From a consumer and even from a gross domestic product perspective owning a lot of products or things may indicate success. However, from a financially free/independent or an ecological/sustainable perspective, owning a lot of products indicates only one thing: failure.
Conversely, friends and family will most likely look at a skill-based lifestyle with some suspicion. They will wonder why you don’t have a full set of tools, a blender, a juicer, a food processor, a (larger) car, nicer furniture, or walk-in closets full of suits and shoes. It will also be hard for them to understand why you would not want these things.
This is something one needs to get used to when going against the norm. Thinking and living differently from 95–99%of the rest of the population is something that must be learned. Of course this is something a minority of people struggle with on a daily basis: religious and ethnic minorities, vegans, homosexuals, the highly intelligent, and people who choose not to have children.
I can only suggest being diplomatic about it and saying something like “I’ll think about it” or “Maybe some day” when given unsolicited advice. On the other hand, if you feel like getting even, try the reverse trick. When stepping into someone’s house act surprised and say “Wow! You have so much stuff?! How much time did it take to accumulate all this? Imagine what you could do if you didn’t have to take care of it. You could go and see Europe or Asia, …, or quit your job and write a book or go back to college, … If you hadn’t bought it, I bet you could have retired by now, …”.
Maybe they will get the point.
Daily Yakezie Short Carnival: A Look at Personal Finance Statements @ Narrow Bridge, Save Time and Money with Dvorak @ Eliminate the Muda!, Why I’m a Fan of Lifestyle Inflation @ Sweating the Big Stuff, & Are you a Monthly Payment Buyer or Budgeter? @ Car Negotiation Coach
Jacob comments: This problem is very similar to the problem of being an introvert (another minority) in an extrovert world. I’m not sure much is gained by counterattacking the problem dead on because the way we use language is directly so as to make the majority’s point seem neutral. Maybe the idea is just to shut up and write angry blog rants 😉
Originally posted 2010-05-21 15:05:11.