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Some people really do prefer it when you're 'down and out''

(69 Posts)
CannotEvenDeal Tue 27-Dec-16 08:44:08

So after a few tricky years money/family wise (nothing major, just a few bumps in the road) Dh and I are feeling quite content and rather proud this Christmas.

We just started renting a gorgeous 2 bedroom flat in a naice area, we have had his lovely ds living with us full-time for several years (he's truly like a son to me and is very settled) and I bought a bigger (albeit second-hand) car.

It never ceases to amaze me how some people (including family members) can always find fault/problems with everything that we're happy about. It's so dull!

For example:

We love our new flat, we're very excited/Yes but it's rented so not technically yours

Dss has settled in really well and loves his new school, I'm so proud of him/Yes but he's not really yours, when are you going to have one of your own?

Can't believe we got such a good deal on the car, it runs like new!/What's with that mark on the rear passenger seat though?

I'd like to be clear that we are not boastful or showy people. Like I said, we're just content at the moment and proud of ourselves. I've got people who I thought were friends who've not even asked how the new place is, even though I said I was taking a moving day.

However, I think that quite a lot of people preferred it when dh and I had work problems and things were tight/stressful. They had plenty of time to chat pry and ask questions then.

Whilst we're not wealthy -far from it- I do think that being successful shows you who your true friends are.

FriendofBill Tue 27-Dec-16 08:47:28

Misery loves company eh!

Sounds like you are getting it all together.
Well done flowers

Maverickismywingman Tue 27-Dec-16 08:53:40

There will always be problems for some people. Glass half empty types.

You (OP) sound like me - I'm just happy there's a glass. grin brew

Merry Everything and a Happy Always.

WomanFromAnotherPlace Tue 27-Dec-16 08:55:14

Firstly, I would like to say how lovely it is that you have a nice home, family and have clearly had to work through tough times in order to be content now.

I know exactly what you mean about people preferring you when you're down. A few of my friends are like this.
It's almost as if when something good finally does happen (esp after years of crap), your enjoyment and excitement are seen as 'bragging'. I know you're probably not boasting, but others may see it like that.

Please don't worry, and don't pretend to be unexcited for the sake of others. Real friends will be happy for you.

Ohdearducks Tue 27-Dec-16 08:57:12

My nan is like this, when I moved to a new place she wanted to come and look around. She went around every room and absolutely tore it to shreds, pointed out every single thing that, in her opinion, wasn't suitable/was wrong (everything was fine as far as we were concerned) I felt so deflated and upset afterwards, I'd previously been on cloud 9 and so excited then she just came in and shat all over it.

Awwlookatmybabyspider Tue 27-Dec-16 08:57:14

That's people for you. They don't like it when things are going well. They like to wallow.
However if you're smug about things. In their defence that is going to piss people off

ComputerUserNumptyTwit Tue 27-Dec-16 08:57:46

YANBU. I've a friend who really seems to struggle with the fact that I'm in a happy relationship and financially independent, after years of living in what I now realise was a fairly abusive (or certainly miserable and unhealthy) relationship.

I've gone over it again and again in my mind - is she seeing red flags that I'm not? Is it envy? And have concluded that she preferred it when I was in a weaker position relatively and was a bit needy. Which is incidentally not unlike the way my ex wanted me.

No other friends or family have reacted in the same way. It's all a bit odd, tbh.

CannotEvenDeal Tue 27-Dec-16 08:58:19

Thank you for your replies, I'm definitely happy that there's a glass fgrin and misery certainly does love company.

One of my formerly closest friends at work suddenly stopped talking to me overnight once we found the new place. All she ever says is 'Cannot looks so happy these days' through gritted teeth smile

PrancerForHoney Tue 27-Dec-16 09:05:05

I have two friends, (more frenemies these days? ) that like to collect people who are struggling/ill. Its like watching old ladies knitting at the guillotine. They were all over me when my Mother almost died and we almost lost everything due to financial problems over that time. They haven't really spoken to me since she recovered. We have managed to get out of debt, I now have a great job, go to the gym and we are content. It is like a jealousy thing. Very odd.

LadyLothian Tue 27-Dec-16 09:05:38

I agree. Slightly different example, but I was top of my class at school, got into an "impressive" university and thought I'd have a stellar career. Then I got very sick and became disabled practically overnight.

I didn't work when everyone else was starting their careers. I wasn't dating when everyone else was. I was living at home when everyone else moved out and travelled. I felt pretty depressed about how my life had gone.

But I learned how to cope with my disability. I started part time work, built it up slowly and now have a career. I met a wonderful man and we're now married, renting and hoping to buy next year. I have recently started travelling again fsmile. I'm still in pain everyday but my life is so much better.

My friends don't really like it. I think for the years I struggled they unconsciously looked and me and thought "Maybe I'm not doing as well as I'd like, but I'm doing better than Lady". I don't think they did it on purpose, I think they'd be shocked to realise they do it. But when I started catching up they no longer had me to compare their lives favourably against.

I also think a lot of people don't understand contentment and don't know how to be "happy with their lot". I am not talking obviously about people going through acute difficulties or mental health issues. They find it odd when they encounter people who are.

Congratulations on all you've achieved!

CannotEvenDeal Tue 27-Dec-16 09:05:43

No, I don't think we're smug. Far from it, but we are proud of ourselves for sure. I think there's a difference. For example, it's always 'We're really excited about the flat' as opposed to 'The flat is soooooo nice, you have to see it' iyswim.

I agree that true friends are happy for you when things go well.

And to the poster whose nan ripped her new place to shreds, when my sister visited she just glared at each room without a word. And then made comments like 'Oh so you do live in a nice area then.' Well yeah, that'd be quite a tricky thing to lie about fconfused

CannotEvenDeal Tue 27-Dec-16 09:11:25

Maybe I'm not doing as well as I'd like, but I'm doing better than Lady

This!! My dh was always the 'poor relative' compared to my friends' dhs. Since he got headhunted some of his old friends have had a massive shock bit are proud of him. My friends on the other hand are like 'Whoa, hang on a minute, Cannot's dh is doing well for himself?' Let's stonewall her grin

It was constant- the endless questions about how things were going, would we be able to go on holiday, how did I feel about earning so much more than my spouse. And now they have nothing to wallow about so they're off!

CannotEvenDeal Tue 27-Dec-16 09:13:47

Congratulations to everyone on here who got it together, I've really enjoyed reading the replies smile

DinosaursRoar Tue 27-Dec-16 09:16:48

Agree with Lady - some people like having someone they are doing better than, particularly if you should be equals, doing as well or better than them makes them annoyed because they are used to using you as the "at least things are better than x" person, and then if they aren't, that will be worse than not doing as well as someone who always has been "better".

CaoNiMerrilyOnHigh Tue 27-Dec-16 09:18:35

I've experienced this.

It made me realised that it isn't necessarily the ones who are there through the tough times that are the true friends, but the ones who stick with you when you're on the up as well.

Mybeautifullife1 Tue 27-Dec-16 09:18:48

They say that to be happy you just need a little more than those around you. Perhaps these people liked it when they were, in their eyes, in a better position than you. Very very sad. Enjoy everything you have and dont let them steel your joy!

Meemolly Tue 27-Dec-16 09:26:05

'Maybe I'm not doing as well as I'd like, but I'm doing better than Lady'
I can entirely associate with this too, I had a long term... disease that was entirely visible and have always been the one with issues. I realise both that I have played into this and that others have typecast me in this role. Now as I let it go I wonder if this will mean losing those who can't see me any differently.
As for those nit picking comments, I would let it go, some people see fault in everything.

Poole5 Tue 27-Dec-16 09:29:20

I wouldn't bother with friends who said things like that and were not supportive.

For me the best approach is to keep a very low profile regardless to my lifestyle. I occasionally grumble about how much it cost to get my car fixed and that I am looking forward to payday when in reality I have no money worries. Keeps people getting jealous at bay. I drive a modest car and live in a modest house.

I discovered this approach was best when people got jealous that our mortgage was paid off. Yes because of inheritance that DH's parents died and also my father died hmm

Zoflorabore Tue 27-Dec-16 09:36:05

This describes sil, if we buy anything new it's "ooh have you won the lottery?"

She can spot anything- I got a new mug and she walked in my kitchen and said " ooh you got a new mug " ffs it's a mug,

She is the most jealous person I have ever met, she hates it when people do well.

She only sees money- my other brother and his wife have two disabled toddlers, they are quite well off and recently bought a brand new house. They have such a hard life with my brother working away a lot and sil looks after the dc.

The toxic sil said to me" what I would give to have their life " shame on her confused

Lesmacarons Tue 27-Dec-16 09:37:12

Perhaps they were just telling the truth because they care about you.

All of those things are true. I think it is lovely that you have taken on his child, but they might be worried that you don't get access if you split up. Renting from a non-social housing provider is a dangerous way to live and does not provide security for your child.

I don't want to sit on a mark on a seat - do you?

People who really care about you are sometimes prepared to say the unsayable because they care so much.

My son fell out with me because I had the audacity to point out that his flat was - actually - a bit of a dive and his lovely fiance was a chronic depressive who took it out on him.

They were living in fantasy land. If I hadn't told him and it had gone wrong - I would have felt terrible.

It went wrong. A year later - we are getting on. he left her because she did something more terrible than I could have predicted - and he has a really nice house that he has given better thought to.

I care about my children more than anything - enough to tell them the truth - even if we fall out. That is how much care that is. Who are these wonderful people?

Lesmacarons Tue 27-Dec-16 09:39:59

Having said that - it is motivation that is the key. Do you think they care about you? If they do - give them a chance and listen to them.

If they don't - ignore them.

PaulDacresConscience Tue 27-Dec-16 09:44:02

I think for the years I struggled they unconsciously looked and me and thought "Maybe I'm not doing as well as I'd like, but I'm doing better than Lady". I don't think they did it on purpose, I think they'd be shocked to realise they do it. But when I started catching up they no longer had me to compare their lives favourably against

Absolutely this. My circs changed from the person most likely to go off and achieve great things, to a heartbeat away from bankruptcy, back with parents and working in a NMW job with few prospects on the horizon.

It took some years, but my circs changed for the better - as did DH's. It's a great way of finding out who your friends really are. People who only want to know you as a benchmark for their own achievements, are not friends.

flowers to everyone on this thread who has experienced this.

FriendofBill Tue 27-Dec-16 09:44:09

Les gives a lovely example there of what the OP was about!

It's because they care!
Of course it is!

knaffedoff Tue 27-Dec-16 09:44:58

I recognise this behaviour in my family, my sibling was fantastic when my long term relationship broken down, but told me I was on the rebound when meeting hubby. She was fab when I had had my first ds and struggled with pnd and health issues but when I got on my feet, the criticisms started.

She leads me to believe that I am in an unhappy marriage, have no friends, am rubbish at my job and live in a socially deprived area.

The reality is quite the opposite and I feel better now we are nc fgrin

WomanFromAnotherPlace Tue 27-Dec-16 09:45:08

I think as Poole said, people don't realise how much crap has happened for some people to be able to afford anything.
My DP and I went on our first holiday abroad together to one if my dream destinations. This was only because his DF had died and left pensions behind. Although he was NC with his DF, it still wasn't easy. A lot of people we know we're all "it's alright for some". Yep, father died, I was expecting my firstborn and in all our years together we had never been on holiday. Yeah, we really had it great hmm

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