts that trigger your inggit button. Do this on your other apps and anything on your gadgets that you can easily access. Just come back to them little by little as you recover, and only if you need them.

5. Count your blessings. This will do wonders. It will not only divert your attention from the not so pleasant emotion, but it will make you aware of what you already have; consequently, allowing you to use your resources to fulfill your goals and dreams in life.

6. My mom’s advice: Live within your means but enjoy the fruits of your labor. I liken this to a diet. When it is too strict, chances are, you will not be able to sustain it. So, treat yourself once in a while in order to feel the joy of life. And allow you to deposit happiness in your “Ego Tank.” (Read Ego Depletion to know more about this.)

7. Bonus: There’s a sweet pay off for you when you reach your third act! Let me share with you my experience. I used to watch our expenses like a hawk, complete with very detailed Balance Sheet, Cashflow and Income Statements. It worked for our family as we were able to control spending (of course, while still observing no. 7), especially when we became a single-income family. If you continue to do what you’re doing – i.e. observing high FQ behavior – in your younger years, you will be able to accumulate wealth that will allow you the freedom to choose when you reach your retirement age or even sooner. You will no longer be forced to work just because you need the salary. You will be able to do what you really want because you prepared for your retirement nest egg. And you know what? It is so much sweeter to enjoy luxuries in life when you wait for the right time. All these, you won’t be able to do if you do not follow the basic laws of money early on, no matter how much you earn.

I hope all these points will help you deal with the envy that you’re feeling right now. Cheers to a happy high FQ lifestyle!


  1. Where are you in the journey now, take the FQ Test to find out. Click here.
  2. Purchase any or all of the FQ books to enhance your FQ (Financial Quotient).

 This article is also published in Philstar.