Will becoming wealthy turn you into a greedy, entitled jerk?
This episode of the Fiscal Fitness Podcast is all about the idea of what wealth really makes us do and feel.
Many people have a mindset around money that wealthy people are all entitled, greedy and lack empathy. Some people might even avoid pursuing becoming wealthy because they don’t want to turn into that kind of person.
Do they really think money is the root of all evil? If they were being honest with themselves, are they judging rich people?
Here’s where things start to get interesting when we talk about the attitudes of wealth people…
A team of psychologist at the University of CA Berkeley rigged a game of Monopoly so that skill, brains, financial shrewdness and luck – the pieces of the game that can create your success or your demise – were irrelevant.
Researchers watched and documented every hand gesture, every eye twitch, each statement or exchange between the players, you name it.
Here were the big picture findings:
→ As a person’s wealth increases, their feelings of compassion and empathy go down.
→ As a person’s wealth increases, their feelings of entitlement and self-interest increase.
→ As a person’s wealth increases, they care more about their personal ambitions and success. They consider their own personal endeavors to be more important than the interests of those around them.
Does this study actually justify those people’s with the opinion that wealth makes you a jerk?
As a financial coach, I don’t think this is the case.
If you believe that having money makes you a bad person, how do you think that’s impacting you today with the choices you make? It might be totally subconscious to refuse bringing more money into your life, have more money in savings, or become wealthy. But the thing is no one sets out wanting to be bad, and if having money makes you bad, it’s also reasonable to think that we can reject these traits.
So what if you shifted your beliefs about wealth to this?
What if you began to believe that money simply makes you more of who you already are?
It’s a magnifier that strengthens or reinforces the personality traits you already possess. It doesn’t make you good, and it doesn’t make you bad. It just makes you more of who you already are.
If you are a giving person, you will likely give more as you become more wealthy. If you are a selfish person or if you’re slightly entitled now, it’s likely you’ll become more so as you acquire more money. If you make better decisions when you’re not stressed, it’s likely you will make even better choices when you have money in savings and investments that provide security and stability.
So what if you believe that money simply makes you more of who you already are? Then what that helps us to do is begin focusing inward on who we are and working on ourselves right now today.
Tune into this episode to hear more of the details of this study, but also hear Kelsa’s thoughts on the mindset I believe we should all be adopting.
- Full article: https://psychology.berkeley.edu/news/how-rich-are-different-poor
- PBS Segment of the study and findings
- Ted Talk by the study’s founder
- Just Mercy By Bryan Stevenson
- Related blog post: The one thing you should never say to kids about money
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