Our Relationships with Money & Affluenza
“We all have relationships with money, healthy or unhealthy, whether we know it or not” – Dr. Lami
Our relationship with money, wealth, fame or success is a complicated one. We make the mistake of thinking that because we have almost everything money can buy, we should be sheltered from uncomfortable feelings, or hoping that our children will be grateful, appreciative and will know how to responsibly deal with their financial status. Some of us may be thinking quite the opposite – that the cause of our unhappiness is not getting or having what we want.
As our society is increasingly affected by the exponential increase in choices and opportunities available to make money, and thus by the many illusions and inaccuracies regarding money and wealth, it is important to learn and understand the impact that money has on our state of mind, our overall well-being, and how it affects the next generation.
All around the world, more and more people across all socio-economic levels buy into the “virus” that money solves most – or even all – problems. This ubiquitous fallacy has created a collective social denial of money-related difficulties in today’s societies. These fallacies, in return, have created various feelings that people develop when they experience unbalanced relationship with money, some of them can be described as:
- More is never satisfying
- Feelings of entitlement
- Giving meaning to money rather than meaning to life
- Using money as a tool to control others
- Having life revolve around material possessions
- Compensating for feelings of insecurity or low self-esteem with spending, status symbols, image and/or external achievements
Moreover, the extreme side of these fallacies is known as ‘Affluenza’. Simply defined as having unbalanced or unhealthy relationship with money, wealth, success or materialism – and the degree that these affect us, at the conscious and unconscious level, to manifest unhealthy, and at times damaging, behaviors, attitudes, thoughts and feelings with ourselves, others, money and wealth.”
Luckily, these can be overcome by learning to identify and differentiate our true sense of self and develop a healthy balance between how we feel, think and act regarding money, success, fame or materialism and our own personal identity.
“He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” – Socrates