I (23f) am disabled and live on pension, and have a friend (25f) "Lila" who is also on pension. We have very different disabilities, but the specifics aren't really relevant here.
In our country, there's a program that helps fund "quality of life" type stuff for disabled people. Stuff like transportation, physio, social activities, ect. I'm not eligible for this program due to not being a citizen - I migrated as a toddler and applied for citizenship at 18 but was denied because of my health status. Lila uses this program.
We have different life circumstances. I live alone (not by choice), while Lila lives with her parents and does not pay for her own living expenses. We get roughly the same amount of money from pension regardless.
Lila invited me to an escape room this week and I declined because I can't afford it. She said it was fine and that she understood how hard being poor was because she'd spent over $100 on plushies and couldn't afford to do other activities she wanted before she got paid.
She says this kind of "I'm so poor!" stuff a lot and I usually let it slide, but this time I lost it. I told her to stop saying that she's poor. I also said that until the food bank employees know you by name, you can't say she!t about being poor. A couple of other things that I can't quite remember, but I didn't sugarcoat it.
She's now upset with me and wants me to apologise for being an a$$hol3 about it. I get that she's not rich by any means, but I feel like her acting she's on the same level of poverty as I am is also a d!!ck move.
I'm definitely a bit jealous of her lifestyle being better than mine due to circumstances, but I don't begrudge her any of that. I just wish she wouldn't compare overspending on hobbies to not being able to afford medical bills because you decided to eat that week.
I can't tell if she's being childish and insensitive or if I'm being a huge jerk. She's a lovely person other than being a bit sheltered, so I don't want to lose our friendship over this fight and I plan to apologise for being harsh about it, but I don't think I'm wrong here.
NTA. I get it. She is better off financially than you and yet she keeps complaining about being poor. She takes many things for granted, like her home, the food - all that she considers are basic and standard, while you have to pay for each of those things - even the most basic stuff. She doesn't get it.
You had an outburst because of that, and it's fine. You didn't say anything too harsh to begin with. And now you want to apologise to her, because you don't want to let that small fight ruin a good friendship you have with her. That's quite mature of you.
All in all, she's just (relatively) privileged brat who is taking some things of her life for granted. It can't be helped. You can stay a friend to her, but stop letting her words affect you all that much.
I think all privilege is relative and that's just life. I'm extremely privileged that my health was considered bad enough for pension, some people don't have that. Dealing with people who literally can't see they have things easier is just hard.
YTA - you're both poor and you're gatekeeping it from her because she's not as poor as you. Yes, you're on two different levels of poverty and she has more rescouces than you but that does not invalidate that she still struggeles as a poor person would.
Also, in this case, she was emphasizing with, relating with your circumstances, and normalizing your predicament. Assuming she's a normal person, she was doing that to alleviate any shame you may have associated with being poor and to extend comfort by letting you know she can relate. You responded with outrage and indignity at this type of behavior which many adults do not ever develop.
I mean, if I only have $5 and you have $20 we're both still poor...
Soft YTA. The only reason why imo is that although you may be right, she is experiencing struggles in her own way. She isn’t as poor as you, sure, but is it really a suffering Olympics? I was friends with someone with social anxiety so bad they couldn’t even move sometimes. Just because I could move, does that mean I don’t get to say I have social anxiety? Etc.
She’s disabled enough to need the support, and yeah an escape room isn’t exactly extremely important, but why do disabled people have to live awfully with 0 fun (this isn’t to you, this is to anyone who is going to complain about disability money going to fun things.)
I understand you’re frustrated, and probably a bit envious (who wouldn’t be?!) but honesty, if you didn’t have to pay bills you’d likely be a lot like her. Now I will say one thing, if she were ever like “seriously? I make it work, why can’t you? It’s just $100” or asking you for money, then she’d be TA.
ESH. Some context for my answer- I grew up with separated parents, my dad lived in a caravan paycheck to paycheck and we were some level of poor. My mum and step dad lived in a four bedroom three bathroom house. I grew up incredibly aware of money and class, the limitations of it were always on my mind and it was strange looking back to experience both at the same time.
I think yta for gatekeeping, I considered my dad to be quite poor but there were people living worse than us who are poor and people living better than us who were also poor. This may be the same for you and your friend. I think your friend is ta for not considering that difference and hurting your feelings.