Social class of your friends

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
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thrifty++
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Social class of your friends

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Mar 13, 2016 4:30 am

I am wondering about ERE type views on the social class of your friends? Is there an ERE type view? I have a few low class friends and I have been thinking lately though whether this is a bit of a problem. I am wondering if I miss out on opportunities because of such company or if their habits rub off - which could be a hitch in my plan to achieve financial independence I wonder.

Most of my lower class friends I like but I just wonder if I should be making more of a concerted effort to make more upper class friends for connections and opportunities and so forth. I have two such friends. I admire their habits. But then it doesn't really work out that way as I get on with who I get on with regardless of their social status so I can't really be that deliberate I guess.

I am thinking of this issue a bit as I have recently decide to depart from my most long term friend who has traditionally been my best friend. But I get more and more irritated with him and we had a row two weeks ago and I have decided to more or less move on and have very little to do with him as it is becoming increasingly negative. I think lots of it stems from what such different directions we have gone in that we have moved so very far apart with the passage of time. Much of his behaviours which annoy me I guess I would label as lower class habits and I now feel like I have nothing in common with him. Such things which annoy me are:

- smoking cigarettes all the time and talking about how much you want to give up
- getting drunk at home on your own or with your partner most days
- having no critical thinking skills so opinions are regurgitated, broad brush, cliched, ranty and emotional rather than insightful, specific, unique and logical .
- Having a boring mundane low paid job that you have been in for years and never changed in it
- never having any money to do anything because of not trying to earn money and spending it negligently
- being in debt and complaining about having no money but not taking any steps to strategically improve finances and getting pissed off at good ideas as to how to fix things
- watching TV all the time
- spending large sums of money on gambling and lotto tickets and stupid pop up gambling sites (like loosing $300 in one hit)
- taking no steps to develop yourself spiritually, socially, financially, skill wise, or career wise.
- hanging out with absolute losers who demonstrate the above habits
- having no interest or motivation to do anything interesting which doesnt cost much money like hiking, going to the beach, random free events and festivals etc
- never picking up a book and trying to read it

He seems to have lost his sense of adventure and humour so now it just seems we are not able to get on at all now even though we had been due to shared comedic moments despite being such different people the last number of years.

Many of my middle class friends have also moved way out into the suburbs to buy houses, gotten married, are having kids, have moved overseas. So I feel like I am stuck in a wee bit of a rut to find like minded people lately.

oldbeyond
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by oldbeyond » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:50 am

I would have a hard time relating to obviously self-destructive behaviours like gambling, excessive drinking and smoking, especially if there is also whining about it involved. Apart from that, I guess pretty much all of my friends would be considered middle class, although often lower middle class by upbringing. Socially, there are of course cultural reference points, modes of speech, codes of behaviour and the like that I somewhat take for granted due to my upbringing, but what's most important is a curiosity towards the world, an openness to new experiences and a sense of humor. People who lack these qualities but are distinctly middle class(the country club set I guess) I can communicate with on a shallow level rather easily, but without opportunity for deeper connections. People with these qualities but of another class are often harder to get to know, but are potential close friends.

TLDR: it's really about worldview and personality, but being of the same social class is a social lubricant.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Mar 13, 2016 7:05 am

“My idea of good company...is the company of clever, well-informed people, who have a great deal of conversation; that is what I call good company.'
'You are mistaken,' said he gently, 'that is not good company, that is the best.”

― Jane Austen, Persuasion
IOW, co-sign with oldbeyond. I was watching a Geoff Lawton lecture the other day and he made use of the acronym R.A.S. (Rigorous Application of Stupidity.) Frets about social class are best left to Junior High School Girls and those likely to be found chained to one by nose-ring. Just concentrate on avoiding the company or influence or power structure of anybody engaged in R.A.S. Of course, and most importantly, this also applies to being more self-aware about the occasions when that somebody is you.

JL13
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by JL13 » Sun Mar 13, 2016 8:44 am

I know where you're coming from.

Now that I'm in my 30s, many of my friends with full time office jobs (I'll use as proxy for middle class here) have started families and moved away or have no time. I have two friends that are dirty bohemians. They do drugs, they live in filthy houses, they work service sector jobs, so they have a lot of things in common with your list. But they're tangential to the 'lower class' if I am to use your term. They're more class x, to borrow from Paul Fussell.

One of them is living a sort of dirty-ERE. He uses mile hacks to travel the world, he bought a house in 2009 for something like $30k which is now worth $150k. He rents 2 rooms out to friends and lives totally rent free. He fixes cell phones for beer money. He got to this point never having a 'real job', just delivering pizzas/waiting tables etc a few days per week.

The other friend has a drinking/substance abuse problem, but he's one of the funniest and sharpest guys I've ever met. He's very clever (all the way until the 8th drink), has an open world view, has traveled to 30 countries.

I love hanging out with these two, but man their friends are the worst. Hopeless and dumb. I spend time with them one-on-one when I can, but when we get to social hour I make myself scarce.

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Ego
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by Ego » Sun Mar 13, 2016 9:28 am

I am not one who normally romanticizes lower class people, but I've commented to Mrs. Ego twice in the past week how my lower-class friends have exhibited more class than my upper-class friends. Perhaps a consequence of their repeated invocation of the yuppie-Nuremberg defense?

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BRUTE
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by BRUTE » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:15 am

brute thinks that propensity-to-ERE and propensity-to-be-interesting are orthogonal to typical social class or status.

some of the most interesting and fun people brute has met are from classes far above or below brute. some of them get along very well, others less so. that said, brute doesn't know any starving-poor people or billionaires. but his experiences do include mere third-world-peasants and some billionaires.

in brute's experience the most interesting people step (if only mentally) outside of their social status. in fact, this is probably tautological: the people who differ most from their regular scheduled programming of course offer the biggest contrast to it. at least to brute, who has never really been interested in social programming much.

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GandK
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by GandK » Sun Mar 13, 2016 11:49 am

Current state is irrelevant to me. Desired future state is not. I am far more concerned with people having a goal of their choosing in front of them that they are actively working toward, than where they are at present in that process. So an engaged and caring "lower class" friend would be way more desirable a companion to me than an apathetic and disengaged "upper class" friend.

thrifty++
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:45 pm

JL13 wrote: I have two friends that are dirty bohemians. They do drugs, they live in filthy houses, they work service sector jobs, so they have a lot of things in common with your list. But they're tangential to the 'lower class' if I am to use your term. They're more class x, to borrow from Paul Fussell.

One of them is living a sort of dirty-ERE. He uses mile hacks to travel the world, he bought a house in 2009 for something like $30k which is now worth $150k. He rents 2 rooms out to friends and lives totally rent free. He fixes cell phones for beer money. He got to this point never having a 'real job', just delivering pizzas/waiting tables etc a few days per week.

The other friend has a drinking/substance abuse problem, but he's one of the funniest and sharpest guys I've ever met. He's very clever (all the way until the 8th drink), has an open world view, has traveled to 30 countries.
Your two dirty bohemian friends sound interesting. I guess my one friend I am thinking of is just dirty. Not bohemian or class x. lol My other two friends I could you could possibly classify as class X. They are more interesting.

And how the hell do you buy a house for $30k? Or $150k for that matter? What city is that in?

thrifty++
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Mar 13, 2016 1:50 pm

oldbeyond wrote: but what's most important is a curiosity towards the world, an openness to new experiences and a sense of humor.
Yes! Curiosity is such an important trait. My friend I have referred to above definitely has that in zero quantity which leads to no motivation. I love it when people are curious.

George the original one
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by George the original one » Sun Mar 13, 2016 5:31 pm

One of my friends fell through the safety net after 2009. He's finally rebooting himself now that he's lost two condominiums, been without work for 4-5 years, and currently residing in his mom's closet. Talented programmer, just no longer has the correct skill set and not suited to being management. It's been hard for him to see his friends retire early.

JL13
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by JL13 » Sun Mar 13, 2016 10:59 pm

@thrifty++

In the southeast, 1-2 miles outside of the recently gentrified/gentrifying areas. $30k could be had back during the real estate bottom, but not so much anymore. The thing is, I'm still not convinced they're a good deal. A place you can buy for $150,000 may rent for $1,000 per month. Using the 50% rule, that's a 4% cap rate ($12k per year * 50% net profit/$150,000). 4% cap rate is Shiller PE10 = 25 territory and at least with the S&P 500 you don't have to do any work selecting tenants and doing repairs etc. Yielding assets are overpriced everywhere IMO.

thrifty++
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by thrifty++ » Mon Mar 14, 2016 12:25 am

George the original one wrote:One of my friends fell through the safety net after 2009. He's finally rebooting himself now that he's lost two condominiums, been without work for 4-5 years, and currently residing in his mom's closet. Talented programmer, just no longer has the correct skill set and not suited to being management. It's been hard for him to see his friends retire early.
Sorry to hear about your friend that sucks. Sounds like he has hit hard times.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:58 am

JL13 said: One of them is living a sort of dirty-ERE. He uses mile hacks to travel the world, he bought a house in 2009 for something like $30k which is now worth $150k. He rents 2 rooms out to friends and lives totally rent free. He fixes cell phones for beer money. He got to this point never having a 'real job', just delivering pizzas/waiting tables etc a few days per week.
Why is this "dirty" ERE? I think it's semi-brilliant ERE. I think dirty ERE would be something more along the lines of saving $2,000,000 working full-time for 10 years cold-calling for Glengarry Glenn Ross and then living off investments in Rio Tinto and American Cyanamid.

JL13
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by JL13 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 10:38 am

7Wannabe5 wrote:Why is this "dirty" ERE?
Well...the rent-free house is filthy and there are drugs everywhere and people sleeping on the floor and couches all the time. I mean really filthy. Do you remember college days what the party house would look like the morning after? With cups and cans and bottles everywhere?

That's what this house looks like AFTER it's been cleaned.

thrifty++
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by thrifty++ » Mon Mar 14, 2016 1:22 pm

So it is quite literally dirty then. My friend I referred to is the same.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Mon Mar 14, 2016 2:19 pm

@JL13: Gotcha. Case of very poor stewardship of Zones 0 (the home) and 00 (the body. ) It may be safe for you to continue your intermittent visitations to such a domicile as long as you only consume dairy products that have been pasteurized at dinner, but I believe that Hobson in his "Poverty: An Inquiry into the Industrial Condition of the Poor" made a pretty strong case for the argument that any child raised in such a household would likely suffer stunted growth and mental impairment.

Did
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by Did » Tue Mar 15, 2016 6:48 am

dislike the class language but perhaps that is an aussie thing.

ferris says you are the average of the 5 people you hang around the most, and if you want to change your life change the people you hang around. getting rid of the people who suck your energy/drag you down can hurt like a bastard, but like the proverbial bandaid it will be worth it once it's done.

i came from a private school background, then to uni then law. it was normal for me to be very successful - everyone was. i guess if you want that then yeah it's a good idea.

now i'm out I just want to hang around interesting people. but then i'm no longer trying to earn big bucks.

enigmaT120
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by enigmaT120 » Wed Mar 16, 2016 1:16 pm

Did wrote:dislike the class language but perhaps that is an aussie thing.
It seems weird to me, too. I guess I'm lower middle class, but I only think in terms of income, not lifestyle. I rarely hang out with other people outside work. Occasional running friends, but I generally run and bike by myself. My best friend lives about 60 miles away and is usually so involved with his wife that I don't care to be around them and I rarely see him.

Peanut
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by Peanut » Wed Mar 16, 2016 5:33 pm

Yes, I use 'working' class instead of 'lower' class as there are negative associations with the latter, but I know that's not how OP meant it.

It's a very interesting topic and made me think. I have only been living where I am for two years, so it's a new milieu and my friends are fairly new. Two closest friends are 'lower upper middle-class' as some sitcom put it. But they see themselves as merely middle class because the neighborhood is wealthy. I have one acquaintance/friend who is upper-class, and I have certainly thought that it would be good to cultivate that friendship further as she has connections that might be useful to me or my family some day. If I didn't genuinely like her I wouldn't bother pursuing it at all, however.

And I have one friend whom I know from before who moved here recently but not to the same neighborhood. He is the oldest and closest friend I have here. He is working-class these days because he lost his job, but highly educated. He is therefore just like two of my other best friends (and yes there is a limit to how many I consider 'best'--4). They all came from abroad from barely middle-class families to do their PhDs here and now barely get by. Despite the fact that they are all incredibly smart at least in terms of rhetorical intelligence, none of them made it in academia or into the middle class. Many I know who were not as smart did, including myself to some extent. I think this was partly due to some form of cultural alienation along with simple bad luck. (They are from UK, Austria, and Lebanon.) I find it interesting that in their personal lives two of them also picked partners who had the same or less privileged backgrounds. The other one has some weird fetish for dating aristocrats but of course those relationships turn out to be fleeting at best.

Anyway, the studies say class boundaries are growing more rigid. Having and keeping friends who are not of the same class as you requires some extra care. But actually my economic practices are much more in tune with those of a couple of my poorer friends than my richer ones. So class is not always a great predictor of shared values.

Crazylemon
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by Crazylemon » Sun Apr 10, 2016 12:33 pm

As a product of Private education and technical Russell Group uni pretty much all of my friends are class 1/A (NS-SEC/NRS). Non do any drugs other than alcohol which they studiously ignore any sort of moderation of (yay for yuppies...). Standard expectation of family + work + nice house (and the requisite moans of impossible in london) + 'suff'. Small c conservatism abounds also on wealth matters although thankfully not on social matters.

This mutation takes approximately 6-12 months from leaving university to gainful employment as far as I can see. Hence preferring the company of students, in particular PhDs, even though I am no longer one myself. Sadly I suspect it will be time to move on from those pastures before long.

There are a few more interesting characters too (although non to the extremes others have mentioned) but in all honesty I find I get far more illumination from talking to people from outside of this incredibly narrow bubble, like my patients and the non medical staff at work. The different perspective I find invaluable. Unfortunately there is too little in common for serious friendships I find.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Mon May 16, 2016 9:10 pm

Due to where I live, and the hobbies I engage in my friends range from lower class folk, lower middle class, upper middle class, and a few genuine 1%'s.

Their social class has never really affected our friendships. I just have to remember who I am speaking to sometimes.

ShriekingFeralHatred
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Re: Social class of your friends

Post by ShriekingFeralHatred » Sat Nov 26, 2016 8:34 pm

blah

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