This might be the worst thing you read all day! The 1Percenters are SO SAD that nobody likes them, and they need therapy to process having to live with the burden of all that money.
"I shifted toward it naturally," [Clay Cockrell, a former Wall Street worker turned therapist] said of his becoming an expert in wealth therapy. "We are trained to have empathy, no judgment and so many of the uber wealthy – the 1% of the 1% – they feel that their problems are really not problems. But they are. A lot of therapists do not give enough weight to their issues."Let me just pause here to say that there is a real dynamic, not dissimilar from survivor's' guilt, that lots of people experience about having something when there are so many people with nothing. One doesn't have to be part of the "uber wealthy" to have troubling feelings about global class disparities, or even the wealth inequity in our own communities.
This is a genuine struggle for lots of people with social awareness, even people of meager means, and we all have to find the best ways to navigate feelings that arise from knowing, even if we work hard for what we have, there are plenty of other people who also work hard and don't manage to survive or thrive, through some combination of privilege and luck. But that's not what we're talking about here.
Let loose the dogs of the Oppression Olympics!
"The Occupy Wall Street movement was a good one and had some important things to say about income inequality, but it singled out the 1% and painted them globally as something negative. It's an -ism," said Jamie Traeger-Muney, a wealth psychologist and founder of the Wealth Legacy Group. "I am not necessarily comparing it to what people of color have to go through, but ... it really is making value judgment about a particular group of people as a whole."Oh, people never say anything antisemitic or racist anymore? GOOD TO KNOW.
The media, she said, is partly to blame for making the rich "feel like they need to hide or feel ashamed."
..."You can come up with lot of words and sayings about inheritors, not one of them is positive: spoiled brat, born with a silver spoon in their mouth, trust fund babies, all these things," she said, adding that it's "easy to scapegoat the rich."
"Sometimes I am shocked by things that people say. If you substitute in the word Jewish or black, you would never say something like that. You'd never say – spoiled rotten or you would never refer to another group of people in the way that it seems perfectly normal to refer to wealth holders."
And, apart from the fact that her contention about no one saying "something like that" about religious and/or ethnic groups anymore is absurd, it's also a mendacious conflation. Wealthy people are a privileged group, and the groups to whom this asshole is comparing them are marginalized groups. Just because someone makes a mean comment about a privileged group doesn't mean that group becomes marginalized. That ain't how it works.
Further: A person of color, for example, cannot choose to not be a person of color anymore, but a person with money can give it away and not be wealthy any longer with the swipe of a pen.
"Wealth can be a barrier to connecting with other people," confessed a spouse of a tech entrepreneur who made about $80m. "Not feeling you should share some of the stressors in your life ('Yeah, wouldn't I like to have your problems'), awkwardness re: who should pay at a restaurant."Shut all the way up.
To avoid such awkwardness, some Americans have taken to keeping their wealth secret. "We talk about it as stealth wealth. There are a lot of people that are hiding their wealth because they are concerned about negative judgment," said Traeger-Muney. If wealthy Americans talk about the unique challenges that come with their wealth, people often dismiss their experience.
"People say: 'Oh, poor you.' There is not a lot of sympathy there," she said. "[Wealth] is still one of our last taboos. Often, I use an analogy with my clients that coming out to people about their wealth is similar to coming out of the closet as gay. There's a feeling of being exposed and dealing with judgment."
I've never been "uber wealthy," but I have friends who are independently wealthy, to whose problems about how money can create division among family and friends I have listened with compassion, and I have read enough along similar lines from people who have, for example, won the lottery or hit the professional jackpot, to understand that having lots of money can indeed be a source of friction. But not having any money can be a source of friction with family and friends, too. In fact, not having enough money for spending on social events—from dinner to birthday gifts to weekend holidays to weddings—can be a real source of angst for people who are struggling and whose loved ones misinterpret an inability to spend with an unwillingness to spend.
This isn't so much a "unique" problem as one that many people experience, from one side or the other—often both over the course of a lifetime. Sometimes from either side more than once, as many of us experience cycles of having and not having.
But naturally the precious special elites of the 1percent view this as a precious special problem that only they and people like them can understand.
Which maybe suggests the problem isn't having too much money, but too little empathy.