If there is anything that worsens how you feel about your financial situation, it's probably being around someone that always brags about money. For me one of the most difficult things is to hear someone else bragging about their impressive salary and benefits package, expensive getaways, and huge end of the year bonuses. And of course you try to be nice, because you're their friend and you love them, but really you just want to tell them to shut it.
Money problems can make you bitter, especially towards others with more money and success, but there are classy ways to contain yourself around a money bragger:
- Compliment them. Have you ever heard the expression "kill 'em with kindness?" Well, this goes along with that. Your friend might not being trying to hurt your feelings, but they could just be really proud of how much they've accomplished. Maybe they don't get a lot of praise from other people, so you tell them you're proud of them! That could be all they needed.
- If they're being competitive, ignore them. You can tell a friend is being competitive when he or she brags about recent purchases or income and then immediately want to know what you bought or what you make. Whether they are jealous of you or not, this is childish behavior and shouldn't be acknowledged. Simply compliment them on their recent success and change the subject.
- Never burden them with your financial troubles. When a friend starts to brag about money, it's easy to become upset and envious of them. Still, it's never a good idea to start talking about your financial problems after they've just gotten done talking about buying a $4,000 pair of shoes (or whatever). If you want to talk about your finances, wait until later. Otherwise, you'll just be a Debbie Downer.