Money may rule everything around us, but just because someone's rich doesn't mean that they're all that and a bag of chips. I was reminded of this universally acknowledged fact when I asked people of the BuzzFeed community, "What's a rich person 'flex' that really is not the flex they think it is?" And wow, the responses were...frustrating.
Here are some of the things you said wealthy people love to brag about that actually don't impress you very much:
1. "Paying for something brand new instead of making the effort to clean the stain out of a shirt or find their missing book or toy. Rich people think fixing minor issues simply by dumping money on something new makes them 'smart' and 'efficient.' In actuality, it comes off as being sad because they really cannot take care of themselves."
2. "People with expensive cars thinking they are better than you — mate, it’s just a car. Yours gets you the same place mine does, I just care more about how cheaply mine runs and that it's the size I need."
3. "Folks who think money makes them entitled to extra benefits or above-the-norm service: Being inconsiderate is not a flex."
4. "It's not a flex when rich kids brag about their parents traveling all the time. They think it’s cool that they’re left to their own devices a lot of the time, but it’s really just sad."
5. "When I was in my second year of university, a friend of mine was giving a presentation which was supposed to be your grade for the class and one of our classmates was being really disruptive during it – loud cellphone bleeping, rustling with his stuff, and kept chatting with his neighbors. It really ticked me off that this guy was really disturbing the presentation of my friend, who was really nervous. So, I told him after class that I didn't appreciate his behavior. He bragged that he didn't care, and was just there because he had no idea what he was going to do with his life, but figured why not attend university since his parents were paying his tuition, full-ride."
6. "When they say, 'I know the owner,' in order to get free/discounted stuff or better treatment. It's a flex that almost always backfires because we know the owner, too. And the owner doesn't know them."
7. "I have an ex whose parents are rich and he's an only child. Anything bad that happened, his lawyer daddy would get him off without incident, and a lot of cash. Reckless driving, speeding tickets, and anything else of that nature were all handled by his dad. The older we got, the more people looked at him with pity rather than awe. He couldn't do anything for himself without his father's help and it just got sad."
8. "Wearing expensive suits. Even the best suit won't be as comfortable as the T-shirt and sweatpants I'm wearing right now."
9. "A very rich woman I know once told me her weekly appointments of massages, mani-and-pedis, facials, yoga, therapy, and hair cut and color were 'the same as having a full-time job.'"
10. "When CEOs make 33x or whatever the average salary of their employees. It’s not a flex to make that much money, putting shareholders and profits above the actual people who made you all of that money. It just shows everyone what an absolute garbage human you are."
11. "When they refer to their 'property' instead of calling it 'home.'"
12. "I was speaking with a new colleague who was also new to London. I asked how she was settling in, and asked if she had she found somewhere to live. She casually dropped in her dad had bought her a flat in Knightsbridge, a very upscale neighborhood. But she wasn’t happy because it only had two bedrooms, so he was shopping around for something else. I was staggered."
13. "When I was in high school, one of my good friends was mega-rich. Like, four houses, a chauffeur, and always flying-first-class-even-as-a-baby rich. We once went to the mall — her dad drove us there and then suggested we go get steak at the steakhouse, where the LEAST expensive dishes were in the $90 range. He couldn't understand why I, a 15-year-old girl, felt uncomfortable/guilty eating $400 worth of food on a random Thursday. His daughter never had a concept of money when we went to get lunch, too. She'd always order the most expensive dish on the menu, even if I was the one paying, and never realize that it's not within most teenagers' budgets to have $50 meals every week."
14. "A friend of mine owns three homes. Her main residence is more than 6,000 square feet, even though only three people live in the house. She spends a large portion of her time dealing with problems of those three houses, even though she’s hired people to look after the two other vacation homes. It sounds like too much stress and work."
15. "I was an RA in college. I was shocked by the behavior of one of my residents. Her family was from Brazil and they were very rich. She had a fit over having to share a dorm room and drove away every roommate she was assigned, so we eventually gave up and charged her for both beds. She was so messy that housekeeping refused to deal with her disgusting room, and our boss backed them up. That resident refused to remove the rest of her things at the end of the year, snottily announcing that someone else could clean the room. She was sent a $3,000 bill for cleaning, painting, and replacing the ruined carpet. She did not care."
"When she graduated, I had to do the final room check. Her room looked like a hoarder house! Papers, books, art materials, clothes, remains of food, even non-school-issued furniture. I've been a property manager since then, and her room is still the worst move-out mess I’ve ever seen." —losfrangeles
16. "Taking photos of yourself on a new vacation every week when you don’t have a job and your parents are paying for it."
17. "When I worked as a Resident Advisor in university, we had a lot of international students from China and Singapore who lived on campus in student housing. At the end of the school year, we ran a charity program where students basically donated anything they had purchased for their dorm and we'd arrange to have it dropped off to Goodwill. It was mostly a lot of funky chairs from Target and cheap shelving, however, some of the international students would donate whole entertainment systems for their rooms — I'm talking TVs, stereos, and gaming systems, they'd just drop in the donation bin because, 'it's old now and I will buy better stuff when I come back.' One student dropped off a designer purse that was worth $2900."
"The tuition for international students is already so expensive because of international student rates, and many of them also ate out every night and never once cooked for themselves. So they had money." —morgan_albo
18. "Shouting, 'I thrifted it!” when you can clearly afford to not buy something secondhand. Buying pre-owned is something the rest of have to do to get by on a daily basis, not a feat."
19. "Traveling out of the country mid-pandemic was absolutely not a flex."
20. "I was dating someone whose parents had money. His father started a company that counted people who entered stores — JCPenney and Best Buy, and even the World Trade Center used his product to track attendance to give you an idea of their wealth. We and another couple were at his family's Florida condo. We were trying to find the keys to leave for dinner. We looked everywhere, and my ex said, 'Oh well, we will just get new keys.' Didn't even bat an eye. Must be nice to throw out over 200 dollars."
21. "It's maddening when rich people say, 'I paid so much more for that then you did.' Okay? Sorry I’m poor."
22. "I volunteered at a boutique opera company in Florida. One of the biggest supporters was the wife of a successful and newly rich entrepreneur. Her donations had to be loudly and publicly acknowledged, like having the center brick in the path or her name prominently displayed on the wall. She had to have top seating at fundraisers, best ad placement in programs, and a say on how everything was done. She knew everyone looked down on her and her social-climbing efforts, which is one of the reasons she so blatantly flaunted her wealth."
"She even made a sarcastic remark one time about how her bank would have to go along with a fundraiser she was involved in because they, 'couldn't afford to lose her business.''' —Anonymous, 60
23. "I had a boss who called an entire meeting to show us a slideshow of pics from her family trip to China. It was mandatory. I worked for her for just shy of 20 years. She loved to travel and did several times a year — there were a couple of times where she broke the news to us that we wouldn't be having any raises or bonuses that year, then she'd take a month-long vacation to some 'exotic' place. She decided to retire and close the business down amid COVID. She’s no longer my boss and we weren't friends, so we don’t keep in touch. But a week after Mother’s Day this year, I woke up to a group text she sent to 10 former coworkers to wish us a happy belated Mother’s Day... and to let us know she was currently on Safari in Botswana and sent a few pics of lions."
24. "Wearing only designer brands. It ends up just looking cheap."
25. "I once worked in the billing department for a large law firm, and some attorneys would have their paychecks held because they were behind on their billing. One attorney came down to see my coworker about his bills and he said, 'Well I don’t really need this paycheck. It’s just pocket change. Play money, you know?'"
26. "Their backhanded 'suggestions' to travel the world, volunteer more, and things like that. When someone with inherited wealth goes on about how amazing it was to see a majestic something, or preaches about the moral value of dropping everything to go to a third world country and save them all, surely they know how condescending that sounds to a person making the bare minimum to survive in this country."
27. "Knowing billionaires — who cares? Just because someone is rich doesn't make them a good person. But bragging about other rich people? That makes you a boring clod."
28. And lastly: "Rich people who think they're more educated or smarter than others because of their wealth and status. Sure, they may know things I don't, but I also know things they don't. Bragging about intelligence or education is not a flex. To me it indicates ignorance that they only recognize one definition of intelligence, and are resistant to continued learning."
What are some other things that you're not impressed by that rich folks love to flaunt? Let me know in the comments!
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.