DEAR HARRIETTE: One of my best friends has been unemployed for almost a year, and is living off of unemployment checks. I casually complain to her about my job, and she’ll respond by saying that I’m not getting paid enough and she would never put herself in a position like mine. I’m annoyed because I’m sure if she had an opportunity to make money, she would take it. Do you think she’s speaking from a place of jealousy? -- Bitter Friend
DEAR BITTER FRIEND: It is so easy to be critical of other people. Your friend is proof of that. Is she jealous? Who knows. For sure, though, she is judgmental. If you step back for a moment, you may also be able to see that you may be a bit insensitive in this situation as well. Your friend is unemployed. Your complaints about low wages could seem like luxury problems compared to hers right now.
On the contrary, though, because of the generous COVID-19 bonus that people received with their unemployment checks, some people who lost their jobs in the past two years actually ended up making more money through unemployment insurance than they would have if they were going to work. The intention of this boost was good, but, unfortunately, it prompted many people not to go back to work when the job market opened up again.
As you can see, this discussion can be complicated. My recommendation is to stop talking to this friend about wages until she is back on her feet. If you legitimately believe that your salary is too low, speak to your boss about what it will take for you to get a raise.