Stingy friend – Thomas Meyer advises
Talk to him openly
A longtime friend is very wealthy like me. He belongs to the Jewish community. His extreme stinginess made me (m, 63) end the relationship. How can we get back together?
Thomas Meyerwriter and columnist
Apparently you make a causal connection between this man’s Judaism and his stinginess. “If he weren’t Jewish, he wouldn’t be so stingy and I wouldn’t have a problem with him” – that’s roughly what your logic will be. The Judaism of this man has no place in your question, since you are allegedly bothered by his stinginess. Nevertheless, you incorporated his ancestry into your letter. This means that you not only have resentments against stinginess, but also against Jews.
You may not even be aware of this. The problem with prejudices is that we don’t think of them as prejudices, but as facts and therefore never question them. Especially not when a person corresponds to our stereotype. Then we are fully convinced that we have living proof in front of us.
But that has nothing to do with reality, but with our idea of it. The reality is this: among all the Jewish people there are certainly some miserly people, but also many generous ones – just like among non-Jewish people. But don’t think of a non-Jewish miser: “Wait a minute, he’s definitely a Jew and he’s hiding it!” They just think, “Man, he’s stingy.”
It would therefore be interesting to find out why you ended your friendship. Did this man’s Judaism appear as an argument, as in your question? Or did you sort it out yourself afterwards?
In any case, if you really care about this person, you should do more than get in touch again. Then you should have the balls to tell this person to his face that you find his greed repulsive and explain it with his Judaism. That wouldn’t be a fun conversation. But an honest one.