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How to Avoid Envy by Keeping a Low Profile

The Q Wealth Report
29 August, 2008

At some point as a successful business person, you will come across envy. Often, envy surprises us from where we least expect it. For example, if we have just done a particularly good deal and happily share news of it with family members and long-term friends, instead of them sharing in our exhilaration, they may react – even if it is subconsciously – in quite the opposite way.

That’s one of the reasons why freedom, wealth and privacy go together. It’s good to know when to keep your mouth shut for your own benefit. And using offshore financial facilities can help you keep your affairs private to protect you from the greed and envy of others.

Your best friends, neighbors and employees are the people most likely to cause you damage, especially if you leave them behind materially or in social matters. You may never know if they envy you and want to bring you down to “your level” – until it happens. If you have something they want and can’t easily get, the odds are your “friends” will want you to fail.

So how can you avoid envy?

First rule: Never talk about your success unless in that same context you are giving “all the credit” to the person you are talking to. It doesn’t hurt to also thank the “Good Lord” and anyone else you can think of. “I don’t deserve all the good fortune that has come my way. I owe it to good friends like you.”

Don't ever, for example, brag about your accomplishments, awards, or all the important people who love and depend on you. Especially keep quiet about how much money you have or are making. The more humble you seem to be, the less people will envy (and possibly hate) you.

If somebody tells you how well they are doing, or what they are buying, forget one-upmanship. Simply praise them and say “How happy I am for you and how proud I am to know you.” Another good comment: “Gee, I could never afford that!” Ask them for advice on how you could do what they are doing. Everyone loves to be considered intelligent and asked for their opinion.

This approach may sound insincere the first few times you use the script, but the recipients of such ‘schmoozing’ will be much more likely to be in your corner. It is easy to be arrogant, superior and think you are a big shot. But when you lose touch with the “little people” around you, especially if you treat them as inferiors, they will often conspire to bring you down to their level.

In a company, team or business setting, always make a very big effort to diminish your own role. Always praise others.

Practice “live and let live.” Avoid confrontations, criticism or blaming people for anything, especially when others are present. Never cause others to lose face. It is possible to get people to change their behavior with praise “What you are doing is pretty good but…” then offer a simple suggestion on how to do it “even better.” If you feel yourself getting angry, never shout, be sarcastic or push people around. Excuse yourself. Walk away and cool off. Come back to it later.

Don’t show off! Forget status symbols, flashy cars, and expensive watches. Avoid anything ostentatious. Make sure your spouse and kids follow the same “low profile to win friends” rules that you do. If you want to spend, take expensive cruises, eat more Lobster, then spend the money while you are on holiday where no one knows you. Have a home that doesn’t look too good from the outside, but has any luxuries you want in your private quarters. Don’t give house tours to visitors. Don’t gossip. Always be tactful and discreet. Above all, keep your private affairs and finances private.

Always show sincere interest in other people. Ask about their family, their health, what they are doing and show admirations for what successes they are having. Listen attentively and ask questions about them. Talk less. Listen more. Focus attention away from yourself, even as you quietly work on achieving your own goals.

Peter Macfarlane is joint editor of The Q Wealth Report an established newsletter dedicated to informing readers about creating, protecting and growing wealth in a secure offshore environment. It also covers international living, banking, retiring and investing. Visit www.QWealthReport.com to see more. You can also see Peter’s personal blog on offshore finance matters at www.PeterMacfarlane.net.


About the Author

The Q Wealth Report

Peter Macfarlane of The Q Wealth Report blogs on Freedom, Wealth and Privacy qwealthreport.com


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