Some people can comfortably embrace big spending habits while others stretch themselves beyond their limits just to “keep up with the Joneses.” A new study has found that those with big egos also tend to embrace bit spending habits. The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, has found that narcissistic attitudes could be the cause of all that big spending.
Scientists did four studies and discovered narcissism tends to affect a person’s spending habits significantly, especially, the need and want to purchase personalized, exclusive or scarce items that speak of how personally unique a person is. Interestingly, this need has more to do with the way a person regards themselves that how much self esteem they have.
One study that worked with participants that were more narcissistic than others found that they wanted to buy something that help to develop their sense of personal style that would prevent them from looking like the rest of the world. It also found that the participants that had higher self esteem levels did not worry about such matters.
So, why does this happen? Michael Mantell, PhD, and psychologist specializing in behavioral sciences says that it all goes back to a narcissist’s desire to have a higher status that everyone else. In the eyes of a narcissist, money equals love. He or she has a bigger than normal sense of what they are able to buy and by rights should own, and this can often cause reckless spending. Narcissists aren’t just big spenders. They also feel that they should be free from the rules of life. Mantell has said that this contributes to the desire for these people to live beyond their means.
The question is still if a narcissist is all about how influential they are, why do they care what other people own? Dr. Mantell says that the more narcissists can allow themselves to stand apart from others, the more proof they have for themselves that they are truly better, different or even more important than everyone else. He has also explained that narcissists also embrace these habits because they want to conceal themselves, and when they keep others different from themselves, they feel that others will not know what their faults are.
So, the next time that you begin to envy your best friend’s gorgeous house, remember that it’s not what you own that makes you stand out. Your shoes won’t win you a date, or points on the “special” scale, but your award winning personality, kindness and love of life that keep people coming back for more.