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8 Traps Materialistic People Easily Fall Into – Without Knowing It

8 Traps Materialistic People Easily Fall Into – Without Knowing It

What happened?

In a world where we’re defined by the clothes we wear, the cars we drive, and the size of our homes; material items speak louder than ever.

Materialism has been rapidly expanding and shows no signs of slowing down.  With the majority of Western Civilization falling victim to a materialistic lifestyle, it’s become the norm to care more about what you own rather than who you are as a person.

We all know materialistic people in our lives. You might even be one of them.  Material goods blind us from life, making it impossible to experience true happiness.

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By seeing the different traps materialists experience, you can avoid them yourself and steer clear of transforming into yet another individual defined by their possessions.

1.  They Always Need More

In a material world, more is never enough.  There’s always a newer, bigger, faster, more high-tech version of what you already have.  When it comes to material goods, there’s always a reason to need more.  Satisfaction doesn’t exist.

2.  The Rely On Instant Gratification

The beauty of material items is that you can easily fix a bad mood with a trip to the mall.  The tragedy is this becomes an addictive cycle and the emotional lift never lasts.

Materialistic people are programmed to want everything now.  This takes away the pridefulness in working hard to earn something that takes time to achieve, like mastering a craft or getting into peak shape.

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3.  They Crave Approval From Others

Materialists yearn for a sense of belonging.  People want to fit in. So when everyone is getting a new iPhone or buying bigger TV’s it makes sense that you would want to do it too.  However, materialistic people focus so much on the approval and acceptance of others that they never look for approval from themselves.

4.  They Try To Buy Happiness

Materialistic people believe happiness has a price tag and can be bought in a store.  Perhaps not literally (though I wouldn’t be surprised), but there’s always the feeling: “if I only had ____ then I’d be happy”.  In reality, one more thing won’t make or break your happiness.  If you aren’t happy now then buying a new pair of sneakers isn’t going to change that.

5.  They Define Who They Are By What They Own

Every year, people all over the U.S. meet up in various locations to hangout with others who have nothing in common with them except that they all drive Harley Davidson Motorcycles.  It’s a modern day cult where if you don’t own one, then you don’t belong.  From a materialistic view, who you are underneath doesn’t matter anymore.  It’s your possessions that show who you really are.

6.  They Become Slaves To Their Material Items

After buying happiness and earning approval from others, rather than owning their possessions, materialistic people become prisoners to the very items they purchased.  Always looking for new ways to signify their status, materialists become so lost in their possessions that they lose focus of the things that matter most.

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7.  They Treat People Like Material Possessions

Between beach bodies, calorie cutting diets, and idolizing super models, materialistic people treat others as products to be consumed.  Both women and men become objectified into desirable goods sought after by all.  Celebrities and “beautiful” people are considered super-human. Those of us who don’t have the proper appearance become like “the untouchables” from the Indian caste system.

8.  They Get Trapped In The Noise

In the end, materialistic people become lost.  There’s so much to be consumed that no one will ever have it all. Chances are, whatever you own, someone else has it too.  This endless consumption creates clutter; both in their physical life, as well as in their minds. Since there’s so much to keep track of they can’t even remember everything they own.

What is the ultimate goal of a materialistic lifestyle?  You could spend your entire life chasing physical possessions and you’ll die coming nowhere close to owning it all.  The reality is that when you die, nothing is going with you.  It’s all getting left behind.

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By turning your focus inward rather than on what you own, and by accumulating experiences that last a lifetime rather than material items, you can avoid the chaos of the material world and live a life that means something to you. Because, when all is said and done, that’s what really matters.

Featured photo credit: Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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