When you were still studying in college, you and your friends are so close and you feel that nothing can come between you that may destroy your friendship. But years later after college, you find out that your friends are now more successful and richer than you. Whether you believe that your friendship is genuine or not, there is no doubt that the big difference between your financial statuses will create a gap on your friendship.
Stories of Rich Friends Make You Feel Poor
Jane and her dinner with friends from college
I always believed that I was living a good life, and that I could go shopping and eat at nice restaurants. Until one day, my friends from college asked me out for dinner. We went into a fancy restaurant that I’ve never been before. When the waiter handed me the menu, I was surprised that the price of one drink is equal to one regular meal I eat at restaurants I usually dine to.
I ordered the cheapest meal and pretended I do not need a drink to make the bill cheaper. When the bill came, none of my friends bothered to look at it and one of them just suggested splitting it in equal parts because it would be easier that way. I just feel poor at that very moment, especially when they started giving out their share. And half of my whole month salary was gone because of that meal.
Mark and his bankruptcy
I never believed that money could affect friendships. When I was still working in the city, I was earning £100,000 a year as a business manager. When I lost my job in 2010, I tried searching for a new job. When everything else failed, I put up a consultancy firm but I still needed to draw a salary.
It really was a hard time but I finally managed to start over again. But when my old friends called me out, I just sensed some sarcasm in their words and gradually my friends stopped calling and seeing me. I knew no matter what the actual situation was, they no longer took me as an equal part and a decent friend.
Jack and his miserable reunion
I know I can achieve my goals in life, which is to own a car, have my own place and go on trips whenever I want to relax. I was having the time of my life because I own a six-year-old Kia, I live independently on my apartment and I go on road trips to the nearest state when I have time.
Until one day, I attended a reunion and that’s when I felt the embarrassing situation of "rich friends make you feel poor". When I saw my former classmates driving a Mercedes, owning a big house and going on vacations to the Caribbean every two months, I just felt miserable. Call it envy or whatever you want, all I know is I don’t want to attend such reunions again.
Jennifer and her losing friendship
I have a friend with a brilliant career. She has no kids and a rich boyfriend. I, on the other hand, have four children and work part-time. And my husband’s business has been affected by the slowly declining economy. She recently asked me out for her birthday but I had to decline because she wanted to do it in a luxury spa. I cannot cope up with her lifestyle anymore for her world feels so not real for me, like a fantasy that I feel very uncomfortable in. Consequently and unfortunately, our friendship slowly shrinks.
How to Hang Out with Rich Friends Without Feeling Poor
Real friends will always understand you, no matter what. If they keep on asking you out but you are saving up for something or you are in a tight budget, let them know. They will surely understand the situation and they might even think of a cheaper alternative. So the “rich friends make you feel poor” thing won't ruin your friendship, as long as you are true to yourself and your friends and most importantly, never compare with them and just compete with yourself.
Be more thankful
When you decline a friend’s invitation to eat at a nice restaurant and then your friend suggests that he or she pays for the bill, don’t feel insulted or indebted. Just be thankful and then forget about it. Your friend is not doing this to show off, but really wants to eat at the expensive restaurant with YOU.
Give what only you can give
Genuine friendships are about give and take, but it is not about giving exactly what you were given even if you cannot afford it. For example, your rich friends invited you to their house and served lavish dishes. When it’s your turn to invite them, you don’t have to reciprocate by serving expensive dishes too. Instead, just treat them to some specialty or delicious homemade dishes. Remember you cannot give what you do not have, and real friends will never judge you and will never count scores on you.
Don’t be envious
If you envy your friends because of their money, then you are not a true friend. Your relationship is only based on competition and who is better than who. Envy is one of the major reasons of the “rich friends make you feel poor” dilemma. But never let that destroy your friendship. Just be happy for your friends and try to make your life better too.
Be proud of your lifestyle
You may sometimes feel ashamed when talking to your rich friends especially if the topic is about your jobs and earnings. Just because you earn less does not mean you are an inferior person. As long as you work honestly to earn a living and does your best to help your family, you should be proud of your simple and honest lifestyle.
It’s okay to let them go
If you already explained your financial status to your friends but they still keep on pressuring you to spend on things you find impractical, then it is time to think about ending your friendship. It is fine to avoid them if they constantly stress you out when it comes to money matters. No one wants constant pressure and burdens in their life, so it’s fine to let them go and find new friends to hang out with.