ERE shaming

How to explain ERE, arranging family matters
Tyler9000
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Location: Austin, TX

Re: ERE shaming

Post by Tyler9000 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:07 pm

I think Seppia makes a good observation about the distinction between people who know a lot about you and people who don't. I think that's why family can seem a lot more critical than the average acquaintance. They just have more info to go on. ;)

I've had a similar experience that running across sour grapes in everyday life is extremely rare even among a few coworkers who know I'm financially independent. I attribute that mostly to generally blending into normal life and not trying to proselytize. I accept them for who they are and they accept me. It also means I'm happy to talk about ERE ideas when asked but I also know when to drop it when I see people getting uncomfortable once they start hitting the inevitable wall of not feeling like it's personally attainable for whatever reason. Basically, a good way to make sure people don't make a big deal about things is to not make a big deal about it yourself.

BTW, I do acknowledge that certain family dynamics can make things very difficult. I tend to think that those core issues are almost always independent and much deeper than your ERE choices, but obviously YMMV.
Last edited by Tyler9000 on Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:33 pm, edited 2 times in total.

thegreatvoid

Re: ERE shaming

Post by thegreatvoid » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:01 pm

i appreciate all the great responses

@Campitor You almost brought up my PTSD from studying 5 years Latin in high school, with those Seneca quotes ;-) I clearly remmeber having to translate those texts from Latin to German.

@Jean I can relate to your comparison with dying. " Red Pill Malaise " , is what it´s referred to in the manosphere .

Campitor
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by Campitor » Sat Nov 10, 2018 7:12 pm

@thegreatvoid

I sympathize - I had 5 years of Latin and 3 years of Classical Greek (2nd aorist for the win!) in middle school through high school. But in all honesty I found Caesar's letters from Gaul fascinating; the stories were worth the translation effort. And Pliny's letter about the eruption of Pompeii was pretty cool too. :D

jennypenny
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Location: Stepford USA

Re: ERE shaming

Post by jennypenny » Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:20 pm

When I moved to Stepford there was a lot of pressure to fit in. I fluctuated between feeling angry/frustrated over people’s comments and feeling ashamed for not wanting to live the kind of life everyone else seemed to want. After some life-altering events and also finding others who live the way I do (here and elsewhere), I decided I’d had enough and basically withdrew. It didn’t happen overnight, but I slowly removed myself from most social situations.

It’s been a couple of years since I dropped out of sight completely, and I have to admit it was a mistake. There are certain people I should definitely avoid and a couple of regular events that weren’t worth the aggravation. OTOH, there were some that I loved and were worth the negativity, but I let those go too. There were also people who were probably worth the trouble and I was too dismissive. Looking back, I think some people meant well and actually thought they were being helpful by pointing out how quirky I’d become. I could have been more gracious with them.

Take the advice of others here and learn how to ignore the comments; don’t hide from the world. It’s ok to prefer your own company most of the time (I’ll never like social occasions) but some social interaction is important. Look at it as social capital development if you need a reason to endure the negative noise.

suomalainen
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by suomalainen » Sun Nov 11, 2018 10:40 pm

thegreatvoid wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:20 am
So what actually constitutes a LIFE LIVED ?
That's your business and not theirs. If their feedback prompts you to feel like you're not satisfied with your current situation, you can try something else. If you're content, make no changes.
thegreatvoid wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 12:20 am
And why is it that the most hurtful words always come from family members.
Expectations. Perhaps in this instance you expected love, support or understanding from your mom or sister and when what came back instead was hurtful or spiteful or shaming, then it hurts.

In either case (feedback or shaming), you can (i) take a look at your own situation and decide what you want to change, if anything and (ii) talk to your mom or sister about how what they said was hurtful to you and why. If they love you, then they will listen to you and you will be able to progress the relationship forward and perhaps it's worth it to keep trying with them. If they don't listen to you or they dismiss your feelings or if there's a pattern of them doing that, maybe they're assholes and you don't need them in your life. There can be a lot of pain in wishing that a family member was something that they're not - especially when that something is "what I needed" and even more so when what you needed was love or understanding or acceptance.

Hopefully it was a simple thoughtless remark that can be rectified. But family pain can run deep. Good luck.

Jean
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by Jean » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:26 am

That's not What I was meaning. I was giving an explanation about why your mother and sister are worried to a point where it annoys you.

prognastat
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by prognastat » Mon Nov 12, 2018 12:53 pm

My own parents have been quite supportive. I don't think they completely agree with my way of thinking, I suspect it's more of a we would rather we feel he is too serious about his finances rather than not serious enough e.g. Getting in to lots of debt and not saving for later in life. It doesn't hurt that my siblings turned out quite the opposite and can be quite irresponsible with money making me look better in comparison.

With coworkers I have only talked about FIRE/ERE with 1 other person and that's someone who is actually a fan of MMM so we are already quite close as far finances go. Only one or two wheaton levels apart so a gap that's bridgeable during conversation. I don't tend to bring it up to others as times I have breached topics not directly related to FIRE/ERE, but in that direction the response can be as best described as uncomfortable. Since I try to avoid creating friction at my workplace I have thus stopped doing this. Being in a tech environment I suspect most now just think I'm in debt and thus can't spend like they do. Most people seem to jump to oh he must be in debt as a reason why someone isn't spending a lot rather than he must be saving all that money.

My wife I was never able to get an agreement with on spending and whenever finances became the topic of discussion platitudes such as you work hard you need to enjoy it a little, you could die tomorrow how would you feel then etc are/were common.

I don't tend to hide it from others, more just I don't tend to bring it up unless I believe someone might be interested or interesting to have a discussion about it. I think many also assume our household income is quite a bit lower than it is.

classical_Liberal
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Nov 14, 2018 2:49 am

I think the best way to approach this is a combination of points already made. a) When dealing with those close to you, try to realize they are actually trying to be helpful (unless there is an unhealthy relationship dynamic). b) Try to see things from their perspective. c) Communicate to them in a fashion that is consistent with their Wheaton level.

A brief example from my personal life just last week. I was at work on a rare, but ridiculously slow night. My multitasking consisted of chatting with a coworker I'm very found of, while doing some cursory research on a REIT I've been interested in. When she noticed what I was reading our conversation shifted towards investing, saving, retirement, etc. It probably went a bit too far as I somehow ended up revealing my annual spend rate. She was pretty shocked and immediately spit out a standardized Wheaton level 0.5 YOLO response. She insisted I must be miserable and should start living life immediately!

My visceral reaction was one of immediate anger in response to the spending shame. However, I took a moment and considered the three points above. My response was simple. I told her that even if I found out I was dying tomorrow (YOLO, after all) I still wouldn't regret my decisions. The lifestyle choices made have put me in a situation of freedom. I get to choose everyday whether or not I would rather come to work or do something else, because I'm really not desperate for the money. This freedom, I explained, was more important to me than any new car, fancy apartment, or vacation. It's what makes me happy. I also threw in an explanation on how having those things tends to stress me out (frenetic vacations, worrying about a scratch on the car, etc).

I may have actually seen the gears in her head turning after my comments. Shaming was dropped, friendship preserved.

7Wannabe5
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Nov 14, 2018 5:49 am

If you want to be really popular, you could always counter with something like "Did you know that every dollar you spend adds one coffee cup worth of petroleum burn to the likelihood that your grandchildren will be baking under 6 degree planetary heat increase?"

classical_Liberal
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by classical_Liberal » Wed Nov 14, 2018 6:05 am

@7WB5

With the right audience (cute, young, vegan, bohemian, environmentalist) that explanation would probably get someone laid ... See b & c :D

7Wannabe5
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Thu Nov 15, 2018 5:39 am

@classical_Liberal:

True, but I date more on the old, carnivorous, business-casual side, so I tend to get response along the lines of blank stare, pause, fake smile like when the Godfather pats his grandchild on the head, and patronizing lecture on the topic of how the dykes came to be built in the Netherlands, and/or mumble, mumble, mumble, "clean coal."

ZAFCorrection
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by ZAFCorrection » Thu Nov 15, 2018 2:12 pm

Came here expecting a discussion of the sly put-downs ERE people heap on their profligate acquaintances. That might also be the appropriate response to the posited issue.

Jason
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by Jason » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:10 am

There is Prudential billboard that I frequently pass by. I paraphrase - "Millennials, show everyone how lazy you are by retiring early."

My assumption is that "retire" means with a lot of money, not because of have low expenditures. So it seems ERE shaming is only applicable to the latter.

Riggerjack
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by Riggerjack » Sun Dec 02, 2018 10:20 am

What is an insult? An inciteful (more or less), hurtful (more or less), declaration.

What is a joke? An inciteful (more or less), hurtful (more or less), declaration, that you laughed at.

Learn to laugh, and embrace your differences. Then many others will, too. And how much energy do you have for those who won't laugh with you?

Being a happy introvert means maximizing one's limited social energy budget, by not wasting it.

Most people are Happy Meals. Spend your energy finding people who can be a great stew, or salad, and ensure that you develop into the best Porterhouse you can be. And let the Happy Meal People enjoy their 'free" toys.

Augustus
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by Augustus » Tue Dec 04, 2018 6:53 pm

I think your biggest problem is relying on others for your happiness. Someone thinks you're odd when it comes to not spending much money and being boring. Why is that a problem? Does it have some kind of real impact on your life? I'm sure plenty of people think I'm odd, and I'm sure plenty of people don't like me. But it has zero impact on my day to day life, so I don't care. I don't like lots of people, and I think lots of people are odd too. Doesn't mean I wish them any harm.

You were probably oversharing and making them uncomfortable. Know your audience. If they're not interested or they have shitty finances, all you're going to do is upset them. That's a good life lesson for you. Discussing finances, politics, religion, etc is usually a bad idea unless people are already receptive to what you're saying. We have much more in common with each other than not in common. Focus on the good stuff, they're your family, as long as they're not raging assholes you should cherish them. Here's one of my favorite quotes:

“We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.”

Money is trivial, focus on the good stuff.

Salathor
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by Salathor » Tue Jan 15, 2019 11:53 am

A lot of growing up and being strong means learning to enjoy spending time with people regardless of differences (within reason).

My folks don't quite understand ERE (my dad retired at 45!!, so retiring at 35 is crazy), but we can just talk about different things or I can laugh off comments about our lifestyle being wrong. My coworkers frequently hit me with the "live a little, Salathor!" line, which I have embraced. I love to tease them right back about being profligate spendthrifts because they wash their jeans, or because they buy wine that costs more than $3 a bottle. It has become a joke both ways, and it makes work fun rather than a drag.

EDIT: Also, you should probably be dating. Some form of human interaction is almost certainly a biological imperative, so if you're telling yourself it's not it's more likely a defense mechanism because of how difficult it can be to find an ERE-compatible spouse rather than a true desire to be alone. Not to say EVERYONE wants to be with someone, but the odds are far greater that you do than you don't.

prognastat
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by prognastat » Tue Jan 15, 2019 12:41 pm

@Salathor
Surprised if your father retired at 45 which is already very much out of the norm and would put him in the unusual category for most people that he doesn't understand that you can be that different from him too. Seems once you acknowledge retiring early is actually an option that how early you retire should be a much smaller difference.

I wouldn't say don't try to find a partner, but I would say be introspective and decide how important it is for you partner to be on the same/similar page as you as far as finances go. If you combine finances and you partner is a spendthrift then this can lead to frustrations with you feeling that your partner is actively undoing your hard work which can lead to resentment which is a killer in a relationship. It might be that you find having a partner outweighs this in which case it might not be a problem.

For me for example it was a problem and I know in the future I would either want a partner that is ok with keeping finances separate or is on the same page as far as saving/spending goes. If the option is between a partner that doesn't want either of those or not having a partner I would rather not have a partner. This may not go for someone else though and that's why you'll have to be introspective as to what your feelings/needs are.

Salathor
Posts: 66
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by Salathor » Wed Jan 16, 2019 1:42 pm

@prog

I think it's funny, too. My dad made a lot of money and they're pretty well-off. I don't have exact numbers but would estimate that my folks maintained a 30-50% savings rate for several decades, albeit at a much higher income level than I earn. For them, I think it's more about, "Can Salathor be happy spending THAT?" rather than questioning the actual mechanics of how the early retirement would be funded.

Regarding finding a spouse--I think you're absolutely right that the wrong spouse would be worse than none at all, both financially AND emotionally. I just wanted to point out that the SEARCH for companionship is important--ideally a romantic relationship but even seeking out close friendships would qualify.

FIRE 2018
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by FIRE 2018 » Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:37 am

When I FIREd last year at age 51, I was met with many reasons in the workplace on how I did, why I did it and many excuses that I would not succeed etc etc. It perhaps is due to jealousy, shock, naysayers, negative critics that think that negative thoughts make them feel important and the other person lowly. I listen and take in their feedback. In the back of my mind I know I have achieved something really anyone can achieve. So for all the ERE shaming feedback people- get a %#¥€ life !!

Sclass
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Re: ERE shaming

Post by Sclass » Sun Jul 21, 2019 10:55 pm

FIRE 2018 wrote:
Sat Jul 20, 2019 6:37 am
When I FIREd last year at age 51, I was met with many reasons in the workplace on how I did, why I did it and many excuses that I would not succeed etc etc. It perhaps is due to jealousy, shock, naysayers, negative critics that think that negative thoughts make them feel important and the other person lowly. I listen and take in their feedback. In the back of my mind I know I have achieved something really anyone can achieve. So for all the ERE shaming feedback people- get a %#¥€ life !!
Oh I can relate. When I retired seven years back at 43, my boss asked me during my exit interview, “Comon Sclass I don’t believe you. You’re not retiring. How could you retire? We know you’re headed to another job. Don’t take it personally but I don’t believe it. “

I got it. He couldn’t do it so in his mind a low life like me couldn’t do it. I recall seeing his online brokerage account on his PC over his shoulder while we were at work. Not enough digits. He checked often.

What an ass. I saw him at a trade show a couple of years later. He had moved on and was wearing his “uniform” and manning a booth. I helped myself to their swag and yelled across the crowd, “yup I’m still retired!” And winked.

I had friends, coworkers and even my siblings calling me asking me where I was working now for the next two years. People checking in on LinkedIn. :lol:

Your partner is out there. Try online dating. You can cast a wide and discriminating net. If you’re up front about what you are and what you want, you’ll be able to get rid of a lot of undesirables fast. You’re looking for a one in ten thousand partner. Use a computer to find her or him.

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