Question: I am a 27-year-old mechanical engineer and earn around Rs.50,000 every month. Though my income is enough for me to manage my finances but all my friends earn more than me. I have worked really hard in my career but it seems I missed out on something. I have started feeling incompetent and do not like hanging out with friends who earn more than me. Honestly, I am a bit jealous of them and feel depressed because of my situation. How should I distract myself? – By Anonymous

Response by Ms. Rachana Awatramani: Thank you for writing to us. There will always be someone who is ahead of you, earns more than you, and someone who is behind you and earns less than what you get. The point is how you want to look at the situation. There is a time in every individual’s life where they feel inadequate looking at another person’s success. However, it is your choice whether to take inspiration from other’s success or feel low about yourself and compare your life.

I comprehend that you are a mechanical engineer by profession and you earn adequate income every month. I understand that you have worked hard to achieve success in your career. However, you think you have missed out on something due to which you tend to feel incompetent. It can be frustrating and you might feel helpless at times as you fail to understand why this is happening with you.

Firstly, I would recommend that you appreciate your efforts and the hard work that you have invested in becoming a mechanical engineer. Secondly, it is great to acknowledge that you manage your finances well. It is good to be grateful. Thirdly, I see that you are uncomfortable spending time with your friends who earn more and you feel jealous at times. It is possible to feel like that and I agree it is not a good feeling. Therefore, I would say that you meet new people and hang out with friends who share similar interests. I am not saying you should break your friendship, however, you can maintain some distance and create boundaries between you and your friends who make you feel uncomfortable. Lastly, you can consider meeting a counsellor who can guide you and help you in self-development which will help you in professional as well as personal life.

– Ms. Rachana Awatramani is a Counseling Psychologist at Insight Counseling Services in Mumbai

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