Friendships changing

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
thrifty++
Posts: 793
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Friendships changing

Post by thrifty++ » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:49 am

I find myself going through quite a transformation lately.

Being deeply focused on personal finance has caused me to also unpack and redesign many areas of my life and focus more on who I am and who I want to be not on what I think I should be or what is socially preferable.

I am finding my friendships changing quite a lot as a result. I find that I enjoy being around people who are interested in personal finance, philosophy, concepts and ideas, as well as being health oriented and into the outdoors, health and fitness, yoga, etc. I find that many of these characteristics seem to come together in the same person. I have 2 or 3 friends like this. Who I greatly enjoy spending time around. Then I have many more friends who possess only very few or none of those features and who are into heavy drinking and eating and partying and not much else. I dont enjoy spending much time with them any more and dont have much in common with them. I find it somewhat sad as these are the longer term friendships and connections but there does not seem to be any spark any more.

I have actually hardly drunk any alcohol at all during the last 3 months and its been zero alcohol for the most of that time and I want things to carry on that way for at least a while. I dont want to spend any time around any of my more long term friends while I am abstaining from alcohol as I dont want to get sucked back into it. And I just generally think I am losing commonality with them.

I am not sure if many other people on here have had these experiences?

I would like to meet more people in person who have similar characteristics to myself.

IlliniDave
Posts: 2208
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:46 pm

Re: Friendships changing

Post by IlliniDave » Sun Apr 22, 2018 6:32 am

I've had the same experiences, both wrt the changes I underwent as ER became a priority, and wrt other changes I've gone though at different stages in life. It started when I went off to college and many of my old friends from "back home" did not. Specific to ER and the accompanying changes, I've not added any new friends (of the in real life variety) based on that commonality. Only internet acquaintances. I did influence a couple friends to adopt more of a long-term financial consciousness, but due to other circumstances (family and career) we don't have much contact as we once did.

Being single again, it is interesting how being ER focused tints that dynamic. Being open about pursuing ER implies to many people considerably more wealth than I have, so at first it is an attractant. Then when the lack of affluence of said retirement is revealed, it becomes a repellent. Fate is sealed when it becomes known that the direction of my migration is northward, to places that are "cold". Not the sort of friendships you were asking about, but the same dynamic to a degree.

What I've concluded is that ultimately most of us are wired to seek out "our tribe".

slsdly
Posts: 250
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2013 1:04 am

Re: Friendships changing

Post by slsdly » Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:14 am

I'm on a later train than you, but I'm getting there. I want to stop drinking; currently I only drink socially, and infrequently enough, but still. While I've been blessed with being slim with no real effort (if I'm preparing all my meals, I eat less than others), fitness is something I only got into because of ERE. At first it was very utilitarian, but now I just get a lot of joy from it and those that I have met along the way. Lentils too!

I wouldn't say my historical friendships are heavily into drinking. We would have a good time without it. But I sort of grow tired of the defeatism. I understand not everyone is likely to achieve what we can, but I find the pointing out of privilege in conversations to be such a buzzkill. On a certain level I appreciate it -- if I was talking to people who were uneducated, working 2 minimum wage jobs, supporting a family, no partner, etc, one should try not to be an ass to them. It's not like I would intentionally tell them they just need to eat lentils and learn to cut their own hair and they are on the road to prosperity. I also consider it useful in an academic or policy crafting sense, you need a common language to make sense of the issues. However I do wish I could speak to people with a similar level of affluence without it constantly coming up in ordinary conversation. I just don't see how comments like "and that shows your privilege" are useful/interesting? I can only imagine how our meetups would suck if we had the peanut gallery making those comments each time we open our mouths :P. Don't we need people to at least try and fail to have any hope of changing the system? Otherwise it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy?

User avatar
Riggerjack
Posts: 2551
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Riggerjack » Mon Apr 23, 2018 1:46 pm

Well, in my twenties, I was expanding my capabilities, learning new and different things from many sources. This caused some friction with my friends. Some of the questions the OP was asking came up.

Popular wisdom says be who you want to be, let the chips fall as they may. And there is good reason for it. But what is rarely heard is to maintain those old friendships. As we get older, it's good to have friends with history.

So my advice is to be who you want to be, but be careful not to intentionally leave your friends behind. Be frugal, and don't drink. But if you have a friend who is into drinking and playing basketball, go play basketball. Then when he talks about going out for a beer after the game, tell him you aren't into drinking, and you are off to do X. Most drinkers go for a beer as an excuse for socialising. They will go socialize in a boat with a fishing pole if given the opportunity, but that requires work and organizing. The bar is right there. If you are willing to do the work and organizing, you can still get all the good, avoid the bad, maintain the friendship, and develop yourself and your friendship in a way you can be proud of.

Of course, all of that depends on having friends worth the effort.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Sclass » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:57 pm

I lost a lot of friends over the years. Like RJ (oops I meant IDave) says it was like when I left my high school pals to attend college.

It happened again when I announced I’d quit working...forever. People around me didn’t like it. We didn’t share the same fears or struggles anymore. I couldn’t sympathize with them about things involving money. And there was jealousy. Those “peers” had egos too.

Typical response: “ I didn’t know you could do that.”

Well now ya do. And there goes our friendship.

It’s an ongoing struggle for me. I have lost friendships and I’ve gained a few.

JBmoney
Posts: 15
Joined: Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:08 pm
Location: New York, NY

Re: Friendships changing

Post by JBmoney » Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:11 am

I am absolutely experiencing this too.

I still have all my "long time" friends... but it's really starting to feel like I don't have much to talk about with them anymore at social events.

With my head being so focused on my lifestyle and financial independence, it's obvious that there's a disconnect between all of our interests at this point. They're still walking the sidewalk or slowlane...and I'm well on my way to the fastlane.

It's a little scary because I love my friends... but I also need people around me that support my goals and are intellectually similar to me.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Sclass » Tue Apr 24, 2018 12:52 pm

JBmoney wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 11:11 am
It's a little scary because I love my friends... but I also need people around me that support my goals and are intellectually similar to me.
Dancing with yourself isn’t the worst thing. Don’t be afraid. The most interesting things in life are scary. Trust me, I don’t want to go back to that old prison just to be allowed to play cards with my old cell mates.

I miss my old friends everyday. I sent out Christmas cards this year. An annual tradition with a funny photo card every year. This was the first year two of my besties didn’t reply. It’s been coming for awhile now. It started with them pulling away at parties and not wanting to talk. I’d show up just to sit alone with my SO while they gathered someplace else to talk. It was subtle but it started right after I retired in 2012. Now it’s all out abandonment. I guess they’ve decided it’s time to move on.

Heck, Christmas cards are for those you only think of once a year. I guess that is too much now.

My very existence invalidates my friends’ complaints about the world. I get it. No fun complaining about the trap and “the man” when your pal is offering the keys before you. They don’t want to publicly say “but I cannot do that”. Yet they still need to complain. Just not in front of me.

Wow I really miss drinking with my old friends and bitching and moaning about our jobs, the govt, our debt (hah, never really had any).

Maybe there’s a feeling that I duped them.

Sometime I think I did this to my old friends but in the financial sense. I lived simply. I used lack of money as an excuse for my meager lifestyle. They accepted it. Some of them might have even felt sorry for me. And then boom, I am FI. It could look deceptive.

Or maybe they just suck as friends. :lol:

User avatar
Chris
Posts: 614
Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:44 pm

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Chris » Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:27 pm

I know this is ERE -- so it's probably decades away for most of us -- but eventually all the old friends will hit traditional retirement, right? And hopefully, some of them might be able to hit "normal" early retirement (55ish). Once those friends join the job-free lifestyle, is there any chance of reconnecting? Any chance the FI people will be seen as experts to those who have to answer the question, "without a job, what do I do all day?"

@Sclass, you've posted quite a bit on the topic of changing friendships post-FI; maybe you have given some thought to this.

User avatar
Riggerjack
Posts: 2551
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Apr 24, 2018 5:47 pm

Keeping old friends requires maintenance. Finding the things you still have in common. Making the time to gather. Forming traditions, to keep all this in a routine. For me and mine, this means camping. Time spent around a campfire is time well spent. All the pressure to keep a conversation going falls away, and people have the time to say what they like, and silence is natural. Often, we just stare into the fire at the beach. We do this at least once a year, usually 2-4 times a year.

As we move through life, paths naturally diverge. Making a time and place to touch base, where there are no other distractions, is key to keeping divergence from becoming separation. Talking about where we are, and where we want to be allows this to be understood before it happens, so the sudden transition sclass talks about doesn't seem like a betrayal of our perceptions. My friends know of my retirement plans. They knew about my problems at work (back when I had them) my problems with girlfriends (back when I had them), problems with finances, problems with houses, cars and boats. Blah, blah. And I know theirs. I know their skepticism of my retirement, and my Prius, and my marriage, but they are coming around to my way of thinking. I know their plans, goals, inclinations and troubles. I help where I can, back off where I can't.

When you are young, friendship is based on commonality. Think of 2 ten year old friends, growing up in the same neighborhood, going to the same school, etc. How much of their experiences are the same at 11, 18, 28, 48 and 68? As we age the natural commonality fades, but you still have the commonality of a path shared. If everything else changes, that remains, if you maintain it. You don't need your friends to share your newest passion, or to encourage you down a road they don't trust. You need your friends to remain your friends, and that requires a little effort.

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Sclass » Tue Apr 24, 2018 8:51 pm

Chris wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 1:27 pm
@Sclass, you've posted quite a bit on the topic of changing friendships post-FI; maybe you have given some thought to this.
Funny you ask. I’m 49 and I know many over 65 real retirees. Many of them worked long careers and traditionally retired. And for the most part, they are upset with me. I get to see them a lot because I’m retired.

One cousin is 67 and he is doing the deferred traveling thing. When he meets me he’s livid and says I’m lazy. “I worked hard and long and hard, you’re just a quitter!” Clearly jealously. Mixed in with some disbelief.

I have my 78 yo godmother. She always said she worked till 69 to get her social security. And that I needed to do my part contributing to the system because “that’s how it works!” I replied no way was I gonna go out a sucker for that Ponzi scheme. That didn’t go over well. Same lady yelled “what makes you think you can do this?”

This one is painful because she’s like a second mother to me. “My sons work for their money Sclass! They make an honest dollar! You act like rules don’t apply to you! How do you pay your bills?” I’ve explained too many times and it is just ignored. She just keeps repeating herself.

Another family friend in 2012, then 66 told me “I just retired, what are you doing these days Sclass?” I hadn’t seen the guy since I was 13. I said, “me too, I just retired too.” I was 43. He just frowned and didn’t blink for a few seconds. Awkward silence.

It goes on. Now this isn’t reconnecting with my peers. It is different. But I’m not received well by the “real” retirees. They don’t like to hear the details - like how easy it is to retire if you aren’t getting your earnings sucked out of you by programs like Social Security and Medicare. I can extrapolate out that my age similar friends may be the same.

My guess is my “peers” will be unhappy with me when they meet up with me in 15 years. They’re gonna be grouchy after all the abuse they endured in the meantime.

User avatar
BRUTE
Posts: 3699
Joined: Sat Dec 26, 2015 5:20 pm

Re: Friendships changing

Post by BRUTE » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:50 am

alone. not lonely.

Farm_or
Posts: 412
Joined: Thu Nov 10, 2016 8:57 am
Contact:

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Farm_or » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:35 am

We never retire from friendship and we always have that innate desire for acceptance.

The farm auctions have been reunions. That is changing too, falling away to internet auction. I'm down to a couple of old time auctions, where you have to show up.

The auction a couple of weeks ago was unique. I always see a few friends and family, but this time it was an extra ordinary amount of friend after friend. Two of my past besties were there! I hadn't seen in over five years. It's a good thing that I didn't have much interest in the items for sale because I spent most of the time "shooting the shit".

There was one tractor that I was interested in. It so happened that one of my friends was very familiar with it. He spilled me the inside scoop on it. Then my long time bestie showed up all the way from Montana. He is a master diesel mechanic, factory trained by Cummins. It so happened that the tractor I wanted was Cummins powered,so he was going over it with me.

A couple of other farmers were looking at that tractor at the same time. One took special interest when he started eavesdropping my friend giving expert details on the engine. My buddy who is a perpetual joker and very quick witted took notice and the old farmer asked him, " How many horsepower is that? "

"It's about a hundred. Their no good though. They don't last."

I tried to play along, but I couldn't contain my laughter, let alone keep a straight face!

We exchanged phone numbers so it won't be five plus years before we meet again. Facebook has been useful for the few other friends that use it. But I think you have to let friendships evolve. New friends come along frequently. Don't hang so tight to the past that you don't evolve yourself.

suomalainen
Posts: 493
Joined: Sat Oct 18, 2014 12:49 pm

Re: Friendships changing

Post by suomalainen » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:48 am

I feel like I don't really have anything to add to this conversation. My friendships are changing because (1) I stopped going to my church, so those "acquaintance friends" dropped away and (2) my good friends have all moved away and though I keep in touch electronically, seeing them once every few years isn't the same. Lastly, I find it challenging at my age to make new friends. The opportunities are there, but it's a bit different when you compare how you make friends in your youth - friendships come easy because you're too stupid to realize you have nothing in common and you can be friends anyway just because you live on the same street. Now, with adult consciousness, it's harder to overlook those gaps, thought it can be done if the gaps aren't too wide.

Anyway, just wanted to say that this has been an enlightening, thought-provoking thread.

User avatar
Riggerjack
Posts: 2551
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:53 pm

My guess is my “peers” will be unhappy with me when they meet up with me in 15 years. They’re gonna be grouchy after all the abuse they endured in the meantime.
Top
That sounds rough. Do you want to come camping? It would require some travel, but we have room. :D

Peanut
Posts: 333
Joined: Sat Feb 14, 2015 2:18 pm

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Peanut » Wed Apr 25, 2018 1:39 pm

I have a friend who once told me she tried to keep at least one person from each stage of her life--boarding school, college, and graduate school. And I think I'm the third one for her. I think this is a great idea in general because it connects you to your own past and memory and lately I've wondered if I should try to reconnect with a couple once good friends from high school. My best friend from hs and I fell out many years ago when I realized she didn't like my boyfriend, now DH. Everyone likes him so I think it was more a matter of her not being happy I had found someone great, which is just a shame.

I also have a difficult friend from college I try hard to keep even though she makes it awfully hard sometimes. We don't even live in the same country anymore so there are natural barriers as well. At one point I considered letting her go and another friend of mine advised me that she thought that if I did I'd always regret it. I took the advice and am expecting this college friend to stay with us for two weeks this summer in our smallish apartment with two kids and a dog. She's stayed with us before and I'm really excited to spend time with her. She's like family and if I can stand my mother staying with us periodically I figure it'll be a piece of cake.

I'm always open to making new friends which is a good thing bc we've moved a couple times since finishing school. Parent friends were a new discovery. I think it's key that you can envision yourselves as friends even if kids weren't in the picture. If that's the case then you can become very good friends as you spend a lot of time together while the kids play.

I read a study about how personal happiness is significantly increased if you have a friend living within 1 mile, even more if it's 0.5 mile. I have two in the first category, none in the second, but am currently trying to cultivate a new acquaintance who is 0.3 from me. She is borderline for a friend I would have made without kids in the picture but I figure her proximity adds unique value to a potential friendship.

That's friendship from a female view and experience, I guess. DH on the other hand is very different from me. He currently seems to have no friends and no desire to make any. He's anti-social at heart perhaps, or just unwilling to put in any effort at this stage of life when he has both full-time work and a young family at home. I have a very good male friend who has always known and liked DH as well and has said for instance, 'if DH is going to see X movie give him a call.' Trying to create his own friendship with him. But DH doesn't do it even though he genuinely likes this guy as well. I'm not sure what to make of it. I don't really say anything but I do wish he had at least one friend he could really talk to because I think it would help sometimes for him to see such and such ideas or opinions are nuts, especially those that concern me in some way. I guess because we're married he doesn't necessarily believe me when I try to tell him that! And his dad just validates everything he says. But that informal third person or mediator-type figure who will reflect reality back to you is really valuable I think.

I have some thoughts about the money issue as well, sorry I didn't address it yet. Will do so later.

thrifty++
Posts: 793
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Friendships changing

Post by thrifty++ » Wed Apr 25, 2018 2:12 pm

@riggerjack - thanks for you input, you have some good ideas on this stuff.

It sounds like some on here have experienced rejection from their friends. I havent so much experienced that in fact its a little bit more the other way around.

The main issues I have are that: (1) I dont want to drink alcohol and feel peer pressure from friends most of who are heavy drinkers, (2) I feel peer pressure to spend from friends who are heavy spenders and (3) I get annoyed by many of their behaviours which seem trivial and superficial to me, the laziness, the focus on dreaming about porches and opinions based on swift uneducated assumptions about things, the significant focus on external validation and wanting to do things to receive praise and idolation from other people and generally feel like I have nothing I want to talk to them about and (4) I now dislike many of their habits and dont want their habits rubbing off on me - the whole social contagion thing. I think they are all people who lack discipline and are very instant gratification focused. Most of my long term friends.

I think it seems I have been somewhat judgemental and in fact I could make more of an effort to make time with them instead of making none and always saying no. But I should also be completely myself and do things like just not drink around them and dont spend money around them and see if it is them who will reject me or maybe my habits might even rub off on them.

I also find that I tend to hound my new friends who I have lots in common with and hopefully they are not sick of me! Lol

jacob
Site Admin
Posts: 10531
Joined: Fri Jun 28, 2013 8:38 pm
Location: USA, Zone 5b, Koppen Dfa, Elev. 620ft, Walkscore 73
Contact:

Re: Friendships changing

Post by jacob » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:19 pm


User avatar
Riggerjack
Posts: 2551
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:09 am

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Riggerjack » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:58 pm

@ thrifty

Points 1-4 describe me at various points of my twenties. None apply today.

We all change as time goes by. So you changed faster, or in different directions from your friends. That happens. You don't have to agree about everything, in fact, you don't have to agree on anything, so long as you can find a way to agree to disagree. Getting older makes this easier.

There have been years that I didn't talk to or see a friend at all, and times we lived together. But I always kept up contact. I knew vaguely where they were, and what they were up to. And the next time we had a campfire, we caught up.

So if you are changing too fast and hard for them to even want to follow, that shouldn't be a problem. Allow some difference. Allow for time to pass, frustration to build, and gains to be made. Try again next year, and the year after. Eventually, you can get the timing right, and maybe you will just be the crazy guy they know and talk about around the water cooler, the guy who saw the world for what it was and built an escape tunnel. Even the POWs who don't make the great escape can live better knowing that it was done, that it's possible, even as they labor away in the salt mines.

Maybe you will just be the inspirational guy who does as he likes, thumbing his nose at the system and all the cogs. That wouldn't be so bad, would it? Do you really need your friends to follow your path to stay friends?

User avatar
Sclass
Posts: 1436
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:15 pm

Re: Friendships changing

Post by Sclass » Wed Apr 25, 2018 7:40 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 12:53 pm
That sounds rough. Do you want to come camping? It would require some travel, but we have room. :D
Thank you for the generous offer. I think I should try this with my old friends. Something about a bunch of old men intermittently talking and being silent in front of a fire sounds like it may call up some primitive bonding tendencies.

FruGal61
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:06 am

Re: Friendships changing

Post by FruGal61 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:13 pm

Wow, great thread and kind of what I needed to read tonight. Regarding alcohol, I am trying to cut down. One of my very good friends lately is red wine.....my full-bodied, deeply ruby colored friend who accepts me no matter what, doesn't judge me by my stuff or lack thereof, makes me relaxed and not anxious and competitive, makes having chronic physical symptoms a bit more tolerable. Don't worry, so far I have things under control with this friend. But some of my other friends? Oy. :roll:

Really disheartening to read sclass account of "real" retirees being angry, resentful and hurling accusations of laziness and "not living by the rules". Sigh. Big sigh.

I will admit I am super jealous of campfire gatherings 2-4 times a year. If I can even get one of these one time a year it is pretty great. One of my favorite things is to play guitars around a campfire and everyone sings. I know there will at least one this summer.

Living in one of the most expensive cities in the country with a highly educated workforce, there is a lot of wealth and consumption around me. Next to my consumer peers, I am a bit of a weirdo. I have felt judged by some of my mostly female home-owning friends for not having bought property and not having the desire to decorate a large home and entertain. Now with a chronic physical problem and not having a handy, well-heeled partner, I have very little desire to buy and maintain a house. Since I don't "entertain" (I did sometimes in the past when I lived in a big house with an ex-partner) as my tiny apartment is not up to snuff, there is nowhere to park, etc. I feel like I don't have much in common with said homeowners and I also feel badly about not reciprocating.

That said, I do have some old friends who seem to accept my renter status and my non-interest in keeping up with the Joneses or living the consumerist lifestyle. This is not to say I don't admire and enjoy luxury and a nice comfortable home, but I just don't have the nesting gene. I never wanted to do it alone, and now I have no interest in shopping or picking out paint colors. It would be a full time job for me. If someone else wanted to do it, then - cool, I'll play along. It's just not how I want to spend my time - weekends fighting for parking at Home Depot.

I'm perhaps what you call a reluctant loner and was a creative, musical kid who was fine alone, but my mother worried about me fitting in socially and instilled the fear of "what other people think" into my psyche. I think I am finally coming into my own and nearing self-acceptance. Thus, old friend, I will show up at your annual gathering at your million dollar house, I will bring a dish and a beverage, and a guitar if music is desired but please don't ask me about my real estate status or "what's new?" Don't ask me where my relationship is going, if I'm going to get married, or "how's work" or what I'm doing with my life. I'm eating, breathing and sleeping and yes, working. My work is more flexible, I don't get 13 vacation days and 3 personal days. I make my own schedule and I have to give up some creature comforts in order to have that freedom. I pay taxes, and again yes, I work but I don't want to talk about it very much at this gathering, OK? Let's laugh, goof off, talk about the state of the crazy world, current events if you like and yes, let's laugh about old times. What am I "doing"? I'm doing whatever I please as much as possible. I'm sleeping late and staring at the wall, is that OK with you? I'm contemplating the meaning of life and realizing that most of the planet lives on practically nothing. I reject the idea that I must be busy and constantly "bettering" myself and my life. It's Ok, just the way it is. As people I know start dying off, I realize that life is short. I enjoy being idle with "nothing" to "do", I don't measure my worth by efficiency and productivity in the corporate paradigm.

As James Taylor sings: "the secret of life is enjoying the passage of time". Yes, my friends. This is it. Unlike many of my friends and some relatives, I do not feel the need to be moving constantly like a shark, seeking new experiences and entertainment, tickets to this and that (although I do enjoy the occasional concert!), reservations at the new hip and expensive restaurant, a full and packed social calendar. At this point I want peace, quiet, walks in natural settings, friendly non-pressuring, non-judgmental people and lots of unstructured time to practice my instruments, make music, and break bread with old friends, new friends or all by my lonesome. Luckily I do have some great creative, free-thinking old friends who "get it" and embrace "live and let live".

Since a few of my 9-6 corporately employed friends don't have and/or understand my lifestyle, we have perhaps drifted apart a bit. Some family members are also less understanding. I am fine with their choices and harbor no animosity towards them until they drop judge-y, pressuring and competitive comments. Haven't they heard the phrase "Different strokes for different folks"? I just wish they could be fine with my choices. Personally I think they are secretly jealous but perhaps, similar to sclass' experience, they are disappointed at me for not keeping up, not fitting in and for not playing strictly by the rules in the well-defined system. If that is the case, then....big sigh.

Phew, I feel better now. Thank you!

Post Reply