My friends don't like me because I'm richer than them

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Anonymous #1
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I'll start off with a little about me. I grew up in a working class family with little dispensable income and hardly any luxuries. I studied maths at Oxbridge and joined a start-up hedge fund (our fund is an entirely algorithmic fund and I'm much more of a nerdy data scientist than a corporate city boy). Our fund was acquired by a large institutional investor and early joiners of the start-up were granted sizable stock options. In short, I'm 24 and earn 250k a year. I'm grateful for this but I'm clearly not part of the super rich.

I went to a comprehensive school in an area with great social economic problems. Prior to sixth form and university applications I had a very good group of friends. But as we progressed, my friends started speaking to me differently even during teenage years. I was no longer invited to social events and excluded from WhatsApp groups etc. I have never taken this personally, as unpleasant as it is, as I appreciate their plight. I understand that perhaps they find me unrelatable, pretentious even. In addition, we can't be held accountable for everything we do in our teenage years.

I later went to Oxbridge where again I made many friends through sports and societies. Many of their parents' net worth was more than a factor of ten greater than our family net worth. They were fairly privelliged, well read, well connected. But since graduating, I'm experiencing some of the same ostracizing behaviour from my university piers that I had previously experienced at school. Unlike my school friends, I sense that this is more deliberate - my university friends can't possibly feel so alienated by money, and know my character well enough. It has really surprised me.

I should add that I'm not very materialistic - I still have an iphone 8, MacBook 2017, I don't wear designer clothes and I don't own a car. My only material possessions are property that I have purchased as investments and I've travelled extensively in 2018/2019 because I couldn't afford to do so when I was younger. I don't think I have an arrogant attitude, or at the least, I haven't developed one since leaving university. I'm still realatively shy and quietly spoken.

My dilemma is that out of no choice of my own, my friends are now almost exclusively wealthy international students or financiers. To what extent should I try and reach out to my formative friends when they repeatedly and preemptively are disrespectful towards me. Does anyone have any advice for me? Has anyone experienced this before? Is it typical that friends feel intimidated or alienated by someone slightly wealthier than them?
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Surnia
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Friends that you have at school don't always last into adult life as you mature and take different uni/career paths.

Take up some hobbies, do sports, mentor or volunteer to find a new group of people who could be potential friends.
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123_qwerty
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I'll start off with a little about me. I grew up in a working class family with little dispensable income and hardly any luxuries. I studied maths at Oxbridge and joined a start-up hedge fund (our fund is an entirely algorithmic fund and I'm much more of a nerdy data scientist than a corporate city boy). Our fund was acquired by a large institutional investor and early joiners of the start-up were granted sizable stock options. In short, I'm 24 and earn 250k a year. I'm grateful for this but I'm clearly not part of the super rich.

I went to a comprehensive school in an area with great social economic problems. Prior to sixth form and university applications I had a very good group of friends. But as we progressed, my friends started speaking to me differently even during teenage years. I was no longer invited to social events and excluded from WhatsApp groups etc. I have never taken this personally, as unpleasant as it is, as I appreciate their plight. I understand that perhaps they find me unrelatable, pretentious even. In addition, we can't be held accountable for everything we do in our teenage years.

I later went to Oxbridge where again I made many friends through sports and societies. Many of their parents' net worth was more than a factor of ten greater than our family net worth. They were fairly privelliged, well read, well connected. But since graduating, I'm experiencing some of the same ostracizing behaviour from my university piers that I had previously experienced at school. Unlike my school friends, I sense that this is more deliberate - my university friends can't possibly feel so alienated by money, and know my character well enough. It has really surprised me.

I should add that I'm not very materialistic - I still have an iphone 8, MacBook 2017, I don't wear designer clothes and I don't own a car. My only material possessions are property that I have purchased as investments and I've travelled extensively in 2018/2019 because I couldn't afford to do so when I was younger. I don't think I have an arrogant attitude, or at the least, I haven't developed one since leaving university. I'm still realatively shy and quietly spoken.

My dilemma is that out of no choice of my own, my friends are now almost exclusively wealthy international students or financiers. To what extent should I try and reach out to my formative friends when they repeatedly and preemptively are disrespectful towards me. Does anyone have any advice for me? Has anyone experienced this before? Is it typical that friends feel intimidated or alienated by someone slightly wealthier than them?
Firstly, congratulations for your career achievements.

Yes I've heard and experienced petty behaviour like this before. It's often a defensive move because people think that you are or will look down at them. The irony is that now you will, albeit for different reasons.

Also, your Oxbridge friends are not too dissimilar to your school friends, even though at surface they seem privelliged. Contrary to what people assume, Oxbridge graduates have a tough time in the graduate employment market and everyone has insecurities. Their parents may be rich, but not rich enough for them to live comfortably.

Just keep being nice to people who are nice to you?
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mahmoodjr
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(Original post by 123_qwerty)
Firstly, congratulations for your career achievements.

Yes I've heard and experienced petty behaviour like this before. It's often a defensive move because people think that you are or will look down at them. The irony is that now you will, albeit for different reasons.

Also, your Oxbridge friends are not too dissimilar to your school friends, even though at surface they seem privelliged. Contrary to what people assume, Oxbridge graduates have a tough time in the graduate employment market and everyone has insecurities. Their parents may be rich, but not rich enough for them to live comfortably.

Just keep being nice to people who are nice to you?
I agree entirely with this. Wealthy people often socialize with other wealthy people not out of choice but because their less well off friends preemptively dissociate themselves from them. They may think it's ok to do so, but just because someone is rich doesn't make it acceptable.

Also, you're under no obligation to be austere - you don't have to justify holidays, purchases! Enjoy your success with those who want to be around you.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Surnia)
Friends that you have at school don't always last into adult life as you mature and take different uni/career paths.

Take up some hobbies, do sports, mentor or volunteer to find a new group of people who could be potential friends.
Thank you for your answer.

I don't have an issue with making friends. It's the homogeneity of those friends with respect to wealth and my inability to maintain friendships with a more diverse group of people.

All my friends seem to have kept their social groups intact except for me.
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sinfonietta
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Drop them and focus on the friends who care about you.

I've a friend who is significantly better off than I am: multiple properties, seemingly endless cash, and model good looks on top of that. It doesn't cause any problems in our friendship. In fact I respect them a lot because I know they worked hard for everything they have.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by 123_qwerty)
Firstly, congratulations for your career achievements.

Yes I've heard and experienced petty behaviour like this before. It's often a defensive move because people think that you are or will look down at them. The irony is that now you will, albeit for different reasons.

Also, your Oxbridge friends are not too dissimilar to your school friends, even though at surface they seem privelliged. Contrary to what people assume, Oxbridge graduates have a tough time in the graduate employment market and everyone has insecurities. Their parents may be rich, but not rich enough for them to live comfortably.

Just keep being nice to people who are nice to you?
Thanks. Yes, that's a very utilitarian and pragmatic approach, but I dont really see myself as that type of person. I would like to have had school friends to help me stay grounded.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by mahmoodjr)
I agree entirely with this. Wealthy people often socialize with other wealthy people not out of choice but because their less well off friends preemptively dissociate themselves from them. They may think it's ok to do so, but just because someone is rich doesn't make it acceptable.

Also, you're under no obligation to be austere - you don't have to justify holidays, purchases! Enjoy your success with those who want to be around you.
I'm inclined to agree with this.

I don't feel compelled to live frugally and I don't - the point is I can understand why I wouldn't have liked extremely materialistic people when I was at school for example.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by 123_qwerty)
Firstly, congratulations for your career achievements.

Yes I've heard and experienced petty behaviour like this before. It's often a defensive move because people think that you are or will look down at them. The irony is that now you will, albeit for different reasons.

Also, your Oxbridge friends are not too dissimilar to your school friends, even though at surface they seem privelliged. Contrary to what people assume, Oxbridge graduates have a tough time in the graduate employment market and everyone has insecurities. Their parents may be rich, but not rich enough for them to live comfortably.

Just keep being nice to people who are nice to you?
Can you share some of your experiences?
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ajj2000
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Keep in contact with them but don't stress too much. People often come round a bit as they get older and the years go by.
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anamazingperson
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Out of interest did you choose oxford or cambridge?
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by sinfonietta)
Drop them and focus on the friends who care about you.

I've a friend who is significantly better off than I am: multiple properties, seemingly endless cash, and model good looks on top of that. It doesn't cause any problems in our friendship. In fact I respect them a lot because I know they worked hard for everything they have.
Well I don't have model good looks, so perhaps that where I'm falling short!

On a serious note, thanks for your advice - I need more friends like you.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by anamazingperson)
Out of interest did you choose oxford or cambridge?
Oxford. I really enjoyed university by the way.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Keep in contact with them but don't stress too much. People often come round a bit as they get older and the years go by.
That's really hard to do when I'm not part of social media groups or even group meetups. I occasionally speak to friends from university individually on social media apps.
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mahmoodjr
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(Original post by sinfonietta)
Drop them and focus on the friends who care about you.

I've a friend who is significantly better off than I am: multiple properties, seemingly endless cash, and model good looks on top of that. It doesn't cause any problems in our friendship. In fact I respect them a lot because I know they worked hard for everything they have.
Precisely this. This presumably is the attitude you had at university which got you to where you are now OP.
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mahmoodjr
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(Original post by ajj2000)
Keep in contact with them but don't stress too much. People often come round a bit as they get older and the years go by.
Sorry but I completely disagree. Such people and their negativity detracts from moral and they cannot add much value to OPs life or career.
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Helloworld_95
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I'd consider that you're not being ostracised, certainly not directly because of money, and it's more due to differences in interests. Even at university, but especially after, the people with a finance and investment related interest were their own sort of clique, and people who were more successful investors even more so. Those things require a good amount of passion to do and that will overflow into more personal interactions, and if the person you're talking to just isn't that interested in them then it's going to push them away. It's even more difficult for shy people because shy people tend to prefer talking about things that they're passionate about, so you're more likely to end up in this problem.

Also, speaking as someone who also made considerably more than his peers at a young age for a while, one of the biggest things I see is that the best ways to handle it with regards to what other people can see are either not mentioning it at all, or showing that the prestige side isn't why you're into it and you would give it up for an opportunity that you'll enjoy more. I'm a PhD student in engineering now, while my friends are mostly from GCSE and A level backgrounds working in finance, which is a pretty similar amount of difference to your wealth gap, but we make it work without difficulty.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by mahmoodjr)
Precisely this. This presumably is the attitude you had at university which got you to where you are now OP.
Yes, ironically if any one of my friends had asked me, I would leverage my contacts to help them secure a role. It's objectively the best thing you can do - network and surround yourself with hard working people. But I think there's a defensive psychological response which prevents people from doing this. I have friends who work in finance, technology or law and yet they are incredible people to be around - no arrogance about them whatsoever.
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999tigger
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I'll start off with a little about me. I grew up in a working class family with little dispensable income and hardly any luxuries. I studied maths at Oxbridge and joined a start-up hedge fund (our fund is an entirely algorithmic fund and I'm much more of a nerdy data scientist than a corporate city boy). Our fund was acquired by a large institutional investor and early joiners of the start-up were granted sizable stock options. In short, I'm 24 and earn 250k a year. I'm grateful for this but I'm clearly not part of the super rich.

I went to a comprehensive school in an area with great social economic problems. Prior to sixth form and university applications I had a very good group of friends. But as we progressed, my friends started speaking to me differently even during teenage years. I was no longer invited to social events and excluded from WhatsApp groups etc. I have never taken this personally, as unpleasant as it is, as I appreciate their plight. I understand that perhaps they find me unrelatable, pretentious even. In addition, we can't be held accountable for everything we do in our teenage years.

I later went to Oxbridge where again I made many friends through sports and societies. Many of their parents' net worth was more than a factor of ten greater than our family net worth. They were fairly privelliged, well read, well connected. But since graduating, I'm experiencing some of the same ostracizing behaviour from my university piers that I had previously experienced at school. Unlike my school friends, I sense that this is more deliberate - my university friends can't possibly feel so alienated by money, and know my character well enough. It has really surprised me.

I should add that I'm not very materialistic - I still have an iphone 8, MacBook 2017, I don't wear designer clothes and I don't own a car. My only material possessions are property that I have purchased as investments and I've travelled extensively in 2018/2019 because I couldn't afford to do so when I was younger. I don't think I have an arrogant attitude, or at the least, I haven't developed one since leaving university. I'm still realatively shy and quietly spoken.

My dilemma is that out of no choice of my own, my friends are now almost exclusively wealthy international students or financiers. To what extent should I try and reach out to my formative friends when they repeatedly and preemptively are disrespectful towards me. Does anyone have any advice for me? Has anyone experienced this before? Is it typical that friends feel intimidated or alienated by someone slightly wealthier than them?
I think you have an expectation that some of these friends were better friends than they actually were.
You should expect to lose a % from school and uni.
Maybe it is the money or maybe its just you?
Contact the ones who might be of interest and see if theres any positivity, if not find new friends.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Helloworld_95)
I'd consider that you're not being ostracised, certainly not directly because of money, and it's more due to differences in interests. Even at university, but especially after, the people with a finance and investment related interest were their own sort of clique, and people who were more successful investors even more so. Those things require a good amount of passion to do and that will overflow into more personal interactions, and if the person you're talking to just isn't that interested in them then it's going to push them away. It's even more difficult for shy people because shy people tend to prefer talking about things that they're passionate about, so you're more likely to end up in this problem.

Also, speaking as someone who also made considerably more than his peers at a young age for a while, one of the biggest things I see is that the best ways to handle it with regards to what other people can see are either not mentioning it at all, or showing that the prestige side isn't why you're into it and you would give it up for an opportunity that you'll enjoy more. I'm a PhD student in engineering now, while my friends are mostly from GCSE and A level backgrounds working in finance, which is a pretty similar amount of difference to your wealth gap, but we make it work without difficulty.
I entirely appreciate your argument but I don't think it applies here, and certainly not to my university friends. I understand that people who join the finance society are a distinct clique at university but as I said earlier, I am very much so a data scientist with friends who all graduated in highly technical fields. Many of whom were applying for roles in finance, big data, technology etc.

It's unlikely that friends from the same form group for seven years at school, would struggle to find common ground for conversation immediately as they start university. It's similarly unlikely that uni friends could live together for 3 years, study comparible fields, graduate simultaneously and not be able to meet up once every few months or share a social media group chat.

I would understand why I couldn't form new friendships with people I hadn't previously met, but for pre existing long term friends, it should be no different to how it was at school or university.
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