What can you do to make sure that money doesn’t ruin a friendship?
September 15, 2016
Many posts on The Friendship Blog in the past have discussed problems that crop up in friendships when two friends have wide disparities in income.
It may be that one person doesn’t have money to spend socializing at restaurants or taking vacations, while the other has no financial worries at all. One friend may have a high-powered job while the other is unemployed. These friendships may not have started out this way but circumstances changed over time.
In a true friendship, disparities like these can be as worrisome to the person having money as it is to the person who doesn’t. Moreover, it can create friction in a friendship. In an article that was published on LearnVest.com, How to Keep Friendships Strong When You Make (a lot) More Money, and then reprinted on Forbes.com, Cathie Ericson writes:
Yet when your financial success comes at a time when others are just getting by, tensions can easily come to a head—not to mention you might find yourself giving in to the pressure to reach for you wallet more than you’d like. To help you salvage not only your friendships but also, potentially, your budget, we asked experts to weigh in on how to navigate three tricky relationships.
She discusses the friend who seems jealous, the one who assumes his/her wealthier friends will always pick up the tab, and the friend who asks for a large loan. In dealing with the jealous friends, she suggests one strategy:
It also helps to understand that the other person might not know how to manage feelings of jealousy, says Irene S. Levine, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine and producer of TheFriendshipBlog.
Levine recommends acknowledging how fortunate you are to travel as often as you do. Then, try to work into the conversation something positive about your friend’s work or personal life, like “You’re so lucky to be doing work that you enjoy so much.”