'Given the vast inequalities we are daily confronted with, perhaps the most notable feature of envy is that we manage not to envy everyone. There are people whose enormous blessings leave us wholly untroubled, others whose minor advantages act as sources of relentless torment. We envy only those whom we feel ourselves to be like; we envy only members of our reference group. There are few successes more unendurable than those of our close friends.'
Alain de Botton, Status Anxiety, p.47.