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Many women are wonderful friends, colleagues, neighbors, and in-laws. However, with all the love and admiration amongst women, there is a secret that many will not discuss. It is envy. It may be your best friend, colleague or relative. She will linger longer on the phone to hear all the details of your bad news, but when you call excited about your promotion or your husband's raise, she has to quickly get off the phone. In the past, people hardly discussed money. But today money can be a hot topic of discussion, comparison, and envy.

I had a best friend for over fourteen years. We did everything together. We went on dates together, our families vacationed, celebrated holidays, and birthdays together. We talked on the phone at least five-times everyday. We went to the same church, brought our first homes the same week, and helped each other move in. And when we moved to our second home, her family brought a home around the corner. We were family.  

Then I got a vision. My husband and I got a vision to pay off all our debt including our mortgage within five years. It was not her vision, and it wasn't something she could conceive for her family. However, I never asked her to have the same vision. I just wanted to share our vision with my best friend. Unfortunately, little did I know, envy was setting in. Not because she didn't love me, my family, and our friendship. Sadly, she started to compare her situation and dreams with mine. There was no comparison.

You see, her family made a lot more money then mine, had more kids, wasn't frugal, and frankly she wasn't interested in the same financial vision. How can there be a measuring stick with two different individuals, situations, and goals? I didn't ask her to want my vision; I only wanted a best friend supportive and happy for me. Unfortunately, when we did payoff all our debt and mortgage in less than five year, she was the last person I told. You see, she was honest enough to tell me at one point "She was envious of me." She said, "She didn't want to hear about me becoming debt free because she couldn't, and it made her mad."  

Today I realize you cannot share your dreams and vision with everyone. Also, you have to surround yourself with like-minded people who truly want the best for you. Regardless if what is best for you is different than what's best for them. Most importantly, do not allow envy to creep into your relationships. If it does, acknowledge it, admit it, confess it, ask forgiveness, and move on.

Sharman Lawson a columnist on Fabulously40, and a financial coach, speaker, and author of the book 12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever! Visit her website: [Link Removed]


Sharmanl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Stephanie wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • I agree with this piece because you may be friends with someone for a very long time, and a friendship may feel strong, but whene envy creeps, it comes out strong.  

      Like in your situation you would think that a friend would be supportive of her friends desire,but unfortunately many can not be this way.

      Thank you for pointing out that it was not your fault.Many times people blame themselves when others are envious of them, bc they think they said something they should not have or what not.

      The bottom line is- ur not a true friend unless you can give your support 100 percent!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • I’m so glad you brought this up. It’s disheartening to be excited about something, share it with someone we care about an basically get shot down. I’ve had a lot of this in my life and honestly, it just hurts. It’s disappointing. Your story tugged my heart strings. Thank you for sharing this.
      Cynthia



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kajenn wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • Money is a very complex entity.  There is a Vedic symbol called a Mandala.  I was told that each nook and cranny, each color and each level represented an aspect of life.  Then the largest piece was pointed out to me and I was told that this piece represented money - that it was such a big part of life and so complex.  I don’t know if this is accurate, but I’ve often reflected on the complexity of money.  It runs countries, guides so many of our decisions, affects our moods, can relieve stress, and can certainly make us yearn...

      And yes, my favorite friendships are those where it isn’t ever a concern and we can walk through the hills and valleys together.  And sometimes I wish I could buy a magic eraser for some of my relationships and just wipe that part of the slate clean.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dana Hall wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • Sharman,

      You and your story are so inspirational. If I was your close friend in this situation, I’d invite you and your hubby over for dinner and learn all we could possibly learn about how you accomplished your goal. It is fantastic! Oh... to be our age and debt free! I can only wish!

      I am ALWAYS a cheerleader for friends and their accomplishments. In fact, when I meet someone who has accomplished something I congratulate them. That is what it’s all about!



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Leeann wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • Ladies I think it is very hard now days to fined a true friend . I had something like that happen eight years ago. My friends husband was upset, because my husband got a job at a company her husband worked at. He didn’t want her to talk to me anymore. I was very hurt. She and I had a great friendship. I really miss her. I have never had a friendship like that again. I guess I was so hurt. I am afraid to have a close friend again.



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dana Hall wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • leeann6107,

      That is really sad. But, don’t let that keep you from making new friends. Take a chance...
      I posted, on a local community website, calling all women who’d like to start a ladies night out group. Now, some of these ladies are friends for life. We now have a Bunco group and a scrapbooking group, as well as doing things like “Chick Flick Movie Night“, wine tasting, etc. I LOVE my ladies!

      ;)
      Dana



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dana Hall wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • Sharman,

      I just bought your book on Amazon. I can’t wait to get it!

      Dana



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Sharman G. Lawson wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • Dana,

      Thank you so much for connecting with me as a friend and purchasing my book. “12 Steps to Eliminate Debt Forever,” is such a goldmine to help people that want to get out of debt and start managing money.  

      Also, I LOVE Bunco. I played it a few years ago with friends, haven’t played it since, but it is the funnest game ever.

      Sharman



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Dana Hall wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • Start a Bunco group! Put a call out for women to treat themselves to a night out. They’ll appreciate it!

      ;)
      Dana



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Pharmagirl wrote Aug 20, 2008
    • You are an inspiration! Thanks for sharing your story.

      Sharmani



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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Kajenn wrote Aug 21, 2008
    • Hi Leeann,

      I felt so sad to read about your experience.  I’ve been in your friend’s place.  Sometimes it comes with the territory when you have a competitive husband.  It’s a really horrid position to be in and I can bet your friend was hurt in the process as well being stuck in the middle by her husband like that.  I got back in touch with my old friend.  When our husbands got back in business together and things didn’t work out the second time around I told him, “hey, that’s YOUR business, my friends are my friends and that’s MY business“.  Sometimes the first time you‘re put in a position, you are so shocked by it, you don’t know what to do.

      I would encourage you to get closure, even if it’s by having a conversation about it with yourself.  See yourself and your friend as two human beings in a difficult situation.  Have faith that you can develop friendships with other women that are just as precious, only this time, you’ll know how to handle it because you have the experience.  There was a time I didn’t think I could develop good friendships like my old ones either, but down the road I surprised myself.  Remember that what happened was not a judgment on you or your friendship.  That’s why you’ll be able to have that special bond with someone else.

      Thinking about you and holding the space for you to heal and move forward.

      Take care,

      Karen



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