Nobody likes to admit it but the truth of the matter is, money changes friendships. One thing I have learnt over the last few years is that the quickest way to lose friends is to jump or drop a social status.
If you start making significantly more money than your friend, that friendship is doomed. Likewise, if, let’s say, you lose your source of income and you find yourself having less disposable income than your friend, that friendship is also doomed.
We love to act like economic differences don’t matter between friends. We love to pretend that we can handle being friends with people who are significantly richer or poorer than us. However, at the end of the day, we are only comfortable socializing with people of our own social status.
Most people meet their closest friends in college and universities. When you are in school, you are more or less in the same level as your friends economically.
Once you leave the university, the economic status of you and your friends diverge widely depending on the career path each of you decides to take.
Some of your friends get high paying jobs. Others get low paying jobs or don’t get jobs at all. Others marry into money. Ultimately, these economic differences will make it incredibly difficult to maintain the friendships.
You will find that the moneyed friends will prefer to hang out with each other. The low-income earners will also buddy up more with each other.
It is not that people will deliberately cut off friends who are poorer or richer than them. It is just that you find that you don’t relate with them anymore and it is nobody faults. Friendships with people of the same social status are easier to maintain because there is no pressure or social awkwardness.
If you find yourself being the poor one in a group of significantly richer friends, you will always find yourself under pressure to keep up with them.
They will want to eat at expensive restaurants and patronize high end clubs because they can afford it and you will probably end up spending money you don’t have to hang out with them just so you don’t feel left out.
Similarly, if you are significantly richer than your friends, you will feel pressured to downplay your wealth just so you can fit in with your friends. You won’t be able to hang out at the chic places that you want to because you know that your friends can’t afford it.
In the end, you will start to resent your friends because you will feel like they are holding you back from living the life you really want.
You will start finding it easier hanging out with people of your social status because with them, you can be yourself.
These division also happens in families, even amongst siblings. You will find that your aunts and uncles will hang out more with other members of the family who are making as much money as them and can afford the same things as them.
Even with the best of intentions, most friendships tend to drift apart due to socio-economic differences.