General Question

wundayatta's avatar

How do your expectations of a person differ depending on how much money you think they make?

Asked by wundayatta (58714points) June 17th, 2009

I have friends who worry about other friends’ financial situations. Like, if they think the person is not so well off, they worry about going to a restaurant that might be beyond their budget. Then they get a bit annoyed that they can’t go to a restaurant they really want to go to. They don’t feel like they can treat the person because it might be insulting.

Then there are people who try to make it look like they make more money than they do, because they think that they will not be accepted as a friend or even in the social group if they seem like they are too poor to be peers. Do you tend to hang out only with people who you think are in a similar income bracket? Do you make allowances for friends who you believe are in different income brackets? Do you even know or concern yourself with what your friends make?

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17 Answers

Clair's avatar

i try to hang out with people who are intrigued by me and don’t give a rip what i make. i don’t really want to be friends with someone who would think these things.
i don’t really like to do fancy expensive things anyway, i tend to be with people who have similar interests, not similar bank accounts.

Judi's avatar

I hate money issues. I lost a great group of friends when I moved into an “elite” neighborhood. The only one who stuck around was the one who thought I must be rich and could afford to support her. She was my very best friend. her husband worked for my husband. She hated us because my husband finally had to move his insurance to COBRA after he was off work for 5 months. I thought we were more than generous. She had a “well they can afford it” attitude.
The others friends were intimidated or something. They just stopped calling most of the time.

cak's avatar

No, not at all. We’re all pretty open with each other on what we can and can’t do. I can’t really imagine having to dance around things like that that, either. There have been times when things have been tight for each family- all at different times. We had potluck dinners, instead of eating out – which was fine by everyone.

jrpowell's avatar

All my friends are poor. We are open about it. I was homeless for a few months and my buddy (Adam) fed me. I had a job too. I just needed to save up for all the cost of getting a place.

But I am honest with them. I live in my sisters basement. I don’t want a family or success. I just want to be left alone so I can read books in the park.

tinyfaery's avatar

The majority of my friends are lower middle class. Most of us are in our late 20’s and 30’s and we all chose life experience over devoting our lives to our careers. We are all spenders though. Most of our interactions involve eating great food and smoking good weed.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I, too, hate money issues. I don’t have any friends that are making a lot more than myself – ha, though, most are making more than me but I have 2 kids and a partner and they don’t either have kids or partners…I am always mindful of pricing, in whatever events I organize…I’d never do a birthday party at a very expensive place because some I know wouldn’t afford it but I wouldn’t make this a known issue

Aethelwine's avatar

Most of our friends are as poor as we are so we have no problem deciding what to do when we get together. It’s usually a cook out, trip to the park or bonfire. The few friends we do have that have money often invite us to go out or go away for a weekend and they understand when we need to turn them down because we just don’t have the extra money to do these types of things. We don’t try to pretend to be something we are not.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

This is a very real situation for a lot of people.
Unfortunately many social activities are exclusive by virtue of the price of participation.
If a person likes to do something that makes another friend uncomfortable, the best bet is to not invite them.

If I’m in the mood for a $30 steak, I’m not going to invite friends who have lost their jobs by virtue that the meal could be very uncomfortable for them. I’ve been on both sides of that fence so I have an idea of what people feel like in that situation.

wundayatta's avatar

@The_Compassionate_Heretic If you don’t mind, could you describe your feelings from both sides of that fence?

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

They both feel crappy.
I’ve been excluded from events because I couldn’t pay for it and I’m not about to borrow money for something I couldn’t afford to do in the first place.

I’ve also been out to dinner with someone who wasn’t expecting prices to be as high as they were (not outrageous and decadent like the French Laundry or anything) and it felt terrible because I unwittingly introduced them to a socially awkward situation as well as a financial hardship. I bought a couple rounds, picked up his part of the tip and just had him buy his entree which was affordable to him.

casheroo's avatar

Well, since we’ve had a son, we really don’t have a social circle. I have friends that I’ve known for years, and we’re all off doing our own thing…most of them are all just trying to get by, so they all understand the lack of money. No one expects anything of us. If I were to go out to dinner, we’d choose a place that we could afford but wanted to eat at. Simple as that.
Little things like going to movies, or out to bars are usually out of the question for me. Not only because that’d be frivilous spending but because I have a son who needs someone to watch him. My friends understand this, and would rather come hang out with me and my son than go out. (this doesn’t mean I don’t go out for special occasions. we splurge on that sort of thing occasionally.)

DarkScribe's avatar

I have never give it a thought. My friends range from a step above the poverty line, to needing a full firm of accountants to do their tax. My best friend has never owned a new car in his life, buys clothing in thrift shops and lives in a flat under his parents house. At fifty-five.

But he has traveled all over the world, has won a number of major ocean yacht races, was a national sailing champion for a few years, surfs every day without fail, has several successful inventions and has published three screenplays two of which have been produced by a major studio. He is without the slightest doubt, the most contented man I have ever known.

I will sometime get a cryptic message from him, say “I am in (name of town) it is great here, come and spend a few days. No address, no contract details. I will go to the town and ask the first bartender I meet, “Where’s Phil?” The usual response is along the lines of “I haven’t seen him since Wednesday – try the xxx pub. ” It is never “Who’s Phil?”

Aethelwine's avatar

@DarkScribe Your best friend sounds like he has an amazing life!

Blondesjon's avatar

If you judge me based on what I make, I don’t want to know you.

I think the reasoning behind this should be pretty self-explanatory.

DarkScribe's avatar

@jonsblond DarkScribe Your best friend sounds like he has an amazing life!

It is amazing how many people who don’t take the time to know him call him a loser. No one does once they do take that time, they envy him. He spent a few years living next door when we were kids – used to date my sister. We moved overseas for a few years and then caught up once I came back as an adult. Been friends ever since.

I have never met a woman, of any age or social standing who didn’t like him.

Aethelwine's avatar

@DarkScribe The people that didn’t take the time to get to know him are the losers. imo

CMaz's avatar

Money changes everything.

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