People love to make assumptions about others based on how things *look* instead of digging deeper into how things really are. It’s probably a pretty normal human trait. You see someone and based on their clothing, car, whatever, an assumption gets made about financial status. I know not everyone does this, a lot of people learn with age and experience that how things appear on the outside aren’t always how they truly are.

Whether it’s that I don’t feel I owe a full entire story or every last detail about myself or whatever, I find often that people will take the smaller bits of things about me and piece together an altogether inaccurate picture of my life. I could say it’s my own fault and I can just give out more information. Or I can decide it doesn’t matter what other people think and I don’t owe anyone an explanation or more detail than I am comfortable giving. Unless you are my close family or very close friend, I don’t need to share every last detail of my financial picture, homelife picture or whatever other picture people only get small glimpses of.

Why do we automatically think someone in designer clothes is rich or worse – went into debt to buy them? Maybe those nice jeans were a gift. Or maybe she was lucky and found them at Goodwill for $4. The truth is, there is very little we can know about anyone around us unless we are very close and really *know* and therefore I have to not let my first impressions determine what I think of a person.

A lot of the people I know are into “keeping up appearances”. I know too many people who live their life to be *seen* as something they are not. And since I am a person who is working on constantly being true to myself, I can’t be bothered with that game. All those people trying to one up each other are just one upping things that aren’t real. It’s a vicious cycle. No matter how rich, successful, beautiful, amazing, talented I am…there will always be someone more than any of those things than I am. So the only way to be happy is to just be me and be happy with good enough for me. I won’t indulge those seeking that attention and I won’t seek it myself. It’s really quite simple. Just be who you are and don’t worry about who or what others are or what they have. The bottom line is we just don’t know and why do we *feel* the need to know? And if we don’t know…why go back to assuming the worst? Assume a person has something expensive because they’re bad with money and in credit card debt. Maybe they’re a super financially savvy person and financially free. The honest truth is that we like to think others struggle for what they have because it makes it easier for us struggling to feel like we’re all in the same boat struggling to keep up.

I see regularly people who get so caught up in how they think they look to others or thinking too much about what others are doing and how they’re doing it, that there is such a negativity to it all. Someone can quit their job and take a few months off work or take years off to finish school to further themselves? They must be spoiled, the recipient of a trust fund or just plain lucky. Why not that the person works their butt off and is smart with money and put themselves in a very worthwhile and hard-earned position of taking a break to find themself and to better themself? Because as humans, we don’t want to admit that those things are possible without some sort of intervention. We don’t want to think about the changes we could make in our own lives to be in that same position. We don’t want to give up the cushy comfy stuff that we surround ourselves with to pretend to make ourselves feel better and to artificially find happiness.

At the end of the day, the myth of stuff and money and all of that bringing happiness is what we *want* to believe because it’s more comfortable. Somewhere along the line the competition to be better, look better, have more has become the standard. And it’s because if we don’t have all that and more, we’re afraid people might *gasp* think we’re poor or don’t have the means to attain it! Why in the world would you not live in a huge house if you can afford to? Why would you drive an old car if you can afford a new one? Why would you work that dead end job if you have more skills? Maybe some people are just happy with what is.

When we let go of caring what anyone else thinks around us, then it’s possible to just live life. Not for anyone else, not to make sure no one thinks something bad about us. So what if someone thinks your poor? They won’t think so 30 years from now when you’re retired on the beach in Panama 🙂