Sometimes I think we allow our knowledge or, in some cases, our perception of others financial situation affect how we deal and interact with them. I am not a psychologist so I can’t say that it is just the way we inherently deal with people but to me it is sad that we allow ourselves to judge someone based on how they interact with money. In some cases it may be helpful to try to determine how someone will act based on their past interactions with money but I don’t think it is our place to judge them.
Think about your next door neighbor for a minute, now pretend that you found out he/she was a multimillionaire. would that affect how you interact with them? You are probably thinking that it wouldn’t change anything. I am willing to bet, however, that you would be less likely to pick up the tab and more offended if the neighbor failed to chip in on a neighborhood project. This doesn’t necessarily make you a bad person but it just goes to show how easily something this little can affect how we interact with people.
This goes the other way as well. If you found out or believe that you neighbor or relative is struggling to make ends meet is going to affect how you perceive every action they make. The problem here is that in most cases we pass judgment on someone without knowing the entire story. If you hear your neighbor is filing bankruptcy and you see them making large purchases you initially think something bad, at least I do. Why are they making "obviously" unneeded purchases when they have these bigger problems.
The fact of the matter is that we can never fully know, nor should we concern ourselves with, the financial situation of our friends, relatives, and neighbors. We have formed the relationships with these people for who they are, not what they have. If you start passing judgment or allowing your perceptions of people to influence your actions you could be setting yourself up for confrontations that don’t need to happen. Bad things can happen to good people and good things can happen to bad people. The money someone has or doesn’t have doesn’t define who they are and we should never allow ourselves to judge someone on their economic status.
Photo: Brian Hillegas