6 Tips for Overcoming the “Keeping Up With the Joneses” Mentality

6 Tips for Overcoming the “Keeping Up With the Joneses” Mentality

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If you reside within the English-speaking West and particularly should you’re from the United States, it’s extremely like you’ll have come throughout the phrase, Keeping up with the Joneses. For these unfamiliar with the idiom, it refers back to the method wherein folks use their neighbour’s materials possessions and life because the benchmark for their very own ‘success’.

The phrase originated with a preferred comic strip of the same name created by Arthur R. “Pop” Momand in 1913 primarily based on a household, who struggled to “sustain” with their neighbours, the Joneses. Back then, and even in the present day, not with the ability to sustain with the Joneses is perceived as a failure, in a tradition pushed by materialism, standing and chock filled with social climbers. Society’s definition of ‘an excellent life’ centres round aspirational life, designer purchases, unique holidays and bodily appearances – all one must do is scroll by way of Instagram and Facebook to see the pursuit of those targets in motion.

6 Tips for Overcoming the "Keeping Up with the Joneses" Mentality
Instagram is filled with customers supposedly “residing their greatest life”. Photo: Taryn Elliott.

While people can not assist being social creatures who’re influenced by the alternatives, opinions and life of the folks they’re closest to, in addition to the society wherein they reside, there are a number of downsides to creating selections primarily based solely on a framework constructed by exterior influences.

These embody:

  • psychological well being points comparable to melancholy related to ‘comparinitis’ that may set off emotions of low self-worth;
  • enormous monetary debt which may trigger fear and pressure on romantic and household relationships;
  • well being points comparable to insomnia and coronary heart illness related to the work and monetary stress of sustaining and chasing a selected life-style;
  • envy and jealousy of others due to what they personal, the place they reside, how they appear;
  • misplaced values wherein cash, materials items and the necessity for exterior validation grow to be extra necessary than household, relationships, ethics and noble pursuits;
  • emotions of disgrace related to residing past your means, being unable to service debt and fearing that you’ll be came upon;
  • substance abuse and dependancy on account of making an attempt to mentally escape the monetary pressure; and
  • home violence and battle associated to spiralling debt and cash stress.

So should you’re scuffling with “maintaining with the Joneses” and wish to overcome its evaluate and competitors mindset, listed here are some suggestions that can assist you just do that:

1. Know your values and what’s most necessary to you.

Once you grow to be crystal clear about what it’s that you simply worth, you’re much less prone to flip life right into a contest and extra prone to make selections which are in step with your values, what’s most necessary to you and what makes you really joyful.

Not positive what you worth? Here are some questions to think about: Do you worth monetary freedom? What about high quality time together with your family members? Do you worth good well being and inside peace? How concerning the atmosphere?

If maintaining with the Joneses means you may have work at a job you hate, don’t get to spend time together with your companion or youngsters, pushes you to reside paycheck to paycheck, don’t get any break day since you’re too busy fixing and sustaining all of your possessions or requires you to take out extra debt to purchase extra stuff, you may wish to cease and ask your self– is it actually value it?

As minimalist advocate and blogger Joshua Becker puts it: “Deep down, will we even need these issues? Do we even wish to change our clothes types? Or purchase the brand new automobile… or boat… or greater home within the gated group? Or would we a lot want our personal life and our personal selections? Wouldn’t we a lot want to pursue our personal values?”

Photo: Katie Manning.

2. Remember there isn’t a such factor as the proper individual, excellent household or excellent life.

It was Pastor Steve Furtick who mentioned, “The motive we battle with insecurity is as a result of we evaluate our behind-the-scenes with everybody else’s spotlight reel”. How true that is within the digital age, the place a growing body of research reveals that utilizing social media platforms can have a detrimental impact on the psychological well being of customers and that “social media envy can have an effect on the extent of tension and melancholy in people”.

In a fastidiously curated social media world the place we’re consistently bombarded with standing updates and photographs that challenge excellent relationships, excellent properties, excellent outfits and ideal lives, remembering that there isn’t a such factor as perfection will go an extended technique to decreasing the pangs of jealousy which will immediate you to check and compete. Remember, simply because somebody’s life seems excellent on Instagram or Facebook, doesn’t imply that it’s.

3. Unfollow overly materialistic influencers.

As outlined on this article 7 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Buying Anything social media influencers are efficient in getting viewers and followers to half with their hard-earned {dollars} on stuff and selling an aspirational idea of “the great life”. (In truth, influencers are such a cultural phenomenon that American content material streaming platform Netflix is making a docu-soap sequence on a “sizzling Instagrammers residing their greatest lives, being their greatest selves, creating the most effective drama content material” a lot to the dismay of Byron Bay locals).

Now in case your favorite influencers are solely ever targeted on selling materials items, costly holidays, unattainable life, model sponsorships and #adverts that create emotions of envy, FOMO, melancholy, nervousness or stress, unfollowing their accounts to cease their fixed messaging will go an extended technique to preserving your psychological well being and private funds.

Of course it’s rather a lot more durable to keep away from members of the family, work colleagues or neighbours who’re overly materialistic and set off the need to need issues, however being aware of when these emotions come up is an efficient first step in not succumbing to them.


4. Learn to reside inside your means and keep away from measuring self-worth with possessions.

This is tough to do when companies and monetary establishments are tempting you to reside past your means by making entry to bank cards, private loans and purchase now, pay later schemes comparable to Afterpay really easy. But keep in mind that a lot of “maintaining with the Joneses” is senseless spending and conspicuous consumption as a technique to rating social factors and measure self-worth. Instead, be taught to reside inside your means and provides your self a pat on the again every time you make the aware option to say no to purchasing one thing that on credit score or that gained’t present long-term fulfilment or happiness.

5. Unsubscribe to newsletters that gas your need to buy.

This is fairly straight ahead. Remove temptations to assist preserve you targeted on the belongings you worth and ensure to create an atmosphere the place you aren’t seduced to spend simply to maintain up with social appearances. This recommendation follows an analogous philosophy to level #3.

6. Just cease giving a fuck

One of the quickest methods to beat the evaluate and competitors mindset advocated by the remainder of society is to simply cease giving a fuck about what different individuals are shopping for, what they’re doing and what they consider the alternatives you make. Embracing your individualism and refusing to adapt to different folks’s concepts of how you must reside your life is by far the quickest technique to cease enjoying the sport of one-upmanship referred to as “maintaining with the Joneses”.

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Cover picture by Max Libertine.

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