Why should you care in what “social class” other people perceive you?

Working class or lower class is an artificial designation sometimes called “blue collar” as opposed to white collar. “White collar” is middle class. Why white? Nothing to do with race. It’s that white collar workers don’t get their hands or their white shirts dirty.

Money earned by a blue collar worker such as a good plumber, may be more than a white collar worker earns in an office job. The plumber may or may not like his work, and may or may not have leisure time. Same with the office worker. But neither tradespeople nor office workers are considered “upper class.” But “class” is an artificial, imaginary classification by academics and theorists like Karl Marx. These days, many individuals think that such classifications mean something. Do you?

“Upper class” usually means a perception to those outside their class that they don’t have to work at all, although some upper class people choose to work. Where? Usually in high level jobs running big outfits. Or for instance, in professions– as senior partners in law firms or financial management trusts. An intellectual writer/journalist, media guru, skilled rocket scientist or brain surgeon normally earns serious money thus, someone highly skilled or brainy will usually be considered “upper class.”

The person involved normally doesn’t ever give a thought to what “class” others consider him to be.

Some “Upper class” live on investments or rents or an allowance from a rich family. This is the perception. But what is real? An upper class person normally has leisure time for expensive pursuits. Like what? Attending live classical music concerts, art collecting, golf, yachting, expensive travel options, live Broadway-style theater or other ways to spend his or her money.

Then there is the college professor or composer who probably lives on less than the lowest paid blue collar worker. “Genteel Poverty” is the lower limit of “Upper class.” Not defined by money, but more by upper class tastes and attitudes. And friends!

Money is definitely not the sole determinant of one’s social class. But it helps.

If you want to be perceived by others as upper class, or “classy” in general, this is what you should do, among other things:

  • Cultivate Good Manners
  • Dress Conservatively
  • Live In An Upper Class Enclave
  • Cultivate A Taste For Refined things Like Ballet, Opera, Fine Art & Classical Music.Perhaps You Will:
  • Be low profile–Not pushy or flashy
  • Associate with Racehorse Owners
  • The Yachting Set
  • Consumers/Collectors Of Fine Wines

Having attended a prestigious school helps. If you are too old to do that, being self-educated & well rounded is enough. If you are or were a very high officer in the military, or hold professional qualifications: Judge, Ambassador, Medical Doctor, Lawyer —you will also be perceived by others as at least upper-middle class, not working class. Of course if Marxists elements take over, they believe in “class war” and the liquidation of the upper class. Is this a danger in your area? Maybe.

It all boils down to this: “Why should you care how other people perceive you?” It makes more sense to be inner-directed. Never worry about nor be overly concerned with the opinions of others.

Pursue your own interests–to do the things that make you happy. Do what gives you a sense of well being. Creativity & accomplishment worked for me? Is that for you?

I’m not sure what class I am. I couldn’t care less. I suppose any semi-retired guy with a beautiful island girlfriend, that gets to spend plenty of time on the beach and lives in a high rise apartment on a tropical island doesn’t have it too rough. But then again, anyone who spends 4 months a year on vacation in various places all over the world would usually not be perceived as “lower class.”

Bottom Line:

If you want to enjoy life more, be “inner-directed.” Live a productive life that you feel good about. Please yourself and have fun, as long as it is legal and doesn’t get you in trouble.

Having a lot of “things,” like possessions or toys you enjoy are okay.. But IMO (In my opinion), not if you just own status symbols to impress others.

Possessions don’t usually equal happiness, and I’ve always personally found more reward in cultivating healthy friendships and relationships with other people to be the real answer. Pursuing your ambitions in your own business that you control is the ideal way to make your mark on the world. You can pursue your passions and exercise your creativity. That’s worked for me and clients that I help, I think it can work for you too