Author Topic: Challenging friendships with old friends  (Read 9259 times)

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Challenging friendships with old friends
« on: September 02, 2015, 09:39:46 AM »
Hey folks

As a quick disclaimer, I think this post will touch on some things that get addressed a lot here in the forum.  To some degree, I think I'm just looking to vent, but I'd also love any input from other mustachians on the topic.

I'm part of a really close group of friends.  We met in college and we are all in the age range around 30 now.  I just returned to the region, after being away for about 6 years and we have all progressed in our own ways.  But I see my closest friends making really terrible choices in regards to their health (smoking, drinking to excess) and also questionable choices in relation to their finances.  I'm certainly aware of my circle of control and I am able to stay a bit removed from it all, but it's still really sad to observe.  The thought of these people experiencing the health related effects of their lifestyles in the coming years is really hard for me to stomach. 

But the more pertinent side of the issue to a mustachian community is as follows.  We are starting to get to the point where lots of friends are buying houses, particularly with housing prices in the area skyrocketing and folks wanting to get in on the gravy train.  So often times our conversation veers towards money and finances.  I tend to be close lipped about my mustachianism with most people, but these are my people, and with them I'm open about it.  Lately, this has tended to provoke reactions in other members of the friend group.  In particular, the members of the group that have the most external locuses (loci?) of control, tend to get pretty reactionary to the idea that being more frugal can give people more freedom and happiness in their lives.  The responses are pretty standard fare and comparable to things MMM writes about receiving in emails from conventional grumblypants debt-ridden Americans. 

An added wrinkle to the whole thing is that 2 of these folks also have received large inheritances following the deaths of the parents.  While I'm lucky enough to have both of my parents with me, if I were in their shoes, I likely would be FIREd already, or at least living a life that didn't involve working a job I don't like (one person, in particular, owns two rental homes with no mortgage and is looking to take out a mortgage for a 3rd for herself.... she's certainly not hard up).  Yet they live these relatively lavish (4-5 nights a week at the bar, driving everywhere, etc) lifestyles and often complain about their jobs and how hard it is to get ahead in a town with a high COL.  And when I mention anything about different strategies to adopt to change this, they get pretty critical of me and angry about it.  I'll add that I am a counselor by trade, and I am well versed in the strategies to bring up topics in nonthreatening ways.  Not that I'm always perfect in this regard, but I am not bringing any of this up in  an accusatory tone, to the best of my knowledge.  It seems that it is the topic itself and the idea of changing one's behavior that is threatening. 

I get that it's not my responsibility.  But it's all still really god damn sad to watch these beloved friends calcify their livers and coat their lungs in tar.  On the one hand, I really want to be able to be honest about my values and beliefs with close friends.  On the other, it just seems like me expressing my ideas leads to conflict and raised defenses.  I'm kind of at a loss.  Any insights, folks? 

Kris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4480
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2015, 09:51:12 AM »
Well, as a counselor, I'm sure you also get that people love to complain -- it's a bonding/relating to others activity -- and that often when people complain, they are not looking for solutions, they are looking to be validated.  This is what your friends are doing.  They don't want your advice.  They want to bond together in the complainypants/spendypants club.

I suggest living your life, and politely taking a sip of your beer and going to your happy place while they are complaining about this stuff.  Don't participate -- after all, you don't subscribe to that thinking -- but don't offer a counterargument, either.

If they really wanted your input as to how to reduce costs and live more frugal lives, they would be asking you about it. 


tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 10:01:18 AM »
You know, Kris, that's a really great point.  I guess I've been thinking of these conversations as sort of a meeting of the minds/ life philosophy sort of discussion.  Afterall, throughout our friendships, we have engaged in that type of discussion many times.  And I have been reaching out to connect with others about ideas I see as really interesting and helpful.  But, as you clarified, perhaps this isn't what they are after.  The idea that validation is their goal makes a lot of sense to me and should help me to respond more effectively and pick and choose what I contribute to these conversations. 

TrMama

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3081
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2015, 10:21:52 AM »
Yeah, unlike your paying clients, your friends really aren't looking for advice. The most I ever say when friends make this kind of complaints is "Wow, that sounds really hard." I may also say something to the effect of, "Well I opted to get a smaller house so I don't have to worry so much about upkeep/giant mortgage/being targeted by thieves/etc." I never, ever tell them what I think they should do. I hate it when people do that to me.

2Cent

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 652
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2015, 10:37:41 AM »
IF you want to discuss the topic of frugality, definitely don't present it as "giving up your useless junk for a life of freedom to grow your own vegetables." Just start with assigning monetary value to things like time and present them with the trade off. If you didn't spend $200 parties every week you'd be able work one day less. If you bought a cheaper car you'd be able to travel around the world for 3 months. Like that. If you bought a cheaper house you could retire 10 years earlier and have more money to spend.

But I guess people who are used to being rich, luxury is the bare minimum required to live.

Sibley

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3687
  • Location: Chicago, IL
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2015, 10:44:11 AM »
You could say something like "well I have a different viewpoint on xx, but I think you guys are already aware of that, so I'm not going to bore you to death. But if you'd ever like to talk through it, I'm always willing." That opens the door if someone does want to talk about it, and hopefully avoids any of the negative stuff.

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2015, 10:46:13 AM »
Let me clarify, that it wasn't really advice giving.  It was a discussion between friends about the best ways to manage your finances.  Now, I clearly have an opinion about what the best way to do this is, but stating that opinion isn't really advice giving.  This was very much a situation of friends sitting over dinner, discussing various aspects of our lives.  The conversation moved towards finances and different strategies for managing finances.  I weighed in on that discussion using examples and explanations from my own life as to why this works for me and stating that I think folks often overvalue stuff/luxury relative to the freedom that those same dollars can buy you.  None of what I said involved "You should..."  or "If I were in that situation, I would..."  One member of the party seemed to really bristle at this conversation and I left the conversation feeling the need to get input from others because I felt unsettled around the whole thing.  So here I am. 

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2015, 10:47:47 AM »
You could say something like "well I have a different viewpoint on xx, but I think you guys are already aware of that, so I'm not going to bore you to death. But if you'd ever like to talk through it, I'm always willing." That opens the door if someone does want to talk about it, and hopefully avoids any of the negative stuff.

Good call, Sibley.  Seems like a good way to phrase things non-judgmentally, while also leaving the door open for sharing ideas if someone's motivation develops at all to do so. 

lizzzi

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2111
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #8 on: September 02, 2015, 10:52:49 AM »
Just my own gut feeling after giving this thread a quick read...and I'm not any sort of counselor. But it sounds like they're jealous of you.

Scandium

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2223
  • Location: EastCoast
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #9 on: September 02, 2015, 10:55:30 AM »
Well, as a counselor, I'm sure you also get that people love to complain -- it's a bonding/relating to others activity -- and that often when people complain, they are not looking for solutions, they are looking to be validated.  This is what your friends are doing.  They don't want your advice.  They want to bond together in the complainypants/spendypants club.

I suggest living your life, and politely taking a sip of your beer and going to your happy place while they are complaining about this stuff.  Don't participate -- after all, you don't subscribe to that thinking -- but don't offer a counterargument, either.

If they really wanted your input as to how to reduce costs and live more frugal lives, they would be asking you about it.

So much this. I should glue that to the inside of my eye lids! As a (relatively) pragmatic, problem solver by nature and trade, when I discuss something I'm usually trying to find solutions, or best approaches or whatever. But I often forget that just as you said above, people don't want solutions, they just want to complain.

When they complain about how something is impossible that'll justify their current life as the best they can do. If they actually thought there was a better way or a solution to the problem, that would mean what they are doing is not the best/smartest. A scary thought!

Frugal D

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Age: 33
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #10 on: September 02, 2015, 11:01:03 AM »
Sad to admit, but I've stopped caring anymore. It sucks to see people make bad decisions, but people simply won't change until they fall flat on their face. This was true of my own life as well.

I have certain groups of friends/family that I avoid talking about finances with. I really only have about 2 or 3 people I'll have honest, candid financial conversations with. C'est la vie.

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #11 on: September 02, 2015, 11:02:55 AM »
Well, as a counselor, I'm sure you also get that people love to complain -- it's a bonding/relating to others activity -- and that often when people complain, they are not looking for solutions, they are looking to be validated.  This is what your friends are doing.  They don't want your advice.  They want to bond together in the complainypants/spendypants club.

I suggest living your life, and politely taking a sip of your beer and going to your happy place while they are complaining about this stuff.  Don't participate -- after all, you don't subscribe to that thinking -- but don't offer a counterargument, either.

If they really wanted your input as to how to reduce costs and live more frugal lives, they would be asking you about it.

So much this. I should glue that to the inside of my eye lids! As a (relatively) pragmatic, problem solver by nature and trade, when I discuss something I'm usually trying to find solutions, or best approaches or whatever. But I often forget that just as you said above, people don't want solutions, they just want to complain.

When they complain about how something is impossible that'll justify their current life as the best they can do. If they actually thought there was a better way or a solution to the problem, that would mean what they are doing is not the best/smartest. A scary thought!


Indeed.  The ego creeps in to this stuff so easily.  My ego is clearly also involved in the whole system, but it's so hard to identify how and where.  It's tough.  I care for these folks so much and I think that makes me want to get them living healthier lives even though that's not really possible, nor is it my role.  I'm self-aware enough to avoid openly critiquing them and expressing judgement about their behaviors, but I still feel the need to share strategies that I see as helpful when we get on those topics.  So I think some of that judgement creeps in sometimes, without me intending for it to. 
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 11:04:43 AM by tanzee »

Kris

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4480
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2015, 11:07:50 AM »
Well, as a counselor, I'm sure you also get that people love to complain -- it's a bonding/relating to others activity -- and that often when people complain, they are not looking for solutions, they are looking to be validated.  This is what your friends are doing.  They don't want your advice.  They want to bond together in the complainypants/spendypants club.

I suggest living your life, and politely taking a sip of your beer and going to your happy place while they are complaining about this stuff.  Don't participate -- after all, you don't subscribe to that thinking -- but don't offer a counterargument, either.

If they really wanted your input as to how to reduce costs and live more frugal lives, they would be asking you about it.

So much this. I should glue that to the inside of my eye lids! As a (relatively) pragmatic, problem solver by nature and trade, when I discuss something I'm usually trying to find solutions, or best approaches or whatever. But I often forget that just as you said above, people don't want solutions, they just want to complain.

When they complain about how something is impossible that'll justify their current life as the best they can do. If they actually thought there was a better way or a solution to the problem, that would mean what they are doing is not the best/smartest. A scary thought!


Oh, believe me, me too.  I am also very pragmatic and a problem-solver.  But over the years, I have had soooo many conversations with people who even come to me with their problems for advice, and after I give it they nod their heads and then just keep doing what they were doing before, or else they give me all the arguments as to why they can't do what I suggest.  And that's people who are actively asking for advice.  You see this fairly frequently on the forum, as well, when you see someone who will go to all the trouble to post a case study, and then when people start to give advice they knock all of it down, even sometimes getting hostile in the process.

Trudie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2015, 11:20:21 AM »
I work constantly at not getting too bogged down by others' complainypants baggage and judgements of how I choose to live my life.  I am not saying this because I'm great at it.  I'm acknowledging that in the past I haven't been, but I've come a long way.

Here are some of the things I've learned (at the ripe old age of 45):

(1)  When possible, I've just limited the time I spend with certain people.  I used to commute with someone and we complained a lot -- both coming and going.  I'm better off driving on my own.  My days start and end with me singing to all my favorite music, and I'm much happier.  Yes, it costs more in gas money.  My happiness is more important.
(2)  Others have their opinions of me (fair or not) and I do of them.  We see things through filters of our own making.  I can limit what I share, but I can't control their reactions to it.
(3)  Healthy detachment is a good practice.  Unless someone is really close to you or within your sphere of influence, their drinking to excess, overeating, smoking, lack of exercise, lack of enthusiasm about work or college, or views on finances are almost certainly NOT going to change because of anything you do or not do.  I say this having learned the hard way and wasting my own time complaining about such people.  Some experiences -- even bad ones -- need to be lived before someone will be changed.
(4)  I go into a mental "happy place" a lot.  I have mantras I tell myself when dealing with challenging people (some not for the faint-hearted).  My most recent/helpful one is, "I'll keep to myself and go about quietly building my empire."


Kaspian

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1536
  • Location: Canada
    • My Necronomicon of Badassity
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #14 on: September 02, 2015, 12:15:24 PM »
It is difficult when a friend complains about (e.g., debt) and you don't have that problem so want to give advice to help because money's a topic you're interested in.  But I've learned to shut-up about it unless they ask me something specific.  My best friend of 25-years has started to emulate some of my behaviours (especially in the minimizing/not buying stuff departments).  I don't think we ever even talked about MMM.  He's still not Mustachian by any stretch, but seems honestly surprised and happy that he now has money leftover at the end of each pay period.  Lead by example--that's all you can do. 

ambimammular

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 390
  • Age: 42
  • Location: Indiana
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #15 on: September 02, 2015, 12:33:43 PM »
That old friend situation's disappointing. I've only recently admitted to myself that my high school best friend and I have just gone different ways. We still respect each other and check in a few times a year with a bottle of wine, but conversation is stilted and it sometimes feels like we're talking past each other. It does get a little better as we get closer to the bottom of the bottle. And we keep trying. I guess that's what counts.

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #16 on: September 02, 2015, 02:25:56 PM »
OP. I'm in a similar boat, but with opposite friends. All of my friends were born here, had parents pay their way through school, lived with them in adult hood, paid for their weddings, etc.

I am the only one of them who was not born in the US, and with every disadvantage, I managed to succeed while they are still failing well into their mid to late thirties, even with all of their parents help.

Meanwhile I got no help, had little opportunities as a non-citizen at the time, lived on my own, and paid my own way through school.

The end result: I make more money than all 3 of them COMBINED, and I pay more in taxes than any of them gross in a year.

It wasn't until one of them got married recently that I realized that just because you've been friends with someone for a long time doesn't mean you need to keep being friends with them. People grow and change over time. I buy houses paid in cash since my mid twenties, while they are struggling to put food on the table in their mid to late 30's...even though they had all the help in the world to get ahead and every advantage.

I recently realized that I need to find friends who are more aligned intellectually and financially with where I am at in life. Not hang out with the people who have, essentially failed at life no matter how much help they got.  That's harder said than done, and forums such as these are the only way I really can do it right now. Not a ton of people walking around with incomes similar to those who post on this forum. We are the minority but through forums like this we are concentrated in one place. Maybe I will post a thread for a Seattle meet up one day...

What you read and who you associate with is where you will be 5 years from now.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 02:29:11 PM by Bearded Man »

Frugal D

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Age: 33
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #17 on: September 02, 2015, 02:37:16 PM »
OP. I'm in a similar boat, but with opposite friends. All of my friends were born here, had parents pay their way through school, lived with them in adult hood, paid for their weddings, etc.

I am the only one of them who was not born in the US, and with every disadvantage, I managed to succeed while they are still failing well into their mid to late thirties, even with all of their parents help.

Meanwhile I got no help, had little opportunities as a non-citizen at the time, lived on my own, and paid my own way through school.

The end result: I make more money than all 3 of them COMBINED, and I pay more in taxes than any of them gross in a year.

It wasn't until one of them got married recently that I realized that just because you've been friends with someone for a long time doesn't mean you need to keep being friends with them. People grow and change over time. I buy houses paid in cash since my mid twenties, while they are struggling to put food on the table in their mid to late 30's...even though they had all the help in the world to get ahead and every advantage.

I recently realized that I need to find friends who are more aligned intellectually and financially with where I am at in life. Not hang out with the people who have, essentially failed at life no matter how much help they got.  That's harder said than done, and forums such as these are the only way I really can do it right now. Not a ton of people walking around with incomes similar to those who post on this forum. We are the minority but through forums like this we are concentrated in one place. Maybe I will post a thread for a Seattle meet up one day...

What you read and who you associate with is where you will be 5 years from now.

Caught my attention. Mind sharing a little more about your path to success? Always enjoy reading interesting rags-to-riches stories.

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #18 on: September 02, 2015, 02:54:24 PM »
OP. I'm in a similar boat, but with opposite friends. All of my friends were born here, had parents pay their way through school, lived with them in adult hood, paid for their weddings, etc.

I am the only one of them who was not born in the US, and with every disadvantage, I managed to succeed while they are still failing well into their mid to late thirties, even with all of their parents help.

Meanwhile I got no help, had little opportunities as a non-citizen at the time, lived on my own, and paid my own way through school.

The end result: I make more money than all 3 of them COMBINED, and I pay more in taxes than any of them gross in a year.

It wasn't until one of them got married recently that I realized that just because you've been friends with someone for a long time doesn't mean you need to keep being friends with them. People grow and change over time. I buy houses paid in cash since my mid twenties, while they are struggling to put food on the table in their mid to late 30's...even though they had all the help in the world to get ahead and every advantage.

I recently realized that I need to find friends who are more aligned intellectually and financially with where I am at in life. Not hang out with the people who have, essentially failed at life no matter how much help they got.  That's harder said than done, and forums such as these are the only way I really can do it right now. Not a ton of people walking around with incomes similar to those who post on this forum. We are the minority but through forums like this we are concentrated in one place. Maybe I will post a thread for a Seattle meet up one day...

What you read and who you associate with is where you will be 5 years from now.

Congrats on your success, Bearded Man.  It sounds like you've done well for yourself.  I don't know that I see this quite the way you do, though.  I'm never going to give up these friendships.  They're lovely people and I feel fully capable of balancing a friendship with them and also maintaining my own frugal goals.  Occasionally, I get a bit of judgement from them, but it's nothing I can't deal with.  I'm confident in the mustachian path I have chosen.  I don't feel a need to move on from these friendships.  It's just frustrating and sad to see them treat their bodies poorly and be unable to disconnect from self-defeating behaviors. 

Argyle

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #19 on: September 02, 2015, 02:59:02 PM »
I think we have to be okay with friends who make choices we feel are unwise or not in their best interests, even if they complain about the results.  High spending, smoking, overeating, staying with bad partners, etc. etc. etc.  For one thing, if there were a way to control our friends, someone would have found it by now.

The other thing is that it's easy to see the ways in which we've got our acts together and they don't.  But who knows how many ridiculous habits we have that they're generously overlooking?  Maybe we interrupt too much, maybe we chew our food obnoxiously, maybe we forget their birthdays, maybe we talk about ourselves all the time, maybe we're rigid about our food, maybe we spend an afternoon with them checking our phones all the time, maybe we never let them decide which movie to go to.  Maybe we're even self-righteous about our spending habits, or how much we have our lives together.  Maybe we're a little bit judgy.  There are hundreds of facets to a person.  I think we have to let this kind of thing go, because maybe they're letting some of ours go as well.  You know?

Fishindude

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 2135
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #20 on: September 02, 2015, 03:02:23 PM »
Do your own thing, but don't bust up friendships over it.
Good friends are hard to come by.

And .....You may need help disposing of a body late some night?

purple monkey

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2015, 03:10:21 PM »
Just my own gut feeling after giving this thread a quick read...and I'm not any sort of counselor. But it sounds like they're jealous of you.
+1
Sorry about that.
Also, coming from someone a little older, it might be time to pull back a little and really examine WHY you all are still friends.
Friendships change and evolve and usually the binding type do have very basic commonalities, least of which is being young together.
Good luck maneuvring around the dreaded subject of money.
PM

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #22 on: September 02, 2015, 03:12:20 PM »
I think we have to be okay with friends who make choices we feel are unwise or not in their best interests, even if they complain about the results.  High spending, smoking, overeating, staying with bad partners, etc. etc. etc.  For one thing, if there were a way to control our friends, someone would have found it by now.

The other thing is that it's easy to see the ways in which we've got our acts together and they don't.  But who knows how many ridiculous habits we have that they're generously overlooking?  Maybe we interrupt too much, maybe we chew our food obnoxiously, maybe we forget their birthdays, maybe we talk about ourselves all the time, maybe we're rigid about our food, maybe we spend an afternoon with them checking our phones all the time, maybe we never let them decide which movie to go to.  Maybe we're even self-righteous about our spending habits, or how much we have our lives together.  Maybe we're a little bit judgy.  There are hundreds of facets to a person.  I think we have to let this kind of thing go, because maybe they're letting some of ours go as well.  You know?

Haha, I definitely forget birthdays.  It's a good point all around.  I think it's easier said than done  (my mom always says that our family is a little judgy).  But I think it's absolutely a worthwhile goal.  Sometimes, math and science are not good tenets to base your relationship on.  Kindness is better in that instance. 

Bearded Man

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1142
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #23 on: September 02, 2015, 03:13:02 PM »
OP. I'm in a similar boat, but with opposite friends. All of my friends were born here, had parents pay their way through school, lived with them in adult hood, paid for their weddings, etc.

I am the only one of them who was not born in the US, and with every disadvantage, I managed to succeed while they are still failing well into their mid to late thirties, even with all of their parents help.

Meanwhile I got no help, had little opportunities as a non-citizen at the time, lived on my own, and paid my own way through school.

The end result: I make more money than all 3 of them COMBINED, and I pay more in taxes than any of them gross in a year.

It wasn't until one of them got married recently that I realized that just because you've been friends with someone for a long time doesn't mean you need to keep being friends with them. People grow and change over time. I buy houses paid in cash since my mid twenties, while they are struggling to put food on the table in their mid to late 30's...even though they had all the help in the world to get ahead and every advantage.

I recently realized that I need to find friends who are more aligned intellectually and financially with where I am at in life. Not hang out with the people who have, essentially failed at life no matter how much help they got.  That's harder said than done, and forums such as these are the only way I really can do it right now. Not a ton of people walking around with incomes similar to those who post on this forum. We are the minority but through forums like this we are concentrated in one place. Maybe I will post a thread for a Seattle meet up one day...

What you read and who you associate with is where you will be 5 years from now.

Caught my attention. Mind sharing a little more about your path to success? Always enjoy reading interesting rags-to-riches stories.

Socrates was approached by a young boy who asked him how HE could gain knowledge like him. Socrates took the boys hand and led him to the water, then proceeded to hold the boys head under water until he was gasping for air. Socrates then released the boys head and waited until he regained his composure. The boy then asked Socrates why he did that. Socrates asked him what he wanted most while he was under water. "Air", the boy responded. Socrates said that when you desire knowledge as much as you desired air when you couldn't breathe, you will get it.

At the end of the day, unlike my friends, I had to work for what I had, nothing was handed to me. I built a burning desire to succeed, and I firmly believe what Napoleon Hill said was true. The starting point of all success is a burning desire. But for me it wasn't a burning desire to move toward something. It was a burning desire to move away from poverty that was developed as a result of lack, in my life.

More detail:

Became a SME on a specific thing at a young age. I was determined, driven. I lived and breathed the subject even on my free time because I had an interest in it. I rose to the level of management and eventually had frustrations with that job, so I changed jobs. Each time I changed jobs I learned something new, took on more responsibility, was eager to impress by getting things done that others weren't doing. I learned a new technology everywhere I worked.

That job eventually led me to look for a better job out of frustration after a few years and THIS was my big break. A very fancy big name organization as an FTE, very hard to get in. I worked hard, kicked but and excelled, just like other jobs. Eventually I got frustrated and moved on. Repeat, over and over again, and now I make 150K a year, working from home as I see fit, reporting directly to the CIO, and I have a team under me (though I've been a lead for some time now, at multiple jobs).

Essentially I learned as much as I could, became a SME in various different technologies, got certs like crazy, while going to school. On the weekends while people were partying or going to bars, I was up until 6 AM learning my craft. Not all the time, but still. I spent my free time at work learning new things related to my job, so I could do more than others on the job were capable of.

Changing jobs frequently out of frustration ended up being a winning strategy. While everyone was politicking I was learning new skills and getting better offers elsewhere. Eventually everyone I worked with at jobs I left got laid off within a year or 2 max, of me leaving. But it worked out for me in the end. With 12 IT certifications, a portfolio of rental properties and an MBA on the way, and when I interview and they call my references, they tell my manager that out of all the people they interviewed, I was the only one that was able to solve the technical problems presented. Not to mention the interview with a MCM/MVP who told me I was a true IT professional, a real Engineer.




purple monkey

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 323
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #24 on: September 02, 2015, 03:13:39 PM »
OP. I'm in a similar boat, but with opposite friends. All of my friends were born here, had parents pay their way through school, lived with them in adult hood, paid for their weddings, etc.

I am the only one of them who was not born in the US, and with every disadvantage, I managed to succeed while they are still failing well into their mid to late thirties, even with all of their parents help.

Meanwhile I got no help, had little opportunities as a non-citizen at the time, lived on my own, and paid my own way through school.

The end result: I make more money than all 3 of them COMBINED, and I pay more in taxes than any of them gross in a year.

It wasn't until one of them got married recently that I realized that just because you've been friends with someone for a long time doesn't mean you need to keep being friends with them. People grow and change over time. I buy houses paid in cash since my mid twenties, while they are struggling to put food on the table in their mid to late 30's...even though they had all the help in the world to get ahead and every advantage.

I recently realized that I need to find friends who are more aligned intellectually and financially with where I am at in life. Not hang out with the people who have, essentially failed at life no matter how much help they got.  That's harder said than done, and forums such as these are the only way I really can do it right now. Not a ton of people walking around with incomes similar to those who post on this forum. We are the minority but through forums like this we are concentrated in one place. Maybe I will post a thread for a Seattle meet up one day...

What you read and who you associate with is where you will be 5 years from now.

Fantastic POST!

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #25 on: September 02, 2015, 03:14:25 PM »
Do your own thing, but don't bust up friendships over it.
Good friends are hard to come by.

And .....You may need help disposing of a body late some night?

Been there, done that.  Didn't buy any T-shirts though.  I didn't want to contradict my alibi. 

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #26 on: September 02, 2015, 03:20:45 PM »
Just my own gut feeling after giving this thread a quick read...and I'm not any sort of counselor. But it sounds like they're jealous of you.
+1
Sorry about that.
Also, coming from someone a little older, it might be time to pull back a little and really examine WHY you all are still friends.
Friendships change and evolve and usually the binding type do have very basic commonalities, least of which is being young together.
Good luck maneuvring around the dreaded subject of money.
PM


I mean, I'm still friends with them because we all get along and laugh together.  Our relationships have certainly evolved since we were living a wild college lifestyle together.  But I'm not looking to give up these relationships based on lifestyle differences.  I can certainly set boundaries with these people and pursue my own goals, but I still want them in my life. 

Cookie78

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1893
  • Location: Canada
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2015, 03:34:46 PM »
I think we have to be okay with friends who make choices we feel are unwise or not in their best interests, even if they complain about the results.  High spending, smoking, overeating, staying with bad partners, etc. etc. etc.  For one thing, if there were a way to control our friends, someone would have found it by now.

The other thing is that it's easy to see the ways in which we've got our acts together and they don't.  But who knows how many ridiculous habits we have that they're generously overlooking?  Maybe we interrupt too much, maybe we chew our food obnoxiously, maybe we forget their birthdays, maybe we talk about ourselves all the time, maybe we're rigid about our food, maybe we spend an afternoon with them checking our phones all the time, maybe we never let them decide which movie to go to.  Maybe we're even self-righteous about our spending habits, or how much we have our lives together.  Maybe we're a little bit judgy.  There are hundreds of facets to a person.  I think we have to let this kind of thing go, because maybe they're letting some of ours go as well.  You know?

+1

okits

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 9003
  • Location: Canada
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #28 on: September 02, 2015, 03:39:49 PM »
Right now it sounds like they're not ready or don't want to give up their counterproductive behaviours.  That may change someday, it may not.  Just be a good example and available for advice or support if any of your friends do want to work to change.  You'll inspire and convince a lot more people by letting them observe you versus dinner party discussion. 

lbmustache

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 930
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #29 on: September 02, 2015, 04:05:46 PM »
Just my own gut feeling after giving this thread a quick read...and I'm not any sort of counselor. But it sounds like they're jealous of you.

I have a very similar group of friends. I don't think it's jealousy at this level (yet, anyway), just perhaps some annoyance at being told their lifestyle is "wrong," even if the Op isn't using those words. I used to bring up mustachianism and people are SO QUICK to knock it down. So I stopped. I bring up a few principles here are there, cars, investment, etc., but the large stuff (FI/RE) I leave alone. It's their life.

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #30 on: September 02, 2015, 06:30:03 PM »
Just my own gut feeling after giving this thread a quick read...and I'm not any sort of counselor. But it sounds like they're jealous of you.

I have a very similar group of friends. I don't think it's jealousy at this level (yet, anyway), just perhaps some annoyance at being told their lifestyle is "wrong," even if the Op isn't using those words. I used to bring up mustachianism and people are SO QUICK to knock it down. So I stopped. I bring up a few principles here are there, cars, investment, etc., but the large stuff (FI/RE) I leave alone. It's their life.

Yeah, I don't really think it's jealousy either.  If I'm FIREd in 10-15 years, they'll be plenty jealous I'm sure, but at the moment its not like that.  But yeah, I think I'm just gonna avoid bringing it up, as you say. 

Trudie

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1675
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #31 on: September 03, 2015, 07:21:07 AM »
I think we have to be okay with friends who make choices we feel are unwise or not in their best interests, even if they complain about the results.  High spending, smoking, overeating, staying with bad partners, etc. etc. etc.  For one thing, if there were a way to control our friends, someone would have found it by now.

The other thing is that it's easy to see the ways in which we've got our acts together and they don't.  But who knows how many ridiculous habits we have that they're generously overlooking?  Maybe we interrupt too much, maybe we chew our food obnoxiously, maybe we forget their birthdays, maybe we talk about ourselves all the time, maybe we're rigid about our food, maybe we spend an afternoon with them checking our phones all the time, maybe we never let them decide which movie to go to.  Maybe we're even self-righteous about our spending habits, or how much we have our lives together.  Maybe we're a little bit judgy.  There are hundreds of facets to a person.  I think we have to let this kind of thing go, because maybe they're letting some of ours go as well.  You know?

I'm with Argyle on this and couldn't have said it much better.  I know it's frustrating, but it's not wise and it's not possible to remake others into our own image.

little_brown_dog

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 915
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #32 on: September 03, 2015, 08:41:06 AM »
We have had multiple friends/peers make envious or downright snarky comments about our ability to have one of us work part time or stay home when our baby arrives. We don't talk about finances much, but its hard to avoid telling people who will be taking care of the baby when they ask. These people make really good money, they just made very different spending choices (designer clothes, new cars, HUGE homes). I tend to just keep my mouth shut or say something weak such as “yes we are really fortunate but we still had to spend a lot of time planning and preparing for this.” A few who are more level headed are curious and ask, in which case I tell them a few things we did like paying off our debt and doing a trial run on just 1 income. But most are so stuck in a victim mindset that they don’t realize they jumped into the quicksand on purpose (and can easily choose to climb out). So they sit in their quagmire and complain to those of us on dry land who simply had the forethought to walk around the financial mudpit in the first place.

A big problem is our current culture - from the time we are little, everything around us sends the message that we NEED certain things to be happy. So when people follow the prescribed consumer equation, and find out they still aren't happy or can't achieve their goals, they get resentful.

Frugal D

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 230
  • Age: 33
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2015, 10:47:32 AM »
One friend who loves loves loves to make snarky comments about my financial situation recently told me he was probably going to put $5k into the market soon. I said, "Nice, that's a good idea!"

I checked in with him yesterday to see where exactly he allocated the $5k to which he replied, "No, I bought an Audi Q5 instead and used the $5k as the down payment." Sticker price was $24k. I'm not making this up. Simply tragic.

He was my best friend in junior high and high school. I just choose to see him less and less these days.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 12:54:05 PM by Frugal D »

Wilson Hall

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 163
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #34 on: September 03, 2015, 11:32:11 AM »
I work constantly at not getting too bogged down by others' complainypants baggage and judgements of how I choose to live my life.  I am not saying this because I'm great at it.  I'm acknowledging that in the past I haven't been, but I've come a long way.

Here are some of the things I've learned (at the ripe old age of 45):

(1)  When possible, I've just limited the time I spend with certain people.  I used to commute with someone and we complained a lot -- both coming and going.  I'm better off driving on my own.  My days start and end with me singing to all my favorite music, and I'm much happier.  Yes, it costs more in gas money.  My happiness is more important.
(2)  Others have their opinions of me (fair or not) and I do of them.  We see things through filters of our own making.  I can limit what I share, but I can't control their reactions to it.
(3)  Healthy detachment is a good practice.  Unless someone is really close to you or within your sphere of influence, their drinking to excess, overeating, smoking, lack of exercise, lack of enthusiasm about work or college, or views on finances are almost certainly NOT going to change because of anything you do or not do.  I say this having learned the hard way and wasting my own time complaining about such people.  Some experiences -- even bad ones -- need to be lived before someone will be changed.
(4)  I go into a mental "happy place" a lot.  I have mantras I tell myself when dealing with challenging people (some not for the faint-hearted).  My most recent/helpful one is, "I'll keep to myself and go about quietly building my empire."

Trudie, I love this. I'm about your age and subscribe to much of your philosophy, especially number 3. While in our 20s/early 30s, nearly everyone in my inner circle, myself included, made mistakes that we would all go back and change if asked. Most of us have grown up, gotten a grip on our finances and other aspects of our lives, and are living happy, middle-class existences. A couple of us are even debt-free except for HELOCs we've taken out for home improvements. Love the "quietly building my empire" mantra, too: sometimes, I think of Tim Robbins' character in "The Shawshank Redemption" carrying bits of his prison wall into the courtyard as I build my retirement stache. 

Other friends seem to still relish the drama of the younger years, meaning too much drinking, spending money they don't have, and generally showing a lack of sound judgment in everyday situations. Some of these people are long-distance friends, and that's a mercy. In the past, I'm afraid I've done a bit of enabling by often doing the buying when we go out (and that's after I've paid to travel a long distance to see them) only because I know they're financially strapped. No more.

Argyle had a great point about our own faults, too. I have no doubt that a few of my friends are inwardly critical of some of the life decisions my spouse and I have made, but that's our concern, not theirs, and we will be the ones to deal with whatever consequences may come. I can't expect to change their behavior either.

Tanzee, best of luck with your local friends. Setting boundaries isn't easy, but I like where your head is at regarding not bringing up finances unless anyone explicitly asks for advice.



Faraday

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
  • Age: 57
  • Location: NC
  • Solar Powered Slice
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #35 on: September 03, 2015, 11:46:30 AM »
Hey folks

As a quick disclaimer, I think this post will touch on some things that get addressed a lot here in the forum.  To some degree, I think I'm just looking to vent, but I'd also love any input from other mustachians on the topic.

I'm part of a really close group of friends.  ....

... my closest friends making really terrible choices in regards to their health (smoking, drinking to excess) and also questionable choices in relation to their finances ....

... conversation veers towards money and finances.  I tend to be close lipped about my mustachianism with most people, but these are my people, and with them I'm open about it.  Lately, this has tended to provoke reactions in other members of the friend group.  In particular, the members of the group that have the most external locuses (loci?) of control, tend to get pretty reactionary to the idea that being more frugal can give people more freedom and happiness in their lives.  The responses are pretty standard fare and comparable to things MMM writes about receiving in emails from conventional grumblypants debt-ridden Americans ...

... when I mention anything about different strategies to adopt to change this, they get pretty critical of me and angry about it.  I'll add that I am a counselor by trade, and I am well versed in the strategies to bring up topics in nonthreatening ways.  Not that I'm always perfect in this regard, but I am not bringing any of this up in  an accusatory tone, to the best of my knowledge.  It seems that it is the topic itself and the idea of changing one's behavior that is threatening.  ...

expressing my ideas leads to conflict and raised defenses.  I'm kind of at a loss.  Any insights, folks?

First, HOWDY to you up in Asheville. I grew up nearby and get home whenever I can.

Second: Asheville is in the middle of a region where people make terrible, terrible choices with their lives. My mom subscribed me to the "News Record" and now me and DW call it the "Bad News Record". It is stunning to me at how bad many of the choices are that are made by people at home. (and lest ye think this is an indictment of natives, many are move-ins, so it's not peculiar to any one group....)

Two things I'll offer:

1) Give your friends competition by being friends with people you DON'T worry about and AREN'T making bad choices. That can be people who don't smoke (and well know the cost), people who are frugal and understand it, or simply people who don't tax your interpersonal skills and won't give you complainypants grief on things.  Don't give up your friends, but don't limit yourself either - make sure you are still making and enjoying new friendships that have none of this baggage.

2) There is no shortage of poverty in Asheville and the surrounding area. (I'm thinking the River Arts District, but locals still call it "Chicken Hill".) Is it possible your friends are actually terrified of poverty and living their fatalism is their way of dealing with it?  I and my siblings grew up near the poverty line and it turned almost all of us into gritty, hard-working, determined optimists. But one of us went the other direction: fatalistic, self-destructive, smoking, drinking and not able to hold onto a job. (Ironically, she's an attractive, tall, leggy blue-eyed blonde. You'd think.....)

So responses to poverty, they can go either direction.

Either way, you are now enlightened, as shown by your participation in the MMM forums. You owe it to yourself to establish relationships with people who are at least wise enough to understand  you and at best, people you can learn new things from that you might want to mix into your life.

No matter how much you love your buds, if they can't stimulate you to expand and grow, you've gotta fix that some way or you are gonna rot on the vine.

And if all else fails, I'll volunteer to be that first new bud. I promised Mom a visit in "early September" and I'm missing home something big-time. Trying to con my older son into coming with me too.

We could have a mini-MMM meetup over at Highland Brewing and quaff some awesome craft brews!!!

« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 11:49:21 AM by mefla »

Neustache

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1189
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #36 on: September 03, 2015, 12:06:22 PM »
I read this article the other day, and really liked it.  My capacity to listen to venting is very low.  What's interesting, is I always thought this was an area I needed to work on and change about myself.  This gave me a new way to think about it:

http://mindfulconstruct.com/2010/11/05/are-you-someone-elses-venting-ground/

Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5771
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #37 on: September 03, 2015, 12:14:18 PM »
When I was younger I hung onto friendships with a death grip:)) As I have gotten older I do not give up easily but I do recognize when I am no longer enjoying friends because we have become too different. When that happens I let them die a natural death by being too busy, etc. It does not sound like you are there yet but be aware that day may come. Also I would develop some more like minded friends so the group of people you spend time with is expanded. 

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #38 on: September 03, 2015, 12:36:32 PM »
When I was younger I hung onto friendships with a death grip:)) As I have gotten older I do not give up easily but I do recognize when I am no longer enjoying friends because we have become too different. When that happens I let them die a natural death by being too busy, etc. It does not sound like you are there yet but be aware that day may come. Also I would develop some more like minded friends so the group of people you spend time with is expanded.

One of my great gifts in life is the ability to make friends.  I think it's a result of moving around a bunch as a kid.  Luckily I have branched out quite a bit and I have other friends who really match my goals with their own.  I certainly have other places to turn for stimulation.  And these friends can be stimulating in their own right.  But there's more griping and complainypants type stuff than I would like for sure.  And the health choices....  by god. 

pachnik

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1833
  • Age: 55
  • Location: Vancouver, BC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #39 on: September 03, 2015, 12:57:05 PM »
When I was younger I hung onto friendships with a death grip:)) As I have gotten older I do not give up easily but I do recognize when I am no longer enjoying friends because we have become too different. When that happens I let them die a natural death by being too busy, etc. It does not sound like you are there yet but be aware that day may come. Also I would develop some more like minded friends so the group of people you spend time with is expanded.

+1  This sounds like a healthy way to think about things.  Especially, the "die a natural death" approach. 

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #40 on: September 03, 2015, 12:59:14 PM »
Hey folks

As a quick disclaimer, I think this post will touch on some things that get addressed a lot here in the forum.  To some degree, I think I'm just looking to vent, but I'd also love any input from other mustachians on the topic.

I'm part of a really close group of friends.  ....

... my closest friends making really terrible choices in regards to their health (smoking, drinking to excess) and also questionable choices in relation to their finances ....

... conversation veers towards money and finances.  I tend to be close lipped about my mustachianism with most people, but these are my people, and with them I'm open about it.  Lately, this has tended to provoke reactions in other members of the friend group.  In particular, the members of the group that have the most external locuses (loci?) of control, tend to get pretty reactionary to the idea that being more frugal can give people more freedom and happiness in their lives.  The responses are pretty standard fare and comparable to things MMM writes about receiving in emails from conventional grumblypants debt-ridden Americans ...

... when I mention anything about different strategies to adopt to change this, they get pretty critical of me and angry about it.  I'll add that I am a counselor by trade, and I am well versed in the strategies to bring up topics in nonthreatening ways.  Not that I'm always perfect in this regard, but I am not bringing any of this up in  an accusatory tone, to the best of my knowledge.  It seems that it is the topic itself and the idea of changing one's behavior that is threatening.  ...

expressing my ideas leads to conflict and raised defenses.  I'm kind of at a loss.  Any insights, folks?

First, HOWDY to you up in Asheville. I grew up nearby and get home whenever I can.

Second: Asheville is in the middle of a region where people make terrible, terrible choices with their lives. My mom subscribed me to the "News Record" and now me and DW call it the "Bad News Record". It is stunning to me at how bad many of the choices are that are made by people at home. (and lest ye think this is an indictment of natives, many are move-ins, so it's not peculiar to any one group....)

Two things I'll offer:

1) Give your friends competition by being friends with people you DON'T worry about and AREN'T making bad choices. That can be people who don't smoke (and well know the cost), people who are frugal and understand it, or simply people who don't tax your interpersonal skills and won't give you complainypants grief on things.  Don't give up your friends, but don't limit yourself either - make sure you are still making and enjoying new friendships that have none of this baggage.

2) There is no shortage of poverty in Asheville and the surrounding area. (I'm thinking the River Arts District, but locals still call it "Chicken Hill".) Is it possible your friends are actually terrified of poverty and living their fatalism is their way of dealing with it?  I and my siblings grew up near the poverty line and it turned almost all of us into gritty, hard-working, determined optimists. But one of us went the other direction: fatalistic, self-destructive, smoking, drinking and not able to hold onto a job. (Ironically, she's an attractive, tall, leggy blue-eyed blonde. You'd think.....)

So responses to poverty, they can go either direction.

Either way, you are now enlightened, as shown by your participation in the MMM forums. You owe it to yourself to establish relationships with people who are at least wise enough to understand  you and at best, people you can learn new things from that you might want to mix into your life.

No matter how much you love your buds, if they can't stimulate you to expand and grow, you've gotta fix that some way or you are gonna rot on the vine.

And if all else fails, I'll volunteer to be that first new bud. I promised Mom a visit in "early September" and I'm missing home something big-time. Trying to con my older son into coming with me too.

We could have a mini-MMM meetup over at Highland Brewing and quaff some awesome craft brews!!!

Those are great thoughts mefla.  I'm appreciative of your contribution.  There's definitely poverty around us, but these folks come from pretty privileged backgrounds.  To my knowledge, none of them are in debt emergencies or anything.  But they are really not open to any ideas about different kinds of behavior, even when presented diplomatically and in a non-accusatory manner.  I've got some theories on it that would likely take too long to explain here in their entirety.  But suffice it to say, I don't think they are particularly happy with where they are in some ways.  Needless to say, not smoking, drinking, and spending money at the bar all the time would be good steps. 

As far as how it affects me goes, it's mostly just the type of conversation I described above.  Occasionally, there are some snide comments about my hesitance to spend money on things I think of as frivolous.  But other than those momentary frustrations, it's not awful.  Just sort of a low level simmering frustration. 

mefla, next time you're in town, definitely look me up.  I'm finding fewer people receptive to conversations about frugality than I anticipated.  I'd love to have a little meetup in the area.  Even if it's just a couple of us. 


Cassie

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5771
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #41 on: September 03, 2015, 03:54:22 PM »
I have moved a lot as an adult so have learned to make friends also so I know what you are talking about.  What usually happens to me is that I start thinking that I am not really enjoying someone's company as much as before but we do have some fun times, etc. Usually about 2 years down the road I realize I am not enjoying it at all anymore which it when it is time to move on.  You will know in your heart when the right time is if ever. I do believe the more friends we have with varying beliefs do help us. They each serve our needs in some ways & we theirs.

Faraday

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1192
  • Age: 57
  • Location: NC
  • Solar Powered Slice
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #42 on: September 03, 2015, 08:24:01 PM »
Those are great thoughts mefla.  I'm appreciative of your contribution.  There's definitely poverty around us, but these folks come from pretty privileged backgrounds.  To my knowledge, none of them are in debt emergencies or anything.  But they are really not open to any ideas about different kinds of behavior, even when presented diplomatically and in a non-accusatory manner.  I've got some theories on it that would likely take too long to explain here in their entirety.  But suffice it to say, I don't think they are particularly happy with where they are in some ways.  Needless to say, not smoking, drinking, and spending money at the bar all the time would be good steps. 

As far as how it affects me goes, it's mostly just the type of conversation I described above.  Occasionally, there are some snide comments about my hesitance to spend money on things I think of as frivolous.  But other than those momentary frustrations, it's not awful.  Just sort of a low level simmering frustration.

mefla, next time you're in town, definitely look me up.  I'm finding fewer people receptive to conversations about frugality than I anticipated.  I'd love to have a little meetup in the area.  Even if it's just a couple of us.

I would be honored, tanzee. I might try to drag my older son with me, he was the one who introduced me to MMM. We both dearly love Highland. I love scheduling drives home to coincide with releases of Highland seasonal brews. Their Cold Mountain is one of my all-time favorites and their Oatmeal Porter is a super-fine all-year product.

I'll tell you what's pure heaven: A smoked bbq meal from Little Pigs with a nice big pour of Highland Oatmeal Porter. Work it off afterward with a walk through Biltmore Village to look at all the stuff we DON'T buy! Oh lordy I miss home.

I'm sorry to hear you have no one to gab with. I thought I saw someone else here on the forums in or around WNC?! I've been to one MMM meet-up here in the triangle (Duke Gardens) and it was heaven to be able to gab with others and not worry about being misunderstood.

The practice of frugality is around you, just submerged. It can turn up in some of the most unusual places. I find skilled tradesmen to be most likely practitioners: plumbers, electricians and locksmiths.

As soon as I figured things out, I recognized it in my own mother. (She doesn't call it by our words, it's just how she and her family was.) But she won't talk money with her kids on principle, so I never could tell that's what it was until until I had the answers myself.

« Last Edit: September 03, 2015, 08:27:19 PM by mefla »

midweststache

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 471
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #43 on: September 03, 2015, 08:34:40 PM »
My favorite mantra from this forum--one I have passed along to my sister, who is frustrated by some complain-ypants coworkers making bad choices and who has really found peace in it--is:

"Not my circus, not my monkeys."

ltt

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 740
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #44 on: September 04, 2015, 04:45:13 AM »
You cannot change other peoples' behavior, only your reaction to them.

tanzee

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 128
  • Location: Asheville, NC
Re: Challenging friendships with old friends
« Reply #45 on: September 04, 2015, 06:09:25 AM »
Those are great thoughts mefla.  I'm appreciative of your contribution.  There's definitely poverty around us, but these folks come from pretty privileged backgrounds.  To my knowledge, none of them are in debt emergencies or anything.  But they are really not open to any ideas about different kinds of behavior, even when presented diplomatically and in a non-accusatory manner.  I've got some theories on it that would likely take too long to explain here in their entirety.  But suffice it to say, I don't think they are particularly happy with where they are in some ways.  Needless to say, not smoking, drinking, and spending money at the bar all the time would be good steps. 

As far as how it affects me goes, it's mostly just the type of conversation I described above.  Occasionally, there are some snide comments about my hesitance to spend money on things I think of as frivolous.  But other than those momentary frustrations, it's not awful.  Just sort of a low level simmering frustration.

mefla, next time you're in town, definitely look me up.  I'm finding fewer people receptive to conversations about frugality than I anticipated.  I'd love to have a little meetup in the area.  Even if it's just a couple of us.

I would be honored, tanzee. I might try to drag my older son with me, he was the one who introduced me to MMM. We both dearly love Highland. I love scheduling drives home to coincide with releases of Highland seasonal brews. Their Cold Mountain is one of my all-time favorites and their Oatmeal Porter is a super-fine all-year product.

I'll tell you what's pure heaven: A smoked bbq meal from Little Pigs with a nice big pour of Highland Oatmeal Porter. Work it off afterward with a walk through Biltmore Village to look at all the stuff we DON'T buy! Oh lordy I miss home.

I'm sorry to hear you have no one to gab with. I thought I saw someone else here on the forums in or around WNC?! I've been to one MMM meet-up here in the triangle (Duke Gardens) and it was heaven to be able to gab with others and not worry about being misunderstood.

The practice of frugality is around you, just submerged. It can turn up in some of the most unusual places. I find skilled tradesmen to be most likely practitioners: plumbers, electricians and locksmiths.

As soon as I figured things out, I recognized it in my own mother. (She doesn't call it by our words, it's just how she and her family was.) But she won't talk money with her kids on principle, so I never could tell that's what it was until until I had the answers myself.

You know I've had a similar process with my dad.  He's pretty tight lipped about everything, so he never tried to instill his beliefs in me.  But as time has gone on, I recognize that he is shrewd with his money.  He also is one of the most dedicated bike riders I've ever met.  At one point when I was a kid, he owned a car for a couple years that I never got in once.  We road bikes literally everywhere, without exception.  He's dutch, so...

Funny you mention electricians being frugal.  I recently was doing electrical work and the crew was loaded with people making decent money and blowing it all at the bar and eating lunch out.  Maybe it is Asheville....

I'm totally game to be introduced to new haunts. I've never been out to Highland, but I've enjoyed their beer.  Haven't been to that BBQ joint either.  Sounds great.  Let's make it happen.