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7 Reasons Why Materialistic People Are Not As Fulfilled As Imagined

7 Reasons Why Materialistic People Are Not As Fulfilled As Imagined

We all know the story of Ebenezer Scooge in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. He loses love and affection because of his crazy desire for money and it certainly did not bring him happiness or fulfillment. Once the surly miser realizes that materialism cannot bring him happiness, he becomes a changed man because he recognizes the value of love, family and friendship.

Here are 7 reasons why materialistic people fall into the same trap today. They can never gain fulfillment through material things such as owning property, trendy clothes, flashy cars and expensive holidays.

1. They treasure ownership of material objects.

They do not realize that sooner or later, the new apartment or expensive watch is going to lose value or wear out. They should be investing in things that feed their passions instead. Why not buy golf equipment to improve your golfing or go on a writing course to help you hone your writing skills? These are the investments that will last a lifetime. They will never wear out. We know that experiences will enrich our lives in a way that no material objects can.

“The things you own, end up owning you. It’s only after you lose everything that you’re free to do anything.” – Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club.

2. They are never challenged by their new shiny objects.

Owning the latest smartphone may challenge their tech savvy skills for a while but the novelty soon wears off. The real challenges of life come from experiences such as nurturing a relationship or a garden. These things can give you handsome rewards. When we spend money and time on gardening, we also take advantage of many health benefits such as keeping fit, reducing stress, and improving our mood.

3. They are worried about their economic future.

You often hear materialists talk about a rainy day and having enough put aside for emergencies. Reality shows us that people who concentrate on keeping their financial head above water are actually losing out. When Icelanders were facing economic ruin a few years ago, the ones who actually concentrated on regaining their economic status and wealth had lower levels of happiness. The other group who focused on family and community life were happier people in the end and were more emotionally stable. There is a lesson there for all of us to learn from!

“If everyone demanded peace instead of another television set, then there’d be peace.” – John Lennon

4. They are suffering from an addiction.

They get excited about buying that new flat screen which soon just becomes “the TV”, after the initial buzz and excitement wears off. In fact, research in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that pleasure in the acquisition of new things is definitely short-lived. However, the desire for short bursts of pleasure becomes an addiction. Many people have gone into debt because of multiple temporary consumer highs.

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Now, you and I know that they will never be truly fulfilled because they do not see the value in personal transformation and emotional well-being. These do not cost a lot of money, but they do require time and love and effort. You cannot buy them.

“It is the preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else that prevents us from living freely and nobly.” – Bertrand Russell

5. They are fooled by marketers.

Look how they are conned into believing that happiness, fulfillment, acceptance, and worthiness are linked to actually acquiring material objects. Objects bring contentment and joy. The bombardment of these messages is relentless. Nike will make you feel empowered and Apple products are going to make you unique and stylish.

They buy these objects and they wonder why they still feel unhappy. Albert Galbraith hit the nail on the head way back in 1958 when he wrote The Affluent Society. His message was simply that materialism breeds discontent.

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If you are not materialistic, you know that the real issues in life are the ones that have to be worked on and developed, day in and day out. Winning these battles will lead to personal growth, where you’ll become a more loving and kinder person.

6. They are liable to suffer from depression.

Materialistic people never realize that their spending power is not actually contributing in any way to their well-being. They would be shocked if they knew that billionaires tend to have higher rates of depression. The only difference money can make is when extremely poor people get enough to meet their basic needs. Once that is achieved, the pursuit of happiness is an entirely new adventure and cannot be bought.

7. They are more liable to have a marriage break-up.

The research in this particular area is pretty damning. Materialism has been linked to many unhappy relationships. Here is the result of one study which involved 1,700 couples. The unhappy couples involved in the study were those who had high materialism scores. There was a corresponding lack of contentment and affection. The happier couples were those who had lower materialism scores. This study was published in the Journal of Couple and Relationship Therapy.

If you are not materialistic, you possess more empathy and pro-social skills. This will protect any relationship even in the most difficult moments.

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The materialists are all too busy acquiring all their new toys to realize there are other more important things in our lives which will actually bring real happiness. It is only when (or if) they discover these values that they will become well-off in every sense of the word.

Featured photo credit: Fashion lifestyle portrait woman in sunglasses and dress with leopard print, evening sunny ghetto, street fashion photo via shutterstock.com

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Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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