Whenever we're introduced to strangers, we make snap decisions about them according to our first impressions.
Whether they're attractive.
Whether they seem like a decent person.
How much they earn.
For most Brits, simply asking someone how much they're 'worth' financially is considered grossly impolite. Thankfully, most people are kind enough to drop several clanging hints about their relative wealth or successful careers. They're the ones who post on social media about flying to a meeting for work, or Snapchatting you a photo of their 'cheeky cocktail' from a beach in Tenerife. They're the ones wearing clothes with labels big enough to silently scream about how loaded they are and how well they're doing.
It's a worrying trend, and I'm not immune to it. I've felt the warm guttural glow of knowing I earned more than somebody, and the baseless grey irritation of knowing that I earn less than another. I've 'checked in' to places when I know full well that anybody reading it will either get jealous or think I’m an arse.
It seems as though self-worth is increasingly being tied to the careers we choose and the money we earn. A study in 2013, for example, found that nearly 17 percent of unemployed Americans were depressed, compared to almost six percent of those who had a permanent job.
We need to stop placing so much value on what a person earns, and putting more on what they do. Don't get me wrong - being ambitious is not a fault, and achievements should always be celebrated. But when a person uses their success to judge you negatively, it becomes a problem.
We need to stop thinking that somebody is worth admiring if they're filthy rich but stabbed everybody in the back along the way to get there. We need to consign the expression 'Nice Guys Finish Last' to the dustbin of history, by realising that being a decent person is not a sign of weakness but a positive and desirable trait.
If you want to know what you're really worth, here's a tip: It doesn't have anything to do with your bank account.
It's about how many times you've been there for your friends. It's how many times you've been kind to a stranger. It's every time you did something unselfish, or told your partner you loved them, or treated someone with respect no matter where they were in their own life.
So the next time someone boasts about their wealth, remember that they can have all the money in the world, but they can never buy their way out of being a douchebag.