Whether it was in high school, college, or in the parking lot of your child’s pre-school, there has inevitably been a time when you have subconsciously (or pretty darn consciously) compared your financial situation to that of one of your friends who has more money than you do. We’re all human—and although comparing ourselves to one another may not always be healthy and mature, it is certainly something we all do! And when it comes to money, many women feel that the financial differences between them and their wealthier friends can be isolating, and even embarrassing.
Have you ever felt excluded from a fancy dinner, charity event or a spontaneous girls weekend away because you didn’t have the funds to attend? Well, you’re not alone! While you may feel left out, if you don’t have the cash to go, you’ve made the right decision not to spend money you don’t have just because you fear missing out!
However, we spoke with several women who expressed that there have been times when they feel they have been purposefully excluded by their friends because they have less money. If you ever feel this way, you need to talk to your friends! You may find (as some of our friends have) that your pals are absolutely mortified to learn that they’ve hurt your feelings! They were probably just trying to protect you from feeling pressure to attend something that they know you can’t afford. If this is the case, kindly let them know that you appreciate the sentiment, but that you’d much rather be invited and make your own decision rather than not be invited at all.
Change Your Attitude or Change Your Friends
If you’re not happy, make a change. However, before you beat yourself up for not having a staff of servants, take stock in what you do have. If you like your life, let yourself enjoy it by looking at things from a different point of view!
Sometimes it’s not about making a giant change, but rather changing your perspective. Stop feeling self conscious that your friend Anna’s house is twice the size of yours, even if when your son plays with her daughter, he always comes home comparing the two houses. Instead, try to teach your child not to compare but rather empower him with the values you want him to have. Focus on the things that matter, like a good work ethic and friends and family that would do anything for you.
If Anna isn’t a good friend and is blatantly making you feel uncomfortable, you may consider looking for a new friend? One of our friends recently described the straw that broke the camel’s back when she was looking around her friend’s McMansion, and the friend said to her (in all sincerity and yes this is a true story);”Honestly, I just don’t know how you live in that itsy bitsy home of yours—you deserve a lot of credit!” Sincerely, this just may one friendship you don’t need to focus on!
The Value of Friendship
The truth is, there will always be someone in our lives with a bigger bank account, a bigger house, a bigger car, and a bigger attitude. The question should not be do you feel poorer than your friends, but rather why do you care as much as you do?
In 2010, wealth has nothing to do with having class & values. We all know some very rich people with very little class, and vice-versa. As we all know, it is empowering to be in control, so if you can’t control your salary so much right now, bear in mind that class is one this you always have control over. Successful friendships thrive when people share the same values and share the same view of what makes a good friend. If you have found a true friend, it shouldn’t matter how much either of you make, you should both feel richer for being a part of each others lives!
To read the article in its entirety (and learn a little bit about owning your decisions), check it out HERE, at Fabulous and Frugal.