Do you lie?

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
ertyu
Posts: 919
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Do you lie?

Post by ertyu »

Frita wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 12:23 pm

@ertyu
Moving to a town of 45k, people know your business and make it up if they don’t. The economy is bad here so people tend to be self-protective under a veneer of community. We haven’t lied, nor been totally truthful (We tend to test the waters first.). We thought/hoped to have more in common with folks here and relate with some in a deeper way.
That's the size I'm looking at. Also, developing country. Which is why lying will be necessary. Think of it from their point of view: if you're unemployed and the economy is bad, and you have a hard time providing for your children or you have a family emergency, would you hesitate to tap any means necessary to put food on the table? You won't give a fuck some stranger worked his back off to save 30x yearly expenses and is currently scrimping so the money will last. What you see is, this greedy fuck is hoarding so much money when so little would make such a difference to you, and if he's so rich and has such earnings potential, he can fucking go get another job. When necessity forces you into unethical behavior, it's way too easy to make the person you plan to steal from the bad guy so you can justify your choices. Being honest allows you to develop authentic relationships, like GK pointed out, but at the same time, authenticity is a luxury only available at a certain level of societal affluence.

Testing waters first is an imperfect safety system as people can sustain a long con for quite a while, but it's the best compromise.

Frita
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Do you lie?

Post by Frita »

ertyu wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 9:43 pm
That's the size I'm looking at. Also, developing country. Which is why lying will be necessary. Think of it from their point of view: if you're unemployed and the economy is bad, and you have a hard time providing for your children or you have a family emergency, would you hesitate to tap any means necessary to put food on the table? You won't give a fuck some stranger worked his back off to save 30x yearly expenses and is currently scrimping so the money will last. What you see is, this greedy fuck is hoarding so much money when so little would make such a difference to you, and if he's so rich and has such earnings potential, he can fucking go get another job. When necessity forces you into unethical behavior, it's way too easy to make the person you plan to steal from the bad guy so you can justify your choices. Being honest allows you to develop authentic relationships, like GK pointed out, but at the same time, authenticity is a luxury only available at a certain level of societal affluence.

Testing waters first is an imperfect safety system as people can sustain a long con for quite a while, but it's the best compromise.
Well, thank you for explaining. It makes helps me to understand numerous things (your situation and my own experience). It seems that each developing country is different; however, I understand the need to lie. Even if you were willing and able to be upfront, that could involve other things like kidnapping insurance, armed guards, etc.

Since I am in the US, there is no real danger. I think that since the economy is so poor people are hustling for jobs, gigs, connections, etc. People probably don’t think we can help them personally get ahead, yet we are still a threat from an ego-standpoint. It took a few months living here to see the cracks, two years to realize the depths and try to play along, and three years for the existential crisis.

I am curious to hear more about “the long con.”

ertyu
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: Do you lie?

Post by ertyu »

Frita wrote:
Sun Dec 08, 2019 11:20 pm
I am curious to hear more about “the long con.”
Nothing you wouldn't expect.

Feigning relationship interest and marrying you (sounds like a redpill thing but it's not, I know one of my fathers' friends courted and married a girl because she was from a bigger city and her dad had a cushy job so he hoped that marrying her would make it affordable to move to the bigger city + he wanted to have the dad get him into a cushy job, too - which happened).

Feigning friendship, then telling you their cousin who lives in Other City got into an accident, can they borrow money. Or trying to get you to participate in some "business scheme" - American Huns are the garden variety, lowest rung of this, but the scheme can be more elaborate and target an individual of perceived high net worth.

Standard elder abuse, too: trying to get elderly people to sign over property, e.g. with the understanding that they will be cared for, only for the person to then re-sell the property and run.

re: the existential crisis - are you guys planning to move in the long term? in a way, the ego threat thing wouldn't be a thing either if the economy was doing better. But people are like that.

bostonimproper
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Re: Do you lie?

Post by bostonimproper »

I am honest with my close friends, all of whom are in the same income strata as me. I've even converted my best friend to FIRE, which is nice and means I might have someone to hang out with (other than my husband and kids) in all my post-corporate free time. I will probably lie to my parents though-- who I also lied to when I was unemployed for a while. They have pretty outdated models about how the world works (same job forever), and I don't tell them my net worth for a variety of reasons, so I felt it was better to spare them the worry of thinking I was barely scraping by and dealing with the requisite "have you found a job yet???" nagging.

Because we have more or less a middle class level of spending and lifestyle, we're pretty readily grokked by most strangers without much effort. If I get asked what I do post-corporate, I'll probably tell people my avocation du jour. Little things are confusing to our more monied friends: why don't we buy a bigger place? what about doing more renovations? are we sending our kids to private school or moving to the whiter town next door for the better public schools? Especially that last one has led to some interestingly contentious conversations. But, by and large as a more Bogle-ish ERE-curious person, I am comfortable just not showing off and find that's enough to blend in.

Frita
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Re: Do you lie?

Post by Frita »

@ertyu
Thank you for the examples. As I got to thinking about it last night, I realized there are plenty of long cons. Towns (like where we live) touting being a great place to raise a family, job postings that never get filled/are filled on a rotating basis by new uni grads/nepotistic hires, insular schools that make it hard to realize upfront the flexible ethics and marginal instruction, lots of non-profit creation for jobs instead of the purpose of the organization, etc. Ugh... From what you write, this behavior happens everywhere and lack of opportunities/money can sure bring out creative ways to get ahead.

Our 15 year old teen has 3.5 years of high school left. He has his friends and doesn’t want to move again. When he graduates, he should have around a year of university classes done. He’s on pace to have free tuition based on academics. If he lives at home (and in the basement if he wants more privacy), he will graduate debt free or make money depending on scholarships. Once he’s in the uni, we should be able to leave for chunks of time to look for a different home base.

Well, my career has always came second to my spouse’s. He liked making money and climbing the ladder. Six years ago I gave up tenure so he could chase whatever. His company promised to help me transition to a different career (never happened, funny-ass story though). Two moves in a year and a half, market downturn, and my spouse decided the rat race wasn’t worth it. He quit and hasn’t looked back. The irony is that I always planned to work into my 60s, if not 70s! (He should have been following me around, not vice versa.). These days I am/was looking for an unpaid position that is in line with my value system and to use my skills which seems even harder than finding paid work (I can travel for up to a month with the family, so short-term Peace Corp is out until the teen graduates HS, assuming my spouse could also go. After my last volunteer stint, I feel really gun shy though you helped me mentally accommodate the experience.)

@bostonimproper
It sounds like you have a handle on your situation. Corporate pukes will wonder why you are quitting rather living in a $1 million+ (Tulsa dollars) mansion, driving new luxury cars, flying your own airplane, sending kids to exclusive private schools, etc. From my experience, getting away from those phonies was easy though I miss playing mahjong with the exec wives sometimes.

You got me thinking. People here notice that we live a middle-class lifestyle peppered with some awesome trips and traditionally expensive hobbies. They also know that we don’t work. People here don’t/can’t do that. Being in a small town and having to make friends from scratch seems to make flying under the radar harder. The older retired people are just versions of the younger ones. I still wonder if there aren’t some people more like us hiding out somewhere in town. How does one flush them out?

GandK
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Re: Do you lie?

Post by GandK »

I'm really enjoying this conversation, and all the levels involved in it.

I spent so long in Ohio surrounded by people who were looking down on us for our life decisions, most of whom (we were 99% sure) had bank balances significantly below ours, and spent all their money on props for their selfies. We kept our heads down and bit our tongues about the rude remarks, and just lived our lives according to a plan... and now we are greedy fucks who hoarded our money. :lol: Probably to a whole lot of people, as I think it through. It's pretty mind blowing. Exactly no human beings want you to save your money. The cultural pressure from every friend, every enemy, every direction, every country, every government is enormous. Businesses cannot exist if you do it. It takes such an act of will, that the longer it goes on in our lives, the more astonished I am that we did it at all.

We'll be even greedier fucks next year when we move to Texas for tax purposes. I can't wait.

Frita
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2018 8:43 pm

Re: Do you lie?

Post by Frita »

@GandK
Ditto, this is an interesting and fun conversation. How ironic that those who thought you were cheap/poor and got some comparative self-esteem boost now are jealous of/bewildered your good fortune (AKA hard work)! It seems that the pervasive human nature is to need to feel better than someone. The sad thing is they could be in the same place right now. Good riddance to those people.

I am happy as hell for you. Congratulations, enjoy, may the Texas move go well! (I limited myself to one exclamation point per paragraph as it seemed a bit excessive but necessary.)

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Sclass
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Location: Orange County, CA

Re: Do you lie?

Post by Sclass »

GandK wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:44 pm

I spent so long in Ohio surrounded by people who were looking down on us for our life decisions, most of whom (we were 99% sure) had bank balances significantly below ours, and spent all their money on props for their selfies. We kept our heads down and bit our tongues about the rude remarks, and just lived our lives according to a plan... and now we are greedy fucks who hoarded our money. :lol:
.
Reminds me I have to take our Xmas card photo. I used to photoshop the useless props in the background. People will have funny coping mechanisms. My sister used to complain about her grad schoolmates who bought homes on graduation (because they were saving from their stipends). She hated them. “How but how!?!”

I had to leave a lot of my middle class friends behind. Not only do we have little in common, I’m kind of the enemy now. (The reason why they’re struggling).

cmonkey
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Re: Do you lie?

Post by cmonkey »

GandK wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 3:44 pm
The cultural pressure from every friend, every enemy, every direction, every country, every government is enormous. Businesses cannot exist if you do it. It takes such an act of will, that the longer it goes on in our lives, the more astonished I am that we did it at all
Yea I am inversely correlated here. The more pressure, the less I spend. I get far more pleasure out of not purchasing something, particularly if it's something I "must own".

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Stahlmann
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Re: Do you lie?

Post by Stahlmann »

I'd like to (at least in small cases), but I can't.

ertyu
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Re: Do you lie?

Post by ertyu »

Frita wrote:
Mon Dec 09, 2019 1:23 pm

You got me thinking. People here notice that we live a middle-class lifestyle peppered with some awesome trips and traditionally expensive hobbies. They also know that we don’t work. People here don’t/can’t do that. Being in a small town and having to make friends from scratch seems to make flying under the radar harder. The older retired people are just versions of the younger ones. I still wonder if there aren’t some people more like us hiding out somewhere in town. How does one flush them out?
The only idea I have is, look for or organize meetups around traditionally FIRE/ERE values or hobbies. Cheapskate hang-out oriented meetup? DIY? Gardening/permaculture?? A meetup of "Town Cheapskates" which organizes different low-cost activities on a regular basis will surely flush out some folks that are into frugality for one reason or another.

davtheram12
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Joined: Mon May 28, 2018 6:02 pm

Re: Do you lie?

Post by davtheram12 »

Yes but only when the situation calls for it.

Im more likely to be honest with very close friends who understand that my answers come from a place of endearment. But when strangers, co-workers or certain family members ask personal questions that can inevitably lead to uncomfortable situations, I'll definitely lie. I use to be very candid but learned very quickly people didn't want to hear the truth or have their problems fixed. Most are in desperate need of sympathy for their situation. I regularly lie at work since being honest has only left me more annoyed and perturbed. I work in a medical clinic that focuses on yearly physicals for local police officers and firefighters. Many have a severe downward trend in their health status year after year despite being told what needs to be done to improve their health.
I regularly hear:
"you know how it is"
"I don't have time to go to the gym"
"but healthy food is too expensive"
"but I'm too old to exercise like I used to"

To which I respond:
"Yeah I get it"
"Yeah me neither"
"It definitely is"
"Hmm sorry to hear that"

I realize these lies don't help their situation but it definitely helps alleviate tension that would otherwise occur after pointing out their faulty logic :)

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