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I do not want to be judged based on my parent’s wealth.

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Questa volta abbiamo cercato: I do not want to be judged based on my parent’s wealth.

I'll get straight to it. I (19F) am a white-passing Hispanic (I'm tan but have blue eyes and I bleached my hair and to make things worse I sound like a valley girl.) I come from a wealthy family in an area known for its money. I admit that I have definitely had many advantages in comparison to others, but I do not consider myself to be a “spoiled brat”. I work for all of the things I have including my clothes, food, and phone. As a college student, my parents only support me financially for school and my car insurance. Coming from a Latino household, my parents have raised me to be humble about my advantages, and that it does not make me better than anyone else. This is a motto that we follow strictly.

I avoid talking about my parent's professions or my hometown since in the past I have gotten comments such as ” oh so you're rich then huh” or “I'm surprised that you're not a brat.” Obviously it is a subject that makes me uncomfortable because I often get stereotyped as self-centered and conceited, and I do not want people to judge me based on my socio-economic background.

Recently, word got around in one of my classes that I am from said-hometown. It was not until a friend (a little more than that but it's complicated) told me that a few people were going around telling others that I was rich and spoiled. Yesterday we were having a conversation about cars and he said to me that I probably drive a Porsche, or could if I wanted to. I did not want to get into the topic about money or luxury so I responded saying that I do not like flashy things and changed the subject.

Obviously I do not want my friend (who comes from disadvantaged background) to like me for my parent's money, but for who I am as a person.

It is unfair for me to say that I am embarrassed, but I really hate that people think of me like that 'rich white girl”

What can I do for people to like me for me instead of my parent's money?

(Im sorry if I sound whiny or bratty, I know that this isn't that serious of a problem but it is still something that bothers me.)

Ed ecco le risposte:

You sound like you have a pretty good head on your shoulders about this. Ultimately you just need to stick up for yourself. Continue to work hard for what you want because you want to, not to live up to anyone’s expectations. Surround yourself with genuine people who could care less about where you come from or what your net worth is. And just be a good person. That said, if your privilege puts you in a position to do so, use it for the benefit of others. Donate time or money to causes important to you. But again, do it for genuine reasons, not to make up for how others perceive you.

I can’t help too much except to say this reminds me of a South Park episode where one kid gets made fun of because he comes from a rich family. First he tries to appear less rich, then he decides to be friends with other rich kids, but in both cases he isn’t being true to who he is. In the end he realizes all his guy friends make fun of each other for something so he accepts the rich kid moniker.

Anyway, your situation isn’t a cut and dry cartoon, but if this friend of yours suddenly just latches on to what your parents are capable of financially and ignores your pleas to stop commenting so much on it, then is that really a friend you want to work hard to keep? There are people who won’t take a lot of convincing to respect who you are and at most make playful jabs at your family’s wealth. Not me though. I would want to borrow a few thousand bucks. Come on, you know I’m good for it.

Met plenty of people in college who came from much wealthier families than I (probably most of the people there). The ones I remained friends with were all the hard working type which you sound like, not just there to have a good time and spend their parents’ money.

It doesn’t come without the occasional uncomfortable dust up about money, especially at that age. It’s hard for there to be zero friction when you’re pinching pennies and your friends are wanting to have an expensive night out all the time. Or moving into an apartment as roommates but their budget is twice yours.

So I’d say a little empathy goes a long way. Do the stuff your friends want to do, and gauge what they’re comfortable spending for fun. If you want to do something a little pricier with them, maybe subsidize it a bit if you can (eg. buy the first round of drinks or whatever), but don’t feel obligated to pay for everything, every time.

And there’s no sense hiding what will come up in casual conversation for the rest of your life (where are you from, what do your parents do?), so just own it and move on.

Nothing wrong with answering, “oh your parents must be well off,” with, “yeah we were very fortunate.” Or, “surprised you’re not a brat,” with, “yes I have very good parents.” Both are pretty rude questions in the first place, so I wouldn’t worry too much about what those people think.

Long story short, the “spoiled brat” image won’t hold water for long if you aren’t a spoiled brat. People can grow, so don’t write them off if money is a sticking point sometimes, but don’t waste your energy on those that seem fixated on you having more than them from the start.

As someone who was born to a poor family in one of the most deprived cities in the UK, I have to be straight with you and say that for many people from backgrounds like mine resentment of the rich (or even those they just perceive to be wealthier than them) is a knee jerk reaction – due to their upbringing, unchallenged assumptions etc. – that they can no more control than they can the weather.

What really distinguishes the ignorant from the people worth knowing is whether they make an effort to look past their surface resentments to empathise and understand people from other backgrounds (see also any other type of bias).

My family has been fortunate in that our work to improve our lot (through education and careers) has been rewarded by a decent uplift in quality of life – we’re probably what you’d call lower middle class now. I have met all types of people in my life – from millionaires to homeless folk, directors of huge businesses to sex crime prisoners – and can say with some confidence that wealth is a pretty poor indicator of whether someone is a caring, thoughtful person or a classless, ignorant piece of shit.

Just a heads up

“my parents only support me financially for school and my car insurance”

This is a massive advantage. Student debt is a massive barrier to things like securing a loan for a house, starting a family, etc.

Many people accrue ridiculous interest on already massive loans because they don’t pay for their schooling until after they graduate.

Just be aware of that.