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To dislike it when people take too much credit for their excellent life choices

(159 Posts)
colourdilemma Sun 25-Oct-15 21:25:32

And are judgemental of those whose don't come up to scratch by their standards?

I don't think there are actually many of us who can claim huge credit for things that have gone well. More, I think those who are okay, settled, financially stable should be thanking their lucky stars that they had any of the flowing leg ups that made them able to make choices in life that worked out well:

1) parents who valued education
2) living in an area the had good schools
3) having parents who were emotionally stable enough to give them confidence and support
4) having a parentsl household income in childhood/early adulthood that let them take risks and or stay in education
5) having good enough physical and mental health to get through school/training/education
6) having academic/emotional ability and aptitudes for so called "good" jobs
7) meeting the right friends/partners
8) not having anything go disastrously wrong job wise/financially
9) having a crystal ball
10) a lot of luck

I could go on. Personally, I have a degree, financial security, a stable family now and a job that I can earn well in. But if I track my "success" back I would be better to describe it as a very precariously balanced, sometimes nearly disastrous series of part chosen, part chose me events. Isn't everyone pretty much the same?

This strikes me as why the tax credits debate is so horrible and why I dislike the phrase "hard working families" so very much.

And please forgive me if describing my position in the way I have sounds smug in any way; I do not remotely feel like that. I have long term mental health issues, my parents are a mess and I struggle hugely with parenting my three kids. So how b****y unfair is it that I seem to get away with it scot free because of some earning potential and financial independence?

Somebody famous like Newton once said "I am standing on the shoulders of giants" about the research and scientists that went before him and, even without getting into what a screwed up way this society chooses to judge success, I think anyone who has this "success" should think carefully about where it came from. Hard work, absolutely, but others work hard and don't enjoy the fruits so much.

colourdilemma Sun 25-Oct-15 21:26:59

Erm...and I am feeling a bit ranty after reading the tax credit thread blush

SchnooSchnoo Sun 25-Oct-15 21:41:05

YANBU. That is all.

southeastastra Sun 25-Oct-15 21:42:42

you have to know how the system works. to be honest mn helped me understand this. it's something you have to be IN with to understand, then it all makes sense...

expatinscotland Sun 25-Oct-15 21:44:42


Florriesma Sun 25-Oct-15 21:45:57

Yanbu. I work with a woman who was at school with me and was far brighter in some subjects. But I am better educated and earn more.
She left school at 16 I didn't. That was purely down to family background. I was lucky.

Darvany Sun 25-Oct-15 21:47:07

YA so NBU.

MrsItsNoworNotatAll Sun 25-Oct-15 21:47:09


Trills Sun 25-Oct-15 21:47:19


It's human nature.

The extent to which our lives are determined by luck is TERRIFYING.

So we like to pretend that we are in charge.

It's the same with diseases - we like to read headlines that say "doing X causes cancer" because we then think that we are safe if we don't do X.

RandomMess Sun 25-Oct-15 21:49:44


It's so depressing though tbh sad

CremeEggThief Sun 25-Oct-15 21:49:50

YANBU. Too many posts on certain threads recently about taking responsibility for one's poor choices.sad

SilverBirchWithout Sun 25-Oct-15 21:49:50

It's not so much being smug about their own lives that gets me. It's the total lack of imagination that the birth advantages or luck some of us have in comparison with others, is not because we are in some way "better" people and therefore deserved it, but because we were just fortunate.

Passmethecrisps Sun 25-Oct-15 21:50:53

"Hard working familIes" and "families who do the right thing" are Tory phrases which make my teeth itch.

I have 'done well' but to compare my life to siblings is facile.

QuiteLikely5 Sun 25-Oct-15 21:51:48

I have to disagree. My life was not good growing up for a variety of reasons but where I am today is down to me. Nothing to do with a great school, no great parents on hand.

I however would not say this to anyone. I don't know anyone who takes too much credit for their success.

I will take the credit now though since you are discussing it! smile

TimeToMuskUp Sun 25-Oct-15 21:52:28

YANBU at all.

I don't pray, or say thank you to anyone up high. But I'm aware sometimes that I appear to have reached my mid-thirties in a pretty good position (financially, emotionally, career, support and friend-wise) by sheer luck. I still feel like I don't quite deserve the lovely life I lead.

Passmethecrisps Sun 25-Oct-15 21:53:21

Forgive me - this is beyond politics actually so remove the 'Tory' as I am sure the are many who don't use such phrases.

It reminds me of the cartoon about privilege which I will lay my hands on I a minute

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Sun 25-Oct-15 21:53:27


Although I'm sure many won't agree with you. Whenever this topic comes up on MN there are always those who believe there is no luck at all involved in success. Which is clearly bollocks.

sugar21 Sun 25-Oct-15 21:54:19

Quite agree about the tax credits thread.
My Mother says we are all the masters of our own destiny,but destiny doesn't see the shit coming before it hits the fan

foragogo Sun 25-Oct-15 21:55:05

yanbu, so many smug fuckers can't see how lucky they've been, not how intrinsically great they are.

Passmethecrisps Sun 25-Oct-15 21:55:32

I agree quite that it is not down to dumb luck but our measures of comparison are not fair and frankly 'luck' is relative.

I do believe that most of our circumstances are down to chance and split second decision making.

WoTmania Sun 25-Oct-15 21:56:08

YANBU, even if it was just being in the right place at the right time there is a scary amount of 'luck' or circumstance involved in success.

Philoslothy Sun 25-Oct-15 21:56:18

I agree OP. My life is generally fab despite making some very poor choices. I am sure that if luck went the other way Mners would be queuing up to tell me that I deserved my fate.

DaddyPigIsMyParentingGuru Sun 25-Oct-15 21:56:21

YANBU. I was taught sociology many a few years ago. What you said it pretty much sums it up.

Passmethecrisps Sun 25-Oct-15 21:58:33

This . . .

imwithspud Sun 25-Oct-15 22:07:25

Yanbu at all.

We live in a lovely house in a fairly sought after area. The only reason we are able to live where we do is because dp's aunt and uncle own the house and have rented it out for years. Just so happened that they needed new tenants around the time we were looking to move, plus they were offering zero deposit and rent at a discounted rate compared the the market rent in the area, we pretty much bit their hands off for it.

We are not well off at all and I actually don't think we deserve the privilege of living somewhere so nice (imo anyway). But I do think we are very lucky, the only reason we live where we do is because we knew the 'right people' and were in the right place at the right time.

I don't doubt that many people do work hard for what they have (as do we) but a lot of things in life come down to a combination of both luck and working hard whilst leaning more towards the luck side of things. We have had our fair share of bad luck as well over the years.

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