Social Emotions: Guilt

Don’t feel guilty about your money

We know a married couple that worked for one of the most successful technology companies in the world. You’ve heard of this company and probably use its products, but we’ll just call it “TechCompany.”

This couple earned a lot of income and stock options at TechCompany. And because they have good money habits they became, and remained, quite wealthy.

Unexpected emotions

But sometimes they feel guilty about their money.

You might even catch them saying, “We hit the TechCompany lottery.” At times they’ve actually convinced themselves that their money just dropped into their laps, as if they didn’t earn it.

Don’t fall into this way of thinking.

Because you are learning how to be smart about money, the chances are good that you’re going to make, and keep, more of it than the average person—and quite possibly more than many of your friends and relatives. It’s very important to always remember that whatever money you earn, you’ve earned.


Britain’s biggest-known Lotto winner confessed that she was wracked with guilt after winning £15 million ($30 million) in the National Lottery’s Superdraw jackpot.

Review your giving policy

Do not let yourself feel bad about those people who have less than you have.

Feeling that way doesn’t help those people one bit, and it sure doesn’t help you.

One step you can take is to adjust your giving policy (which we will discuss soon). Maybe you feel you can afford to give a little more.


The concept that we don’t see our life in absolute terms but rather we compare it to the lives of our friends is called what?

The concept that we don’t see our life in absolute terms but rather we compare it to the lives of our friends is called social comparison.

Consider other ways to give

If you want to do something for the people in your life who have less than you do, don’t waste time and energy feeling bad about them. Try these ideas:

  • Offer to review a business plan and give your opinions and ideas.
  • Suggest meetups or workshops where they might build their professional skills.
  • Offer to teach them what you know about being smart with money

Let it go

As much as possible, simply let go of any guilt you may have.

Guilt about your money is a totally unproductive emotion that doesn’t do you or anybody else any good. Plus, it’s appropriate to feel guilty only when you’ve done something wrong.














-Coco Chanel


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