Man Asks if He’s Wrong for Telling His Poor Friend That He’s the Privileged One Now
by Matthew Gilligan
Remember when you used to be poor…?
Well, that’s kind of a strange way to start off a conversation, don’t you think?
You bet it is!
And it seems like there are a lot of underlying issues between the two friends you’re about to meet in this story.
But did the guy who wrote this story act like an a**hole because of what he said to his friend?
Take a look and see what you think.
AITA for telling my poor friend that he’s actually the privileged one now?
“One of my very close friends Nathan (29M) and I (28M) met during our first post-college job at a prestigious finance firm, and we immediately bonded over the long work hours, sh**ty middle management, and general soul-sucking nature of making PowerPoint slides and Excel sheets all day.
For the next few years, a lot of our friendship revolved around us talking about work and how much we h**ed it.
A few years ago, I decided that I just couldn’t take the corporate grind anymore, and I quit my job to move into the nonprofit world. While I now certainly make less than I would have at my old job, I’m exponentially happier, healthier, and absolutely love the work that I do.
I also still make a very good salary ($80K/year) which I feel is more than enough money for me and my needs. Nathan has been ambitiously climbing the corporate ladder, and recently became a VP at his firm. He makes well over $300K a year.
Nathan grew up in a very poor family, and his relatives are still financially unstable and often ask him for money. I, on the other hand, grew up in a comfortable upper-middle class suburb with parents who have always been financially stable.
They’re not millionaires, but if anything ever happened to me, they could (and would!) help me until I could get back on my feet. Nathan does not have that privilege.
I recently got offered my dream job, where I would be making slightly less money than I am now ($75K/year). Despite the money, I am genuinely giddy about this job prospect, and was pumped to tell my friends.
However, when I told Nathan, his response was “I’m glad you have the financial privilege to take a pay cut.” Not “wow AncientMesopotamia, I know you’ve been really wanting this job for months now and have told me all about how excited you are about it, congratulations!!!!” or anything along those lines.
I’ll admit that I snapped back at him and told him that he makes triple the amount of money I do, and that at some point he needs to realize he’s now got privileges of his own instead of pointing out mine. The conversation got a bit heated, and we agreed to hang up and cool off before talking it over later.
Now I’m wondering if I should apologize to Nathan for what I said, or if I should stand my ground. I’m feeling angry and a bit defensive, which I realize is exactly the reaction that a spoiled rich kid would have. However, I also do think it was a bit mean of him to say that at that exact moment when I was so excited.
And while generational wealth does give privileges that income alone does not, he literally does make over triple the amount of money that I now make, so it seems a tiny bit hypocritical for him to be calling me privileged.
Also, as a final note, while my parents certainly are well off, they do not support me financially in any way, and have not since I graduated from college 7 years ago.
So, I leave the judgement to you all – AITA?”
Here’s what folks had to say about this.
This person said he’s NTA.
Another reader said he’s NTA even if his response was defensive.
And this Reddit user said he’s NTA and asked a good question…
Quick idea… can we stop using the word “privileged” like it’s a weapon?
Nobody can help the situation they’re born into. And just because somebody is born into a bit more money than somebody else means that their parents are going to give them that money.
Think for yourself. Please.