Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
I am a horrible snob(173 Posts)
MNHQ have commented on this thread.
I feel so bad about myself, its pathetic really. I grew up on a pretty grim council estate just outside glasgow and we were poor, my father was in and out of work thourgh the 80's and we had bugger all. I hated it, I was a bit of an odd one out at school I was quiet and read a lot but I disliked my scummy surroundings and desperately wanted all the trappings of a middle class life like piano lessons, ballet lessons, pony school, books, nice food and holidays. I didn't really know anyone like that (only in books) but I knew it was out there and I wanted a slice of it.
I worked hard at school and went and got into university, got my degree and my post grad. I was very fussy about who I dated I never wanted the bad boy or the slacker I like the careful, sensible reliable guys the engineers and the math students. I tended to date guys from more middle class backgrounds but when I fell in love it was with a man from a poorer background like myself but he was an engineer and he too wanted a better life than what he grew up with.
We have done well we have a lovely house in a good area, nice cars, I am finally taking piano lessons. But god I am such a snooty, snobby cow! I occasionally meet up with some girls I was at high school with and secretly I get a boost out of comparing my life with theirs. They are all fairly chavvy, multiple kids to different men, tattoos, obese, eating rubbish, working in the supermarket etc They were the cool girls at school, while I was the weirdo.
In other ways too at the supermarket I look at what people are buying and I feel superior when I see the ready meals, bottles of booze and junk food in their trolly. I take pride in all the healthy quality things I buy, ingredients for healthy homecooked meals, of course I also grow my own veg and herbs. I look at what people read and what films and music they listen to and I judge away looking down my nose at them and feel smug about the quality, high brow culture I consume.
I'm kind of horrified at myself, I know I still have hang ups about my background, nearly all my friends were privately educated and I do feel inferior to them at times as they have such in built confidence.
I like what I have achieved but I hate being so mean spirited about it all. However a pretty specific issue so not sure if there will be much advice but how do I get over myself?
You measure happiness. If all your old school friends are happy and satisfied with their lives, you are equals.
And if not, you be a good friend and help them be happy.
I'm sorry, but material measurement really bothers me. Material is temporary. Friendship, love, security, Happiness is valuable.
I do know that and yes I see that, after all I still see them I really like most of them were from the same place but I still have that part of me that is a snob, I am not really wanting to be super rich or have lots of marble and gold statues I find being show in that way tacky in the extreme. I like real wood, and handmade pottery and books lining the walls. God I drive a VW polo its the solid middle class aethetic I like.
In my day dreams I used to wish my father was an academic say a professor of astrophysics or egyptology and that my mother was an artist and yoga teacher who cooked lentil cottage pie and read the hobbit to us. Instead my mother heated up tinned hamburgers, smoked 40 fags a day and told us to shut it.
I am still insecure about who I am and so I compare myself to reassure myself but of course its a horrible thing to do.
Hit the nail on the head with that last post. Insecure about who you are and how people perceive you. You don't want them to view you they way you view them.
Can I ask, are you happy?
basically yes I am very happy but I still get a kick out of doing what I do i.e. comparing myself to the kind of people I grew up with and now feel I have left behind. I guess I use it as a sort of negative incentive not to back slide i.e. don't drink too much or don't eat those chips because I feel a bit like a gremlin who might turn into a monster over night. One of the reasons I barely drink is because my accent goes right back to broad glaswegian when I am drunk.
You are very articulate- have you thought about submitting some work to newspapers and magazines? It's an interesting topic.
You don't sound happy. Having such negative thoughts about others wouldn't make your mind a nice place to be. If your old friends - even the "chavvy" ones - are happy then in my opinion they are better off than you, even with your nice car, herb garden and cooking from scratch.
Do some volunteering. Open your eyes. Make the decision every day to be a nicer person.
I too am not convinced you are happy.
Certainly not secure anyway.
Congratulations on having got what you wanted out of life.
As regards your snobbishness, when you finally overcome your feelings of inferiority, you will also stop having these feelings of superiority, they tend to go together.
This Be The Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.
You dont want to make the same mistakes they did (you dont say why your dad was in and out of work, but I would never smoke 40 a day at the cost of not be able to feed my kids properly, neither would you).
By looking and judging your friends you are actually judging your parents. You are saying "Look! I did it, I give my kids a decent life because I worked and still work hard. I dont spaff my money on fags and feed them crap, why didnt you?!" You escaped into fantasy as a child and in a way, you are still in that fantasy. Yes you have made it real, but I sense that you are living in fear of it disappearing when you turn the page.
I would suggest therapy to deal with the issues you have from your childhood.
Btw, my mother is the same as you. Judges others for not being good enough, while all the while she is terrified of being judged not good enough herself. Its very destructive, that fucked up my childhood because she wanted me and my sister to confirm that she was giving us a better life than the one she had. Sadly, when I chose not to go to Uni she found it very difficult to deal with, and I am not sure she has ever got over it. Which is very silly when you think I am now in my 40's!
This seems a bit sad really. Can you try and focus on how people are in terms did kindness and empathy? Better for the soul if we can all manage it.
Actually, you do sound very unhappy and lonely and full of low self esteem. What a waste of all that energy of yours worrying about other people's ready meals.
Why are these feelings bothering you. I think some of them sound quite normal? I also think you come across as very honest. We all compare our lot to others.
Sounds like you've done well by working hard. As long as you remember the lack of opportunities you had as a child and recognise that just because you got out doesn't mean everyone can. Poverty can be a trap and working harder is not always how you escape it. Some people work hard their whole lives and remain poor.
My mum was the daughter of a coal miner, she was one of seven children.
Her mother came from a middle class family in "reduced circumstances", her whole life, pushed on by her mum, was a scrabble to be middle class again. Not all of this was a bad thing, she got a scholarship to a grammar school and trained to be a nurse. The whole family looked down on the rest of the village and even their own father.
Her first, middle class husband died leaving her with two children and hundreds of miles from her family (his didn't approve of the marriage, she was five years older).
Lonely, she had an affair with my dad (this was 1948) he was the classic bit of rough and she got pregnant so they got married.
She found herself married to a Milkman/Ambulance Driver/Bin Man, her family looked down their noses at her and her children and she lived in a three bedroom council house bursting at the seems with her two children and his three children and then their three children.
She was miserable all the way through my childhood, longing for what she hadn't got. My eldest sister once said "If you gave mum a fur coat she'd want to know where her diamonds were." Nothing made her happy and she couldn't see how her own choices had contributed to where she was (she had an affair, she didn't like using contraceptives) it was all "so unfair, I was meant to have servants, not children!"
My point is, if you are building even a chunk of your happiness on your success, status and superiority all that could vanish in a blink.
You're not a snob
Afraid of it all disappearing one day, afraid of waking up there again.
Perhaps you could find a way to engage with the fear? Maybe therapy ? Or volunteering in a soup kitchen?
This kind of attitude can get you places though; look at the Middletons
I'm rushing to work now, but in short, my parents were quite like the ones you dreamed of having. It wasn't all roses and I dreamed of having a rough and ready family, something similar to the Mitchells off Eastenders! Will be watching this thread with interest.
I thought 'chavs' were 'neds' in Glasgow.
Anyway you sound very unhappy.
I would think the girls you grew up with are much happier than you.
Join the discussion
Please login first.