Social Question

BBSDTfamily's avatar

Do you dislike others who are "better off" than you are?

Asked by BBSDTfamily (6737 points ) February 8th, 2011

If your parents couldn’t help you through college, do you dislike the kids whose parents paid their way, maybe along with a nice car?
If you aren’t normally found as physically attractive, do you dislike those who are?
If you didn’t land quite as impressive of a job as the peer who graduated with the same degree as you did, do you hold that against them?

These are just some of the first examples that came to mind, but the situation could be applied to any aspect of life. Do you find yourself being put off by people simply because they are doing better in some aspect of life than you are? Does it depend whether or not they brag about it? Do you take into consideration that maybe they worked/earned their way to where they are? Or, if they came from a wealthy family, the fact that they can’t control what their parents are any more than you could control what your parents are? Do you stereotype these people and if so, how?

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50 Answers

janbb's avatar

Sure way to make yourself bitter and unhappy. No, I don’t.

marinelife's avatar

No, I don’t think about what others have or don’t have in comparison to me.

sinscriven's avatar

No. To derive my own self-worth by comparing it to other people is a guaranteed recipe for self-loathing and misery.

ucme's avatar

No one is “better off” than me! Sure maybe they have one or two material possessions, but that doesn’t mount to a hill o beans in my book. I consider my life to be a wealth of riches beyond which can be bought :¬)

josie's avatar

No. Your description is a prescription for repressed negative emotions, which nearly always leads to depressive disorders. A sure way to an unhappy life.

Cruiser's avatar

SIlver spooners I found were generally insulated from the real world I grew up in. Hard for them to relate to what my life was and is about and visa versa. I like people the most who are grounded in the real life. IMO there is more to happiness in life than money!

Seaofclouds's avatar

Nope. I don’t see the point of disliking someone based on being better off or worse off than me. There are many other reasons to decide if I like someone.

JilltheTooth's avatar

Good god, why waste my time? There will always be those that are richer, prettier, better-loved, smarter, etc etc than any one of us. I’d rather compare myself to myself.

downtide's avatar

No. Unless they’re the sort of person that rubs their wealth in your face and makes it clear they consider themselves superior because of it.

jerv's avatar

Only if they are smug about it and act condescending or are out of touch. For instance, there is some animosity between me and my folks; my stepfather for saying, “I’m rich, you’re not!” more than once (they earn a combined total of about five times what my wife and I do), and my mother for not realizing that rents have doubled since she last had to pay a dime to keep a roof over her head.

I have quite a few friends who are much better off than I am, but they are all low-key and cool about it. However, if you show me a snotty spoiled brat who says, “Why don’t you buy that? It’s only $300.” and I will show you someone about to find out the true meaning of “blunt force trauma” I am not the jealous type, but I don’t like being .talked down to or made fun of.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

No.I have enough sh!t to think about! XD

KatawaGrey's avatar

@Cruiser: It would have been easier to say “yes.”

I am one of those who is “better off” than a lot of other people. I am fortunate enough that I will not be in debt when I leave college. I did not need to apply for scholarships when applying to schools. I live in an apartment by myself. Many people get angry at me because of this. They’re mad because I drive a new car and they drive a used one. They will be paying off student loans for years, if not decades, and I won’t be. They needed to puzzle piece scholarships together even with student loans and financial aid in order to go to school and I didn’t. Many people who claim to not care as long as I don’t “rub it in their faces” think that everything I say or do is “rubbing it in.” When I say I don’t have a roommate, I’m rubbing it in. When I say I didn’t apply for scholarships, I’m rubbing it in. If I buy a new pair shoes, if I eat a meal out, if I pick them up in my newer car, I’m rubbing it in.

Lots of people dislike others who are better off but most would die before admitting it.

coffeenut's avatar

No, I don’t care about that, I dislike people for better reasons…..

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I don’t dislike them because they’re better off, but I do dislike it when they flaunt it or rub it in my face.

perspicacious's avatar

No, but I’ve been around people like that. I don’t get it.

J0E's avatar

I certainly don’t dislike them. I don’t quite know what I would call the emotion I feel. It’s like if someone I know has a lot of money, so they don’t research when buying something, they just throw money at whatever they want, and they end up overpaying. Or if someone gets something new to replace something they consider to be “old”, and that old thing is better than what I have. It’s not quite jealousy, I just feel like they don’t realize how lucky they are.

podwarp's avatar

No, I do not dislike people who are “better off” than me. I don’t really think about that sort of thing. And the people who I do feel are better than me, I believe so because of their accomplishments rather than just things they have—so it’s more of respect than dislike.

@KatawaGrey I’m also one of the people who probably have it “better off” than some, but none of my contacts have put it across to me that because I don’t worry about tuition money or a car…etc. that I was rubbing it in their faces. I’m confused about this “they” you talk about because I really don’t see that often in my every day life. I guess I’m fortunate enough that none of my friends have made issue of it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@KatawaGrey And I use to like your guts.:)
Most of the time when I dislike someone it has nothing to do with possessions. It’s usually because they’re an ass in some way.

jonsblond's avatar

No. Like @downtide, I only dislike people that think they are better than others.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe : you mean like when they correct your spelling? (they’re an ass…)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@JilltheTooth If it was for spelling you’d all be on my shit list.
(smart ass)

KatawaGrey's avatar

@podwarp: I mostly saw it in high school. I would tell someone where I was going to school and they would get angry at me. When asked what scholarships I had, I told them I didn’t apply for any and they would get angry. I’m glad you don’t deal with that.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@KatawaGrey Even if your parents could pay for your college, did you consider applying for them to save them money anyway?

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Nobody’s better off than me. I have actual love in my life.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@BBSDTfamily : @KatawaGrey actually got a hefty merit scholarship that she accepted, because it was earned through good school work.. The “need” scholarships she referred to should go to the ones that actually need them. Where her college money came from is not the issue, I think it’s more important to remember that others had access to scholarship money that might not have.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

No, but I do dislike it when they then adopt certain attitudes because of it.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@JilltheTooth That’s a great point about the actual need for scholarships. I personally think it’s great that you guys left the scholarship money available to other people that may need it since you weren’t in a position of actually needing it. :) See, now I like you guys even more, even if I do have a bunch of college loan debt I’m still paying off. ;)

aprilsimnel's avatar

Up until very recently, I made comparisons like that and held such things against myself, not them. I believed that if someone else was better-looking, richer or from a more impressive family background than me, those were marks of proof that I was a worthless person, not them.

DancingMind's avatar

It’s too much effort for me to dislike them, becaue for me to dislike someone requires a lot of energy on my part. So no, I don’t either.

I do sometimes compare myself to them like @aprilsimnel but that’s different from disliking.

I dislike that some people never have to earn their “better off“ness while others suffer and die from disease, starvation, genocide. But I don’t dislike the people. They didn’t choose who they were born as.

podwarp's avatar

@KatawaGrey I have dealt with it, but only few and far between instances. Not enough to make me realize the impact of it, I guess. You’re right though, high school was difficult with things like that.

@aprilsimnel That’s definitely more in line with what I’ve done and still do, sometimes. Anything I lack in comparison to someone else, I hold against myself. It probably has a lot to do with how I grew up, but I just don’t understand disliking the other person when I am the one without.

KatawaGrey's avatar

@BBSDTfamily: As @JilltheTooth pointed out, I didn’t want to take that money away from people who actually needed it. I think making it more difficult for someone else to go to college just because I want to save a little money is much worse than using the money that my family can afford to lose.

BBSDTfamily's avatar

@JilltheTooth Ahhh, I see. Very nice of you @KatawaGrey.

JilltheTooth's avatar

I thought you had gone to class, @KatawaGrey , that’s why I answered for you. Sorry, not trying to take over your topic…<sheepish grin>

KatawaGrey's avatar

@JilltheTooth: I am in class. :P

janbb's avatar

@KatawaGrey Big Momma is watching!

wundayatta's avatar

I’m an equal opportunity disliker. I’ll dislike any asshole no matter how rich or how poor they might be.

tinyfaery's avatar

No. I dislike people for many other reasons; however, I am not above envy or pity.

incendiary_dan's avatar

I don’t usually have problems with people because of their benefits, just the system that has allowed such rampant class disparity through legitimized theft and a variety of violence-enforced hierarchies. I do have issue with people who aren’t willing to admit their privilege.

DominicX's avatar

No, I absolutely do not dislike others who are “better off” than me. It’s none of my business.

As I’ve mentioned before, I come from a wealthy background. And although I haven’t come across the same amount of dislike and hostility that @KatawaGrey describes, I’ve still come across it on occasion and I can’t stand it. It’s absolutely none of people’s business how much money my family has or what they choose to do with it. If people are genuinely curious, then yeah, I will tell them what they want to know, but I don’t need judgments from people who really know nothing about me or my family.

“Oh, you’re a spoiled brat because you got a new car on your 16th birthday. You’re a show off because you have an expensive laptop. You’re a spoiled brat because you don’t have trouble paying for college. Your dad’s a venture capitalist, so he should be thrown in prison.” (these are actual things I’ve been told, albeit mostly online). Very few people know what a true “spoiled brat” or a “show off” is and I’ve come to realize the emptiness of those terms and the haste with which people use them as a cover for their own envy or insecurity with themselves. (As @KatawaGrey pointed out, with some people, it’s impossible to not be “rubbing it in” when you technically are better off than many people around you).

I just don’t have time for it. I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’m not a “brat” or anything like that. I also don’t have time to worry about people who are better off than I am (in any way). Resenting them isn’t going to help me at all.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I have to admit to feeling a little bitter sometimes when I see other kids whose families can afford a great education, holidays three or four times a year, a constant stream of new clothes etc etc. I don’t dislike them but it does make me feel down about the fact that my education was so-so and we couldn’t always afford a decent meal let alone holidays. However, I never starved and I had an education, that’s more than what many other people are able to have so I try to remember how privilaged I am. It’s natural to feel envious from time to time so I try not to feel bad when this happens.

aidoom7's avatar

I dislike people like that because they speak like shit to you.

faye's avatar

I feel envious of many people- I’d so love to have more money to help my kids and maybe a holiday or two for me! But I sure don’t know many well-off people to dislike.

glenjamin's avatar

I have some rich relatives, and I don’t dislike them because they’re rich, so no. What you seem to be talking about here is jealousy (or envy, I forget which is the right one). I have no reason to dislike those more fortunate or more gifted than me in certain areas, I’m glad I’ve got what I’ve got, though I still want more, as most of us do.

JilltheTooth's avatar

@aidoom7 : Generalizing a bit, aren’t you?

flutherother's avatar

No, because I have no complaints about my life. We were pretty poor growing up but I never even noticed. Being wealthy could not have added to my happiness as a child and though I dream of winning the lottery in my heart of hearts I am not sure it would make me any happier today.

josie's avatar

I always hate to jump into a thread with two different types of input, but I have to give a personal perspective.
Most of my closest (and oldest) friends are “better off” than me, including my girlfriend.
She is a doctor for heaven’s sake.
But I do not see what the problem is.
My friends see a definite value in me that does not have anything to do with my material wealth.
They love me because I am so different than they are.
And I love them, in spite of their occasional consumerist obsessions.
They invite me to their fabulous places, I cook fabulous food for the party.
I am a trained instrument of death, and they feel safe with me around :)
I understand their children and their dogs, they do not.
I get to go the golf tournament and walk from their backyard to the course-for free.
They would do anything for me, I would do anything for them.
What is the problem?

mowens's avatar

Gives me something to shoot for.

BarnacleBill's avatar

I went to a high school that was located in a very wealthy area. My classmates came from households where their parents and grandparents went to Ivy League schools, had a vacation home in Florida, went skiing at Christmas in Colorado, went to Europe on summer vacation. I was one of a handful of middle class kids; my dad worked a technical level job, didn’t go to college, we lived in a rented house, I wore clothes from the Goodwill before it was cool to do that. It really bothered me that my friends went away to college and I worked three part-time jobs to put myself through.

My junior year of college, a close high school friend’s brother went to jail for beating his mother with his field hockey stick; she woke up and caught him stealing the family silver from the dining room. This was in a family with a DAR lineage and trust fund money back to the early 1800’s. A friend’s mother died of breast cancer that year; it was the first adult that I ever watched die. Money didn’t stop that. I found out that of the 12 houses on the street where the people I most envied lived, 6 families had fathers convicted of white collar crimes. By the time we had our 10 year high school reunion, over 30 people in my graduating class died, most from drug overdoses. One guy that I was particularly close to ODed because he didn’t get into medical school, and he didn’t know what to do. He was dead for a week before anyone found him.

People are just people. Happiness lies in how you play the hand you’re dealt.

kenmc's avatar

I am from a very middle class family in BFE. We aren’t poor, but my parents work very hard for what little they get.

I don’t dislike those who are better off. I dislike those that don’t admit that it makes life easier when they are better off. Note, I’m not saying life is better, happier, or whatever. But there isn’t a need to struggle to do much of anything. It’s inherently better to not have to work 12 hour days, 6 or 7 days a week (I personally know people who do this) just to clothe their children compared to working 40 hours a week for the same amount or more money.

I dislike when people don’t understand their situation, no matter the situation.

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