One fellow, a 37-year-old partner at a New York fashion firm, routinely buys dinner for an artist friend who lost his funding, but he tells him he’s expensing it. “You’ve got to make a big fuss of saying ‘Don’t worry, I’m not paying for this myself,’” he says. The fashion-firm partner wants to buy a nice new watch too, but he can’t bring himself to do it. “It’s not as much fun to have something like that when someone else is getting kicked out of his apartment,” he says. “If I bought it two years ago, everyone would be patting me on the back. Now they’re like, ‘Ooooh.’ I wouldn’t say they’re jealous. I’d say they’re miserable.”

What Mattie and his peers are experiencing, Grubman says, is something akin to survivor’s guilt. “You should feel proud that you’re doing well,” he explains. “But sometimes it’s hard.”

Suzanna de Baca, the head of a wealth-management firm in Des Moines, can attest to that. She has a client in his thirties who was so wary of approaching his buddies about planning their annual trip to Europe that he decided instead to vacation with his mother. “He didn’t want to downsize his life,” de Baca says, “but he didn’t want to make anyone uncomfortable.”

That, it would seem, is the choice of the day: You can spend more quality time with Mom or you can man up and tell the truth. Before sharing your plans for, say, a weekend trip to the Costa Brava, acknowledge how fortunate you are to be able to afford it. Grubman offers these words as an example: “I know it’s extravagant, but I’ve been doing really well in my work and I’m lucky to get to go someplace nice.”

The thing you do not want to do is start grousing with your pals about the high cost of milk. De Baca likens that approach to two guys on a golf course saying “Hey, I owned Freddie” followed by a whole lot of expletives. “You know those losses aren’t hurting them on an irretrievable level,” she explains. “They’re saying things like ‘It’s really expensive to fill my private plane with gas.’ And it’s like, ‘Yeah, but you still have the plane.’”