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Money Won't Make You Happy, Status Might

Stashed in: #happiness, Relationships, Money!, Psychology!, hmmm..., relationships

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"...professor Cameron Anderson and his colleagues have found, subjective well-being is best predicted by your status relative to the groups of people that you have face-to-face relationships with, like your colleagues, friends, or neighbors. 

"They call it the 'local ladder effect.' Being a standout in your immediate peer group is way more rewarding than getting ahead in society at large."

Extrapolating, worst case scenario: In order to feel better about yourself, you might limit your circle of peers to those among whom you compare favorably?

I've seen it happen -- people do limit who they spend time with as a result of money or lack thereof.

Or you could let go of all comparisons and idea of society at large.  

Even so, we need people to interact with.

Do we? What form of interaction? 

I interact with hundreds of people but rarely talk to any of them.  Just make contact with them as you pass by.  

Do we need talking and "peers" at all?  Which begs the question why do people seek peers instead of children or elderly or opposite gender or different races....why do people seek people like their self?

Simple answer.  

They are trying to validate their personal narrative. The one they are addicted to that does not even exist. 

People "feel more happy" when validated like a drug addict feels better  when the are on something.  

Why should I tell my narrative to others when I am in the process of letting it go?

we do!  we need people because we are social creatures and without relationships we could not be ourselves.  who are we with no one to learn from or share with?  what are we doing here on pandawhale, for example?

even a loner, like henry david thoreau, sequestered at walden pond, needed to express himself through writing so he could share his experiences—validate his personal narrative.  there is no reason to let go of your narrative, it's your life!  just tell it the way you want to tell it.

as for purposefully hanging out with lesser-than peers: totally lame.  trying to be baller by surrounding yourself with a bunch of mooches is loserdom.  there, i said it.  :)

you are a mix of the 5 people you surround yourself with most, right? (not true, but it is fun to say!)

Learning to blind yourself to social status: priceless.  We all are, afterall, just loveable meat.

Emily, "we are social creatures?"

Prove it. Name one society or culture that has not killed its members or other cultures.  

15,000 of our kin murdered each year.  100,000s of rapes and assaults. 30% of population owns guns to protect them from other humans. 

There are 50 million refuges worldwide because of war or lack of food/water.  The most in history. 

The reverence for the individual narrative kills. It is the source of all suffering.  That does not mean everyone is unhappy with their narcissism.  Many people believe they are doing great but together and more connected by technology and the aggregate has never been worse. 


Mark, it's true that society does some terrible things.

But people still need people. You need your kids and your wife, and they need you.

And friends and family definitely help us through our toughest situations.

Be needed but don't need.  

Isn't that paradoxical?  Need to be needed?

No others may need you but you do not have the desire to be needed. 

Not easy but possible. 

I in all seriousness do not care one iota about how any "peer"feels about me. By being one way I will make someone like me and someone dislike me.  I have to choose the one that likes me or change to conform to the other (and lose the previous) it is nuts. 

So people often like me for a while and then do not. 

So it goes.  I have no peers and like it that way. 

mark, we are social creatures.  there are thousand of studies proving this, but i can see it in my own life!  if i don't talk to anyone for a while, i get sad and lonely.  and loneliness is lethal.

we need other people for survival.  how else could we get anything done?  how would we procreate?  who would watch the cave entrance while we sleep?  have you seen a nature film recently?  we are the peak of social creatures!

and having a percentage of the population that is broken weirdos who kill and violate their own species is not exclusive to humans.  and it doesn't make us all bad or antisocial.

all the developments you love and use daily are the result of millennia of social behavior that has allowed people the time to think and develop new ideas rather than fend for themselves constantly.  our social behavior is the very reason you're alive today!

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