by Jack Singer, Ph.D.
Professional Sport and Business Psychologist
When we talk about money, we don’t usually put it in the same sentence as “psychology,” but amassing and spending money certainly involves much in the way of our personal psychology. Money, sometimes referred to as the “root of all evil,” is one of the main motives in murder, one of the top three reasons why marriages fail, and not having enough money is certainly one of the main causes of depression and anxiety.
Aside from not earning enough money, one of the biggest problems, psychologically, is overspending.
Here is how people’s core beliefs can make them vulnerable to overspending:
- People who ignore their basic need to save enough money to feel secure often focus more on their lack of self esteem and status; thus, they seek cars, homes, clothing, etc. to satisfy that need.
- People who go to great lengths to please others, because of fear that not pleasing them will lead to being disliked or rejected; so, they overspend in order to live up to some magical standard they have invented in their head.
- People who believe that when others disapprove of them, it means they must be bad or wrong; so they do anything to avoid that disapproval, including giving them gifts which they can’t afford.
- People who become addicted to overspending. An addiction is a behavior that impairs healthy accomplishments in a critical part of your life, including your work, marriage, or health…and you simply cannot stop the addictive behavior. Spending addiction is an attempt to try to buy happiness, to feel admired, accepted, empowered, at the expense of everything you hold dear. This should be a giant neon warning sight that there are deep-rooted feelings or fears that they avoid facing and they are indulging in this overspending to either avoid those feelings or to numb themselves to them.
Here is how they can change their core beliefs and therefore, change their lives:
- Examine their internal dialogue, their self talk, and catch themselves overreacting, such as assuming that they won’t fit in with people if they don’t buy expensive things, join their fancy clubs, or worry that by not doing so they’ll never be happy.
- Ask themselves what proof you have that if they don’t go to great lengths to please people that they will actually be rejected. Understand that if they learn to say “no” they may actually gain their respect, rather than their rejection.
- Recognize the damage that overspending is doing to them and the people they love, and look for the toxic triggers that provoke them to continue to overspend.
- Once they discover those triggers, they can learn to engage in alternative behaviors when they are provoked, such as asserting themselves and behave differently than they have in the past, not worrying about pleasing people who make unfair demands.
The key here is for people to take charge of their lives and stop making assumptions that if they don’t do the “right thing” then they will be seen as a failure and not be liked. It’s time to cure their “Disease to Please.”
Psychologically Speaking w/Dr. Jack: The Psychology of Money
About the Author:
Dr. Jack Singer is a professional speaker, trainer and psychologist. He has been speaking for and training Fortune 1000 companies, associations, CEO’s and elite athletes for 34 years. Among the association conventions which Dr. Jack has keynoted are those which serve financial planners.
Dr. Jack is a frequent guest on CNN, MSNBC, FOX SPORTS and countless radio talk shows across the U.S. and Canada. He is the author of “The Teacher’s Ultimate Stress Mastery Guide,” and several series of hypnotic audio programs, some specifically for athletes and some for anyone wanting to raise their self-confidence and esteem.
In his speaking presentations, Dr Jack teaches sales and financial services professionals the exact same skills he teaches to elite and world champion athletes to Develop & Maintain the Mindset of a Champion!