AIBU to think that most people don't feel comfortable in wealthy surrounds(155 Posts)
and to wonder what exactly is the reason? In the UK, I mainly mean top end London shops and commercial art galleries where it all reeks of wealth.
For example, I love fashion and jewellery design, but if I want to go and look at /touch the garments, I always go to a department store with open plan access, not a boutique. Even in that case, I feel somewhat inadequate and a even a failure for not being able to afford it, though it's irrational as the minority who can afford it have often not made the money themselves (wealthy parents/husbands) and some got it through being ruthless or some other questionable means. I don't often like rich people in the public eye, though obviously there are exceptions.
So why do I feel that physical pressure/stress and even feel inadequate while rationally I shouldn't? I'm talking of people on middle income btw, not very low income.
Shouldn't we all be able to go into any shop and feel relaxed and enjoy the view, and ask for service just to browse? I wonder if others feel absolutely fine and unpressured? Just can't put my finger on the reasons why the discomfort.
Surely most people feel a little out of their depth, or a little uncomfortable when anywhere they aren't used to - that would include your scenario but also include LOADS more scenarios....... I remember friend who had grown up in small villages being very, very nervous about the idea of coming home with me to spend a weekend in my City
Interesting question, I have pondered this too.
I am comfortable in most situations; I am aware that nobody knows who I am or where I am from so I can enjoy the upmarket surroundings.
My mum however cannot. She thought Jamie Oliver's was too posh and chose to go to Burger King as she felt more comfortable there.
I'm interested in responses, good question OP.
I spent a lot of time in 5 star hotels in London as a child as my dad ran them and we spent lots of weekends and holidays there. I am very used to it but when I took friends when I was older (free rooms!) a lot of them seemed very uncomfortable. I suppose the atmosphere is just very formal in general so people feel awkward.
Oh I can put a comfortable ACT on, but it's not the true feeling, I do still enjoy looking at the items when there but when I leave I feel very tense and after that kind of guilty (!) that I can't afford stuff - not guilty towards the shop I mean, just to myself. Do you enjoy it in a relaxed way, wacey? no difference to more down to earth places?
The thing is, take art galleries vs museums, nobody is really tense or uncomfortable in a museum, but where there are prices attached or some expectation that you might be buying the same pictures, then it all changes. We are all so democratic in the UK and no many people are in some blind awe of the rich classes, so really we should look at these beautiful things as if it's a museum. So much talent goes into creating this stuff, talent of often initially poor artists/designers, yet when it hits the rich place, it's not fun anymore. Or it the other customers? arrogance that's in the air?
Aren't the staff and design of boutiques set up deliberately to make you feel uncomfortable, unless you 'belong' in order to discourage time wasters?
Titsy, yet some very rich people (esp show biz) don't dress or behave formally on those places. Is it just those without money feel they don't have a right to it - but logically anyone could win a lottery or whatever. So anyone potentially has a right - it's really just material objects, nothing more.
Also the level of service is much higher and more personal at higher end places, so, they don't want to waste considerable effort on you and, the interaction is more like a social one than a sales one, so your sense that you are deceiving them about your ability to buy weighs upon you personally. Unless you're upfront about not being able to buy?
I suppose it's pointless to suggest that shops are places you go to buy things, not providers of free entertainment? Yes, I thought so... :-)
Doesn't bother me.
I can remember looking around a fab clothes shop in Birmingham that you had to ring a bell to be allowed in to. There was no way I could have afforded the £700 for the frock I wanted way back in 1995.
It's not even about feeling confident about the way I act or look it is just that I walk around rather detached from most of the human race. I'm just thinking about other stuff rather than what people think.
And of course fitting in and feeling at ease - dear old class again - is not about money really, is it.
There's a self-esteem component too. I remember being taken to a lovely arty restaurant during a time when I felt very inadequate. I was deeply uncomfortable and coped by mocking the surroundings, which didn't make me a great guest. Now, in the same place, I'd be thrilled and lap up everything, and have been recently told I'm rewarding to treat, which I think is massively influenced by feeling more confident. It's not quite as brash as 'because I'm worth it' but if you think you're genuinely not worth it then wealthy places seem wrong wrong wrong.
ohyes I do enjoy it, but I think a may have trained myself to, iyswim?
I remember rocking up at a 3 Michelin * restaurant in my Suzuki swift full of crap, handing it over for valet parking thinking "they don't know anything about me, play it cool"
I had a lovely time and it was very posh.
I think I may have trained myself to enjoy the surroundings. Fake it till you make it I say!
lottie, they really shouldn't though - unless you are behaving badly as a customer. In our day and age you can always tell who is wealthy just by their appearance, unless someone looks (guess what) really uncomfortable, the irony!
I also think it's never just the staff, in some places they are really nice/sweet when a customer is an intelligent or prof looking mature woman - they would not be rude to someone like that, especially if she looks nice too - but the actual rich wives may look down on someone who is an e.g. office worker. It's also something actually 'in the air' as if the money spent omn a place makes it unfriendly.
exalted, but I don't mean if you keeep going to same shop and never buying. Lots of those who can afford it, just go to look and not like anything, there is no obligation to buy on your first visit. It's not always entertainment, you may be learning if you are a designer yourself.
Also, not sure who said it, but a famous saying goes "nobody can make you feel inferior than yourself"
You feel guilty using their space which they have paid for with no intention of buying anything. Not the same as a museum where you have a right to be.
After a quick google, it actually goes "nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent" and it was Eleanor Roosevelt.
I find, and its semi related, that if I go into places I'll refer to as 'High end' that I feel like I'm lowering the tone.
Eg: when I was getting married, my fiancé thought it'd be nice to get married at Kenilworth Castle. (No idea why as Kenilworth is miles away, we've no connection tonit etc) but she rang and we went. A very well spoken older lady showed us around the Gatehouse, Gardens, etc.
Whilst there my Fiancé suddenly turned into Joanna Lumley, I stayed as my usual GreenGrass impersonator.
When the woman said £2500 my fiancé nodded and said things like 'OH reasonable, not as much as I thought' etc. I said, 'We're leaving'
So I don't know, I didn't feel inadequate or pressured or poor or anything but i had a strong urge to blow my nose on my sleeve, scratch my backside and fart in the dining hall. Maybe I'm just scum though.
lottie, yes I think you are right regarding a personal obligation if you receive a personal service, but otoh you can always say 'I prefer to browse for now by myself' - that's what many rich people do if they feel like it (I'm no stranger to expensive shops,people who buy are jaded by the false niceness of assistants who have tough targets to meet!)
Russell, haha, that's an excellent mindset! detachment and looking at it all as futile - I'll try that.
lottie - what class? most rich people nowadays (at least in the fashion shops) aer not upper class of old, those go to 'club' tailors who they recommend to each other and not too expensive.
the majority old aristocracy who is very at ease and confident socially, wouldn't feel comfortable in the expensive shops, icl big jewellery shops (they inherit theirs) because they may find them ott and vulgar, or they can't afford it and are jealous that the 'oiks' with money took over now (or foreigners with no manners' - so feeling confident is a lot to do with money and a big ego, sadly.
OneMOre - interesting, and I agree to some extent. When I feel low for whatever reason, I'm over sensitive to everything and to rejection in paticular, and I suppose, there is an element of REJECTION for the majority in those places. But for some reasons I never feel uncomfortable in expensive restaurants when treated (I just love food!) also you know you or someone is paying so I suppose there is no guilt. Or is food a more essential need?
I remember rocking up at a 3 Michelin restaurant in my Suzuki swift full of crap, handing it over for valet parking thinking "they don't know anything about me, play it cool"*
hilarious! yes I can do that 'I could be a wealthy eccentric' act but I need to look good on the day and would need company to be actually carefree. If you went with a group that must have helped!
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