Answered Feb 6, 2020
Being poor often means being in poor environments, surrounded by other poor people.
There is a huge division between the working poor, and the non-working poor.
These environments have some decent, hard-working, civilised, functioning adults with realistic views of life, who just happen to have low income and assets. They may be very guarded, with low time and availability.
However, these environments are largely filled with scummy, unemployable, out-of-control, overgrown toddlers who are trying to leach off of, and prey upon members of the previous group. They have very high amounts of time and energy for this. And are highly available for new “friendships” (or for implications of romantic “love”).
When you are in the first group, the mere fact of being employed puts a big concentric-circles target on you. No matter how low your paycheque, bank balance, or possessions. The parasites tend to fantasise that you “really” have a limitless amount of resources. And they will do anything to extract those resources.
When you are struggling to work for your basic shelter, food, etc necessities, they will expect you to cough up the cash for them to buy luxuries.
If you own a car (even if it barely runs), they will treat you like their personal, on-demand, free limousine. They will call you at work, expecting you to drop everything, and come give them a ride.
Some will expect 100% total financial support. Such as living in your home, rent-free, while they trash the place and bring their homeless “friends” over. Others expect you to pay their entire rent every month on a separate apartment, buy expensive food, etc, etc.
Some have drug habits that they expect you to enable, because they are entitled to a co-dependent enabler.
Some are on welfare benefits (including disability and old-age type), on which they can survive. But they feel entitled to a luxury lifestyle, funded by you. Others don’t even have their act together to fill out a welfare application and attend an appointment. And so you will be their personal welfare agency.
They will give any sob-story they can think of. They will tell you any lie they can think of. They will be ingratiating, telling you what a great “friend” you suddenly are, very soon after meeting (as soon as the first conversation). They will engage in sexual come-ons (resentfully, and without any intention of following through).
If you try to be their friend, while setting boundaries, they will never respect those boundaries. If you persist with boundaries (e.g. “No, I don’t have any money to give you”), they will become increasingly agitated. They may become openly hateful. Some may try to steal from you. Some will escalate to physical aggression.
Some of these people are engaged in constant crime, creating risks to anyone who associates with them.
Some of them have an extremely impaired concept of actions leading to consequences (even after the consequences have happened). And extremely impaired ability to plan, to think of appropriate behaviours and solutions, or to rationally predict which actions lead to which consequences.
They may take the attitude that, there are two options. First, for you to provide enough (i.e. infinite) resources to lift them out of the gutter. Or, failing that, their recourse is to forceably drag you into the gutter with them.
They will hold you personally responsible for every “need” that they claim to have. They will also hold you personally responsible for every dissatisfaction or problem they ever had. Including dissatisfactions and problems going on for years before you met them.
They believe that you have already promised them a free, easy, zero-stress, zero-responsibility fun life. Simply because you started out being open to possible “friendship”.
They are frustrated and angry that you are maliciously impairing their access to the infinite pile of money and other resources which they see as rightfully, already theirs.
When you are working poor, you may have high exposure to these people, due to the poor environment in which they are concentrated.
These people may kill off your empathy, and incite you to become just as self-centred and uncaring as them. Except that you will be motivated by legitimate self-protection/defense.
When you are decent, civilised working poor, openness to “friendship” (or to sexual relationships) is generally very dangerous. It is vital to learn to be very closed-off, and very quick to dismiss people when you see red-flags of parasitism. This mindset can still effect you years later, even if you work your way into less impoverished/desperate environments.
An interesting point is that, some of the scumbags actually come from very coddling backgrounds. Including with indulgent middle-class parents. That is where they learned their sense of entitlement, and failure to understand real-world adult consequences.