Why You Should Never Tell Your Salary to Your Friends

My mama always told me never to talk to anyone about my salary. It comes down to a few assumptions.

One assumption is that a lot of people equate their salary to the value of life. Example: If Andy makes more money than me, it means he’s more valuable to the company than I am.

Another assumption is that people equate salary to expected work effort. Example: If Andy makes twice as much as me, it means that he should be doing double the work that I do.

Here lies the problem: If my perception of Andy’s efforts doesn’t match my assumptions, there’s going to be issues. For example, if Andy makes 2x more than me and I don’t *perceive* that he produces 2x more than me, then I’m going to become resentful.

Here’s why you should never tell your friends how much money you make.

They’ll get envious. If you make more than your friends, they’ll becomes jealous and eventually, resentful.

They’ll feel superior. This goes back to one of the assumptions. If they make more than you, they’ll figure that your worth less than they are. Then you might have to deal with a superiority complex.

They’ll pity you. This goes with the “superiority” reason. If your friends think you make too little, they’ll treat you like a charity case. This can be good or bad depending on your character.

They’ll use your salary as leverage. This one becomes a problem when your friend works at the same company. If they know your salary, they can drop the salary bomb when asking for a raise: “I’m underpaid. I heard Henry makes $5,000 more than me.”

You’ll need extra justification for frugal spending habits. You’ll have to give another reason in addition to “I don’t really have the money.” If your friends know your salary, they’ll start saying things like “C’mon. I know you got the money.”