Competitive and insecure, she’s the type who never fails to mention how much the guy she’s dating makes. Or how much the amazing apartment she just bought cost. And she just loves to namedrop that private school her kids go to.
How She Can Hurt You: Besides making your money comparisonitis flare up each time you see her, the one-upper can inspire competitive spending. You might feel pressure to drop more cash if you’re with her (even if you know you shouldn’t), or buy your kid something you ordinarily wouldn’t just to keep up.
How to Neutralize Her: The One-Upper’s primary aim is attention. You can ignore her brags, which she’ll find maddening, or validate her (“Your new convertible is amazing.”). If it’s a good friend with an annoying habit, level with her and explain that all this talk about money is making you feel bad.
She never saw something you own that she didn’t want, and she’s blessed with a short-term memory. This is the friend who’s always asking you to spot her cash, or loan her your cute shoes—and forgetting to give them back. Never mind reimbursing you for her airline ticket you put on your credit card for your vacation together last year.
How She Can Hurt You: That bald spot in your closet where your favorite dress used to hang? The $300 on your statement she has yet to pay back? The Moocher is like the Bermuda Triangle of pals, making stuff disappear so magically you often don’t even notice. Because you’re her friend, not her bank, she doesn’t take her debts to you seriously.
How to Neutralize Her: She’s certainly not afraid to ask, which means you can’t be shy about saying no. Next time the Moocher strikes, ask yourself these questions before indulging her demands: Is the item valuable to you? Can she easily afford to buy it herself? If it’s money, are you comfortable giving up that much and drawing up a contract? Does she make a habit of this type of behavior?
More financially disastrous personalities and how to handle them up next!