Materialism and race to be the richest is leading to Social Anxiety !
28 Dec 2015
So you want the latest iPhone and that dream car is precisely what you earn for? You know the details of every clothing brand and you need that lip color to step out of the house? Then maybe, this article is for you and a part of you that is tired of trying to match up to the high standards of lifestyle.
Mohit is a manager in a reputable MNC and enjoys a good reputation around . However, he is constantly worried about that social image and keeps worrying what others will think of him. He gets anxious when he is talking to people who are more successful or earn more. A friend who bought a new car becomes a distant person who he cannot face and buying the latest phone for his wife becomes his aim. Perhaps, anything can make him feel inferior and perhaps, adds to his anxiety. This is, Social Anxiety Disorder borne out of nothing but material comparisions and race for money
It is rather tiring to keep a constant check on oneself- on what we are wearing, what we are carrying, if that is better than others, what others might think. Perhaps, in trying to balance such thoughts, what we really are, gets lost. We begin to be ‘other’s idea of perfection’ and lose what we really are. It is a constant performance. Perhaps, all our lives we try to be the best, often through materials such as clothes, accessories, and what not. While it is not only hard on pocket, but also harder emotionally as we tend to measure others and ourselves through such materials and put us under immense pressure to get the best.
Symptoms of Social Anxiety Disorder
Intense anxiety in social situations.
Avoidance of social situations.
Physical symptoms of anxiety, including confusion, pounding heart, sweating, shaking, blushing, muscle tension, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
Reasons causing Social Anxiety linked to Materialism
Unrealistic Expectations- obsessions do not understand reality. Perhaps, in obsessing with best gadgets and products, we hold high expectations from oneself that we cannot always fulfill. This leads to low self-esteem.
Low Confidence- often social anxiety is a product of low confidence that makes one feel inferior and unworthy. We feel that we are not good enough and social situations worry us.
Missing Priorities- a clear idea of one’s priorities is essential to be able to complete one’s wishes and responsibilities. However, often materialistic things become our priorities and we lose the focus.
Constant Comparison- we always compare our brand to the next person and tend to feel bad about ourselves.
Unconscious Greed and Hoarding- we think that we like the best products, which is the reason we buy them. However, often it becomes our pattern/ nature to keep adding good things, even if we never use them. This pattern is no less than an addiction, which keeps repeating itself.
Social Isolation- by constantly feeling that we are lesser than others or we cannot match up to others, we tend to avoid social situations and isolate ourselves.
How it develops?
Experience- often humiliating experiences leaves an impact on our minds and we do not allow ourselves to engage in subsequent social relations.
Lifestyle- the society that appreciates materialistic things put us under immense pressure to match up to the high standards. We are under unconscious compulsion to possess the best materials possible.
Rigid idea of Perfection- the society holds very rigid ideas around beauty, success and so on. Perhaps, only a certain body type is seen is beautiful and monetary advances are seen as success. Perhaps, we tend to judge ourselves on these standards and develop low self-esteem.
Shadowed- often people spend their entire lives under the shadow of another person; this may be a loud father or a highly sociable sister. However, being hidden behind someone also develops a habit of always being under covers.
What can you do?
·Value yourself: Value yourself for friendships, love you share, laughter you bring rather than for material possessions. Also ephasise and give adulation to people who are loving and warm as opposed to people who have money!
·De- addict from Materialism- obsession with buying materials is no less that being addicted to products. It requires thoughtful and gradual de-addiction process, wherein we learn to change our buying patterns, question our perceptions about the self and the world and replace them with healthy ways of functioning.
·Behavioral techniques- techniques such as reading out loud or engaging with people on one-on-one basis can initiate the ability to socialize. The aim is to provide real life exposure to the feared situation. With systematic desensitization, the person imagines the frightening situation and works through his or her fears in a safe and relaxed environment, such as with the therapist. Real life exposure gradually exposes the person to the situation but with the support of the therapist.
Make a list of your achievements and share it unapologetically:
You have done some great stuff! Remember and jot down that. Talk about it, feel confident. If someone has a shining car, your shining memory or achievement may very well be even a greater reason for pride! Share it with yourself and others!
·Talk it out- Counseling & therapy provides you a space to share your concerns and anxiety, which otherwise got translated into buying things. Perhaps, it helps you form more productive ways of releasing your tension, stress or pain; instead of expelling it into products.
Therapy is a deep and gradual process, which has the potential to make you emotionally stronger. By understanding why you are obsessed with products or why you feel inferior and anxious, you can change the way you engage with people. For instance, after a couple of sessions, Mohit realized that he keeps earning more but never feels that he is good enough; this makes him feel terrible about himself. He needs to value himself above MONEY! HE EARNS THE MONEY NOT VICE VERSA
If you are losing yourself in this rat race of materialism, you are not alone.
The no.1 reason for Social anxiety and aloofness in men & women and feeling of worthlessness, chronic fatigue is mindless material craving & peer comparision.
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Tags: #money #materialism #SAD