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To think people are respected more if they are rich?

(243 Posts)
TheFaultInOurStars Wed 24-Dec-14 10:19:25

Ive been in email correspondence with someone over a formal matter. I haven't met the person in RL. She gave me her address for posting something and I googled it to see where she lived. (Yes, I am nosy!)
It happened to be in a mahoosive house with a stunning garden in an affluent area which she paid three quarters of a million pounds for. She's also married to a doctor.

But now my perception of her has changed. In an instant. I suddenly thought shes more educated than me, she's more clever than me, shes better than me. I feel beneath her whereas before I didn't think anything of her really.

Am I right in thinking that people give you just that little bit more respect if you're rich, you're just that little bit more important?

angelos02 Wed 24-Dec-14 10:22:30

It is a shame but I think you are right.

WooWooOwl Wed 24-Dec-14 10:23:22

People are not more important if they are rich.

They might have more influence, and they might get more respect because of people who like you, naturally feel intimidated by people who have had a lot of success, but that doesn't make them more important or more deserving of respect. Not at all.

SunnyBaudelaire Wed 24-Dec-14 10:26:56

well duh yeh! why else would everyone fawn over the royals and be fascinated by eg Made in Chelsea

TheFaultInOurStars Wed 24-Dec-14 10:28:15

I dont think they are deserving of respect or importance but thats how society treat them

aurorasky Wed 24-Dec-14 10:28:21

YANBU. Sad but true.

ikeaaddict Wed 24-Dec-14 10:29:59

Oh yes I totally agree.

When my eldest DC was at primary school there was a family that appeared wealthy; huge footballers-wives style house, big car, nice clothes etc, and they were treated like royalty.

IsItTeaYoureLookingFor Wed 24-Dec-14 10:30:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marne2 Wed 24-Dec-14 10:31:05

I know what you mean, although I know quite a few 'rich' or 'very well off' people who are not well educated, not even very bright. We live in quite a rich area though I live in a council house, I often get invites to go to other mums houses, most have huge houses, some have very good jobs, others are just lucky that they have married into a rich family, have a poor education but a husband with a high end job.

moonrocket Wed 24-Dec-14 10:31:17

Because they're rich?
Oh... I thought it was because I'm clever.


sleeplessbunny Wed 24-Dec-14 10:33:36

It's awful isn't it? I think I do this as well, although I try not to. I blame my dad, who has spent his life trying to be mates with rich people, it's horrible to watch.

I think the truth is that social conditioning trains us to subconciously judge people for all sorts of reasons, and wealth (or perceived wealth) is one of those. It's something I am trying hard to break away from but it's not easy.

WooWooOwl Wed 24-Dec-14 10:33:38

But then it's just about society's perception, not about the rich people.

I know a couple of relatively well off people that are twats, and a few poor people who are lovely, kind, generous human beings. Common sense tells me who is deserving of the most respect, but both are equally important in my mind.

If people have so little confidence in themselves that they automatically treat rich people as more worthy of respect, then the problem lies with them.

HamishBamish Wed 24-Dec-14 10:38:26

Yes, sadly I think you're right. It shouldn't be the case, but it is.

I wonder if it goes back to when the trappings of success e.g- access to food, shelter etc, was linked to survival and being around people who had those things meant you were more likely to survive yourself. Whether it's just a continuation of that, but within the modern mindset.

TheFaultInOurStars Wed 24-Dec-14 10:40:56

Yes you are right WooWoo, I do think that its a confidence issue for me personally anyway, but I didn't really think I regarded rich people highly until this incident (probably because ive never met anyone that rich!) and it made me uneasy tbh. Its very unrational. I do think society is hugely to be blamed though.

twoopsie Wed 24-Dec-14 10:41:26

My parents are millionairs througj inheritance , btl flats, buying a home when it was cheap and final sallery pensions.

I don't respect them as they are spoilt, bratty and selfish.

Respect has to be earnt and is a two way street.

TheFaultInOurStars Wed 24-Dec-14 10:44:29

Twoospie But how are they treated by people outside of family and friends?

lemisscared Wed 24-Dec-14 10:45:07

sadly you are right. it isnt about education or qualifications either. i am phd qualified but a sahm and ny dp is a carpenter. people at dd's naice Catholic primary school look down on us and treat us differently as we often work in their houses. one fuck is less than i give.

WooWooOwl Wed 24-Dec-14 10:47:37

There you go then! grin

Next time you have to meet rich big house woman, you can give yourself a talking to and remind yourself that she's not more important than you, and you don't owe her any more respect than she owes you.

Society is to blame, but we are society and we aren't forced to conform with our own personal opinions.

Remember that rich woman will have her own struggles, her own weaknesses (probably some which are your strengths) and you matter to the rest of the world because of you, not because of the size of house you live in or because of your husbands salary.

HolyTerror Wed 24-Dec-14 10:49:09

Surely you should be interrogating your own response to discovering this woman was rich, OP? And the impulse that led you to look up her address in the first place? And why exactly does what her husband does for a living make a difference to your feelings about her? I'm reluctant to think that it's because you're more impressed by her now you know she bagged a medic...

And you know perfectly well that her wealth or lack of it has nothing to do with her educational level or cleverness. I grew up with illiterate parents in a house with an outdoor loo, but I have an Oxbridge doctorate.

RosesandRugby Wed 24-Dec-14 10:55:29

Theres a stupidly rich family at my dd's guide group. All the parents to their face cant be nicer but as soon as they've left the room the conversation quickly resorts to how downright rude the family are and how they believe they are more important than anyone else in the village.

As an example of how stuck up they are, I park my tiny car in small spaces because I can grin. They park their range rover across 3 spaces because they are rude and inconsiderate. I Decided to park my car in the middle of the 3 spaces the other parents had left free for the range rover so when he came flying into the car park he had to park correctly in 1 space. He was livid I had parked in his middle space and made it clear I should know my place and I am not to park that way again. I Now always leave early to park my car in his space because he's a bully who thinks he's above everyone else due to the size of his house, car and bank balance.

I Also have little respect for him or his wife (she has a fabulous death stare). Big houses often mean big egos. They may never have worked for their home and can often believe people who work for a living are inferior and your not necessarily a nice person just because you have a big house.

Having experienced rich people in huge houses in both work environment and daily life I can say I take people as they are. If they behave righteous and entitled when I first meet them then I treat them the exact same way they treat me which is usually like dirt. I used to work as a kennel hand and my posh boss actually phoned me to ask me to go into work to clean her bathroom because her cleaner had phoned in sick and her son had wee'd on the toilet seat.

Basically no I don't feel I need to have more respect for someone who lives in a big house or that I need to treat them extra special. Maybe I need to not expect the rich people to be rude though as I think I may sound as rude as them in this postfconfused

twoopsie Wed 24-Dec-14 10:59:09

Twoospie But how are they treated by people outside of family and friends?

I imagine the same way if they moan to them about the cost of servicing their Ferrari, how long they have had to wait for their imported granite for the new kitchen and how much they have to pay the Spanish council to maintain their pool.

Theoretician Wed 24-Dec-14 11:02:26

I know a couple of relatively well off people that are twats, and a few poor people who are lovely, kind, generous human beings.

It's a popular meme that somehow niceness is inversely correlated with wealth, but my prejudice is the opposite.

My brother and I went to different boarding schools, our parents were a lot less well off than the majority for either school, but his school was in the big city so the difference was much more pronounced there. He once made a comment to me that he was surprised by how nice and how generous relatively wealthy parents were, and, based on my own experience, I agreed with him.

Rationally, I don't think niceness is correlated with wealth, but subconsciously, based on my experience, it's the rich who are nicer. (Being cynical/realistic, I suppose they can afford to be generous.)

HolyTerror Wed 24-Dec-14 11:12:16

How are you all so sure about how rich these rich people you encounter are? I'm a foreigner fascinated by the class system in this country, and I would have said it was a bit 'nouveau riche' for someone's wealth to be quite so externally evident from their clothes/cars. And wouldn't some people therefore be just as likely to look down on these flashy rich people, rather than look up or suck up to them?

Pagwatch Wed 24-Dec-14 11:12:58

I have been very poor and very rich. I am exactly the same person with the same levels of kindness, wankery, stupidity, selfishness and generosity in both states.

This thread will contain loads of stories of rich people being arseholes. Mn love the idea that wealth makes people shitheads. And women especially - women always landed a rich husband. Coukdn't possibly be smart and have had a career, made money or done anything positive.

People are horribly judgemental and then blame the people they judge.

The story of the rich people leaving the room and then everyone talking about them - doesn't really say nice things about anyone involved does it?

HolyTerror Wed 24-Dec-14 11:25:50

I'm inclined to agree, Pagwatch.

I'd add that I would be very surprised if anyone had any idea how rich or poor we are - we live in a very standard rented house because we're not planning to settle where we are, I don't drive and DH's car is a standard affair that comes with his job, I'm a writer/academic, our son is a toddler so there's no state/private school marker, I don't have an engagement/wedding ring, and I'm not someone who has expensive clothes or does 'grooming'.

Since moving out of London to a village, I have been taken aback at the local mothers I've met at toddler groups who make no attempt to conceal their interest in other people's wealth. I do find that quite odd and repellent, I must say. Wealth doesn't interest me, I'm interested in people's intelligence and kindness, and the interesting things they have fine with their lives, especially if they work in the arts.

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